John Jackson Miller - Shastrix Books

John Jackson Miller

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The Enterprise War

The Enterprise War

John Jackson Miller

27th October 2019

The Discovery tie-in novels seem to be coming at a good pace now - and remain well crafted to serve as prequels and tell stories that are less likely to be contradicted by future TV (although one of them has suffered this fate a little). This time it’s the chance to find out what the Enterprise was up to during Discovery’s first season - it’s probably a spoiler, so best to watch to the end of Season Two before reading this if such things matter to you.

This feels like quite an epic - the story takes place over the course of a year or more - and that give plenty of time for several major events to occur, and for us as readers to get to know several of the main characters in more depth. It follows multiple threads of narrative, weaved together well, and explores some of the frustrations of a deep space mission as well as a variety of perilous scenarios.

I particularly enjoyed spending some time inside the head of Captain Pike, who has felt an underused character in the past, and is only now coming into his prime - and seeing things from his perspective in novel format really adds another layer of depth to his character.

A good prequel, and I hope they keep coming.

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The Hall of Heroes

The Hall of Heroes

John Jackson Miller

28th February 2017

The third and final book in this trilogy celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek wraps up the Next Generation era of a complex war inspired by a radical Klingon business administrator come politician.

It's a good adventure with a lot of threads that tie up well - but it does suffer a little from that feeling of being a final episode where the toys need to be put back in the box. There were a few surprises, and some things surprised me by not coming to pass, but overall it could have been a little more radical.

Okay, so I've left it too long since finishing the book to write this properly. I've become complacent with my reviews over the past year or so and not kept up like I used to. Must do better.

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The Jackal's Trick

The Jackal's Trick

John Jackson Miller

20th December 2016

The second book in John Jackson Miller's Star Trek trilogy, part of the series' 50th anniversary celebration, continues the tale of a Klingon warrior who has surprisingly risen to prominence, as well as several of his compatriots - and the cast of The Next Generation who are once again stuck in a diplomatic struggle rather than out exploring.

As is typical for Star Trek, there are some surprisingly relevant allusions to occurrences in our world, whether intended or not, which makes the reader long even more to find out how things are going to go and how at least one of the worlds they love will end up all right. I did detect a tiny feeling of repetition though, with some novels earlier in the continuity following a plot line with some similarities.

Unlike many trilogies, this middle book doesn't have the feeling of just shuffling things between the end of the beginning book and the start of the concluding book, but instead tells a full story in itself that features a lot of action and a satisfying resolution. There's a lot going on, of course, and many threads still hanging for book three but it certainly stands well alone.

A great Trek novel in a great Trek trilogy. So far my favourite trilogy of the year.

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Hell's Heart

Hell's Heart

John Jackson Miller

18th November 2016

This is the first book in a new trilogy - the second celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek - focussing on The Next Generation crew and being a part of the continuing adventures told in the novel series. Picard and the crew are dispatched on a diplomatic mission to deliver a Klingon house to a celebration of an old battle, but as usual complications arise.

Despite the main storyline following TNG there is a pretty chunky Original Series act in the story with some star turns by Kirk and Spock, which serves to give some background and set up events in the later era.

It's a great story that uses a bunch of familiar characters really well and sets this up to be an excellent trilogy. The plot is deliciously complex pulling on strings from throughout the Trek canon and unwinding them in new and interesting ways. The new characters are rich and compelling and draw the reader in to their intrigue.

An excellent tribute to the series, and one that leaves me desperate to continue the story with book two.

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Takedown

Takedown

John Jackson Miller

5th April 2015

Seriously. This is epic. If ever there was the Star Trek novel that cried out to be a film this is it. When Will Riker commandeers Ezri Dax's ship, the Aventine, and sets out on some unusual missions, Captain Picard is obviously the man to send after him.

The thriller kept me gripped solidly throughout and every page - from character moments with our friends, to exploring new relationships, to mega space battles - was fantastically crafted to provide a great reading experience. The story is very engaging and inescapable as a reader. I loved every single moment.

The author has a fantastic grip on the wide range of characters that make appearances, although I must admit the size of the cast meant that there were a number of them who didn't get as much page time as I would have liked. The new characters he introduces, particularly the Romulans, have a lot of depth and aren't the run of the mill bad-guy-of-the-week characters that sometimes appear.

The best Star Trek adventure novel for a long time - absolutely loved it and have all my fingers crossed that Miller will be invited back to contribute more to the canon.

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Absent Enemies

Absent Enemies

John Jackson Miller

9th March 2014

I'm sad to say that this Star Trek Titan novella was something of a disappointment. Unlike other recent novellas from the Trek line, it's not a character-focused story but is heavily plot and action driven (like a weaker TNG episode) and doesn't really add anything to the overall Trek universe.

The plot follows Riker and his crewmates as they are randomly dispatched on a repair mission. There's a bit of a mystery to solve but by necessity the solution is hinted at so heavily that it's hardly a surprise when you reach the reveal. Some of the characters come across as having forgotten everything that's happened to them in recent stories, and that's a little frustrating.

Because of the action orientation of the plot, the story seemed to pass much more quickly than a character-driven tale of similar length, making it seem much shorter than other similarly-lengthed novellas, which was disappointing given the price. I'm not really an ebook person and so on the odd occasion that I'm forced into reading one so I don't feel I've missed out on something, I really want to feel it was worth it at the end - in this case I didn't.

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  2. Takedown
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  4. The Hall of Heroes
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  6. Hell's Heart
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  8. The Jackal's Trick
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  10. The Enterprise War
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  12. Absent Enemies