DSC: Desperate Hours by David Mack

Discovery novel

If you have been following Star Trek: Discovery on CBS all access, then you know about the character they call Michael Burnham. Michael is an earth woman raised by the Vulcan race as a foster child. Episode 1 tells her life as 1st Officer under Captain Georgiou serving on the Starship Shenzhou.

The character goes through many life trials during season one. So many, in fact, that fans wanted to know more about her backstory. This is where Star Trek Discovery: Desperate Hours by David Mack comes into play, filling a void for fans of DSC.  (Star Trek: Discovery)

The story begins in the year 2255, one year before the Starship Shenzhou’s historic mission to the binary stars. Lieutenant Michael Burnham is promoted to acting 1st Officer by Captain Philippa Georgiou.

She proves herself worthy of the job by protecting a Federation colony that is under attack by an ancient alien vessel. As often mentioned in the Star Trek universe: ‘The Needs Of The Many Outweigh The Needs Of The Few.’ Captain Gerogiou has been ordered to use the destructive power of her Starship to annihilate the alien vessel. If she does, this will also kill everyone in the colony. They are viewed as collateral damage to stop the bigger threat. The Starship Enterprise with young cocky Captain Christoper Pike has been summoned to the scene to ensure Captain Georgiou follows through, or else.

While this drama plays out, we get what we’ve been waiting for; some back history of Michael Burnham’s life. Some of the points touched on:

(1) Her relationship with her foster parents Vulcan Ambassador Sarek and Earth woman Amanda Grayson. We learn Vulcans treated her as an outcast. Sometimes Sarek seems to treat her the same. We find out why.

(2) Her relationship with her foster brother Spock, who happens to be serving as the science officer on the  Enterprise. We learn why Spock didn’t pursue training on Vulcan, and why Michael ended up on the  Shenzhou. What were they like as brother and sister? Did Vulcan Sarek favor his son Spock? Did foster mom Amanda favor Michael over Spock? How was halfbreed Spock treated on Vulcan? Why was young earth girl Michael treated like an outcast on Vulcan? Spock and Michael parted ways early on Vulcan and rarely spoke to each other. Why? These questions and a few more were answered in a satisfying way as two Starships prepare to do battle with each other.

Michael trying to save the Federation colony from death and preventing the Shenzhou from battling the Enterprise puts her and Spock together, working on a solution. (It was the logical thing to do.)

Fitting, we have a taste of what it was like serving under Captain Gerogiou. We see how she interacts with her most trusted officers, Michael Burnham and Saru.

Michael and Saru butt heads in the TV series so it was refreshing to see their personalities maintained its continuity.

Overall, Star Trek Discovery:  Desperate Hours  – delivers.

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