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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Story--Compelling and Tragic
A few years ago author Greg Cox brilliantly depicted Khan's backstory in the two volumes of his bestselling "The Eugenics Wars" novels. Now Cox has done it again as he wraps up his ambitious triptych with the exceptional new novel "To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh".

Greg Cox grabs your attention on the opening page and sets the stage for the...
Published on January 5, 2005 by Amazon Customer

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good effort
I'm not generally enough of a Trek fan to ruthlessly pursue all the novels in the series but I obtained this one because I enjoyed the authors other books on Khan. Mr Cox has previously done a good job in describing the often referenced Eugenics wars and you almost get the impression that such a war could have happened even though it didn't get into the history...
Published on July 27, 2006 by S. Crouch


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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Story--Compelling and Tragic, January 5, 2005
By 
Amazon Customer (Calabasas, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek (Unnumbered Hardcover)) (Hardcover)
A few years ago author Greg Cox brilliantly depicted Khan's backstory in the two volumes of his bestselling "The Eugenics Wars" novels. Now Cox has done it again as he wraps up his ambitious triptych with the exceptional new novel "To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh".

Greg Cox grabs your attention on the opening page and sets the stage for the enthralling and tragic tale of Khan's years on Ceti Alpha V. Cox has once again chosen to use a framing story around flashbacks, the same storytelling technique he used so effectively in his previous Kahn novels. In "To Reign in Hell", however, Cox wisely keeps the framing story very simple and allows Kahn himself to tell the tale.

Set immediately after the conclusion of "Star Trek: The Voyage Home", Kirk, burdened by guilt and seeking answers travels back to Ceti Alpha V accompanied by Spock, Dr. McCoy, and Sulu. Hidden on the planet they discover a journal kept by Kahn that chronicles the fifteen years that Kahn, Marla McIvers and Kahn's genetically engineered followers spent on the doomed planet. The exiles struggle for survival is poignantly and graphically depicted as the fledgling colony endures a constant stream of tragic disappointment, and bitterness and sorrow ultimately chip away at Khan's sanity.

With "To Reign in Hell" Greg Cox has skillfully taken the small amount of material established in "Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn" and spun a spellbinding and heartbreaking tale that manages to clarify all sorts of continuity inconsistencies and a myriad of small details such as why Kahn's hand is covered with a glove. In the face of everything Khan maintains his arrogance. Cox absolutely nails the character, which comes as no surprise, after all he knows him intimately by now. It would have been quite easy for Khan's personality to overshadow the story but it never does. Kahn's ruthlessness and sense of superiority is nicely balanced by the other characters, especially that of his wife Lieutenant Marla McIvers.

The tone and pacing of the plot is perfect and I particularly enjoyed the classical references scattered effectively throughout the story. We all know how Khan's story ends, but despite that the compelling narrative draws you in and keeps the reader mesmerized allowing the ironic twist at the end to come as a complete surprise. The end also ties in very nicely with "The Eugenics Wars" novels although it is not necessary to have read those volumes to completely enjoy and appreciate the story Cox tells in "To Reign in Hell".

"To Reign in Hell" is a phenomenal story in and of itself and an extraordinary conclusion to the saga of Kahn Noonien Singh that Cox began with "The Eugenics Wars".
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful tribute to one of Trek's greatest characters..., February 16, 2005
This review is from: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek (Unnumbered Hardcover)) (Hardcover)
Whether or not you are an avid or just a part-time Trek fan, most people agree that 'The Wrath of Khan' was the best of the theatrical films based on this 60's space drama. What many people did not know when 'Wrath' premiered was its connection to an original episode called, 'Space Seed' which ended with Kirk leaving a rag-tag group of 20th century genetically engineered superhumans who attempted to hijack the Enterprise on a backwoods planet called Ceti Alpha V to begin a new civilization. What Kirk forgot to do over time, was to come back and check on their progress.

From the Trek II movie we found that not long after being marooned on the planet, it's closest neighbor exploded laying absolute ruin to Ceti Alpha V. Khan and his band of genetically superior humans nearly perished. Chekhov accidentally finds them years later and Khan proceeds to wreak havoc on the galaxy in pure revenge against Kirk. What we DON'T know is what happened in between the end of Space Seed and the beginning of Wrath of Khan. Greg Cox takes what little information existed on the subject and true-to-form paints us a brilliant and creative story about how Khan begins his Reign in Hell on Ceti Alpha V.

