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The Last Best Hope

(Star Trek: Picard #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  2,443 ratings  ·  438 reviews
An original novel based on the new Star Trek TV series!

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.
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Pocket Books
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Jason Sacks This book is like Picard: Season Zero. It's a prologue to the series.…moreThis book is like Picard: Season Zero. It's a prologue to the series.(less)

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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Alejandro
A good companion to Star Trek: Picard - First Season


A MISSION OF MERCY... THAT NOBODY WANTS TO DO

This is a tie-in novel for the current (March 2020) Star Trek: Picard TV series, setting while he was leading the mercy mission to take Romulan Empire's refugees to planets out of the incoming Romulus' Sun going into supernova.

You can read about the troubles in both sides of politics that Picard has to face since not only from the Federation, there are many people against to give so many reso
...more
Gerhard
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy, 2020
Pity the poor writer who gets commissioned to write a prequel novel to one of the most anticipated television series in the history of science fiction. Also pity the poor viewers in that both a prequel novel and a comic were deemed necessary by the powers that be in order to cushion the future-shock induced by the first episode of Star Trek: Picard. (Except that both were only released when the show was already well underway, as I understand it; I read the book only after I had watched episode 4 ...more
Jean
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a TV Star Trek fan. So I decided to give the audiobook a try. The book is well written and the pace is fast. It was fun to discover all the new Star Fleet characters; particularly interesting was Picard’s new XO. But somethings are the same such as the Romulans’ distrust of the Federation. Overall, the story was interesting and an exciting read. This is my first experience with this author. I was unaware a new TV series is starting.

I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. Robert
...more
Kevin
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
4 1/ 2 stars
Good science fiction is relevant to the world we live in, it has something to say about the world. Star Trek has always been like this, a way to see a better version of ourselves. An Iowan, a Russian, a Women, an African American woman, an Alien, all hold positions of power and work together.
This book has everything relevant to today, power hungry politicians, fake news/disinformation, xenophobia, immigration. The reason to help an alien enemy, because they are people.
My only issue i
...more
Daniel Kukwa
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
The intensity of this book made me stay up for hours reading this, rather than go to bed. As a prequel to the new TV series, this is razor-focused. However, I can't bring myself to give this a 5 star rating for the simple reason that this isn't anywhere near adequate. This should have been twice the length. There should have been scenes on Romulus as the apocalypse approaches; there should have been more reaction shown within the Federation, and the rest of the Alpha Quadrant. There should have ...more
Cathy
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am very disappointed. I wonder if I had enjoyed this, if I hadn‘t seen the new series already. As it was, I found this very boring. The plot held no suspense for me. This was a drag.

There is a lot of talk, weak character development and little to no action. It doesn‘t help that I found the TV series to be mediocre at best, regardless of the nostalgia I was experiencing (seeing Patrick Steward back in this beloved role) and that I did not really like Raffi Musiker or Agnes Jurati much.

The story
...more
Lata
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Totally enjoyed this. Una McCormack's Picard characterization felt spot-on, and I really liked how this story covers the mammoth task of dealing the soon-to-go nova Romulan star, and the ensuing refugee crisis, as well as accompanying stresses within the Federation and misinformation in the Romulan system.
I loved how McCormack showed the transformation within the Federation from initial concern to the slow pivot away from the whole situation and the eventual death of billions. That Picard would
...more
DivaDiane
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 starts rounded up.

I haven’t read many Star Trek novels, but I’ve watched nearly everything (with the exception of Enterprise and large chunks of DS9) and of course I just recently watched ST:Picard and enjoyed it very much.

I enjoyed this backstory very much. I listened to it, and the narrator (Robert Petkoff) was just excellent. Una McCormick and he captured Patrick Stewart and Levar Burton’s speech patterns so well, it was like they were doing the narration themselves. Petkoff did several
...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/03/17/...

