A thrilling novel leading into the new CBS series, Una McCormack’s The Last Best Hope introduces you to brand new characters featured in the life of beloved Star Trek captain Jean-Luc Picard-widely considered to be one of the most popular and recognizable characters in all of science fiction.
I was really hoping that this book would be more than a checklist of things that needed to be set up to be mentioned in the first episode of the series, but ultimately that’s all this turned out to be. The federation is nearly unrecognizable in this story, we’re told that stuff is going on but never really get to see it, and this is the second Trek book in a row where the author just straight up forgot to describe the ships that were involved at all. I know from the comic book series that Picard’s ship is actually the new flagship class ship that was featured in the “Star Trek: Online” game, but there was no mention of the unique styles of the ship or even that it was the new flagship class.
I’m also somewhat confused by the decision by the story team to change the events from the movies and comics that have come before, primarily that it was a star named Hobus that had a unique property to it, and when it went super nova it had unique effects through SubSpace and not just normal space. There’s also some significant changes to the story for Spock, in that in the movies he was an active participant in the attempt to save Romulus, but in this story, he’s only mentioned once, and in a way that makes it clear he had nothing to do with the saving of the system or the failure to save it as shown in the 2009 Star Trek film.
If you’re watching the series, there’s nothing in this book that will help your understanding of what you’re seeing on screen. If you want something that might do that, read the latest Star Trek: Picard comic series, then you’ll at least find out where the two Romulans on Picard’s winery come from.