The planet originally in good shape is soon transformed into a virtual uninhabitable wasteland after its neighbor implodes a few months after their original marooning. Using his superior intellect, Khan manages to keep his small (and continually dwindling) group of genetically engineered humans alive through some luck and a great deal of sheer will. We find out more about his Starfleet wife who willingly was banished along with Khans outcasts. The story of how the followers somehow always viewed her as an outsider not worthy of their company came as an interesting side note to the story. Khan, ever the brutal dictator, almost comes across as someone worthy of pity during their seemingly endless trials. Just when you think things cannot get any worse, it does -- and dramatically so most of the time.

What prompts this view into Khans past comes to light after the events in The Voyage Home when Kirk, Spock, Sulu and McCoy embark upon a trip to Ceti Alpha V to force some closure to the horrible events sparked as a result of the discovery that Khan was still alive. After arriving on the planet, Kirk, Spock and McCoy discover underground tunnels which gave Khans superhumans an actual place to live away from the Hell of life on the surface. They discover a journal which chronicles life on Ceti Alpha V and a great deal of the amazing experiences this group had to endure daily just to stay alive. Not just the trials of living in an always hostile environment, but also the seeds of discontent sprouting among the survivors. A few of Khans followers begin to doubt Khans ability to lead properly, and hatch a plot to kill him, and thus eliminate his wife, who just doesn't measure up genetically with the rest of the group.

I can't remember how many times as I read this story how I was impressed with Greg Cox's boundless imagination. How could anything ELSE bad happen to these people? Just as I thought this, he showed me that yes, it COULD get worse -- much worse. Just as I thought that he HAD to be out of clever ideas and plot twists to make the story any more interesting, he surprised me yet again. All I can say is if you are a moderate to genuine Trek fan, this story WILL entertain you and may even inspire some remorse for what Khan's murderous group has to endure. For fans of Cox's previous 'Rise and Fall of Khan' novels, please know that the story ISN'T finished until you close the last page of this tale. WELL told and a real treat for us Trek fans who long for something truly different.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Star Trek book!, January 13, 2005
This review is from: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek (Unnumbered Hardcover)) (Hardcover)
I was hooked on this novel when I read the first chapter in the review section. It shows us what happened to Khan and his followers after landing on the planet he was exiled. I was going to wait for the paperback; however after seeing the cover on this one it was too hard to pass up. I wish there were more Star Trek books like this one. The novel should have been released with the movie; Wrath of Khan in 1982. If only there were more exceptional gems like this one. It shows the endurance of this legendary film. Only in Star Trek can a film well over twenty years old generate enough interest to make a superior three part series.

I have to say at first I was dissapointed in the pacing of Greg's first triology in the Q series; he completed a few years back. The Khan set of books, and this one is supposedly the last, is paced very well and keeps you reading until the end.

Khan is a tragic character in the Shakespere tradition. Under the right set of circumstances he might have been a great leader. His arrogance and pride got in the way and makes him a classic tragic figure.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotionally gripping journey into final years of the life of Kahn Noonien Singh, August 4, 2006
It is rare for me to be able to dedicate a day to reading a novel, and usually I prefer to stretch out the enjoyment of reading a good book over several days. The last book that I remember reading in a single afternoon was the second book of Greg Cox's "Eugenics Wars" series. It is no surprise to me, then, that the follow-on volume, "To Reign In Hell" was read in an afternoon, totally immersing me in the struggles and pains of Kahn Noonien Singh.

The novel begins with James T. Kirk visiting Ceti Alpha V about a year after the events chronicled in the second, third, and fourth Star Trek movies. Kirk, accompanied by Spock and McCoy, visit the surface of the barren planet as Sulu maintains a watch above in a small spacecraft. Kirk and company discover many unexpected links that tell the story of Kahn, his wife, and the people left on their own by Kirk so many years before. While this framing story is interesting in and of itself, the real gem comes in the retelling of the events of those years of hardship and struggle that Kahn and Co. had to endure between the destruction of Ceti Alpha VI and the arrival of the Starship Reliant.

In the novel, we are taken into a colonial settlement that is just beginning to turn the tide from bare subsistence to a bright future when Ceti Alpha VI is destroyed and Ceti Alpha V is rocked to its core. There are stories of love and hate, betrayal and deceit, and the strengths and flaws of Kahn - strengths and flaws we have all come to know - are laid out for display in this novel.

