25 Best Star Trek Books

As one of the most popular franchises in movie and TV history, Star Trek is not lacking for extensive and thoughtful source material.

As of November 2019, approximately 850 novels, short story anthologies, novelizations, and omnibus editions have been published.

Star Trek books are often ignored (sometimes rightly so) by review sites like Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if a certain book sounds like your cup of Earl Grey tea (hot).


Available Light
by Dayton Ward – 2019
Next Generation

Section 31, the covert organization which has operated without accountability in the shadows for more than two centuries, has been exposed. Throughout the Federation, the rogue group’s agents and leaders are being taken into custody as the sheer scope of its misdeeds comes to light. Now Starfleet Command must decide the consequences for numerous officers caught up in the scandal—including Admirals William Ross, Edward Jellico, Alynna Nechayev, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard who, along with many others, are implicated in the forced removal of a Federation president.

Meanwhile, deep in the distant, unexplored region of space known as the Odyssean Pass, Picard and the crew of the starship Enterprise must put aside personal feelings and political concerns as they investigate a massive mysterious spacecraft. Adrift for centuries in the void, the ship is vital to the survival of an endangered civilization which has spent generations searching for a world to sustain what remains of its people. Complicating matters is a band of marauders who have their own designs on the ancient ship, with only the Enterprise standing in their way….

New Frontier
by Peter David – 1998
Next Generation

The ancient Thallonian Empire has collapsed, throwing an entire sector of the galaxy into chaos and unrest. Billions of sentient beings are faced with starvation, warfare, and worse. Faced with a tragedy of interstellar proportions, Starfleet assembles a new, handpicked crew to help where it can and report what it finds.

Captain Mackenzie Calhoun, recommended by Jean-Luc Picard himself, takes command of the USS Excalibur, which is manned by Starfleet’s best and brightest (including some familiar faces from the Next Generation series).

The Romulan Way
by Diane Duane and Peter Morwood – 1987
The Original Series

They are a race of warriors, a noble people to whom honor is all. They are cousin to the Vulcan, ally to the Klingon, and Starfleet’s most feared and cunning adversary. They are the Romulans—and for eight years, Federation Agent Terise LoBrutto has hidden in their midst.

Now the presence of a captured Starfleet officer forces her to make a fateful choice—between exposure, escape, maintaining her cover, or saving the life of Dr. Leonard McCoy.

by A.C. Crispin – 1994
The Original Series

Spock’s mother, Amanda Grayson, is dying. Spock returns to the planet Vulcan where he and Sarek enjoy a rare moment of rapprochement. But just as his wife’s illness grows worse, duty calls Sarek away, once again sowing the seeds of conflict between father and son. Yet soon Sarek and Spock must put aside their differences and work together to foil a far-reaching plot to destroy the Federation, a plot that Sarek has seen in the making for nearly his entire career.

The crew of the USS Enterprise journeys to the heart of the Klingon Empire where Captain Kirk’s last surviving relative has become a pawn in a battle to divide and conquer the Federation. With Sarek’s help, the crew of the starship Enterprise learns that all is not as it seems. But before they can prevent the Federation’s destruction, they must see the face of their hidden enemy, an enemy more insidious and more dangerous than any they have faced before.

by Barbara Hambly – 1985
The Original Series

The USS Enterprise is on a peaceful mission at Starbase 12 when a bizarre cosmic phenomenon causes a Klingon ship to suddenly vanish—with Spock aboard for the ride. Spock’s last message from the Klingon ship is cryptic and frightening. The Klingons are traveling into the past, searching for the one man who holds the key to the future. If they can kill that man, the course of history will be changed—and the Federation will be destroyed!

The Last Best Hope
by Una McCormack – 2020

“Fifteen years ago…you led us out of the darkness. You commanded the greatest rescue armada in history. Then…the unimaginable. What did that cost you? Your faith. Your faith in us. Your faith in yourself. Tell us, why did you leave Starfleet, Admiral?”

Every end has a beginning…and this novel details the events leading into the Star Trek TV series, introducing brand-new characters featured in the life of Jean-Luc Picard—widely considered to be one of the most popular and recognizable characters in all of science fiction.

