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The Way To The Stars

(Star Trek: Discovery #4)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  594 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Despite being an inexperienced Starfleet cadet, Sylvia Tilly became essential to the U.S.S. Discovery finding its way back home from the Mirror Universe. But how did she find that courage? From where did she get that steel? Who nurtured that spark of brilliance? The Way to the Stars recounts for fans everywhere the untold story of Tilly’s past.

It’s not easy being sixteen,
Paperback, 276 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  594 ratings  ·  121 reviews

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4.5 stars because the narration is wonderful.

I love Tilly so I am biased. I cried once and got teared up twice reading the book. Maybe because I identify a lot with her, I could be very awkward in social situations and I also have parents with lots of physical and social expectations. My parent also wanted me to look flawless and become a social butterfly - they have already given up by now, if you want an update.

Since this is a prequel that looked back to when she was 16, there was some schoo
Dawn C
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: media-audible
This was a really sweet coming of age story, with a very likable character at the center. Sylvia Tilly is no less likable in the hands of Una McCormack. She’s relatable and not the trope she could easily have been. She’s a sensitive 16 year old who, under pressure from her successful, bossy mother, feels unable to live up to the expectations of being first in class at everything, and ends up skipping school, sneaking on board a starship and hiding on an alien planet. She makes mistakes, she’s ou ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I'm in Prague, a truly beautiful city full of history and life. I'm supposed to be sleeping in order to meet a dear friend for the first time in the morning (a friend who I became friend with because of this wonderful show). Instead I stayed up late to finish this novel in one sitting.

I love Tilly - she's awkward, unsure, ambitious, and has a propensity for inserting her foot into her own mouth. I can relate. Learning about this marvellous character through this fun book was an absolute delight.
Daniel Kukwa
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: star-trek
This isn't quite as impressive as the previous "Discovery" novels, primarily due to the fact that the opening section of Tilly at boarding school feels like an overly-familiar, almost 90210/Harry Potter mash-up plot line. However, Una McCormack's superb writing style and command of character powers through the familiarity, and when the novel gets to Tilly on the run, it finally engages at a higher gear of storytelling. On a side note, I'd definitely like to see more of the Starship Dorothy Garro ...more
Alex Bright
Star Rating: 3.0

Tilly's backstory reads like YA fanfiction, but at least it's fairly well-written fanfic! There are a lot of wonderful sequences in the first two thirds of this novel, and McCormack definitely has Tilly's character interactions on point. I would have given it 3.5 stars, but after that point (view spoiler) the story rushes headlong into clichéd, predictable plot progressions, and over-
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this look into Tilly's backstory and character. She's one of my favourite Star Trek characters because she is incapable of pretending to be anyone else, and I love that Star Trek Discovery shows there is room for diversity not just with regard to race, sexual orientation, ability, etc, but also with regard to personality. I firmly believe there's no greater form of love and respect than giving people space to be themselves, without judgment but with full acceptance.

Other Star Trek novel
C. S.
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, fiction
The best of the Discovery tie-in novels, imo. Not the best migraine companion audiobook, due to, you know, all the crying, but.

The first half, with Tilly's masterfully self-choreographed downfall at boarding school, was a bit rough, but the second half was really great, and I would have happily spent double the amount of time with Tilly on her own, hitchhike-working her way through the galaxy.
James Hewkin
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Really smart writing. Ties in very nicely with the Tilly we see in Disco. Loved the style of writing in this one. The author let her interests seep through in a really cool way (especially the nods to classical music and Russian tea urns! lol)
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: tbr-cleanup-2019
Listened to the audiobook (I always forget switching editions for my updates).

