Thursday 22 July 2021

Star Trek: Discovery: The Way To The Stars - Una McCormack

Title: The Way To The Stars
Author: Una McCormack
Published: 2019
Chronological Period: 2249 - 2250 (Framing Story: 2257)

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The Way to the Stars by Una McCormack is Star Trek Discovery novel which includes a brief framing story set in 2257 as Sylvia Tilly prepares to enter the Command Training Programme.  The main element of the novel however is a coming-of-age story which takes the reader back to 2249 as Tilly turns sixteen and tries to deal with growing up and finding her way in life whilst also navigating the pressures faced from her powerful, domineering and successful mother. 

I have to say that at times the novel felt like something you would find on your bookstores YA shelves which probably isn’t surprising as most YA novels tend to focus as this one does on characters in their late teens undertaking some form of personal growth as they transition into adulthood. However, don’t let this put you off if your usual view on a YA book is to assume it will be to juvenile for an adult reader as McCormack writing is of a high standard. In addition, her character portrayal of Tilly was top notch and the way she interreacted and acted felt 100% on the button. The story is set mainly from Tilly’s point of view which really helps the reader emphasise with her and understand why the wishes of others have in part driven her to be the way she is.

One warning I want to give to anyone who plans to pick this up is that it is very much a character-driven story with a light hearted plot and relatively low stakes. Don’t pick this up looking for a pulpy star trek action adventure as you will be disappointed. In fact, the parts of the book where McCormack tried to include a bit of danger and action felt rushed and a bit out of place to me.

Overall, this novel works in relation to it being a good quality coming-of-age story that whilst being best suited for a YA audience, it is written to such a high standard that adults should find it enjoyable as well. If you a fan of the character Tilly then I think you will love this book as McCormack has captured her expertly and this book is without doubt an excellent tribute to her.

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