Prime Directive
by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens – 1990
The Original Series

Starfleet’s most sacred commandment has been violated. Its most honored captain is in disgrace, its most celebrated starship in pieces, and the crew of that ship scattered among the thousand worlds of the Federation.

Spock, McCoy, and the rest of the former crew of the Starship Enterprise to Talin, the planet where their careers ended. A world once teeming with life now lies ruined, its cities turned to ashes, its surface devastated by a radioactive firestorm, because of their actions. There, they must find out how—and why—this tragedy occurred and discover what has become of their captain.

by Peter David – 1994
Next Generation

Trelane is revealed to be a member of the Q Continuum. He taps into the power of the continuum and uses this ability to tamper with time and reality, resulting in the intersection of three different parallel universes, which are also referred to as time “tracks.”

Track A is a universe in which Beverly Crusher’s husband Jack never died, and now serves as captain of the Enterprise with Jean-Luc Picard as his first officer; in this universe, Jack’s son Wesley died as a boy and Jack and Beverly divorced.

Track B is the traditional universe depicted on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Track C is akin to the more militaristic alternate universe shown in the Next Generation episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” in which the Federation is at war with the Klingons.

Q, who had been charged with the task of “mentoring” Trelane (a task each “adult” Q must accept at least once for an “adolescent” Q), enlists the help of Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-D in the three different timelines in order to teach Trelane discipline, and eventually, to stop him from destroying the fabric of the universe by collapsing the alternate universes together.

The Antares Maelstrom
by Greg Cox – 2019
The Original Series

The final frontier erupts into chaos as vast quantities of a rare energy source are discovered beneath the surface of Baldur-3, a remote planet beyond the outer fringes of Federation space. Now, an old-fashioned “gold rush” is underway as a flood of would-be prospectors, from countless worlds and species, races toward the planet to stake their claim.

The galactic stampede threatens the stability of neighboring planets and space stations, as widespread strife and sabotage and all-around pandemonium result in a desperate need for Starfleet assistance. Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise are dispatched to deal with the escalating crisis… which lies on the other side of a famously perilous region of space known as the Antares Maelstrom.

Gods of Night
by David Mack – 2008
Deep Space Nine + Next Generation

Half a decade after the Dominion War and more than a year after the rise and fall of Praetor Shinzon, the galaxy’s greatest scourge returns to wreak havoc upon the Federation—and this time its goal is nothing less than total annihilation.

Elsewhere, deep in the Gamma Quadrant, an ancient mystery is solved. One of Earth’s first generation of starships, lost for centuries, has been found dead and empty on a desolate planet. But its discovery so far from home has raised disturbing questions, and the answers harken back to a struggle for survival that once tested a captain and her crew to the limits of their humanity.

From that terrifying flashpoint begins an apocalyptic odyssey that will reach across time and space to reveal the past, define the future, and show three captains—Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise, William Riker of the USS Titan, and Ezri Dax of the USS Aventine—that some destinies are inescapable.

The Vulcan Academy Murders
by Jean Lorrah – 1984
The Original Series

In this award-winner for cheesiest title, Kirk and McCoy accompany Spock to the Vulcan Academy Hospital seeking experimental treatment for a badly wounded Enterprise crew member. Spock’s mother is also a patient in the hospital, and Kirk soon becomes involved in the complex drama of Spock’s family.

Suddenly, patients are dying, and Kirk suspects the unthinkable—murder on Vulcan! But can he convince the Vulcans that something as illogical as murder is possible? Until the Killer is caught, everyone is in danger!

Yesterday's Son
by A.C. Crispin – 1983
The Original Series

Five thousand years ago, on the planet Sarpedion, Spock knew a beautiful, primitive woman. When the USS Enterprise is called upon to protect the Guardian of Forever, a mysterious time portal, Spock uses it to journey to the past, and to discover his own son.

Zero Sum Game
by David Mack – 2010
Deep Space Nine

A spy for the Typhon Pact—a new political rival of the Federation—steals the plans for Starfleet’s newest technological advance: the slipstream drive. To stop the Typhon Pact from unlocking the drive’s secrets, Starfleet Intelligence recruits a pair of genetically enhanced agents: Dr. Julian Bashir, of station Deep Space 9, and Sarina Douglas, a woman whose talents Bashir helped bring to fruition, and whom Bashir thinks of as his long-lost true love.

