Hey, I feel like I've walked into a minefield in this thread but I should mention that I've heard about how Vanguard is one of the better of the Trek Expanded Universe books for many years now. My experience with the Novelverse is pretty spotty to be honest. I was always a fan of the New Frontier novels but I actually only started the novels with "Department of Temporal Investigations" and moved on to Christopher Bennett's other novels with the Destiny, Klingon Empire, and Typhon Pact novels coming next. So I'm starting Vanguard now a bit late to the pack. Indeed, I'm only starting it because I loved DISC: DESPERATE HOURS so much. Some early thoughts before I do an actual review-review but: 1. I love the idea inherent to a Deep Space Nine-esque story set in TOS' era. That's just an idea of pure genius. 2. The book felt a lot seedier than I expected and that's not a bad thing. It really did feel like a book taking place in the ass end of the galaxy. 3. I love the character of T'Prynn even if her actions regarding the media were awful. 4. I am both a bit back and forth on Pennington's adultery because I like the fact people do cheat on each other in the 23rd century as a nice little humanizing moment. However, his reactions did kind of feel a little overthetop in covering up their affair as it seems like the social recriminations he feared were far bigger than he'd feel today in the 21st century. Still, the actual feelings of the story were well-done. 5. I've always been fond of the Tholians so making them the apparent villains (while something darker is behind them) was a good idea. 6. I also like how Kirk is just genuinely disgusted about everything going on in the Vanguard project. 7. Reyes seems like he'd be hell to be a boss for but I think he's probably good at getting the job done.