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Star Trek: Discovery: Fear Itself (3) by…
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Star Trek: Discovery: Fear Itself (3) (edition 2018)

by James Swallow (Author)

Series: Star Trek: Discovery (3), Star Trek (novels) (2018.06), Star Trek (2018.06)

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693386,292 (3.58)2
An original novel based upon the explosive new Star Trek TV series on CBS All Access. Lieutenant Saru is a Kelpien, a member of a prey species born on a world overrun by monstrous predators...and a being who very intimately understands the nature of fear. Challenged on all sides, he is determined to surpass his origins and succeed as a Starfleet officer aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou. But when Saru breaks protocol in order to prove himself to his crewmates, what begins as a vital rescue mission to save a vessel in distress soon escalates out of control. Forced into a command role he may not be ready for, Saru is caught between his duty and the conflicting agendas of two antagonistic alien races. To survive, he will need to seek a path of peace against all odds, and risk compromising the very ideals he has sworn to uphold....… (more)
Member:everystartrek
Title:Star Trek: Discovery: Fear Itself (3)
Authors:James Swallow (Author)
Info:Pocket Books/Star Trek (2018), 304 pages
Collections:Your library, Currently reading
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Tags:series: Discovery

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Fear Itself by James Swallow

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Showing 3 of 3
It was a pretty decent book. Got to learn more about Saru ( )
  dendorf | Sep 30, 2023 |
One of the delights of Star Trek Discovery for me has been the character of Saru (played brilliantly by Doug Jones), and he has become my favorite member of the ensemble cast.

This story focuses on Saru earlier in his career when he held the rank of Lieutenant and was struggling to find his role in Starfleet. Due to his own sense of duty and curiosity he finds himself thrown into a position of leadership for the first time and must learn to balance his race’s own fear-driven culture with the needs of managing an escalating crisis and bringing a crew home safely.

It’s a well written insight into one of the most fascinating recent additions to the Star Trek universe. ( )
  gothamajp | May 21, 2022 |
Prequels are the thing of Star Trek: Discovery novels-- there will be no Discovery in Discovery. This one gives us some backstory for Lieutenant Saru, probably my favorite character in the main cast. Not backstory in the sense of showing his origins (I believe one of the upcoming Short Treks will do this), but it's an adventure for the USS Shenzhou set about two years before the Battle of the Binary Stars, showcasing Saru during his time as a junior science officer.

The actual story is kind of like, eh, whatever. I didn't really care about what happened to the Peliars or the Gorlans. Not that it was poorly done per se, but it did seem to run afoul of "Planet Zog" syndrome (from Doctor Who): a lot of people with strange alien names that were hard to grab onto at characters. Though I'm making it sound worse than it was, as they and their society did have their moments.

Anyway, the real highlight of the book is the thought and care it puts into its central character, Saru. Saru is, of course, a coward, but justifiably so in his own mind, and Swallow does a great job of keeping us inside Saru's mind throughout the novel. He's fearful, of course, but Swallow marries this with a sense of determination and obstinacy that the character also possesses, along with the occasional plausible instance of recklessness. I liked that Saru's most un-fearful moments came when he was able to empathize with someone else's fear, and then help them move beyond it. It's not something we've seen on screen, but it makes perfect sense with the screen portrayal of the character thus far.

Saru also gets thrust into command of a boarding party, and flounders at first but eventually shows some aptitude for it, culminating in a decent speech that I could see and hear Doug Jones performing (coinciding with his arc in chapter 2 of Discovery's first season). Additionally, there's a great scene that gives insight into Saru without him being present, where Michael Burnham explores his quarters, and starts to see the universe from his perspective. And finally, the novel's last chapter, where Saru and Captain Georgiou reflect on what he's learned from the experience, was very effective in showing Saru's slow growth, as well as Georgiou's strengths as a commanding officer. I felt Swallow had a better handle on the Burnham/Saru rivalry and Georgiou's tolerance of it than David Mack did in Desperate Hours, where it came across as unprofessional.

Overall, another solid Discovery novel. Between these three books and the 2018 Star Trek Annual, we're racking up backstories for the crew at a fair clip. Sylvia Tilly is next, and with Una McCormack writing, I can't wait!

(Fun bonuses: 1) the cover is the best in the series thus far, with the background making it look less like a generic stock photo, and 2) the writing on the cover is embossed! I don't know the last time a Star Trek book did that. It made me nostalgic for the 1990s when it happened all the time.)
1 vote Stevil2001 | Aug 10, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Swallowprimary authorall editionscalculated
Petkoff, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Star Trek (2018.06)
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Epigraph
Nothing routs us but the villainy of our fears. - William Shakespeare Cymberline, Act 5, Scene II
Dedication
For Bryan Fuller, with thanks for all the advice
First words
Out in the darkness, unseen and unheard, the danger was waiting for Saru.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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An original novel based upon the explosive new Star Trek TV series on CBS All Access. Lieutenant Saru is a Kelpien, a member of a prey species born on a world overrun by monstrous predators...and a being who very intimately understands the nature of fear. Challenged on all sides, he is determined to surpass his origins and succeed as a Starfleet officer aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou. But when Saru breaks protocol in order to prove himself to his crewmates, what begins as a vital rescue mission to save a vessel in distress soon escalates out of control. Forced into a command role he may not be ready for, Saru is caught between his duty and the conflicting agendas of two antagonistic alien races. To survive, he will need to seek a path of peace against all odds, and risk compromising the very ideals he has sworn to uphold....

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