Confession: I haven’t started watching the new Star Trek: Picard TV series yet. I’m a big Star Trek fan, but I mustered up all the self-restraint I had and held off after being alerted that I would be receiving a review copy of The Last Best Hope, for the same finicky reasons I read Star Wars: Catalyst before watching Rogue One or Durotan by Christie Golden before the Warcraft movie. I’m something of a media tie-in addict,
...more
Mareike
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
This is a 3.5 rounded up. I think.

It's a good read and fleshes out the background for the TV show. But it never touched me emotionally as much as I wanted it to. Not to mention that some of the characters I really want to know more about don't appear at all. Which makes sense for the book as it is.
I'll just be over here waiting for someone to write me a novel about (spoilers for the show, not this book) (view spoiler)
...more
Fábio Fernandes
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction, 2020
This is, IMO, hands down the best Star Trek novel I've read. And I've read plenty. I love the realistic (for ST standards, that is) description of politics and logistics. It's a prequel for the TV series Star Trek: Picard, but maybe you can appreciate it better if, like I did, you start to read it at least after the third (or fourth) episode. ...more
Tim Joseph
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Honestly, as devastated as I am by this book, it probably deserves 5 stars... I just don't have the heart.

Extremely well written and true to the characters... if you lived TNG... heck, or know what this stands for... prepare yourself. But read this book. There is nothing better than getting in Picards head through a writer that cares. Well done Una.
...more
Zachary
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Gene Roddenberry decided sometime in the 70s that the Federation from his TV show Star Trek was a utopia and that humans had achieved a level of enlightenment that allowed them to conquer the great ills of the world, hunger, war, environmental damage, etc... and when he relaunched Star Trek as Star Trek: The Next Generation he insisted on putting forward that vision in the new show. And the writers hated it. Utopias and enlightened human beings are hard to write for. But Roddenberry insisted and ...more
Amy Sturgis
This is one of the best Star Trek novels I’ve read, and I’ve been reading Star Trek novels for forty years. If you like the Picard miniseries, this prequel will amplify that enjoyment. If you’ve been disappointed in the Picard miniseries, this prequel will solve some of your issues with it. And if you haven’t seen the Picard miniseries, read this first.

Una McCormack captures the voice of familiar characters beautifully and creates new characters I genuinely care about. She uses the fact the rea
...more
Beth
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the backstory of the Romulan relief effort, the synths, and the day it all went horribly wrong.
It is also the story of political strife, compassion vs practicality, and ethics being thrown under the bus. And struggling for what is right vs what is easy.
And losing.
There are also some interesting hints I can only assume are going to be played out on my TV in the coming weeks.
We shall see.
Sam
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Disappointed. A time filler that goes nowhere. Apparently now ST no longer takes place in an utopian society, and swear words are edgy and cool. I guess a peaceful future is too hard to write anymore. Also the science doesn't jive with the science used before. World building requires consistency, fans notice the absence. This author has written excellent tie-ins before but I guess this one was too hard given corporate restraints of ignoring all previous book, comic, TV, and movie series timeline ...more
Benjamin Geweke
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reads like a history book of the years 2015 to 2020 following your favourite friend. From a slightly different perspective and in a way scifi stories comment and portray from a distance since scifi was invented.

Nothing of our recent history gets left out. On the way we witness stories about climate change, fake news, filter bubbles, polital decay, societal decay, institutional decay, refugees, fabricated news, activism, conspiracy theories, false flags, populism, sacrifice and more.

And like in T
...more
Tim Rideout
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Star Trek has always been political. Like all art its purpose has always been political. In the 1960s Star Trek presented us with a future to which we could aspire. In the 2020s Star Trek: Picard presents us with our present made manifest as a darker future.

And it is superb. Unsettling, elegiac, mournful and superb.

Una McCormak’s novel is the perfect prequel and it is drenched in politics. The climate catastrophe, Brexit, the refugee crisis, populism, post-truth - all are present, wrapped up in
...more
Bon Tom
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Consider this a mandatory reading if you intend to watch the TV series.
It totally explains the whole context, pretext and other text. So you don't
feel like you skip the whole season of the series somehow and now you need
to connect the dots, which are not there.

