Monday, June 19, 2017

The Hall of Heroes by John Jackson Miller

The Hall of Heroes brings to a conclusion the trilogy, Star Trek: Prey, and it is every bit as entertaining as the first two volumes. Events in the first two books have left the Klingon Empire in turmoil and its alliance with the Federation hanging by a thread. Korgh continues his manipulation of events aimed at toppling Chancellor Martok’s leadership and ending the Empire’s relationship with the Federation. But what remains of the Unsung have slipped from Korgh’s grasp. And other enemies of the Empire may have found an opportunity to exploit.

John Jackson Miller has created one of the most entertaining forays into the Star Trek universe that I’ve read. Each book advances the main plot while introducing new sub plots and elevating different characters to prominence. In Hall of Heroes, it’s the Breen and the Kinshaya who play a larger role as they seek to capitalize on chaos among the Klingons. Captain Picard and the Enterprise, Admiral Riker and the Titan, and even Dax commanding Aventine play prominent roles. Even con artist Ardra shows up with a significant role to play. Miller’s ability to juggle this large cast of characters without giving any of them short shrift or slowing the story down is impressive.

Along with the main events, a conspiracy engineered by Korgh to extract revenge for the death of his mentor, Miller also weaves an interesting philosophical discussion about the Klingon tradition of discommendation. Klingon emperor Kahless has been drifting, but his time among the dishonored Unsung, initially as their prisoner, has left him reflective.

The Hall of Heroes, and the entire series, doesn’t lack for action. Space battles, ground battles, conspiracies, murder and explosions run throughout. The events kicked off in Hell’s Heart are brought to a satisfying conclusion in The Hall of Heroes as Korgh’s century-long plan begins to unravel. Along the way, Miller allows you to spend time with a lot of series favorites and introduces several entertaining new characters. This is a highly entertaining book and series written by an author with a firm grasp on the Star Trek universe and a love of the characters.

The audio version of the book is narrated by Robert Petkoff who is nothing short of spectacular. He voices a dizzying array of characters, making each distinct and easily identifiable. His command of the most well-known characters captures their essence and sometimes borders on impersonation of the actors who played them. His pacing and intonation propel the story along and complement the writing. Audio awards should be in his future for his work here.

This is an outstanding series and lovingly handles classic characters while telling a story that is entertaining for both Star Trek novices and veterans. Highly recommended.

I was fortunate to receive a copy of this audiobook from the publisher.

Description: The Klingon Empire stands on the precipice. In the wake of violence from the cult known as the Unsung, paranoia threatens to break Chancellor Martok's regime. Klingons increasingly call for a stronger hand to take control...one that Lord Korgh, master manipulator, is only too willing to offer.
But other forces are now in motion. Assisted by a wily agent, the empire's enemies secretly conspire to take full advantage of the situation. Aboard the USS Titan, Admiral William T. Riker realizes far more than the Federation's alliance with the Klingons is in danger. With the empire a wounded animal, it could become either an attacker - or a target.
Yet even as hostilities increase, Commander Worf returns to the USS Enterprise and Captain Jean-Luc Picard with a daring plan of his own. The preservation of both the empire and the Federation alliance may hinge on an improbable savior leading a most unlikely force....