This part concludes the retrieval of the old Defiant from the interstellar rift where it has been captured for over a 100 years. It's not as strong as the first part which introduced us to the set, mainly because it's more a race of who performs which miracle when the Tholians come back to finish off the da Vinci and the Defiant in order to keep their weapon which can eliminate a whole planet's population a secret. Duffy has to juggle his engineering expertise with being thrown into the command chair in times of a crisis. And of course, he excels at both. I guess I'd have been surprised if it had been different. But so far, the crew as a whole comes across as a very likable bunch of people, each with their quirks but no one with an aloof and/or genius attitude that would put me off immediately. So, after 5 parts of S.C.E. I'm really enjoying myself here.
The downside to the book is perhaps the Tholians. First they were eager to help in part 1, then they attacked when they found out what the Defiant had discovered, and came back in masses here (with a cool extrapolation of what the Tholian web might look like 100 years later), and then they get bloody noses, Duffy jumps to the rescue of a Tholian ship that's bound for the interstellar rift... and everything is good and well? The Tholians no longer make an issue of the da Vinci's discovery? As sudden as the hostilities in part 1 were, they at least could be explained by Tholian secrecy. But letting the da Vinci and the Defiant leave their space was a bit of a turnabout. And all that because Duffy showed compassion? I don't know. As I already said in my review of part 1, this is a bit where this story falls short - but I guess that's also due to the restrictions a short story offers. Not everything can be explained in depth within a 100 pages after all.
So, onto the next adventure, S. C. E.!