Star Trek: Discovery: The Way to the Stars

Narrated by: January LaVoy
Series: Star Trek: Discovery, Book 4
Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (204 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An original novel based on the explosive new TV series Star Trek: Discovery!

Despite being an inexperienced Starfleet cadet, Sylvia Tilly became essential to the USS 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 16, especially when everyone expects great things from Tilly. It’s even harder when her mother and father are Federation luminaries, not to mention pressing her to attend one of the best schools the Federation has to offer. Tilly wants to achieve great things - even though she hasn’t quite worked out how to do that or what it is she wants to do. But this year, everything will change for Tilly, as she is about to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime - an adventure that will take her ever closer to the stars....

©2019 Una McCormack (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about Star Trek: Discovery: The Way to the Stars

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

It's boring. Very boring indeed. Very boring.

This book is not a Star Trek book. It is a coming-of-age book with a thin veneer of sci-fi window dressing. For all but the last two hours, there is basically nothing in here but conversations between, about, and at a privileged but constrained teenage girl with a domineering mother and an absentee father who happens to be a future Star Trek character. That character is actually pretty interesting- in Star Trek: Discovery. That character is NOT, in any way whatsoever, interesting in this book. One would never know that there is anything about a 22nd century prep school that distinguishes it in any meaningful way from a 20th century version.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not a Star Trek Book

This book has just about nothing to do with Star Trek and as far as I'm concerned, has no business in that collection. The story is about a 16 year old girl maturing out of her teens but dealing with an overbearing mother . Don't spend your points on it if you're looking for a good Star Trek story.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Best for younger readers, nice Tilley backstory for the fan.

This is reminiscent of Enid Blyton stories: kids at boarding school & all they could get into plus growing pains. But it is also a great story for an older teen who begins to realize that their path might differ from what they thought or what their parents had planed; saying you are not alone, giving a bit of perspective and perhaps the courage to talk to those around them before the pressure becomes overwhelming.
For the adult Star Trek fan it gives us a backstory and motivation for Tilley, though it could have done with some more editing here and there.

What is lacking is the science part of the science fiction.
The great Star Trek books have always had four elements:
First (and well done here): believable & valuable expansion of canon to make the reader feel like they know the characters on the screen a bit better than the average couch potato.
Second: ethical quandries to be solved or at least seriously treated.
Third: ‘cutting edge science’ to lead into the fictional science; teaching a little science fact before getting into the science dream.
Fourth: humour & humanity

It is unfortunate the author missed quite a few opportunities to enhance an otherwise great story and make it a really great Star Trek story.

It’s a shame because I know from her other Star Trek Novels, that she can do a lot better! Perhaps she’ll be given the time to do a page one rewrite one day, both Tilley’s deserve to have the real foundations of their fields of fictional study brought closer to a wider audience.
Archaeology will probably get other opportunities; Star Trek has been unusually kind to Archaeology over the years despite being a show about the future, not the past.
But Mycology is not likely to get a whole lot of science fiction treatment if the first five books are any indication.
Considering the whole show is centered around a star ship running on a spore drive, the mycology has come woefully short! (I still know more mycology from a high school biology report I did thirty years ago than anything I learned on Star Trek Discovery or in the Disco novels) The novels are where obscure or new scientific ideas usually get treated so Tilley’s backstory would have been the ideal place to insert some basics on the subject matter. Its omission plus the setting of the story are why out of all the Discovery books, this is probably the one best enjoyed by a young reader - it is lighter fare than the average Star Trek Novel!

1 person found this helpful

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Well preformed!!! Great back story on Tilley.

You get some insight into why Silvia Tilley is who she is.
I think the book was written for and might be helpful to teenagers. This is both a compliment and criticism. I enjoyed it but expected something different, something more mature and adventurous. But I highly recommend this book to someone who wants to introduce a teen to the Star Trek World.

1 person found this helpful

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Love me some Tilly

I wanted to know why she was the way she is and the book did it.

1 person found this helpful

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More Tilly!

I really wasn't excited for a book just about Tilly... but wow! It was great and I definitely want too know more. It was a great blend of personal interest and action.

1 person found this helpful

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stupendous. one of the very best

great story and performance. hit me right in the feels. hope to see more like this. definitely best of the discovery series

1 person found this helpful

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LOVE IT

Tilly was already one of my favorites, this book strengthened that enjoyment of her character.

1 person found this helpful

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fantastically performed but story lacking

very well performed but I feel story was inhibited by bad story from "Picard" shows lack of knowledge of star trek. I also feed there was too much negativity just like the "Picard" show. Another issue is the Picard storyline is contradictory to other current next generation books.

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Great story!

This was a captivating backstory for a great character. Well performed and written. Would absolutely recommend!

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Profile Image for PiperoftheMillennium
  • PiperoftheMillennium
  • 10-31-19

Excellent origin story for Discovery's favourite

With Mother's like Sylvia Tilley's ... well, you know the rest. It's not straight forward and her story has surprises. A lot of fun! Loved the characterisations, January! Well done!

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  • Onyajay
  • 05-28-19

Disappointingly TEEN style story. Shocking accents

Despite being an complicated TV series, with an adult demographic, and despite the main character being a complicated and interesting character with intelligence and an as yet undescribed background, this book was disappointingly aimed at Teenagers.
Granted, the main story is about a teenager, Tilly, and how she ended up in Starfleet, but the story was a whiny girl v mom story, with very little thought or research gone into the Sci Fi or Science (which in my opinion is why most people would want to read it ...aka Discovery). Apart from mentioning the word Astromycology many times, it was never delved into, what why or how. Sorry but a very 2 dimensional story. Like a bad soap opera. Not Star Trek at all.

the performance by January LaVoy was, initially, good. I was impressed with her quick change of character voice, especially the French accent. The Scots accent went a little downhill, not bad, but ot good either, but the Australian accent (I'm an Australian) was absolutely murdered. In short, it wasn't. It was a mongrel East End of London cockney, mixed with a bit of flattened American. I just hate it when Americans think we sound like East End Englishmen. (our accent is much worse, ha ha.) First cringe "Gooday"....not Good day, but gu-dai. Really fast. Second, we say last like this 'larst' not L-AST.
It would have been easy to believe the Captain of the ship was a man....surely January doesn't think all Australian women sound rough and have low voices like that. The men in the performance had higher voices than Holden! Overall, nicely read but absolutely SHOCKING accents. It destroyed it for me. Please, if you can't do an Aussie accent, don't. Or get lessons from Meryl Streep.

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Profile Image for Punk Rock Zoologist
  • Punk Rock Zoologist
  • 02-06-19

Best Discovery Book Yet

This book was great. The Una's writing is wonderful and gripping. A wonderful and heart warming coming of age story in the Star Trek universe. January LaVoy's vocal performance is pretty good, but her Australian accent is not quite perfect. Still better than most Americans who try it though. The best character is probably Captain Yindi Holden. Having an Indigenous Australian captain was a wonderful detail for this book, especially having her researching other cultures' oral traditions.