Star Trek: Seekers: #2 Point of Divergence by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore

Star Trek: Seekers: Point of Divergence - Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore

This second part of the Seekers continues the adventure on Arethusa where the native people are undergoing a Change into apparently irrational, furious beings with telepathic and telekinetic abilities, and wreak havoc on the Sagittarius and and Klingon Ship which investigate the situation and try to capture one of those Changed, in the case of the Klingons, to harness their powers.


The plot itself revolves around containing the Changed and preventing them from gaining access to a starship, helping the stranded Sagittarius and finding a way to remove the mindless fury that makes the Change so dangerous. All the while Captain Khatami of the Endeavour has to reason with the captain of the second Klingon vessel, Kang, to cooperate and defend against the automatic measures the Preserver oblisk employs itself against the Changed which leave part of the planet petrified, communication with the landing teams damaged and the ships in orbit incapable of rendering sufficient help.


The Endeavour's science officer Klisiewicz discovers the past dealings of the Tomol with the Shedai and the Preservers - and with illegally obtained data from Operation Vanguard (all research into the Shedai, Vanguard, the metagenome etc. was sealed after the destruction of the station) is able to draw the correct conclusions and to lead Dr Leone in the right direction in devising a "cure" for the Tomol Change. But is it soon enough to save them and their planet?


I enjoyed Point of Divergence quite a bit more than the first part, it's more complex, less interspersed with those flippant remarks that are meant to be funny and relieve tension but just come across as annoying. And I have to say that I just like the crew of the Endeavour more than the eclectic bunch of tech-prodigies of the Sagittarius. They simply come across as more earnest and realistic, in short, more three-dimensional instead of as caricatures. And I have to admit considering to skip the Sagittarius-parts of the Seekers-series in the future since, apparently, it's planned to keep the crews separated in the future. So one shouldn't miss out on too much not reading every second novel...


So, the personal side to the story is a definitive advantage of this novel, as is the more intense feeling of a race against time. The Klingon threat was resolved a bit too rapidly. Mind you, I like them working together, but it felt a bit too fast that Kang conceded to Khatami's request of a temporary alliance. This removed one layer of the plot too fast. Another thing is the future involvement of Starfleet on Arethusa. In the final chapter it's stated that Arethusa applied for protectorate status in exchange for granting scientists access to the Preservers' oblisk... but a couple of paragraphs later Khatami's wondering if and when Starfleet will be invited back to the planet. Isn't that a bit of a contradiction?


I hope that future parts of the Seekers-series will focus on science, as these sequences were the strongest in this book - there's still so much to explore in the Taurus Reach, so much to discover about the Shedai, the Tkon, apparently the Preservers etc. I definitely don't need battle sequences in every part, or confrontations with the Klingons for that matter. There's been enough of that in Vanguard or this opening duology. Overall, Point of Divergence certainly whetted my appetite for more adventures in the Taurus Reach - at least more adventures featuring the Endeavour. I'll reserve judgment on the Sagittarius part of the series.