Okay, so since this sub-forum has been inactive for awhile I decided I'd make a contribution. I've just finished reading the new Star Trek Discovery novel: Desperate Hours. As of this date it is the only Star Trek Discovery novel. The novel is set one year before the events in the Star Trek Discovery pilot, so as you can imagine the story doesn't take place on Discovery, but on the Shenzhou.
As the novel opens Burnham and Saru are being promoted to first officer and leiutenant commander respectfully. The story involves an unidentified object discovered under the sea bed of a non-Federation planet, Zersa 3. It begins attacking the colonists by sending out drones. The colonists send out a distress call which the Shenzhou receives. The unknown object which might be a spaceship sends out a drone that attacks the capital city, new Estonia. The Shenzhou arrives and destroys the drone, later a second more sophisticated drone is launched and the Shenzhou destroys it also but with more difficulty. This reminds me of the TNG episode from season 1: Arsenal of freedom. Captain Pike and Spock make an appearance. The Enterprise is diverted by Admiral Anderson (from the Discovery pilot) to Zersa 3. There is a showdown between Captain Georgiou and Pike over how to deal with the unknown object, which is now being referred to as "The Juggernaut." I should mention this is Pike from the first Star Trek pilot, not from the Abrams movies. Pike wants the object destroyed even if there are civilian casualties, Georgiou wants an alternative that doesn't put civilians at risk. We learn a few more things, Georgiou is a more experienced Captain than Pike, Spock meets with Burnham to collaborate on a solution and she can't stand Spock. For some strange reason he's almost like a stranger to her. In other words, even though they shared the same parents, they didn't grow up together. She admits to him she hasn't spoken to Sarek in over four years, or Amanda (Spock's human mother). So her relationship with Spock's parents isn't as close as the pilot might have led us to believe. Burnham's solution involves finding a way into "The Juggernaut" to learn more about how it works. Spock and Burnham do find a way inside, but once inside find themselves faced with challenges to their survival similar to those experienced by the DS9 crew in the season 1 episode "Move Along Home." It seems the Juggernaut is developing challenges for Spock and Burnham as they move inside of it. In order to escape "the Juggernaut" Burnham and Spock join minds, in doing so we learn that Amanda and Sarek were a lot more accepting and affectionate towards Burnham than they were Spock. This is rather odd considering Spock is their flesh and blood son. We also learn Burnham blames herself for her parents death since they were due to leave the day before the incident at the Vulcan learning center, but remained at her urging so she could witness an astrological event. We learn Burnham was schooled by Vulcans for 12 years, this includes her time at the Vulcan science academy. We also learn the Shenzhou is a Walker class vessel and decades old. She was influenced by Sarek to accept her commission to Starfleet aboard the Shenzhou so she could be more around humans. This is strange considering this was Spock's reason for going into Starfleet, which Sarek opposed. Unsurprisingly, the novel ends with the Enterprise and the Shenzhou collaborating to defeat the "Juggernaut, and Burnham being accepted as Georgiou's permanent first officer. She was initially provisionally made first officer upon Admiral Anderson's request.
I've only been through a few Star Trek novels, my favorite is "Ships of the Line", a TNG novel that is both a prequel and sequel to the Season 5 episode "Cause and Effect. This novel I felt dragged on, the plot seemed derivative, some of the characters (like Spock) seemed out of character when speaking, I only liked this novel for the insights it gave me into the new series. I would rate it 2 1/2 stars out of five.
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