Greg Cox manages to write each and every character that appeared on the screen perfectly. At times, I had to simply stop; it was as if Ricardo Montalban or Madlyn Rhue were speaking from the pages. Such writing is difficult to find (though it pleases me to say that, of late, several Trek authors have been getting better and better at it).

What surprised me is the fact that, by the end of the novel, I felt a sympathy for and sorrow for Kahn. The many hardships, the death of his wife, and his own personal quest for revenge actually left me wishing that something better would have happened to Kahn in the end. I truly felt sorry for him, and for those who literally followed him into hell.

There are surprises to be sure in this novel that some will not fully appreciate or like. Some explanations may seem too simplistic, others contrived. If that is how you feel when you read it, so be it. However, to me, this novel is a perfect tale that shows the heart, soul, drive, and pain behind a man who is, quite possibly, the greatest villain in Star Trek history, Kahn Noonien Singh.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good effort, July 27, 2006
By 
S. Crouch (Tuggeranong, A.C.T. Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek (Unnumbered Hardcover)) (Hardcover)
I'm not generally enough of a Trek fan to ruthlessly pursue all the novels in the series but I obtained this one because I enjoyed the authors other books on Khan. Mr Cox has previously done a good job in describing the often referenced Eugenics wars and you almost get the impression that such a war could have happened even though it didn't get into the history books.

This book covers the period between Khan's abandonment on Ceti Alpha 5 and his rediscovery in Star Trek 2. It's not a bad read and does a pretty good job of portraying life in an extremely hostile environment. There are a few glaring errors, mostly involving the author's obviously imperfect knowledge of the metric system (I think sabre tooth tigers were longer than a metre). Also, the language is often a bit too flowery and melodramatic for my taste but this one should definitely satisfy the fans although I didn't like it as much as the previous Khan novels.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, January 20, 2005
This review is from: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek (Unnumbered Hardcover)) (Hardcover)
Agree with all the reviews written so far.

Now how about getting Ricardo Montalban to read the audio version of this book?

To hear Khan again.......................

Classic
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, but flawed..., November 5, 2006
By 
A nicely done finale, but I felt that while the plot was good, it had a few weak points.

The dialogue. Usually not bad, but... "No! Not that! Anything but that!" Twice. Once was too many. Granted, it didn't start with "I was a dark and stormy night..." but still....

The bits with Kirk & co were mainly there to explain away most of the larger plot questions.

Even wild stretches of science couldn't provide a plausible explanation for how Khan's movie crew ended up all blonde when the original crew was from all over, so the best was a vague "for some strange reason..." - which I have to admit is probably the best you could hope for.

It was interesting, but I felt the first two books were much better. In some ways, the third book feels kind of like Boston's third album. Like he would have been happy with the first two, but just couldn't get out of doing a third.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is Ceti Alpa 5 !, April 6, 2009
I loved this story. Go back and watch Space Seed. Read this book. Then enjoy The Wrath of Khan all over again.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Background on Khan, May 26, 2005
By 
Don from SF "coach41" (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh (Star Trek (Unnumbered Hardcover)) (Hardcover)
I was called and selected to serve on a jury this past week (hardly one of my favorite activities :)

However, the courthouse is right next to the Main Public Library and I've spent a lot of time browsing through the avaiable Star Trek and Star Wars books to read.

Among them was Greg Cox's third volume on Khan: "To Reign in Hell". I had seen the book online but was going to wait until the paperback version came out to pick it up. However, with some time ocassionally when the court is not in session, I borrowed the book at the library.

As hard is it to believe, I read the book in about TWO FULL days. The book is quite engrossing to read and ultimately tragic (in the case of Khan and his followers).

Without giving away too much, Kirk and his team return to Ceti Alpha V to look for more information on Khan and his followers. Ultimately, they stumble upon some information that details what occured in the time between Space Seed and Star Trek II. What began with so much promise ultimately ended in tradgedy.

The ending was a surprise and even I shed a tear. :D If you're a star trek fan, it's well worth picking up.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and entertaining, June 6, 2014
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An entertaining story if not riveting. Admittedly when you know how the story must end it makes the details a little less compelling but nonetheless fun to read.

I thought the material about how Kirk dealt with the descendants neatly tied the earlier storylines together. Altogether though I'm glad I read the series.
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