The USS Discovery's specialty is using its spore-based hub drive to jump great distances faster than any warp-faring vessel in Starfleet. To do this, Lieutenant Paul Stamets navigates the ship through the recently revealed mycelial network, a subspace domain Discovery can briefly transit but in which it cannot remain. After responding to a startling distress call originating from within the network, the Discovery crew find themselves trapped in an inescapable realm where they will surely perish unless their missing mycelial fuel is found or restored. Is the seemingly human man found alone and alive inside the network the Starfleet officer he claims to be, or an impostor created by alien intruders who hope to extract themselves from the mycelial plane at the expense of all lives aboard Discovery?
Reviewed on 1st February 2020
The sixth novel based on Star Trek: Discovery takes us on an interesting journey following the relationship between Stamens and Culber, focussed on a period that lightly intersects with events depicted in the second season - it’s important I think to have watched season two (as well as season one) before reading.
As with other novels in the series, the author has worked to avoid doing too much that could later be contradicted by the canon, but Galanter has taken an interesting direction with this, which I won’t talk too much about. Suffice it to say that it’s genius.
It’s a clever plot, shows the characters emotional depth, builds up slowly, like a mystery peeling back layers on what’s going on at the perfect pace for the reader to keep just one step ahead, hinting slightly more before finally reaching somewhere unexpectedly delightful.
I’ve been really impressed with the Discovery novels so far, and this has to be one of the best. A great tale well told.