Star Trek: Seekers: #1 Second Nature by David Mack

Seekers: Second Nature (Star Trek: The Original Series) - David Mack

Seekers is planned to be an ongoing series featuring alternatingly the Sagittarius and the Endeavour which were first introduced in the Vanguard-series on their ongoing adventures in the Taurus Reach in the aftermath of Vanguard's destruction. Therefore it's recommended to have at least some knowledge of what happened earlier - either by having read the series or by reading some spoilers (if you don't want to read Vanguard). I don't recommend reading Seekers before Vanguard if you plan on diving into the Vanguard-saga because you definitely get spoiled on major events.


After happily munching my way through Vanguard I'm sorry to say that it took me quite a while to finish this book. First of all, it lacks the multiple dimensions of its predecessors. Of course, Seekers is a series intended to be more adventurous, more like "planet of the week"-episodes, than hardcore political thriller. So, being a bit more light-hearted, more simplistic shouldn't be held against it. But coming directly from Vanguard, it's quite a difference in pace and complexity.


The second thing - to me the thing that weighs more against this book - is that I don't actually like any of the Sagittarius' crew. I said before - I think it was in my review of Reap the Whirlwind - that I can only take so many witty one-liners. And in this case, practically every sentence was such a one-liner that had me roll my eyes in exasperation. It's one thing for the crew to be unusual and full of "cool" characters, but here it went too far. I don't like the kind of leadership that Theriault displays practically the whole book - alternating one-liners with ridiculing her comrades or sneering at the information that they are offering. I quite liked her back in Reap the Whirlwind, but this version I can certainly do without. I'd rather have seen more of the rest of the away-team, because honestly they appeared more interesting than Theriault. Back on Sagittarius I quite liked Sorak and Terrell, the rest again only come up with more or less witty phrases ("One Miracle coming up" etc). It's not that I need characters to be all serious all the time - far from it because I definitely like wittiness (hail Stargate...) -, but it's a fine line between witty and cartoonish which is crossed at least half the time here. Perhaps in time the characters are allowed to become more 3-dimensional - I hope so at least.


The plot itself... well, is rather simplistic, as said before. A society which gets rid off their adults because at a certain age they turn into beings with horrible mental powers - one of those adults succeeds in that change and disaster strikes all. Add Klingons who want to harness that mental power, the whole civilization being transplanted from somewhere else, mentions of the Shedai, the threat of those "monsters" getting out into space and wreaking havoc there - stir and step back quickly. That's it more or less. Ah, yes, and there was the idea that the same advanced people as in "Paradise Syndrome" are involved here and created the forced Cleansing as a way to prevent the Change... not to mention created another of those machines, this time hidden in a mountain. I'm not sure that story premise really warrants being split up into 2 books since it's already quite thin in just one book.


Of course, I'm going to read at least the next part since I can't stand only having half of the story. It will be interesting what will happen with the Changed... Is it possible the people change but don't abandon all morals? Can they be reasoned with? But after that, much depends on whether the characters evolve beyond what's been shown so far. There is potential there with the crew of the Sagittarius. It remains to be seen whether it will be realized. 5/10