Star Trek: Discovery – The Enterprise War (2019) – John Jackson Miller

Where was the U.S.S. Enterprise during the Klingon war (2256-2257) as depicted in Season One of Star Trek: Discovery? Miller’s novel, The Enterprise War, available now from Simon & Schuster through their Gallery Books imprint, answers that question. Tying itself in with the events of the television series, as well as the previously released novels, specifically Desperate Hours, The Enterprise War serves not only as a precursor to the second season of Discovery, but possibly as prologue to the upcoming Strange New Worlds series.

Enterprise under the command of Christopher Pike is on an exploratory assignment in the Pergamum, a massive, danger-filled nebula, and is out of contact with Starfleet. Even when they resurface, they receive standing orders to continue their mission and not become involved in the ongoing war.

Resigned to their assignment, Pike, his first officer, Una, and a young lieutenant by the name of Spock along with some other familiar names, explore the nebula, before running afoul of a centuries-old war, which sees a number of the crew being kidnapped and pressed into service, while the Enterprise, is left for dead, and stuck, in part, on a methane rich planet.

As the crew of Enterprise work to be reunited, and discover the truth of the war at the heart of the nebula, we get occasional updates from Starfleet command about the state of the war, and Pike’s orders. The entire story takes place over the course of a year, which is something I had to keep reminding myself of, as Miller’s writing has an immediacy to it, that makes it feel like everything is happening all at once, despite reminders to the contrary.

And there is a lot going on, one of the threads is the important positioning of Spock and his mental state as we see it revealed in Discovery, and tying that in with the appearance of the Red Angel. We also see the transition of Pike from thinking about leaving the service (again) to settling in to captain his vessel.

There’s an interesting arc with the ship’s engineer, who isn’t as hands on as he should be, and how that plays out and develops. And Miller seemed intent on making sure that each character, whether they were new to the reader or not, got their moment to shine, and that’s cool to see.

I personally liked seeing Pike settle into his role again, as through the course of Discovery’s second season, and Anson Mount’s portrayal of him, he quickly became a favorite character (making me doubly excited for Strange New Worlds).

And while it took me a while to get into the Spock and captured crewmen story, I was always eager to settle in with Pike, Nhan or Una, or Boyce or Colt, to check in with how they were doing.

Miller’s book is the longest of the Discovery novels so far, and it boldly goes, as Simon & Schuster, through their Galley Books imprint makes sure that the Human Adventure is just beginning!

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