Spoilers SNW: The High Country by John Jackson Miller Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Avro Arrow, Feb 17, 2023.

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Rate SNW: The High Country

  1. Outstanding

    10 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Above Average

    6 vote(s)
    30.0%
  3. Average

    4 vote(s)
    20.0%
  4. Below Average

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Vice Admiral Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    Blurb:
    An all-new Star Trek adventure—the first novel based on the thrilling Paramount+ TV series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds!


    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.

    First Officer Una finds herself fighting to survive an untamed wilderness where dangers lurk at every turn. Young cadet Nyota Uhura struggles in a volcanic wasteland where things are not as they seem. Science Officer Spock is missing altogether. And Pike gets the chance to fulfill a childhood dream: to live the life of a cowboy in a world where the tools of the 23rd century are of no use.

    Yet even in the saddle, Pike is still very much a starship captain, with all the responsibilities that entails. Setting out to find his crewmates, he encounters a surprising face from his past—and discovers that one people’s utopia might be someone else’s purgatory. He must lead an exodus—or risk a calamity of galactic proportions that even the Starship Enterprise is powerless to stop....

    About the Author:
    John Jackson Miller is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Trek: Picard: Rogue Elements, Star Trek: Discovery: Die Standing, Star Trek: Discovery: The Enterprise War, the acclaimed Star Trek: Prey trilogy (Hell’s Heart, The Jackal’s Trick, The Hall of Heroes), and the novels Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown, Star Wars: A New Dawn, Star Wars: Kenobi, Star Wars: Knight Errant, Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith—The Collected Stories; and fifteen Star Wars graphic novels, as well as the original work Overdraft: The Orion Offensive. He has also written the enovella Star Trek: Titan: Absent Enemies. A comics industry historian and analyst, he has written for franchises including Halo, Conan, Iron Man, Indiana Jones, Battlestar Galactica, Mass Effect, and The Simpsons. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, two children, and far too many comic books.

    https://www.simonandschuster.com/bo...er/Star-Trek-Strange-New-Worlds/9781668002384

    _______________________________________________________

    The first Strange New Worlds novel is here! :D

    Just a reminder: John Jackson Miller doesn't read the review threads, so if you have any questions for the author, please feel free to post them in this thread. Please note that thread is not a spoiler thread, so any spoilers will need to be appropriately spoiler-coded. Thank you.
     
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  2. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Wow, seriously? It's been a long, long time since I was the first one here to finish a Trek novel.

    I thought this one was absolutely outstanding. I had a feeling I'd like it when I thought I'd made it through most of the novel, and saw I was only a third of the way through. It was a dense adventure, with a lot of twists and turns that built on each other and developed into something really special. By about halfway through, I was thinking about how this novel was what I thought a modern Trek series should look like; three or so long arcs for every season, six to eight episodes focusing on visiting what would've been a planet of the week, getting the chance to really dig into it. The novel really zeroed in on all the characters in their SNW incarnations, and set them up in situations that played to their strengths. I also really enjoyed how the situation of a planet where electricity can't work forced a lot of technological improvisation and old-school problem solving. Something as tactile as paper maps being a key element was refreshingly hands-on after Trek's gotten so hologram-happy (though I only just realized that, while the eBook meant I couldn't just dog-ear or leave a thumb in place to check back to the provided maps, I could've taken screenshots so I could swipe back over to them. Or used the bookmarking feature).
     
  3. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Just got it. Next on my list to read.
     
  4. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Looking forward to getting this book sometime.
     
  5. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Looking forward to interviewing JJM tonight for Literary Treks!
     
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  6. TheUsualSuspect

    TheUsualSuspect Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm about 20% in. Really enjoying this so far. It feels to me a lot like some of the better novels of the early Pocket and even Bantam eras when authors worked up their own story with their own ideas and interpretations of the characters that sometimes were only loosely tied to what was on-screen. (Please note, I'm not suggesting that JJ Miller's take on these characters is different than what we've seen on screen, just that he's not trying to follow-up or continue story-lines from any of the episodes and he's felt free to create back-stories for some of the characters when it suits his story.) Instead of the TOS characters, we get the SNW characters (some of whom are the same, of course).

