Wildfire by David Mack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wildfire is the the sixth release from the Starfleet Corp of Engineers series which was initially novellas but has now been repackaged as a collection of stories in each anthology/omnibus. This novel contains three stories.
ENIGMA SHIP by J. Steven York & Christina F. York
The USS Lincoln while escorting two freighters mysteriously vanishes, scans indicate the presence of some sort of anomaly and the USS da Vinci is sent to investigate and relive the initial responder USS Chinook which has a more pressing engagement. Upon arrival they find that the chief engineer of one of the freighters and two personnel from the Chinook are also missing but the engineer somehow with limited equipment breached the anomaly. The da Vinci need to identify what the anomaly is, how to get inside and how if possible to rescue a starship and crew.
A high concept story which taxed the ingenuity of the SCE to their limits and made use of the common sense and experiences of the crew to bring about a resolution.
WAR STORIES by Keith R.A. DeCandido
Overseer Biron of the Androssi is still smarting over his "defeats" at the hands of the crew of the USS da Vinci, unbeknown to his sponsor he uses his commands resources to secure logs and other sensitive date from a spy to learn more about the crew of the SCE ship. A very interesting story which was dominated by flashbacks to give us more back story of the crew of the da Vinci.
WILDFIRE by David Mack
A distress call from the USS Orion which is testing the "wildfire" device deep in the atmosphere of a gas giant in an unclaimed system is received by Starfleet and time is of the essence not only to save the crew but secure the technology as it's finders keepers in neutral space. The da Vinci arrives on seen and enters the gas giant and slowly makes it way deeper into the heart of the turbulent gas giant in search of the Orion and the wildfire torpedo. Strained to the limit with life and death resting on a knife edge the da Vinci suffers a catastrophic event, the crew faced with limited resources and the wildfire device on a countdown to ignition make terrible decisions and sacrifices have to be made.
Wildfire is perhaps the one story I have been waiting for, I had the basic plot of this novel already in my mind thanks to a podcast interview many moons ago but even so this story stuck the knife in and twisted. A real pay off for readers who have followed the series from the beginning and written with pace and tension which serves the situation the ship and her crew find themselves in.
David Mack did a magnificent job.
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