Una McCormack delivers another engaging Trek novel, and having firmly cemented herself in the role of my favorite Star Trek author, I dug into this one, Wonderlands, now available from Simon & Schuster through their Gallery Books imprint, with abandon.
It’s 3188. Commander Michael Burnham has been catapulted some 900 years into the future, as she leads Discovery away from the menace of Control. Arriving in the far flung future, Discovery is not there, and Burnham finds, to her horror, that not only is she alone, but that the Federation no longer exists. Something called the Burn wiped out all warp travel, and the galaxy has become a much bigger place.
We see all this in the first episode of Discovery’s third season, That Hope Is You, Part 1, and by the end of episode 2, Far From Home, Discovery has arrived and everyone is reunited. But that was a year in Burnham’s life, and McCormack fleshes that out.
What she delivers is an emotional tale as Burnham learns to cope not only with the changes in the universe around her, specifically the loss of Starfleet and her missing friends, but the very real possibility she will never see them again, and she is divided between letting go of the past, and holding on to hope.
Through the course of the year, Burnham, and her new friend (and possibly more?), Cleveland Book, a courier, encounter misadventures, and a threat to one of the last remaining Federation outposts, overseen by an aging man, Sahil.
She gets her own ship, christening her the Alice (a nice nod to the book that made such an impact on her), and makes some work as a courier, meeting people, who have vastly different opinions from hers when it comes to Starfleet. And some of them may be ready to make a move against Sahil’s lone outpost.
What does this one year in the life of Burnham hold? McCormack tells an involving story, though I felt the resolution with the raiders, known as the White Palm, got tied up a little quickly. Having said that the story threads and character arcs for everything and everyone are laid out wonderfully and followed to fruition, putting Burnham, and her new friends exactly where they have to be for the moment when Discovery joins Burnham in the future.
I love McCormack’s writing, love how she brings the characters to life, and I swear there are nods in her books to not only other properties (there’s a couple of Doctor Who lines in there I swear) but some other Trek authors as well.
I cannot wait to see what McCormack brings next, I will be there for it, as I continue to boldly go with Star Trek novels from Simon & Schuster! The Human Adventure is just beginning…