This was a cute coming of age story, that perhaps even works for younger readers without Star Trek/Discovery experience. It is about a girl who has to find her own way against the oppressing presence of her famous know-it-all mother.
Those readers who know Discovery will find a very apt characterisation of Sylvia Tilly's character, and in case of the audiobook a well done rendering of Tilly's over-the-topness. It was f
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Star Trek: Discovery: The Way to the Stars kicks off with Tilly recounting to Michael all that she experienced as a awkward 16 year old! :D This then takes the plot off into examining Tilly's early years and does a brilliant job from the start! :D In Tilly we get to see an awkward teenager that doesn't hit all the normal stereotypes that you would expect! :D At the same time as the story is primarily told from the point of view of Tilly you can really emphasis with her and understand why the wis ...more
C.T. Phipps
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


STAR TREK: DISCOVERY: THE WAY TO THE STARS is a Young Adult novel based in the Star Trek universe. I have been enjoying the Star Trek: Discovery spin-off novels starting with Michael Burnham and Spock's adventure in Desperate Hour and continuing in works like Drastic Measures. They're a great mix of Star Trek: The Original Series lore with a new perspective on the life of characters from the 23rd century as well as their culture.

This book follows Cadet
Benjamin Featherston
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a different sort of "Star Trek" novel, in that it shows the universe from the perspective of a sixteen-year-old girl. While we have had teenagers depicted on the show, through Wesley Crusher on TNG and Jake Sisko on DS9, their lives were so far removed from what could be called a normal life that they couldn't answer the question of what it might be like for someone to grow up in that society.

In this "Discovery" prequel, however, we see Sylvia Tilly go to school, learn interests, make a
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: discovery, star-trek
The Way to the Stars is an excellent bit of backstory for one of my favorite Discovery characters. The young Sylvia Tilly comes to life with a past that seems far too familiar to many people. Over the course of the story, she begins to chart a new course in her life and grow into the person she will become by the time we see her as a cadet in season one of Discovery. This book contains some great life lessons for those among us who may have struggled with the expectations of their peers and thei ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a great look at Tilly's characterization. I loved every minute of it!
Pamela Labarbiera
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'd like to give this 4 1/2 stars because of an inconsistency, but it's a great story and very well-written. To my surprise, I knocked it off in a day! Any Star Trek fan will enjoy it.
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
A very quick read about my favourite Disco character that's more teenage angst than space action adventure but is a little bit of both and also a book that gave me nightmares about my mother. Poor Tilly.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
***As per all of my reviews, I like to preface by saying that I listened to this book in audiobook format. This does indeed slightly skew my rating. I have found that audiobooks, give me a better "relationship" with the characters if done well, but also kills the book for me if narrated poorly. Due to the nature of listening to the text, names and places may be spelled incorrectly here as I often do not have the physical volume in front of me. Also, I have written this review in a "rolling updat ...more
Scott Williams
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a simple, sweet coming of age story for Tilly. Tilly has become one of the most popular characters on Discovery so I’m glad they’ve chosen to give her the spotlight here.

It’s clear that Kirsten Beyer is working hard to make these novels tie in well to the series. The scheduling is impeccable and having these stories to read really adds a new layer to what’s happening on the series.

Una McCormack does her usual excellent job. I really love reading her work.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek-read
4.5 stars but I'll round up because my main complaint is wishing it didn't end when it did. At least this means there's more Tilly back stories to tell. I'm finding that this author is really good at writing interesting, character driven, non-traditional Star Trek stories. The narrator of the audio book was also fantastic at accents and Tilly's lilting, bubbly voice.
Richard Gray
On the eve of a new season, the Star Trek: Discovery tie-in novel series makes a triumphant return. Writer Una McCormack follows the theme of the book series by taking a deep dive into a single character’s backstory, in this case Cadet Sylvia Tilly. It’s one of the more lighthearted entries to date and has more in common with the conventions of contemporary YA than it does with other books in this series.

Bookended by a conversation between Burnham and Tilly on the eve of the cadet’s entry into t
Michael Hanscom
16-year-old Tilly must deal with an overbearing mother, boarding school ups and downs, and choosing between what’s expected of her and what actually interests her. A fun, light Trek YA novel.

Two things stuck out to me regarding the overall Discovery universe (very minor spoilers for this book):

1. The captain of the Starfleet vessel the Dorothy Garrod at one point is exercising wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with "Dotty". Assumedly, this equates to the Discovery's crew having "DISCO" on their exerc
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I think the Tilly character is captured very well and her relationships with different people as she slowly grows into figuring out who she wants to be, are fun and interesting to read.

