Simon & Schuster continues its bold venture with Star Trek by launching its middle-reader series based on the new animated series, Star Trek: Prodigy.
Set between the first season episodes ten and eleven, the story picks up with the young crew of the USS Protostar. They stole the ship from The Diviner, to escape the prison planet Tars Lamora. Guided by the ship’s hologram based on the iconic captain, Kathryn Janeway, Dal R’el, Gwyndala, Zero, Rok-Tahk, Jankom Pog and Murf are learning to work together with the intention of delivering the ship back to the Federation, and perhaps joining Starfleet.
Jankom discovers that one of the phase coils in the transporter is about to give, so they need to procure a replacement. They can’t use the replicator to do it as some of the programming needs to be done manually, so Ral decides they should trade for it.
On one of the planets they are passing by, at a thieves’ market; trading Federation tech can get them in serious trouble. Janeway is less than thrilled at this idea, but Dal and the rest seem set on it, so she relents.
Landing on the planet the crew breaks into teams and Dal pressures each member to do what he wants, not leading his crew but forcing them to do what he wants. And while, because of his past, Dal knows how the markets and the underbelly of it works, he’s not ready to lead his team into it, because what should have been something really simple becomes very dangerous.
What follows is a smaller-scale adventure, one that actually feels like it could play out as an episode of the series. There are messages here to be sure, those of respect and friendship and while they are directly mentioned at the end of the novel, giving a nice little moral, the book doesn’t insist on hitting you over the head with it, instead, it employs the tried and true Trek method of letting the story do its thing, and the viewer, or in this case reader, draw their own impressions from it.
Clarke writes the characters easily, imbuing them with a sense of life, and a peek inside their minds and friendships. I like the references and continuity, though I don’t always know if all the things the characters are aware of would be known about in the Delta Quadrant.
Still, it layers out the world and gives nice little nods to the Trek universe as a whole.
The human adventure continues, and Simon & Schuster is there to welcome readers aboard with a variety of Star Trek titles. So if you have young Trek fans in your household, or just want to spend some time with the crew of the Protostar, check out the first two books in this series, available now.
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