Product Details

  • Trade Paperback
  • Publisher: Gallery Books / Star Trek (September 26, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 1501164570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1501164576

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Desperate Hours

The first official novel based on the new CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery®!

Aboard the Starship Shenzhou, Lieutenant Michael Burnham, a human woman raised and educated among Vulcans, is promoted to acting first officer. But if she wants to keep the job, she must prove to Captain Philippa Georgiou that she deserves to have it.

She gets her chance when the Shenzhou must protect a Federation colony that is under attack by an ancient alien vessel that has surfaced from the deepest fathoms of the planet’s dark, uncharted sea.

As the menace from this mysterious vessel grows stronger, Starfleet declares the colony expendable in the name of halting the threat. To save thousands of innocent lives, Burnham must infiltrate the alien ship. But to do so she needs to face the truth of her troubled past, and seek the aid of a man she has tried to avoid her entire life—until now.

Thank you to everyone who nominated Desperate Hours in the Best Media Tie-in Novel category for the 2018 Dragon Awards.

Reviewers' Comments

“Mack has crafted an absolutely thrilling novel that had me turning the pages furiously to find out what happened next … .”

“I was stunned at the amount of insight the novel gives into the characters of Captain Georgiou, Michael Burnham, and Lieutenant Saru, but also by the excellent treatment of some old Trek favorites, as well. … It’s a great sci-fi book in general, and an outstanding Trek novel in particular. Well worth the purchase for any fan of the franchise.”

“…exciting and emotionally resonant…”

“I give this book my highest recommendation.”

Dénes House,

“[Desperate Hours] is everything you would want from the first tie-in novel of the series. Desperate Hours provides more depth to the characters we’ve just started to love in a thrilling adventure that bounds Discovery to the rest of the Star Trek canon.”

“[T]he scenes depicting a stand-off between Captain Georgiou and Captain Pike are excellent. You really get the sense that these are two famous captains with different styles squaring off, and Georgiou and the Shenzhou provide more than a match for Pike and the Enterprise.”

Desperate Hours is an ambitious story that adds greater depth to the main characters from Sunday’s premiere, while integrating the USS Shenzhou pretty seamlessly into Star Trek lore.”

“David Mack has established himself as one of the best authors in the Star Trek pantheon, and Desperate Hours is a worthy addition to your collection.”

Alex Perry, TrekCore

“The first Star Trek: Discovery novel is a godsend if the show left you hungry for more detail.”

Desperate Hours provides fascinating insight into [the Michael-Spock] relationship—or lack thereof.”

“Unlike the show, Desperate Hours is more of an ensemble drama than a Burnham-centric story—and that’s OK. … Star Trek is ultimately a workplace drama, something you might forget between the epic space battles of Discovery’s early episodes. Tie-in novels allow more attention to the daily conflicts and intellectual successes of a ship like the Shenzhou, exploring what makes Starfleet tick. Starfleet’s heroes are smart and hard-working, and try to resolve their disputes with professionalism—even if they’re seething with frustration beneath the surface.”


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, The Daily Dot

“In Star Trek: Discovery – Desperate Hours, author David Mack perfectly unites the earliest of characters from the original series with the franchise’s newest addition.”

“With its throwback to Pike’s Enterprise era, Star Trek: Discovery – Desperate Hours makes a great standalone novel, but it’s the introduction to [Michael] Burnham and the revealing of her past that makes this an even better tie-in prequel to a new series that’s sure to have fans eager to learn more about these new characters and their continuing adventures.”

Geeks of Doom

“[T]he honor of writing the very first Star Trek Discovery tie-in novel was bestowed upon David Mack, and, IMO, he did not disappoint. Mack worked closely with the creators and writers of Discovery while they were all working towards their goals, and the resulting novel is not only an excellent companion piece, but serves to tie some more Trek history together.”

“…there is excellent pacing and even better character development…”

Women at Warp

“[M]any of the early tie-in novels to the new Star Trek series took a bit of time to find their feet (to the extent that many of them feel like they’ve come from completely different shows to the ones produced). Mack has benefitted greatly from liaison via Kirsten Beyer with the Discovery production team and as a result I feel as if I know Captain Georgiou, Michael Burnham, Saru and the other Shenzhou crew considerably better now.”

“Verdict: A highly recommended expansion of the Discovery universe. 9/10”

Paul Simpson, Sci Fi Bulletin

“This book is a true companion to the series and fully fleshes out characters we have only scratched the surface of in the series.”

“…a fantastic page-turner with a brilliant story that truly makes these characters come to life…”

Tim Piland, GeekyKool

Desperate Hours was the perfect follow-up to the premiere of Discovery.”

As portrayed in this novel, Saru is an incredibly strong and determined officer who overcomes his natural, genetic traits to become the best person he can be. You don't get much more Star Trek than that!”

“…engaging, exciting, and occasionally surprising[T]here is a wonderful scene towards the end between Spock and Burnham that had me on the verge of tears for how elegantly and beautifully it was portrayed. David Mack is in fine form, and once again demonstrates why he is a master of this form of storytelling.”

Boldly Go

Desperate Hours is scintillating stuff that has breathtaking action and suspense. Most importantly, it carries an emotional wallop.”

“The ties and bonds we find [Spock and Michael] share — and how they work together to defeat a seemingly invincible foe in a way only beings of their logic and intellect could dream of — allows both characters to surprise us and grow. If you are not moved by the conclusion of their journey, you have less emotion than a Vulcan.”

“If the quality of the TV scripts is as good as Mack’s writing here, I can’t wait to see what Burnham and the rest of the Discovery crew do next.”

Jerome Maida, Philly Voice

“Mack … impresses with how much he gets inside the other characters’ heads. … It’s impressive, complicated writing made all the more impressive by how well it fits with the show…”

“Fans of the show will enjoy how close in tone [Desperate Hours] is, while fans of The Original Series will enjoy this very different perspective. And if you’ve not watched Discovery yet? You should, it’s great. But start here. As ‘zero episodes’ go, you don’t get much better.”

Alasdair Stuart, MymBuzz

"Mack's unpredictable story rips along at a crackling pace, delivering plot twists and turns left, right, and center. At the same time he does a great job getting inside the minds of Burnham and Saru as they compete for Georgiou's attentions, and the job as her number one . . . . Desperate Hours is a must-read to while away the weeks until Discovery returns from its mid-season break, and you'll come to appreciate the relationship between Burnham and Saru that much more."

—Star Trek Magazine, Issue No. 65 (Feb. 2018)