We are so excited for Alan Dean Foster’s The Unsettling Stars coming out on April 14. But, we are even more excited to share an exclusive excerpt. The story, based on the thrilling Star Trek movies directed by J.J. Abrams, is a must for your TBR pile.
Learn all about this audiobook and the Kelvin universe from narrator Robert Petkoff in this exclusive behind-the-scenes video from the recording studio!
From The Unsettling Stars:
The trio of newcomers came out firing. But not at the Enterprise.
Flattened dull gray hulls with scalloped flanks featured triple engine nacelles mounted underneath the convex main body of each starship. Varying only a little in size from one another, each massed slightly less than the watching Federation vessel. It was impossible to tell from looking at them if the simple, unnecessarily streamlined design was the result of a different engineering approach or alien aesthetics. At first glance, the basic shape and construction implied a lower grade of technology than that possessed by the Federation.
There was nothing primitive about the weaponry they unleashed on the Perenorean colony ship though. Loosed from three different sources, energy weapons and explosive projectiles clawed at the larger alien vessel’s shields, filling empty space with fire, disruption, and an unbridled eagerness to destroy.
“This is an uneven fight if I ever saw one!” Stepping forward, McCoy placed a hand on the back of the command chair and leaned close to Kirk. “Jim, you’ve got to do something! We’ve got to do something!”
Spock ignored the fiery mayhem that now filled the viewscreen in favor of studying his readouts. “Despite the apparently overwhelming firepower being directed against them, the Perenorean shields appear to be holding.” He glanced querulously in Sulu’s direction. “Interesting that a self-declared colony ship would travel equipped with such extensive and advanced defensive capability.”
“The Perenoreans are returning fire.” Sulu’s sensor readouts confirmed what was sometimes difficult to discern on the viewscreen. “They’re not just sitting and taking it. But their weapons capability doesn’t appear to come close to matching their defensive technology.”
“Or else they are diverting the majority of ship’s power to their shields,” Chekov reasonably pointed out. “In any case, based on what I am seeing here”—he indicated his instrumentation—“despite their initial achievement in resisting the attack I do not see them holding out against such a concerted multipronged assault for very long.”
“Jim!” McCoy was unrelenting.
Kirk ground his teeth. Instinct told him to open fire on behalf of the seemingly inoffensive alien colonists. Doing so would likely put the Perenoreans, and by inference their species and society, forever in the Federation’s debt. Conversely, it would also make enemies of their present assailants. Experience, as limited as it was, cautioned him against taking sides too impetuously in a conflict of whose origin and causation he was still ignorant.
The trouble was that, as usual, ongoing battlefield conditions did not allow for extended contemplation of alternatives.
“Captain, we’re being hailed again.” If not her words, Uhura’s tone indicated that her sympathies lay wholly with Dr. McCoy. Kirk refused to be swayed.
“On-screen,” he tensely ordered.
The face and upper body of Leaderesque Taell reappeared before them. Though his admirable surplus of facial expressions were alien and as yet uninterpretable, he communicated his anxiety efficiently via translation.
“Captain Kirk, I beg you—on behalf of our younglings if no other—please help us! We are not a warship. Our engines are nearing overload. We cannot withstand the concerted assault of the Dre’kalak for much longer! They will kill us all!”