Star Trek
To Reign in Hell - The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh

Author: Greg Cox
Pocket Books
RRP 6.99, US $7.99, Cdn $10.99

0 7434 5712 9
Available 03 July 2006

What truly transpired during Khan's long years of exile on the forbidding world of Ceti Alpha V, before the tyrant escaped to embark on a murderous campaign of vengeance against Admiral James T. Kirk? What horrific trials spawned Khan's insane lust for revenge? Haunted by the memory of Khan's bitter accusations, Kirk now revisits Ceti Alpha V to discover for himself what ultimately drove Khan to madness...

To Reign in Hell charts the untold chapter in the history of one of Star Trek's most notorious villains, Khan. This book bridges the time period between Khan Noonien Singh's 23rd-century revival in the Original Series classic episode Space Seed and his unforgettable return in the acclaimed feature film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Captain Kirk makes a trip to Ceti Alpha V, the planet he originally left Khan stranded on years before. There, buried beneath the desolate surface of a dying planet, Kirk and his allies find the untold story of their greatest foe - and of the woman who loved him: Lieutenant Marla McIvers of Starfleet... Along with Khan's genetically engineered followers from the twentieth century, Khan and Marla are left on Ceti Alpha V with the hopes of building a new life together.

Although the planet is savage and untamed, full of deadly predators and unexpected hazards, Khan dreams of carving out an empire even greater than the one he once ruled on Earth.

But when catastrophe strikes, laying waste to the entire world, Khan and the others find themselves trapped in a desperate struggle for survival. Now Khan must use every ounce of his superhuman strength and intellect to wage a fearsome battle against the planet, his people... and the growing darkness in his own soul.

It's been a long time coming, but To Reign in Hell finally puts to rest why Khan had it in for Kirk and the federation in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. While we know roughly the origins of Kahn's wrath, it's still great to see, set down in print, a more fleshed out version of events.

There is some pretty gruesome writing included here. I don't often look away when I'm reading a book (well, you can't can you?) but so graphic was some of Greg Cox's writing that my skin started to crawl. And for that fact alone I applaud his writing skills.

This is a well written and engaging addition to the Trek series which will silence a lot of questions from hard-core fans.

Nick Smithson

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