To Reign in Hell
The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh

Greg Cox

reviewed by Randy Landers

While investigating Ceti Alpha V, Kirk, Spock and McCoy discover the Taj Mahal-esque burial site of Marla McGivers and her journal of the ill-fated colony of the supermen.

Ceti Alpha V, the planet that Khan and his followers find themselves on, is in a period similar to that of the Late Pleistocene of Earth. It’s inhabited by large birds, saber-toothed tigers and larger alligators. Khan’s followers are pleased, at first. This world represents a challenge for them to survive, and despite a few fatalities, the colony is beginning to thrive, especially as Khan and his henchmen increasingly hunt down and kill the smilodons (saber-tooths) before they themselves are killed. Then the unthinkable happens: Ceti Alpha VI explodes which results in a contamination of the ecosystem of the planet. What was merely a challenge now becomes a minute-by-minute life-and-death struggle complicated by the politics of some of the survivors.

Cox did an excellent job with this story; it’s engaging which is remarkable considering you know the outcome: McGivers dies from one of the Ceti Eels, and Khan and his cadre leave with the Reliant. But one is drawn into this tale simply because of the excellent story-telling. A very good novel, one that is recommended to fans who want to know what it was like for Khan and his people on Ceti Alpha V. Just don’t expect a lot out of Kirk, Spock and McCoy. They’re there for window dressing only.

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