Star Trek: Discovery‘s ongoing tie-in novel series, which began in September with Desperate Hours and continues in February’s Drastic Measures, has been extended to a third entry — author James Swallow will bring fans the Saru-centric Fear Itself, headed for bookstores in June.

There’s no cover art or preorder links yet available — we’ll certainly update you when they arrive — but the official synopsis was revealed today, thanks to StarTrek.com.

Lieutenant Saru is a Kelpien, a member of a prey species born on a world overrun by monstrous predators…and a being who very intimately understands the nature of fear.

Challenged on all sides, he is determined to surpass his origins and succeed as a Starfleet officer aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou. But when Saru breaks protocol in order to prove himself to his crewmates, what begins as a vital rescue mission to save a vessel in distress soon escalates out of control. Forced into a command role he may not be ready for, Saru is caught between his duty and the conflicting agendas of two antagonistic alien races.

To survive, he will need to seek a path of peace against all odds, and risk compromising the very ideals he has sworn to uphold….

On his blog, Swallow revealed that the book will be set chronologically between the first to Discovery novels:

“Fear Itself” follows on from “Desperate Hours” and “Drastic Measures” by m’colleagues David Mack and Dayton Ward and continues the theme of the Discovery novels by unfolding some more of the backstory of the show’s main characters – in my case, I’ve written a story that centres around the Kelpien science officer Saru.

The story is set after the events of Dayton’s book but before Dave’s (and also the events of the show itself), while Saru is a lieutenant serving with Michael Burnham under Captain Phillippa Georgiou aboard the U.S.S. Shenzhou.

Watch for our review of Dayton Ward’s Drastic Measures this Spring, and for more updates on the Star Trek publishing world here at TrekCore!

Novel #1:
"Desperate Hours"


Novel #2:
"Drastic Measures"


Novel #3:
"Fear Itself"


  • The announcement at the official site said that the book would sell for $16 in the US and $22 in Canada.

    The book sounds interesting, but SIXTEEN DOLLARS? I’d go for an $8 mass market paperback, but not only do I not want to pay for hardcover or trade paperback, I also don’t want to have to store something that big in my house. (We have a LOT of books, including 141 Star Trek novels.)

    • Tuskin38

      This is why I buy eBooks.

      • E-books do have that to recommend them, yes. I still prefer paper books, though. I like holding them, they’re easier to lend to friends, and technical glitches can’t take them away from me. 🙂

    • Locutus

      Man, I remember when Pocket Books used to sell for a clean $4.95. The same price as a playmates action figure!

      • Yeah, I remember when the average paperback book sold for 75 cents. But as long as wages and salaries go up by the same amount as prices, it all evens out…

    • That’s MSRP — “Desperate Hours” is already $10-ish.

  • SpaceCadet

    I’m looking forward to the presumed eventual episode of the actual television series when we’ll be introduced to Saru’s homeworld. I’m sure it will be visually awesome.

    • I’m looking forward to that episode, too, though more because I’d like to hear about their customs and culture. How do you organize a civilization as a prey species?

      • SpaceCadet

        That would be great. I think we’d also see his species in action defending themselves from whatever predators they face on an on-going basis.

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