Bashir and Douglas are sent to infiltrate the mysterious species known as the Breen, find the hidden slipstream project, and destroy it. Meanwhile, light-years away, Captain Ezri Dax and her crew on the USS Aventine play a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a Typhon Pact fleet that stands between them and the safe retrieval of Bashir and Douglas from hostile territory.

How Much for Just the Planet?
by John M. Ford – 1987
The Original Series

In crystalline form, dilithium is the most valuable mineral in the galaxy. It powers the Federation’s starships and the Klingon Empire’s battlecruisers. Now on a small, out-of-the-way planet named Direidi, the greatest fortune in dilithium crystals ever seen has been found.

Under the terms of the Organian Peace Treaty, the planet will go to the side best able to develop the planet and its resources. Each side will contest the prize with the prime of its fleet. For the Federation, Captain James T. Kirk and the starship Enterprise. For the Klingons, Captain Kaden vestai-Oparai and the Fire Blossom.

Only the Direidians are writing their own script for this contest—a script that propels the crew of the Enterprise into one of their strangest adventures yet.

Desperate Hours
by David Mack – 2019

Aboard the starship 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.

by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens – 1994
The Original Series + Next Generation

While Kirk and his crew struggle to free scientist Zefram Cochrane from captors, ninety-nine years in the future Jean-Luc Picard must rescue a mysterious individual who holds the key to the Federation’s ultimate survival.

A Stitch in Time
by Andrew J. Robinson – 2000
Deep Space Nine

For nearly a decade, Garak has longed for just one thing—to go home. Exiled on a space station, surrounded by aliens who loathe and distrust him, going back to Cardassia has been Garak’s one dream. Now, finally, he is home.

But home is a world whose landscape is filled with death and destruction. Desperation and dust are constant companions and luxury is a glass of clean water and a warm place to sleep.

The Final Reflection
by John M. Ford – 1984
The Original Series

Klingon Captain Krenn is a ruthless war strategist. But on a mission to Earth, Krenn learns a lesson in peace. Suddenly he must fight a secret battle of his own. His empire has a covert plan to shatter the Federation. Only Krenn can prevent a war—at the risk of his own life.

Spock Must Die!
by James Blish – 1970
The Original Series

When a freak transporter malfunction during a Klingon attack creates an imposter Spock, Captain Kirk must discover how to save his friend from the machinations of his exact replica.

The Enterprise War
by John Jackson Miller – 2019

Hearing of the outbreak of hostilities between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire, Captain Christopher Pike attempts to bring the USS Enterprise home to join in the fight. But in the hellish nebula known as the Pergamum, the stalwart commander instead finds an epic battle of his own, pitting ancient enemies against one another—with not just the Enterprise, but her crew as the spoils of war.

Lost and out of contact with Earth for an entire year, Pike and his trusted first officer, Number One, struggle to find and reunite the ship’s crew—all while Science Officer Spock confronts a mystery that puts even his exceptional skills to the test, with more than their own survival possibly riding on the outcome.

by David Mack – 2005
The Original Series

Returning from its historic first voyage to the edge of the galaxy, the damaged USS Enterprise journeys through the Taurus Reach, a vast and little-known region of space in which a new starbase has been unexpectedly established. Puzzled by the Federation’s interest in an area so far from its borders and so near the xenophobic Tholian Assembly, Captain James T. Kirk orders the Enterprise to put in for repairs at the new space station: Starbase 47, also known as Vanguard.

As Kirk ponders the mystery of the enormous base, he begins to suspect that there is much more to Vanguard than meets the eye. It’s a suspicion shared by the Tholians, the Orions, and the Klingon Empire, each of whom believes that there are less than benign motives behind the Federation’s sudden and unexplained desire to explore and colonize the Taurus Reach.

But when a calamity deep within the Reach threatens to compromise Starfleet’s continued presence in the region, Kirk, Spock, and several key specialists from the Enterprise must assist Vanguard’s crew in investigating the cause of the disaster and containing the damage. In the process, they learn the true purpose behind the creation of Vanguard, and what the outcome of its mission may mean for life throughout that part of the galaxy.

The Entropy Effect
by Vonda N. McIntyre – 1981
The Original Series

The Enterprise is summoned to transport a dangerous criminal from Starbase prison to a rehabilitation center: brilliant physicist, Dr. Georges Mordreaux, accused of promising to send people back in time and then killing them instead.

But when Mordreaux escapes, bursts onto the bridge and kills Captain Kirk, Spock must journey back in time to avert disaster before it occurs.

Now there’s more at stake than just Kirk’s life. Mordreaux’s experiments have thrown the entire universe into a deadly time warp. Spock is fighting time, and the entire universe is closing in on itself.

Spock's World
by Diane Duane – 1988
The Original Series

On the planet Vulcan, a crisis of unprecedented proportion has caused the convocation of the planet’s ruling council, who summoned the USS Enterprise from halfway across the galaxy, to bring Vulcan’s most famous son home in its hour of need.

As Commander Spock, his father Sarek, and Captain James T. Kirk struggle to preserve Vulcan’s future, the planet’s innermost secrets are laid before the reader, from its beginnings millions of years ago to its savage prehistory, from merciless tribal warfare to medieval court intrigue, from the exploration of space to the development of o’thia—the ruling ethic of logic.

Spock, torn between his duty to Starfleet and the unbreakable ties that bind him to Vulcan, must find a way to reconcile both his own inner conflict and the external dilemma his planet faces, lest the Federation itself be ripped asunder.

Uhura's Song
by Janet Kagan – 1985
The Original Series

Years ago, Lt. Uhura befriended a diplomat from Eeiauo, the land of graceful, cat-like beings. The two women exchanged songs and promised never to reveal their secret.

Now the USS Enterprise is orbiting Eeiauo in a desperate race to save the inhabitants before a deadly plague destroys them. Uhura’s secret songs may hold the key to a cure, but the clues are veiled in layers of mystery. The plague is killing humans, threatening other planets, and Kirk must crack the code before the Starship Enterprise succumbs.

by Peter David – 1992
Next Generation

Years before they became crewmates on the USS Enterprise, Commander William Riker and ship’s counselor Deanna Troi had a tempestuous love affair on her home planet of Betazed.

Now, as their passions have cooled, the two serve together as close friends. Yet the memories of what passed between them linger, and Riker and Troi remain Imzadi, a powerful Betazoid term that describes the enduring bond they still share.

On a delicate mission involving negotiations with an aggressive race called the Sindareen, Deanna mysteriously falls ill, and dies. But her death marks the start of an incredible adventure for Riker—an adventure that takes him across time, pits him against one of his closest friends, and forces him to choose between Starfleet’s strictest rule and the one he calls Imzadi.

9 thoughts on “25 Best Star Trek Books

  1. Imzadi is my favorite read of the Star Trek universe. I don’t really remember how many I read, but it was a lot, mostly in Next Gen and DS9. Around the time Imzadi was published I was obsessed with the Star Trek universe and read nothing else but tie-in novels. Good times.

  2. I was so happy to see Ishmael on the list. I still have the original copy I purchased back in 1985. I loved almost all the TOS books from around that time, but Ismael was my favorite. Only one I kept.

  3. How is Destiny not on this list? You’ve got some wonderful titles here, but I think I’ve read the Destiny trilogy at least 5 times!

  4. Best Destiny should be on here as a great alternative Kirk coming of age story versus the JJ trash. Probe would have been a good book to include, as would Strangers from the Sky as someone else pointed out. I’m also disappointed that Starfleet Year One wasn’t included. Otherwise, I agree with this list mostly.

  5. So glad Federation made the list. It’s my all time favorite Trek novel. The Ashes of Eden is great too and deserved a spot but overall, it’s a solid list.

  6. I am amazed the Uhura’s Song is rated second best book let alone it is on this list at all. That book is awful – probably the worst of all the Star trek books I’ve ever read and that is a lot. I’m glad to see Yesterday’s Son on the list and surprised the First Frontier is not.

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