Spoilers Prey: Book 1: Hell's Heart by John Jackson Miller Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Avro Arrow, Sep 19, 2016.


Rate Prey: Book 1: Hell's Heart

  1. Outstanding

    17 vote(s)
  2. Above Average

    19 vote(s)
  3. Average

    4 vote(s)
  4. Below Average

    2 vote(s)
  5. Poor

    1 vote(s)
  1. Avro Arrow

    Avro Arrow Blazing My Glory, Or Something Moderator

    Jan 10, 2003

    Continuing the milestone 50th anniversary celebration of Star Trek—an epic new trilogy that stretches from the events of The Original Series movie The Search for Spock to The Next Generation!

    When Klingon commander Kruge died in combat against James T. Kirk on the Genesis planet back in 2285, he left behind a powerful house in disarray—and a series of ticking time bombs: the Phantom Wing, a secret squadron of advanced Birds-of-Prey; a cabal of loyal officers intent on securing his heritage; and young Korgh, his thwarted would-be heir, willing to wait a Klingon lifetime to enact his vengeance.

    Now, one hundred years later, while on a diplomatic mission for the United Federation of Planets, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise are snared in the aged Korgh’s trap—and thrust directly in the middle of an ancient conflict. But as Commander Worf soon learns, Korgh may be after far bigger game than anyone imagines, confronting the Federation-Klingon alliance with a crisis unlike any it has ever seen!

    About the Author:
    John Jackson Miller is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Kenobi; Star Wars: Knight Errant; Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith—The Collected Stories; and fifteen Star Wars graphic novels, as well as Overdraft: The Orion Offensive. A comics industry historian and analyst, he has written for franchises including Conan, Iron Man, Indiana Jones, Mass Effect, and The Simpsons. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, two children, and far too many comic books.



    (I wasn't sure what to put as the series identifier for this one, since it has elements of both TOS and TNG, but doesn't seem to be marketed as either, just going with the generic "Star Trek" instead. If this causes any problems with the review website that pulls data from these threads, let me know, and maybe we can pick an identifier and ask a mod to add it to the title. Thank you!)
  2. Jarrod

    Jarrod Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Mar 25, 2012
    Looking forward to reading it this weekend.
  3. Little_kingsfan

    Little_kingsfan Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 25, 2015
    Sacramento, CA
    I really enjoyed this one - it had me on the edge of my seat for most of it, and left me anxiously awaiting Books 2 and 3. I was a little bummed that neither President zh'Tarash nor General Klag and the I.K.S. Gorkon made an appearance, but maybe they'll show up in the next two books.

    However, there was one little thing that threw me: in 2286, both Spock and Scotty were mentioned to be Commanders. But at that time, didn't both of them hold the rank of Captain? There was also a character or two on the Enterprise-E that I could've sworn were higher ranks, but those background characters fluctuate all the time between Ensign and Lieutenant depending on the writer, making it hard to know which rank their supposed to be.
    jaime likes this.
  4. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

    Sep 2, 2013
    Nice tying things together in a really subtle way, even less popular bits of Trek.

    It even carries the ghost of V and VI...Spock being more progressive about Klingons, as we see with Koord and later Gordon.

    The Ardra stuff was a nice save...I won't lie, the reveal on the fallen lord was initially a bit of a downer.

    Good 'never trust the grand vizier' stuff, but I liked him so much at the beginning I kept hoping for him to be way more...honourable...than he's turning out. Which does confuse me...assuming the Federation casualties were being kept light because of the colony owing Spock....why the later booby trap?
  5. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    Washington, DC
    Markonian likes this.
  6. Titus Andronicus

    Titus Andronicus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 22, 2004
    Augusta, GA
    Read the entire book in one day. Voted OUTSTANDING. I'd like to wait a bit before writing a fuller review, but this book actually lived up to the hype and then some.
  7. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 21, 2005
    On the USS Sovereign
    Going to do something different and pick it up early next week at a B&N. Not done with Legacy #3.
  8. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 17, 2007
    F***.... Completely forgot to pre-order this, and I've been looking forward to it for so long!!! Gotta wait about a week now. :(
  9. trampledamage

    trampledamage Clone Admiral

    Sep 11, 2005
    hitching a ride to Erebor
    Just remember to mark hide plot points with spoiler code if you're posting in that thread. It's not a spoiler thread.

    thanks :)
  10. VDCNI

    VDCNI Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 26, 2009
    London UK
    I will caveat this by saying I have never been the biggest fans of Klingons in Star Trek - ok in small doses but I can't say I've ever been fond of most of the episodes that focus on them.

    This book sadly does nothing to change my mind - lots of conversations about honour which don't go anywhere, a supposedly iconic character who is best remembered for the actors performance more than anything significant about how he was written and none of the Klingons are particularly interesting - the steward starts out well but gets less and less engaging as the book goes on.

