TITLE: The Enterprise War
[Star Trek: Discovery #4]
AUTHOR: John Jackson Miller
"A shattered ship, a divided crew—trapped in the infernal nightmare of conflict! Hearing of the outbreak of hostilities between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire, Captain Christopher Pike attempts to bring the U.S.S. Enterprise home to join in the fight. But in the hellish nebula known as the Pergamum, the stalwart commander instead finds an epic battle of his own, pitting ancient enemies against one another—with not just the Enterprise, but her crew as the spoils of war. Lost and out of contact with Earth for an entire year, Pike and his trusted first officer, Number One, struggle to find and reunite the ship’s crew—all while Science Officer Spock confronts a mystery that puts even his exceptional skills to the test…with more than their own survival possibly riding on the outcome…."
The Enterprise War fills the gap between seasons one and two of Star Trek Discovery by showing us what happened to the Enterprise during the Klingon Battle. The writing is good, tight plot, decent characterization (Spock is Spock and Captain Pike is Pike) with some humour, nail-biting moments, delightful character interactions and original aliens. Just what StarTrek novels should be.
TITLE: Drastic Measures
(Star Trek: Discovery #2)
AUTHOR: Dayton Ward
"It is 2246, ten years prior to the Battle at the Binary Stars, and an aggressive contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV and the eight thousand people who call it home. Distress signals have been sent, but any meaningful assistance is weeks away. Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Lorca and a small team assigned to a Starfleet monitoring outpost are caught up in the escalating crisis, and bear witness as the colony’s governor, Adrian Kodos, employs an unimaginable solution in order to prevent mass starvation.
While awaiting transfer to her next assignment, Commander Philippa Georgiou is tasked with leading to Tarsus IV a small, hastily assembled group of first responders. It’s hoped this advance party can help stabilize the situation until more aid arrives, but Georgiou and her team discover that they‘re too late—Governor Kodos has already implemented his heinous strategy for extending the colony’s besieged food stores and safeguarding the community’s long-term survival.
In the midst of their rescue mission, Georgiou and Lorca must now hunt for the architect of this horrific tragedy and the man whom history will one day brand “Kodos the Executioner”…."
Flat characters, too much info-dumping, odd plot and erratic pacing. The pace only picks up in the last third of the novel. Despite the provided explanations/motivations for "Kodos the Executioner's" actions, they don't really make sense to me in terms of the events described in the novel, so the plot falls flat. Kodos is something of a non-entity, despite being the villian of the novel. Georgiou and Lorca have no distinctive personality - they may as well be any random generic StarFleet officers. Young James T. Kirk makes an appearance, so I suppose there is some sort of canon tie-in with an Original Series episode (which I haven't seen so can't comment on it). The kid Kirk is just as much an annoying, know-it-all smartass as the adult Kirk.