John Jackson Miller, who is primarily known for his prolific work in the Star Wars expanded universe, takes inspiration from a few key moments in Trek history that were referenced in the last season Set after the Talos IV incident showcased in the first TOS pilot The Cage and later The Menagerie , and concurrent with the Klingon War and fallout from the Battle of the Binary Stars, Miller writes a character based piece that gives us a fresh perspective on an excellent season.
Out charting a region of space known as the Pergamum, Miller spilt the narrative into three distinct sections Following the abduction of several other officers by space pirates mercenaries, Spock and some Enterprise crewmen are indentured into serving in a multi generational war inside self sustaining battle suits for the Boundless Back on the ship, Pike and his trusted Number One attempt to rescue the crew while literally working upside down Then there s Baladon, a kind of space pirate who attacks and scavenges tech and people on behalf of the Boundless Cutting back and forth between the perspectives heightens the momentum, but also ensures that this is never just another Starfleet centric view of the galaxy.
Using this technique, Miller s book feels like an episode of the show, which is unquestionably intended as a compliment It does what the best episodes do so well it takes a sci fi concept, uses it to test the fundamental principles of Gene Roddenberry s utopian vision, and gives us a chance to explore something new about the characters in the process Without giving away too much, the narrative takes place over the better part of a year something the show would struggle with in a single episode and Spock s control is pushed to its absolute limits.
Miller s doesn t just show Spock s fragile state through inner monologue, but rather through the tell tale signs that Pike notices Similarly, the baseball obsessed Enterprise officer Connolly, captured by the Boundless, who is so well rounded as a character that you d be forgiven for thinking you d been watching him this whole time.
While Roddenberry always envisaged a future where human frailty was a thing of the past, that approach tend to suck the drama out of the room Thankfully Miller ignores that edict, depicting a group of flawed people who work together because of those differences There s chief engineer Galadjian nicknamed Doctor Oh , for example, a reasonably green and aloof Starfleet officer who Pike must confront about not applying his theoretical knowledge in a demonstrative fashion to the crew He calls the iconic Jefferies Tubes Joshua Tubes As a people leader for the last decade or so, it s nice to see performance management represented in the Trek universe Meanwhile, Pike is still haunted by his encounter with Vina and the Talosians Or as Baladon puts it What is it with you Federation people, always courting misery One of the most fascinating as Spock might put it outcomes of the novel is the new information we get in relation to Spock s encounter with the Red Angel that served as the catalyst for Season 2 Like the show, it provides fertile ground for further exploration of pre TOS concepts, but proof positive that a Pike led series is something that the world needs right now.
Gripping from the jump, paced just like the best episodes of Star Trek, and a twist I didn t see coming that subverts your expectations but is Trek to the core.
Listened to the audiobook I ve been waiting to read this book since it was announced it was coming out but also because of episode 1 of Series 2 of Star Trek Discovery.
During that episode, it is revealed that the Enterprise is extremely badly damaged and needs to be towed to dry dock I watched that episode last night and wondered what had caused the ship one of the newest in Starfleet to be that badly damaged Well now I know I think this has just become my favourite books in the Discovery series so far and I look forward to reading the next book which is out around Christmas 2019.
This was a fun book It s no secret that John Jackson Miller is my favorite media tie in fiction writer His masterful writing of Kenobi, A New Dawn, Takedown, and Prey all made me enormous fans of Far Away Press So I ve been excited to get this book.
And this book lives up to the hype.
Personally, the first hundred pages were a little slow for me I believe that that is mostly due to the fact that I haven t seen Season 2 of Discovery, and therefore don t have that built in relatability to the characters That being said, by about page 100 or 110, the plot really got going I felt really invested in the story JJM was able to create tension in the characters, an interesting plot, and a good writing style The conflict between the Boundless and the Rengru was utterly fascinating Also, the struggles of trying to keep the Enterprise going was great The standout character for me was Conolly I thought JJM wrote Conolly very well He was an everyday character that I felt I could relate to since he had the baseball aspect.
What surprised me the most of this book was the incredible feeling of Star Trek that it has Some of my favorite episodes, including The Year of Hell from Voyager, Encounter at Farpoint and Best of Both Worlds from Next Generation had either references or similarities to this book There was even a reference to The Final Frontier that made me laugh out loud, and I can t stand that movie.
Also, there were references to the Book of Revelation that I really liked and feel Biblical References are lacking in other Star Trek properties It wasn t a huge deal, but it was enough of a reference that I appreciated it Finally, the way that the Prologue tied into the climax was impressive.
Overall, solid, excellent read JJM has done it again I believe that at the moment, I personally liked Takedown and the first book in Prey, Hell s Heart better than The Enterprise War, but it s still a solid Star Trek novel I also believe that his Star Wars novels are better However, you know that when your best novels ranks up there among my favorites, you know you re a good writer 9.
0 out of 10 Great work JJM It s a bit of style over substance the overall plot is fairly serviceable, although it drags ever so slightly But the style is truly a triumph an exercise in building characters and relationships, as well as continuing to showcase the awesomeness of Christopher Pike It s a beautiful accompaniment to the events of the first two seasons of Star Trek Discovery Bonus points for the extra development given to Connolly, considering his fate in the TV series.
If I m honest, probably a weak 3 by the usual standards and even my tolerance for media tie in novels, which can be a crapshoot I will gladly admit I have zero objectivity where the subject matter s concerned, though, so let s round up to 4 for continual gleeful flailing while reading The writing s serviceable, if lacking in character interiority, but that s a style preference I read professional fanfic for FEELS, give me FEELS, damn it , and honestly the plot could have been just about anything because all I really wanted was Pike getting whumped and view spoiler in the first chapter he has an entire damn mountain fall on him EXCELLENT John Jackson Miller understands my highly specific needs hide spoiler I really enjoyed this read As a lifelong Trekker, I ve always been curious about Pike s tenure as captain Bringing Pike into ST DISC offered a delicious taste of the captain s history This book, set during ST DISC season 1 gave even deliciousness I definitely want Pike Spock Number One novels.