    The one Klingon that usually is interesting Martok is just bland here, none of the menace and humour we've seen in the past and he's not the only one Picard, Riker and even Worf are not particularly strongly characterised and the rest of the Enterprise crew barely get a look in and the Titan lot even less - you think Troi might be of some use here but apparently not. To me this feels more like one of the old numbered books, all plot and no character.

    Other problems - the set up is clumsy, both the Enterprise and Titan series have recently started new directions but that's been hand waved away to get them back here though I hope Riker has something more specific to do later as at the moment he's just generic Admiral. The long set up to the Fallen Lord's reveal manages to be a let down twice - the first is just absurd the second very disappointing - all I'll say is Timothy Zahn did this plotline a lot better. Everyone seems overly impressed by a small group of Birds Of Prey - Worf is apparently slackjawed at the sight! The use of Hunter technology is a bit easy, they basically strolled over to the Gamma Quadrant hung out with them for a while and stole it without anyone noticing. And Starfleet look incompetent for the most part particularly later in the book where despite a complete stroke of luck and personality change they don't seem to be even mildly suspicious of the main villain.

    Of course this is a trilogy so it may get better but on that basis you may have expected an ending which would leave you keen to read the next one but this book just stops - I actually assumed I'd missed some pages it's so undramatic.
    JoeZhang and Jarvisimo like this.
  11. Extrocomp

    Extrocomp Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jul 6, 2004
    I've read a few pages on Amazon.com. It's interesting that Kruge's full name is given as Kruge sutai-Vastal. Does that mean John M. Ford's Klingon naming conventions are coming back into continuity?
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I'm sure we've seen them used in some other modern-continuity books once or twice before.
  13. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 7, 2001
    I think Martin and Mangels have used them. (It must be them, there's no reference they're ever willing not to make.)
    Idran likes this.
  14. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

    Jun 26, 2001
    2001 - 2016
    I picked this one up earlier this evening. I hope to get it started before next weekend.
  15. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

    Jan 4, 2011
    I mostly agree, this felt clumsy - how could 12 ships be a threat. Even with genius designers from the 2280s, how could they be so advanced in the modern day as to be a threat when - presumably - cloaking, sensor, ship materials, weapon effectiveness and so on has improved continuously for over a century. It's like expecting an upgraded constellation or miranda class to be a threat in the modern day, when those are utterly unlikely as seen in TNG and the Dominion War. The 12 would have to have been rebuilt root and stem, making them not the same - and why not build more? Maybe there will be more.

    Certain things felt forgotten (or never read) - all of Mack's work with the high council between A Time to Kill and Destiny, the machinations of KRAD in the Gorkon books, the modern role of Imperial Intelligence, and even that Spock is either (a) no longer on Romulus since Raise the Dawn or (b) a publicly accepted part of Romulan society, so why not contact him? Really this small list was frustrating, but other things were too.

    And Korgh ... I liked how reference was made to his years in the chambers as the aide of the family. however his sudden rise was pretty much unbelievable. there are other members of the council, other large voices, surely, and these were silenced into a cheering chorus. Really, he was dull, he suddenly became moustache twirling, 'just as planned'. I wish JJM has kept ambiguity in him - or better, that he was not the villain he clearly is. Some empathy was there - his concern for his sons - but otherwise, it was a very flat reversal.

    Overall, the novel felt pulpy. That is fine, but I hoped for more - something deeper, with some of the introspection seen in Destiny or even Cold Equations.
  16. jciardha

    jciardha Cadet Newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    Hi, long time lurker who almost never posts. I love the books but I prefer to leave the book talk to others.

    But there was one thing about Prey that bothered me so badly, enough to ruin my immersion in the story.

    When Riker called up to the Titan, why was Tuvok the one who answered? Why is Vale never mentioned as the captain of the Titan? Why is she not shown to be in charge? I would have probably been satisfied if she had answered Riker's hail and said she already had Tuvok working on the problem. But the fact she's not even mentioned once sticks in my craw.
    ElizSalem likes this.
  17. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

    Jan 4, 2011
    Where was Riker's Caitian aide too???

    I'm actually very curious how this fits with the Prometheus book...
  18. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    I'm sure Vale was mentioned early in the book. Given so little time was spent on the Titan, I didn't think it was odd that we cut straight to Tuvok when he was needed.

    I was a little surprised that Elfiki had such a small role, though (if you can call, IIRC, one mention in the ambush scene a "role"). You'd think high-grade cloaking devices and mish-mashed technology would invite the participation of the science officer in the investigation.
  19. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

    Feb 21, 2005
    On the USS Sovereign
    Found a copy at a B&N. Expect to start it this weekend.
  20. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jul 22, 2004
    Arizona, USA
    If any of you guys want to ask JJM about this stuff, then you might want to head over to the other thread where he's posting.