Thursday, April 16, 2020

Review - Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack

For those of you who don't read my weekly Sunday Posts, I had checked out Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack from OverDrive, which is like a digital library. Gallery Books released it on February 11th to tie-in with the new CBS All-Access series, Star Trek: Picard. After being on a six-week waiting list, I could download the ebook onto my Kindle.

"The Last Best Hope" begins in 2381 (two years after Star Trek: Nemesis) and ends in 2385 ( two years before the destruction of Romulus as seen in 2009's Star Trek and fourteen years before Star Trek Picard).  Relieved of his command of the Enterprise-E, Admiral Jean-Luc Picard leads a rescue mission to save the Romulan race from total extinction. The Romulan star will go supernova in just a matter of years. The blast from the supernova will impact all planets within 9.7 light-years of the Romulan star. The Federation wants to do everything they can to relocate Romulans to other planets.

Admiral Picard takes command of the U.S.S. Verity (Odyssey-class) with Commander Rafaella "Raffi" Musiker as his First Officer. Together, they do everything they can to persuade the Romulan Empire to let the Federation help.

Because of the Dominion War, Starfleet doesn't have enough starships, so Commander Geordi La Forge is assigned to the Utopia Planitia shipyards on Mars, where he's given the task of building small starships and freights for the rescue mission. However, creating ten thousand ships within a short amount of time will be impossible.

This is where cyberneticist Bruce Maddox from the Daystrom Institute's Division of Advanced Synthetic Research comes into the story. Along with his new doctoral student, Dr. Agnes Jurati, Maddox, creates synthetic life ‒ emotionless androids named A500s. These synthetics are sent to the Utopia Planitia to help increase the construction speed of new ships.

Final Thoughts

I had just finished watching the first season of Star Trek: Picard a few days before OneDrive alerted me that Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope was available for me to borrow. Now, I have mixed feelings about the Picard series. I thought the concept was interesting but poorly executed by badly written scripts, cheap-looking sets, and overall horrible managing by producer and co-creator Alex Kurtzman. By the time I began reading the prequel "The Last Best Hope," my excitement about it was low.

Mostly, author Una McCormack does a good job with the story. However, I didn't care for all the profanity. There are 19 f-bombs throughout the novel! While I'm no prude, there shouldn't be an f-word in a Star Trek novel. Don't blame the author, as she was likely told by the "powers-to-be" to put in the f-bombs to make it edgy for today's readers. (FYI: There are plenty of f-bombs in the CBS All-Access series, too.) For me, the profanity was unnecessary and distracting. There have been over 800+ Star Trek titles published. Star Trek doesn't need f-bombs!

Overall, despite the profanity, I enjoyed reading Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope (Available on Hardback and Kindle!). Though I have to admit its a little boring in parts, especially with all the Federation and Romulan politics, which became repetitive at times, but at least it felt like Star Trek, unlike the new series.

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