Book Review: ‘The Hall of Heroes’

May 25, 2021 at 4:00 am | Posted in Books, Reviews, Sci-Fi, Star Trek | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Star Trek Prey: The Hall of Heroes is the third and final book in the epic crossover trilogy by John Jackson Miller, which was released in November of 2016.

John Jackson Miller is the master of promises and payoffs. No matter what the project, you always know what you are getting and you always get what you’re promised. This trilogy promised to be an epic Klingon “opera”, filled with intrigue, action, character development, and more reveals than you can shake a bat’leth at. You get all of that and more in this exciting conclusion.

I remembered the events of this book the least of the trilogy while I was rereading it, and so there were several moments where I was yet again pleasantly surprised. You know that John Jackson Miller does not indiscriminately kill off characters like David Mack, and yet he is still able to add enough suspense to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I certainly was. This book has tons of action, perhaps even more than the first two books do, and it manages to never feel dull or repetitive.

Dax and the Aventine finally enter the story after having been absent for the first two novels. It is a pleasant surprise when they appear on the page, and like new readers who haven’t read the first two books, Captain Dax serves as a way for Miller to explain what has happened so far without it feeling too repetitive, like Robert Jordan’s work might. The overall explanation of the trilogy really takes place over the course of one chapter, and therefore gets out of the way for the plot of this book really quickly.

The strongest thing about this trilogy is it’s characters. Each book has a principal antagonist, while the whole trilogy also has an overarching antagonist. Korgh serves as both the principal antagonist of Hell’s Heart and the overarching antagonist, and Buxtus Cross serves as the main antagonist of The Jackal’s Trick. In this book, Shift serves as the new antagonist, and while she gets the least pagetime of the three villains, she is certainly fearsome and powerful. I enjoyed her part of the book, and the way it weaved with the rest of the story was fascinating. I’ve never really known much about the Kinshaya, but here their story makes me really interested in a full “Kinshaya vs. Klingon” book or series. It would be quite a fun story.

This book stands out from its predecessors because it doesn’t have a “flashback” sequence. Thus, the book takes place entirely in the 24th century. This is not to say that the characters of TOS are neglected, as the importance they had in the previous books plays out, and even certain characters from the TOS timeline show up as a pleasant surprise. The book still becomes a crossover when it adds Dax and Aventine, both part of the Deep Space Nine property. 

I really enjoyed reading about Kahless the Clone. His teachings were interesting and profound. For every quote that Kahless made, the reader realizes that the author had to make up. Kahless is portrayed as a religious teacher, almost in the same way one would view a prophet from the Old Testament or even possibly Jesus himself. In fact, there are several of Kahless’ teachings that line up with Biblical Christianity that I found really fascinating, particularly those about Special Revelation and General Revelation. On the other hand…some other teachings did NOT line up with Christianity. 

Valandris became a key character in this book, and I really enjoyed her storyline. She steps up and leads the Unsung to a satisfying conclusion. I will admit, I knew everything would work out fine, but I couldn’t remember how. The way the Unsung defended those who they had previously attacked was very honorable indeed and makes for compelling redemption, something Star Trek books have always done well.

The last 150 pages of this book are pure action, and it leaves the reader on the edge of their seat. There are so many storylines that the reader has to follow, and yet, John Jackson Miller ensures that the reader never loses focus or understanding. He is able to make this truly EPIC in the without making it too long or even too convoluted. A really remarkable feat.

This book leaves many open doors for the future, but yet does not drastically change the landscape of Star Trek literature. JJM always discusses how he tries to put all the toys back in the sandbox. However, in the future, if any writers want to continue where he left off with the Klingons, he has given them a treasure trove of material to work with. Exactly as media tie-in fiction should do.

Overall, I loved this book and I LOVED this trilogy. It really is my single favorite Star Trek story, whether it be on screen or on the page. It’s simply magnificent. I personally find it much more impactful to me as a reader than the Destiny Trilogy or even The Fall. Within the trilogy, I liked this book more than I liked The Jackal’s Trick, but it’s very difficult to determine whether I like this or Hell’s Heart more. They’re both simply amazing stories. Five out of five! Qapla’!
I know I just reviewed 4 books by John Jackson Miller in a row, so I’m moving off of his work for the time being. My next review will be keeping with my Klingon theme but will have a different author. I will next be reviewing the novel Kahless by Michael Jan Friedman.

Reviewed By: Jonathan Koan for Roqoo Depot.

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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.

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: