Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Desperate Hours is the first original novel for the television series Discovery, written by David Mack. It was published in September 2017.


Aboard the starship USS Shenzhou, Lieutenant Michael Burnham, a Human woman raised and educated among Vulcans, is promoted to acting first officer. But if she wants to keep the job, she must prove to Captain Philippa Georgiou that she deserves to have it. She gets her chance when the Shenzhou must protect a Federation colony that is under attack by an ancient alien vessel that has surfaced from the deepest fathoms of the planet's dark, uncharted sea. As the menace from this mysterious vessel grows stronger, Starfleet declares the colony expendable in the name of halting the threat. To save thousands of innocent lives, Burnham must infiltrate the alien ship. But to do so she needs to face the truth of her troubled past, and seek the aid of a man she has tried to avoid her entire life—until now.



Brett AndersonJae BarnesMikki BolanderJon BowenPhilip BoyceMichael BurnhamRamayan ChandraConiffDanby ConnorDatlowKeyla DetmerElena DonnellyMary FanKamran GantItzel GarcíaGarisonPhilippa GeorgiouAmanda GraysonTojiro IshiiTroy JanuzziSaladin JoharGretchen KolovaCameron Le FevreLingHamid MedinaAnton NambueJira NarwaniFrel glasch NeggNumber OneO'FrielYoshi OharaBelin OliveiraLewa OmaluPayneChristopher PikeNils PitcairnReddickRogersSarekSaruShullSogobuSpockGregor SpyropoulosTemkinSonnisar ch'ThelohTrokeBritch WeetonWierzbeski
Referenced only 
Egot HulnEmmeline Pankhurst

Starships and vehiclesEdit

Arcadia ExplorerUSS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • droneJuggernautUSS Shenzhou (Walker-class)
Referenced only 
USS IntrepidUSS PersepolisUSS Tereshkova


Alpha QuadrantDoctari AlphaLigot IVSirsa III (New Astana)
Referenced only 
Earth (BeijingYucatán) • Vulcan (ShiKahr)

Races and culturesEdit

Referenced only 

States and organizationsEdit

Andorian Imperial Drum CorpsKayo Mining ConsortiumStarfleetStarfleet CommandUnited Federation of PlanetsVulcan Expeditionary Group • Vulcan Science Academy

Science and technologyEdit

phaserplasma drillstarshiptransporterVR helmet

Ranks and titlesEdit

ambassadorcaptainensignfirst officerlieutenant

Other referencesEdit

champagnecolonyduraniumjazzplanetMy Own Storysnail • Starfleet Code of Military Justicethree-dimensional chess


Related storiesEdit

Media featuring Christopher Pike
Episodes The CageThe Menagerie Movies Star TrekkStar Trek Into Darknessk
Novels Killing TimeaEnterprise: The First AdventureVulcan's GloryLegacyThe RiftWhere Sea Meets SkyBurning DreamsA Less Perfect UnionaThe Children of KingskChild of Two WorldsDesperate Hours
Short stories "Conflicting Natures" • "A Private Anecdote" • "Sins of the Mother" • "The Greater Good"m
Comics Early Voyages "Flesh of My Flesh" • "The Fires of Pharos" • "Our Dearest Blood" • "Nor Iron Bars a Cage" • Cloak and Dagger (12) • "The Flat, Gold Forever" • "Immortal Wounds" • "One of a Kind" • The Fallen (12) • "Futures, Part One" • "Future Tense" • "Futures" • "Now and Then" • "Thanatos" • "Nemesis"
Starfleet Academy "Return to the Forbidden Planet" • "A Prelude to War"
Crew "Shadows of the Past" • "The Ends of Eternity"
other "All Those Years Ago..." • "To Walk the Night" • "Door in the Cage" • Alien Spotlight Alien Spotlight, Volume I (VulcansOrions) • Mirror Imagesm (1245) • Spock: Reflections, Issue 2Star Trek Movie Adaptationk (23456) • Captain's Log: Pike
k : Kelvin timelinem : Mirror Universea : alternate reality


Relationship to the Series Edit

David Mack has written about the novel's relationship to the production of Star Trek Discovery, saying of the Shenzhou's characters:

"Most of them I developed on my own, along with detailed character bios, backstories, quirks, interests, etc. Those were then submitted to the show via Kirsten Beyer for approval. Some, such as Gant, Detmer, and Jannuzzi [sic], ended up being used on the show. (A few, like Connor and Britch Weeton, were established by the show's writers.) Also, Kirsten tells me that the Shenzhou bridge crew actors were given my bios of their characters to provide a foundation for their performances." [1]

External linkEdit

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