Star Trek: Prometheus - In the Heart of Chaos (Big Finish)
Written By: Bernd Perplies & Christian Humberg
Read by Alec Newman
Released by Big Finish December 2018
Star Trek Prometheus is an ultimately fruitless endeavour. I felt the first book focused way too much time and attention in back references and a tedious amount of attention to details I felt were unimportant. The second book won me over, it felt like it had a real story after all, and that the first books overlong set up and an endless parade of references and past characters were just a fluke. But here we are at the end...and a new parade of references and past characters get trotted out as well. Any interesting story there was feels relegated to the last few chapters, giving us a decent conclusion, but not one worth wading through all the garbage to get to it.
When you spend an entire chapter devoted to the disgraced engineer from a first season episode of The Next Generation, and just when you can't be bored enough with that Wesley Crusher shows up out of thin air to once more play the role and savior of the day by providing the answers we need just in the nick of time...you know you've got major problems. It is distracting to get a recap of a random episode of TNG from 30 years ago. It is distracting from the actual story of the book and feels like a lazy way to find an answer to a problem.
This book meanders for far too long, with our main characters seemingly doing very little to affect the story for many chapters, and then the answer is suddenly dropped in their lap by a forgotten engineer and an ethereal Wesley Crusher. It's weird. You also get the Chief Engineer Jenna Kirk musing about her ancestor and how he would deal with these situations...and it just made me actually yell at an audiobook and say "give me a break and move on!" There was no reason for this character to be related to James T. Kirk other than hoping we will applaud them for making pointless continuity connections.
In the end, I think Prometheus needed to be cut down from three books to just one. They needed trimming, a LOT of trimming. You could easily take the basic set up in the first book, make it into a prologue and a couple of chapters, then use the bulk of the second book's development, and then cut out all the wasted time and fat in this final book and conclude it. It didn't need to drag on and on for three full novels when they clearly had a story for one.
I was initially excited by the idea of Big Finish tackling some Star Trek. But I'm not sure that it works. Big Finish is best when they have a property being written and produced by big fans of said property. Their Doctor who work is amazing because the company was literally founded with the goal of getting that license. I think this was less of a goal and more of happenstance. They managed to get the license to produce basic audiobooks of a trilogy of Trek books, which were originally written in German by a European Publisher. These books seem like a bit of an oddity in Trek novels. Their rights were held by someone other than the usual US Publisher. And the fact that the audiobooks feature the occasional weird pronunciations of standard Trek iconography, just makes me think the franchise doesn't quite fit into Big Finish's wheelhouse.
While the final chapters give a decent wrap up to the trilogy, the rest of the book just feels like it is wasting time to get to those final chapters. I can't really recommend this book or this series in the end.