    It also spurred me to watch an episode of Enterprise last night, something that hasn't happened for a LONG time.
     
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  7. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    That reminds me, I was already in the mind of that episode even before it started being directly referenced in the novel as foreshadowing/table-setting, because whenever someone mentions Hodgkin's Law I always remember Archer dismissing him as a quack in the Five-Minute parody.
     
  8. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

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  9. Judith Sisko

    Judith Sisko Commander Red Shirt

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    Outstanding! I listened on Audible while on a road trip. I could envision it all on the TV screen. Too tired from driving to go into more detail...
     
  10. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It very much felt like an episode, which is high praise to me. Great characterizations.
     
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  11. Reanok

    Reanok Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I enjoyed listening to the interview with John Jackson Miller.
     
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  12. GaryH

    GaryH Commander Red Shirt

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    It felt like a fun 250 page novel drawn out to be a 400 page novel. A bit of a slog. Just my opinion.
     
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  13. Enterpriserules

    Enterpriserules Commodore Commodore

    Thank you for listening!
     
  14. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Haven't watched Strange New Worlds (yet...) so I'm not going to get to this book at this point. Was hoping someone could tell me if there are any references to other novels, even if it's just The Enterprise War. Would add the link to the Lit-verse Reading Guide if anyone can tell me one. Thanks in advance!
     
  15. tenmei

    tenmei Commodore Commodore

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    It does reference Enterprise War a few times, the first chapter references the Chief Engineer from that novel, but none of it is particularly plot critical
     
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  16. thribs

    thribs Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm about 120 pages in. Strange story so far. I like that it mentions things that happened in the old Pike novel. The cave in for instance.
     
  17. Tosk

    Tosk Admiral Admiral

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    I just saw a post on reddit that talks about how much this novel reflects the DS9 episode Paradise.

    Potential spoilers for those who have not read it yet.
    Human settlers on a planet in which all technology ceases to function.
    A device that creates a field that prevents technology from working unbeknownst to the inhabitants except the central character.
    There is a strong central character who is a manipulative and charismatic leader.
    Punishment of those who use technology.
    A woman who was sick and could have been saved except for the adherence to primitive medical ideas.
    Most of these strike me as "lost in the wilderness" tropes (and many, many stories can sound alike if you carefully word the breakdown comparisons), but I'm curious to hear what you good people think about the idea?

    (Just to be clear I haven't read it, so I'm wondering what people who have think.)
     
  18. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Back in. Started from the top. Impressive so far. Uhura has found a friend.


    *****
    And so has Una. And Pike has been reunited with an old friend.

    Quite honestly, I'd completely forgotten ENT: "North Star."
    . . . the Skagarans apparently had loftier intentions for abductees than simply slave labor. Wasn't there some TrekLit novel involving doomed groups being moved to other planets? Maybe something in connection with "The Preservers?"


    *****
    I don't know why, but for some reason, I'm finding that this book likes to be read only a chapter or two at a time. With the result that I could conceivably get through the entire first season of SNW before I finish the book.

    And I find myself wondering (with apologies to JMS and B5), "Whatever happened to Mr. Spock?"
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2023
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  19. hbquikcomjamesl

    hbquikcomjamesl Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "Vulcan Navy." What a concept.

    *****

    Finished. Early chapters were best in small doses, but once Spock finally shows up, everything seems to speed up.

    I'm not accusing anybody of plagiarism (and it can't possibly be the only prior fiction involving a large square-rigged vessel on runners; the idea just seems too obvious), but I do find myself highly motivated to re-read my unmatched set of ADF's Icerigger Trilogy (Mission to Moulokin is a SFBC hardcover; the other two are TPBs).

    I'm giving this opus one of my vanishingly rare "Outstanding" ratings. About the only thing I can think of that would have improved it would be a Dramatis Personae: the cast is rather large, and not terribly easy to keep track of. Especially with keeping everybody's species straight.

    (Did SFBC ever do Icerigger or The Deluge Drivers in hardcover?)
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2023
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  20. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Wow I haven't been to this part of the boards in ages.
    I just got the e-book version of this earlier tonight, and once I finish rereading The Fellowship of the Ring, I'll be starting it.