With or without the show, the book is great. It always amazes me how do
these Start Trek authors do it. Rarely, if ever, do they miss the target. I know
they must have been pre-selected for these franchise writings, but still...
It's just i
...more
Matthew Rushing
3.5

The book does fill in a lot of details the series has not yet, but the biggest lingering issue is how this fits with what we know from Star Trek '09. That still does not make sense to me at all.
...more
Unseen Library
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating of 4.5.

Get ready to dive back into the Star Trek universe with Picard: The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack, the latest Star Trek novel which ties into the events of the Picard television show. The Last Best Hope is an outstanding novel that serves as a bridge between Star Trek: The Next Generation show and the current Picard series.

Nearly 20 years before the events of Picard, both the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan Star Empire faced an unprecedented calamity. Scientists have
...more
Geonn Cannon
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really well-written companion to the Picard series (maybe even vital? There are some background things in here that I feel really flesh out some parts of the show). The only downside is that the book doesn't explan where Laris and Zhaban came from, but they're given an origin in the three-part prequel comic. As much as I hate the idea of "You have to read X to understand the show," I'll give it a pass. You don't NEED to know the full details of where his Romulan roommates came from, but it doe ...more
Greg
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a veteran trekkie and book lover, this was as good as any other recent Trek release. It provides an outstanding prologue to the show but it doubles as an excellent read in its own right. The profanity factor still irks me here but the overall story arc about the Romulan Project and the Starfleet reaction is what is really important.

The basic premise of the show is flawed, however. Starfleet and the Federation members balked over the resources required to save the Romulans, but why not build
...more
Jason Henderson
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Finished Picard: the Last Best Hope. What I admire most is it's very readable end enjoyable even as the author is challenged to make a book about what would be a really impossibly long, dry tv episode. It's the story of a massive refugee airlift and the Federation's ultimate failure to handle the challenge. Great job from Una McCormack. ...more
rivka
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Trekkies who enjoy the novels; everyone enjoying ST: Picard
Quite lovely, and quite well-done.

Unfortunately, has the issue many of the books released with specific episodes or movies have, due to their writers getting very early drafts of the scripts to work from: Things get changed in the final versions of the show/movie, and are not reflected in the novel. (view spoiler)
...more
Amanda
Feb 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Three stars because it was about what I expected, but definitely leaning 3.5. I appreciated the bits of backstory, the touching on the experiences of characters in different positions/roles. In the end, though, this book kind of made me mad? Not at it by any means, but at the situation, seeing so many moments of hopelessness, and knowing, even when things seemed to be going well, how it all would play out. Not to mention the parallels to our present, which, while sometimes a bit too on-the-nose, ...more
David Agranoff
I meant to read this before the show premiered but somehow I missed it until now when I have watched Picard the series twice. So yeah I am a fan of the show and I know the return of Star Trek under the guidance of Alex Kurtzman has been dividing the fans. This review is not really about the show but Una McCormack's excellent prequel to the show. I have to say this is the first time this author's work and I was very impressed.

This novel not only felt like the ST universe but more importantly McC
...more
Christopher
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Last Best Hope picks up years before the events of Star Trek Picards first season with Picard being recalled to Starfleet command and being shown the Romulan situation! :D The Last Best Hope focuses on the relief mission that we see being referenced in Star Trek Picard and this shows us the extent that Picard, Raffi, Geordi and all the other characters went to in order to save as many people as they could from the explosion of Romulus! :D

The Last Best Hope does not pull it's punches from the
...more
Ron Versetto
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was of course more enjoyable as a Star Trek fan with fairly in-depth knowledge of some of the characters, places and relationships that exist in the Star Trek Universe. However, there are so many components to this story that transcend Star Trek that many would find engaging and interesting.

The “human” pieces are really at the heart of this story. The layers and depths of each main character’s story is rife with courage, intrepidness and ultimately tragedy. The science fiction elements
...more
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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: Picard (4 books)
  • Star Trek: Picard - Countdown
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