From the publisher: When an experimental shuttlecraft fails, Captain Christopher Pike suspects a mechanical malfunction—only to discover the very principles on which Starfleet bases its technology have simply stopped functioning. He and his crewmates are forced to abandon ship in a dangerous maneuver that scatters their party across the strangest new world they’ve ever encountered.
Strange New Worlds: The High Country is a pretty darn good Star Trek novel. I’m a huge fan of Star Trek TV series and movies, but I don’t read a lot of the books. I’d say I’ve found more of them to be disappointing than satisfactory.
This is the first book in the Strange New World series and I enjoyed it. Author John Jackson Miller does a good job of presenting the new crew of the old Enterprise. The characters we see most are Captain Pike, Lieutenant Spock, Lieutenant Commander Chin-Riley, and Ensign Uhura. The best parts of the novel are when two or more of them are interacting. My one complaint about the book is that there is an overly long stretch when they are separated, and we spend way too much time watching Captain Pike build towers and ride horses and cowboy it up while trying to get along with the local people (who we don’t know and will probably never see again). Yawn.
The book opens with the four mentioned above in an experimental shuttle. It’s quite a stretch to have Pike AND Number One AND Spock all leave the Enterprise at the same time, but the author does the best job he can explaining that away. I love Uhura on the new show; the actor is terrific, and the author of this book does a good job capturing how Uhura is portrayed. She has a wonderful storyline with a new species that involves some creative communicating. It really spotlights what Uhura brings to the table.
The plot is complicated and has a lot of throwbacks to previous Star Trek incidents. Many of the plot devices are familiar ones; I would have liked a bit more originality in terms of how the species running the planet behaves behind the scenes. But overall, I felt the novel did a good job portraying the characters we know from the series. There’s a good chance I will read a second Strange New Worlds novel.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: The High Country is available now in print and as an ebook from the Galesburg Public Library.