Star Trek: Discovery – Desperate Hours
by David Mack
“Aboard the Starship Shenzhou, Lieutenant Michael Burnham, a human woman raised and educated among Vulcans, is promoted to acting first officer. But if she wants to keep the job, she must prove to Captain Philippa Georgiou that she deserves to have it.
“She gets her chance when the Shenzhou must protect a Federation colony that is under attack by an ancient alien vessel that has surfaced from the deepest fathoms of the planet’s dark, uncharted sea.
“As the menace from this mysterious vessel grows stronger, Starfleet declares the colony expendable in the name of halting the thread. To save thousands of innocent lives, Burnham must infiltrate the alien ship. But to do so, she needs to face the truth of her troubled past, and seek the aid of a man she has tried to avoid her entire life – until now.”
Original series fans will enjoy the return of Captain Pike and Number One (who is now named) and his crew, including a young Spock. The Enterprise and Shenzhou must keep a newly-resurrected ancient threat from not only destroying a colony but from then moving on to threaten even more planets. This is classic Trek and makes one think of past Trek threats such as Nomad or the doomsday machine.
The Burnham-Spock exploration of the ancient vessel was very compelling and that’s without the exploration of their pasts on Vulcan which took the book to a whole new level.
Pike and Georgiou were very interesting and one could easily see the difference in their reactions to the unfolding situation and to the rather unpleasant orders from Starfleet.
The only place where the story fell flat to me was in the resolution of the colony hostage situation. It ended too quickly with a sputter instead of a bang.
After watching the first two episodes of Discovery, I was hoping that this book would provide some background on Burnham, specifically on her youth on Vulcan. Not only did I get that, but the best part of the book for me was the interaction between Burnham and Spock while temporarily bonded together. Here are two wounded characters with the potential to help one another heal.
It was sad that Burnham failed to realize that Sarek and Amanda did love her for herself and not just because they couldn’t express that love to Spock. One has to hope that she realizes this one day.
Mack set up the transition from the somewhat emotional Spock of the Pike era, to the calm, cool collected man of Kirk’s Enterprise. Spock is more at ease with himself after the events of this novel.
As an original series fan, it was fantastic to see Pike and his crew again and to compare the different attitudes of Captain Pike and Georgiou towards the sometimes harsh dictates of Starfleet. The background on Number One was very welcome too.
The colony leaders were a bit tedious – wanting freedom but protection from the Federation when necessary, but only on their terms. The wrap-up of the hostage situation was the only weak part of the book.
Of course, one comes away with one question after reading this book. Are there more Turanian ships out there?
Author: David Mack
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Star Trek: Discovery – Desperate Hours is available as a trade paperback for $16.00 (11.00 on Amazon) or as a Kindle eBook for $11.99. To order, head to the link located here.