Many of her character quirks make sense as the relationship with her mother is revealed. I fully admit that she makes me furious I would love to throw several heavy things at her and forbid her from speaking to Tilly again.

Overall a fun read with some great adventures and self discovery
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: time-traveller
I was not prepared for how close to home this book would hit. It really captures what it feels like to be an awkward 16-year-old who hasn't quite found her place yet.

I also liked that it shows us where Tilly comes from and what her way to joining Starfleet was like, dumb decisions and all. And that she comes across so many different women on her way to the decision of joining up.

So, while the book is certainly not a SciFi Masterpiece, I'm giving it four stars because of its emotional impact and
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book

THE WAY TO THE STARS: The Heroine’s Quest

Young Sylvia Tilly is super smart and tries so hard to be the daughter her mother wants.

Sylvia Tilly’s mother is a big mucky muck in the Star Fleet diplomatic corps and wants Sylvia to be a diplomat too. She pushes and pushes this highly intelligent woman, so obviously gifted in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, to become someone she is not. As much as it is a “coming of age” novel it is also a “how not to
Anne-katrin Clemens
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Unseen Library
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of The Way To The Stars from Simon & Schuster Australia to review.

Rating of 3.75.

Get ready to dive into the extended Star Trek universe with The Way To The Stars, the latest tie-in novel to the franchise’s current show, Star Trek Discovery.

I have to admit that I am more of a casual Star Trek fan and I have more of a preference for Star Wars (and with that, I lose several Trekkies reading this review). That being said, I have watched a number of the movies and I am really enjoyi
Christie Greenwood
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Well...I was looking forward to reading this because a) I love the author's Star Trek novels, and b) I love ST: Discovery. But I didn't love this novel - sadly. It's not bad per se, but it feels rushed. It reminded me somehow of some fanfictions - you know, the ones where the authors rush through scenes to get to the ones they actually want to write. This is the first book by this author that felt to me like she was just doing a job. There's a lot of telling instead of showing, a lot of odd hype ...more
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, star-trek, 2019
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Sylvia Tilly is the youngest Starfleet cadet to be accepted into the Command Track program. As she prepares to start her first day in the training program aboard the USS Discovery, she has hidden reservations about her qualifications and ability to do well. This leads to a night of her telling her history to Michael Burnham, starting from her teen years being bullied by a domineering mother and missing her father while he is on a deep space mission.

McCormack nailed Tilly’s v
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek
I utterly LOVED this book. I have read a lot of Star Trek books but this one has to be one of my all time top favorites because of the humanity...for lack of a better term. Star Trek Discovery, while having it's own share of critics, has breathed new life into the Star Trek franchise and I believe extends to their books as well. Particularly in the character of Tilly, fans are able to picture themselves in the world of Star Trek. She isn't Spock, Kirk, or Picard but she's someone that you see ev ...more
Sarah Crawford
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now I know full well that there are a lot of people that don't like Star Trek Discovery but I, for one, really like the series. Tilly happens to be one of my favorite characters and so I had to get this book.

I was not disappointed at all. The author did a very good job with Tilly's character and gave her a solid background that helps a lot to explain just why she behaves, well, somewhat oddly from time to time. The story involves a very, very, very controlling mother, a divorce, her father off
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Una McCormack is a British writer and the author of several Star Trek novels and stories.

She has also written a number of Doctor Who novels and short stories.

Other books in the series

Star Trek: Discovery (7 books)
  • Desperate Hours (Star Trek: Discovery #1)
  • Drastic Measures
  • Fear Itself (Star Trek: Discovery #3)
  • Star Trek: Discovery: The Enterprise War
  • Dead Endless
  • Die Standing

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36 likes · 16 comments
“Was that what Starfleet was, when it came down to it? One massive high-school science club? Why had no one ever mentioned this before?” 3 likes
“Sylvia had found in the past that when she started to get close to people her own age, when she started to relax and speak her mind, they tended to drift away from her.” 2 likes
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