Book Review: ‘Paths of Disharmony’ by Dayton Ward

November 21, 2022 at 7:53 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
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Star Trek: Paths of Disharmony is the fourth book in the Typhon Pact line of novels from Pocket Books at Simon and Schuster. It was written by Dayton Ward and was released in February 2011. 

The Typhon pact has had some hits and misses. Zero Sum Game was a mediocre novel, while Seize the Fire was very disappointing and Rough Beasts of Empire was partially amazing and partially poorly executed. I have also read some mixed books by Dayton Ward, so I wasn’t particularly excited about this one. However, one of my friends rated this very high on his list, and he and I have had similar thoughts on the Typhon pack novels thus far. So I was intrigued to see what this book was like. 

And I’m so glad I did, because not only is it the best Typhon Pact novel, it’s also one of Dayton Ward’s best novels. 

One of the strongest points of this novel is its political storyline. The Typhon Pact line of novels promised political intrigue and major events. The government of Andor coming undone really was fascinating to read about. It really reminded me of the current situation in Britain for the last several years. Dayton Ward isn’t always the go-to political writer, but his skills here were wonderful.

I also enjoyed the action in this novel. The action felt like it was properly built to the scale of the story. There is one action sequence with the Enterprise that I particularly enjoyed. 

This book explores themes about genetics that are really complex. The Andorian reproductive crisis naturally frustrates me because of the way they designed the Andorian species. Nonetheless, the decision of whether to use Starfleet’s help or not was really compelling. The Andorian response towards the “Shedai Metagenome” was also very interesting, and tied in well to the Vanguard series. 

If you read this book and enjoy it, then you will also like David Mack’s entry into The Fall titled A Ceremony of Losses. That novel follows the events of this novel and really shows how Star Trek writers can hand books off to one another. 

Dayton Ward also writes romance fine, although he and many other Trek authors tend to write the bare minimum for it to be considered a “plot thread”. But there were some humorous scenes regarding the romantic partners in this book.

I most enjoyed the scenes with Shar, who provided an Andorian perspective who has worked in Starfleet. The attacks he goes through from his own people is brutal and he is such a strong character to keep going no matter what. 

Unfortunately, what keeps this book from the top most echelons of Star Trek novels is the way the themes hit. It is very thematically dense, but the themes don’t hit the readers in the perfect way. They need to really make the audience rethink things without coming across preachy. This book just doesn’t hit enough.

That being said, I really don’t have many negatives with this book. I think it is certainly one of Dayton Ward’s best, up there with his top novel From History’s Shadow (which I give a slight edge for how impressive it was). This book gets a 5 out of 5 for me. Well done Dayton Ward!

Reviewed By: Jonathan Koan for Roqoo Depot.


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