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Publisher's Summary

An all-original novel based upon the explosive new series on CBS All Access!
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 threat. 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.
©2017 David Mack (P)2017 Simon and Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Rick on 11-13-17

Could Have Been Great

This book gives some great back-story for the characters in Star Trek: Discovery, but could have benefitted from some prodigious editing. The beginning and end are fast paced and interesting, but the book really bogs down in the middle. The author also seems to forget that we know that the characters in mortal danger cannot die, since this is a prequel, and spends too much time focused on their peril. There is also a sub-plot involving the planetary governor that could have been totally excised without harming the story at all. The performance by Susan Eisenberg is adequate, but she brings no life to the characters, unlike most other readers I've heard. She simply reads the book. If this were either not a Star Trek story, or at the least not a prequel, it would have held up better, but as it is if you are a fan of Discovery, and want to know more about Burnham, I recommend this. If not, skip it.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Billly on 10-16-17

A new chapter for Trek books

I like that there is a bit more variety in modern Trek audiobooks now. Overall, the novel does a good job at exploring more of the backstory of the characters leading up to the new series. There's no real spoilers here, but some of the material are covered in the episodes that have been released so far. David Mack has done a good job as always and this novel gives us insight into the characters and how the show fits into the overall Canon.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Daniel on 10-08-17

essential prequel to the new series

Desperate Hours main story arc is a traditional Trek story that would fit in to any of the series that have come before. It's an enjoyable alien story which also fills out some interesting background in to Starfleet and the Federation at the time of Discovery.

However the main reason to read this book is for the backstory it unlocks for Burnham and Saru. This helps us to understand the motivations of the characters on screen in a way that the main show will never have time to explore.

Essential reading/listening for anyone who is enjoying Star Trek Discovery. Well done David Mack.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 10-11-17

3 minute story told in forever...

I like star trek but this was tedious.
it went on and on and on, oh and on and on well I'm sure you get the general idea.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 12-02-17

Good story but

This was a good story in its own right. But the attempt to link discovery to cannon was pretty weak.

The narrator conveyed little emotion and was a bit bland.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By James on 11-04-17

A neat episode with basic narration

This is a mostly satisfying episode from early in the unseen seven-year mission of the Shenzhou, that ties in effectively with the Enterprise crew from the era of 'The Cage.' The plot is obviously an excuse for Spock and Burnham to interact, in a way that they obviously couldn't on a live-action TV show, but their interactions are entertaining and insightful enough, and gave an early hint as to the directions the Discovery series would eventually go.
Burnham's interactions with the Shenzhou crew display perhaps a surprising amount of tension even at this early stage of her story (which I suspect has more to do with reproducing the tone of the series than actually attempting to paint a longer arc for her character). Specifically, her relationship with Saru borders uncomfortably on bullying, and her propensity for insubordination to Captain Georgiou is clearly signposted.
The weaker parts of the story IMO are the depictions of Vulcan reasoning. Too often I feel that Vulcans are written sort of lazily, as just guys who say buzzwords like "logical" and "rational" a lot, but whose reasoning is not actually all that sophisticated, valid, or sound (I think it would help if writers actually had a background in philosophy, but maybe this is asking too much). This is pretty much the case here, as a reader who stops to think for a second about the arguments Spock and Burnham make to each other would find it pretty easy to poke holes in them, particularly if the reader knows anything about deductive fallacies.
As regards narration, Eisenberg doesn't do any different voices for the characters (the closest she gets is one accent for one of the walk-on Starfleet officers), so one can't really say that she captures the essence of any of the colourful Trek characters in the story, though her narration is clear enough. One unforgivable error that yanked me right out of the story was when she said "casual relationship" instead of "causal relationship," the difference being only two swapped letters, but a VERY different meaning! I'm not sure if that error was original to the text, or if it arose from her misreading, but it was glaring nonetheless.
In summation, if you are interested in seeing more of the seven years that Discovery gave us only a glimpse of, and furthermore seeing some of the rougher edges between the canon of The Original Series and Discovery smoothed over somewhat, then this will probably satisfy. I'd recommend getting it in print over audio if you can, so that you can hear the voices of Leonard Nimoy, Majel Barrett, Michelle Yeoh, and Doug Jones, etc. in your head, instead of merely one narrator doing one voice.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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