In her latest book, Una McCormack tells us the story of Michael Burnham’s missing year between the end of Season 2 to when she finally finds the Discovery and her crew.
I don’t normally read eBooks as I prefer the touch and smell of a new book but thanks to a large, online retailer my paperback arrived badly damaged and I’ve yet to replace.
When we last saw Michael at the end of Season 2 she had donned the ‘Red Angel’ suit in an effort to take the Discovery and the Sphere Data contained within out of reach of the AI, Control by taking the ship and its volunteer crew 900 years into the future.
When Michael arrives she is alone with no sign of the Discovery or her crew, her friends and support. Did she arrive early? Or late? Michael meets Cleveland “Book” Booker and together they set off to find what is left of the Federation. Book tells Michael of an event called “The Burn” in which all ships with an active Warp Drive were destroyed leaving the UFP splintered.
They meet a man on a Federation Outpost- Aditya Sahil. Sahil is a self-appointed Guardian continuing the job that his father and grandfather, both Starfleet officers, held. His job was to protect Federation space in his sector. Michael and Book leave, with Michael determined to find out more.
A year passes before the USS Discovery shows up and reunites with Michael. What happened to Michael during the year between events?
Michael is on a strange world, out of her comfort zone without any kind of anchor to help her. Her world consisted of order, structure, huge organisations like the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet Command. She has landed in a world where capitalism and lawlessness are the order of the day and criminal organisations are the ones in charge.
Apart from Sahil, Book and his cat Grudge, she knows no-one. Burnham’s ideals, beliefs and mannerisms make her stand out and she struggles because of it. Over time she doubts herself and her mission. Should she keep going or should she abandon it completely?
Over time, Michael keeps her focus on her goal of finding the cause of ‘The Burn’ and finding out what happened to the Federation, which she learns had already started to fall apart before the catastrophe. Michael also learns about the Temporal Wars which helped towards the fall of the Federation as she knew it.
As always, Michael evolves and learns to adapt and fit in but in a way that leaves her doubting herself and her future if she should ever find the Discovery again.
When that reunion finally happens, Michael isn’t sure if she fits in any more and needs to find herself once again.
Una McCormack has delivered once again. Having already penned 8 or 9 Star Trek books, including one of my favourites ‘The Way to the Stars’ which tells the story of a young Sylvia Tilly. I remember in the 80’s and 90’s I would always look forward to new Trek books by the likes of Peter David, Diane Duane, Vonda N McIntyre, A C Crispin and more. I’ve happily added Una to that list now.
Thanks Una, I can’t wait to see what you produce next for Trek!