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Star Trek: Prey: Hell's Heart, #1 by John Jackson Miller
Review by Jon Guenther
Pocket Books/Star Trek Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781501115790
Date: 27 September 2016 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Hell's Heart, book one in the new Star Trek: Prey trilogy by John Jackson Miller, kicks off what is undoubtedly going to be a very large, complex story. Not a surprise given the Melville reference in the title.

I should begin by pointing out this won't be for the uninitiated to the Star Trek universe. First, one must be quite familiar with the events of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and the battle between Captain Kirk and Commander Kruge of the Klingon Empire. Then readers must have developed an understanding of the events around Star Trek: TNG that include the promotion of William Riker to admiral and turnkey diplomat following his taking command of the Titan.

That said, it's crystal clear Mr. Miller's going all-out to give die-hard fans a great story. I found Hell's Heart to contain quite a bit more action than one might expect in the majority of books for this series. There were also some great twists and surprises in the plot, and a good amount of the magic that consumes some of the technology around Star Trek, in general.

What I didn't care for were the repetitive points throughout the book splattered by a bit of interior monologue. I felt the pace very plodding and monotonous during these times, and on occasion I even got to the point of skimming a section here or there when I sensed more of the same in my future. This did irritate me because it interrupted the flow of the story while not really bringing anything new to the table.
Less the few aforementioned scenes that were detractors for the novel, I found Star Trek: Prey: Hell's Heart on the whole a compelling read and as soon as I'd finished it I immediately dug into the second book in the series (see the separate December 2016 review for book 2, Star Trek: Prey: The Jackal's Trick).

Bottom line, this book is a must-read for fans and really is celebratory in scope. It can be a terrible task to wend and weave a story between two different Star Trek generations and I applaud Mr. Miller for the effort. This novel was interesting and well-written for the most part, and a great pick to take on vacation as that's where I read a goodly part of it.

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