Book Review: ‘The High Country’ by John Jackson Miller

March 3, 2023 at 9:26 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | 1 Comment
Tags: ,

Star Trek: The High Country is the first novel in the Strange New Worlds line of books to release from Gallery Books. It was written by John Jackson Miller and it was released in February of 2023. 

John Jackson Miller is no stranger to Star Trek literature, having written seven novels and novella before this. He is also no stranger to the Pike-era crew, as he wrote for them in his novel The Enterprise War. As such, he was the perfect person to lead off the Strange New Worlds line of books at Gallery Books. 

The first thing about this book is the scope and scale. Some books try to tell huge stories on multiple planets that feel like they never have enough time to tell a complete story. Some books just try to tell a small story, and while that works, you often feel like it wasn’t worth a whole novel worth of content. Then you get that goldilocks of a book where there is a lot of story packed in to a single novel set on a single planet, and you feel like everything is set up and payed off perfectly, and I’d say this book is as close as you’d get to that sweet spot!

This book primarily follows Pike, Una, Spock, and Uhura. Pike gets the lionshare of the page time, probably about two-thirds of the page time. Almost the entire remaining 1/3 is from Una’s perspective, although Spock and Uhura get a few scenes. 

All four of them are trapped on a planet where technology doesn’t work. It seems like a tried and true Sci-Fi trope. As such, this book feels like a Western novel and is right up John Jackson Miller’s alley. He’s already written the best Western-tie-in-fiction novel out there, Kenobi. John plays the tropes really well, and includes several storytelling elements that keep you on the edge of your seat but never quite shocked. 

One of the biggest criticisms of Science Fiction novels, and Star Trek novels in particular, is that they portray a “monoculture” or a “monobiome”. Thankfully, this book breaks out of that. This might in fact be the most worldbuilding I’ve read in a Star Trek novel for a single world, The only close comparison I have is the Caeliar in the Destiny Trilogy, but that was three books rather than a single novel. 

This book also has some thought provoking questions about technology and about how we use it. No, it isn’t cheesy, and actually its quite refreshing the way it is portrayed. And there are also themes about what you do for the greater good, and at what point is it ok to eliminate “free will”. 

This book also has one of the best quotes of any book I’ve read in a while. I will “edit” the quote to avoid giving spoilers it might contain. 

“The fate you are describing is a fate many have suffered. But in your case, at least, it will have been earned”. 

I do have one criticism. There is one minor character who basically disappears in the middle of Act 3 and doesn’t really appear much until the end of Act 5, and even then they barely make an appearance. This character should have been front and center for the whole book. 

Overall, I loved this book. I will need time to see where it falls in my John Jackson Miller book rankings. However, I will say that I loved it from cover to cover. There are even a few funny lines and references. Five out of five!

Reviewed By: Jonathan Koan for Roqoo Depot.


1 Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. […] has added a new review for John Jackson Miller‘s “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: The High Country”: […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: