Unlike Expanded Universe Star Wars novels, which are really highly regarded by fans as a solid form of “canon”, the Star Trek novels are really just licensed fan fiction and have absolute no bearing on the actual canon of Star Trek. As a result you can get some really awesome stories being told in the novels, some of which could never happen on film or television. With a new Star Trek movie on the way, we thought it’d be good to check out the ten best Star Trek novels…
Simply the best Star Trek novel ever written. Federation is by the Reeves-Stevens, who were responsible to turning around Star Trek: Enterprise in its final excellent season. They know Star Trek, and this story dealing with Zephram Cochrane, Kirk’s Enterprise, Picard’s Enterprise, and even the Guardian of Forever is by far one of the best Trek novels ever made. It doesn’t matter if you like TOS or TNG more, you’ll love this one.
Peter David is widely regarded as one of the best Star Trek authors and has done everything there is to do with Trek books, which is why you’ll see him on this list a lot. While many may consider Imzadi to be his best, Q-In-Law is often overlooked as it was just a normal paperback release and not the epic hardcover the Troi/Riker story was. In this Q grants Lwaxana Troi the powers of Q, and then he tries to take them away the continuum prevents it; resulting in an epic beatdown and one of the greatest Worf one-liners in the history of TNG.
Not happy with the origin of Kirk that JJ Abrams did in the 2009 version of Star Trek? Try this book then. It’s follows the actual canon in the Original Series by telling the story of how Kirk took command of the Enterprise and detailing his initial interactions with Spock. It also has some of the goofiness that the Original Series had…such as flying monkeys. It’s a good read and a good place to start reading Star Trek novels.
Many consider this to be the best TNG novel, and while I do place Q-In-Law higher on the list; Imzadi is definitely excellent. Peter David tells the story of Riker and Troi in an epic that spans time from their first meeting to the distant future where Troi is dead. Even with its Riker/Troi focus, this would’ve made a good TNG movie…much better than Nemesis.