‘Fire with Fire’ (PROM) (Book/Audio)

‘FIRE WITH FIRE’ (PROM)

Please feel free to comment on my review.

Voyage with the Prometheus to the Lembatta Cluster

This is as close as we’re going to get to having Big Finish audios of ‘Star Trek’. 😐

I think it’s fair for me to say that I’m more into ‘Star Trek’ compared to ‘Star Wars’. Nothing against ‘Star Wars’ specifically, as I’ve enjoyed their live-action films and live-action Disney+ shows so far. I just find ‘Star Trek’ more interesting, especially with its storytelling and its character development. 🙂

The prospect of there being Big Finish audios of ‘Star Trek’ is something that appeals to me. I would greatly enjoy audio dramas featuring the crews of ‘The Original Series’, ‘The Next Generation’, ‘Deep Space Nine’, ‘Voyager’ and ‘Enterprise’. I would enjoy a Big Finish audio adaptation of ‘Assimilation2.

Mind you, there are licensing issues concerning ‘Star Trek’ audios being produced by Big Finish, especially with Paramount Pictures involved. I imagine it’s very difficult to enlist the actors who have played ‘Star Trek’ characters in various shows without the agreement of Big Finish and Paramount. 😦

It’s a shame really, since my love for ‘Doctor Who’ could match to my love for ‘Star Trek’ if Big Finish audios of Enterprise voyages with Captain Kirk and Captain Picard, Deep Space 9 adventures, and Voyager voyages were made. Even audio adaptations of the ‘Star Trek’ books would be welcome. 😀

Thankfully, Big Finish were able to produce audiobook readings of a trilogy of ‘Star Trek’ books by two German writers. This is the ‘Star Trek: Prometheus’ trilogy by Bernd Perplies and Christian Humberg. A shame they’re not full-cast audios, but at least Big Finish has done ‘Star Trek’ on audio.

Well, partly anyway. The ‘Star Trek: Prometheus’ audiobooks aren’t full-on Big Finish productions. Big Finish worked with Bastei Lübbe (which is a German media company) to make these audiobooks possible. A compromise I suppose, but I would have liked full-cast audio productions of these books.

Imagine the springboard Big Finish could’ve used if they adapted the ‘Star Trek: Prometheus’ book trilogy into full-cast audio dramas. It’d be amazing to hear Captain Adams and his Prometheus crew battling against the odds with the Renao making attacks upon the Federation (more on this shortly).

It would also gain more interest in the ‘Star Trek’ range of Big Finish audios by having them become full-cast audio dramas instead of audiobook readings. Sadly that didn’t happen. It’s sad considering the ‘Star Trek’ range of Big Finish audios hasn’t produced anything else beyond three audiobooks. 😦

The German edition of ‘Fire with Fire’.

The first ‘Star Trek: Prometheus’ book ‘Fire with Fire’ was originally published in Germany in July 2016, presumably for the show’s 50th anniversary. It was published again in its English edition in November 2017 and the audiobook reading of ‘Fire with Fire’ was released by Big Finish in July 2018.

I believe I purchased a paperback edition of ‘Fire with Fire’ in Cardiff back in 2021. I suppose I could have read ‘Fire with Fire’ as a download via Kindle, but I purchased the other books as paperbacks already. I purchased the audiobook reading as a download from the Big Finish website in August 2020.

It was fascinating to discover this trilogy of ‘Star Trek’ stories featuring a starship crew I hadn’t seen on DVD or Blu-ray. I wondered if I was going to have a problem with reading/hearing ‘Fire with Fire’ and not get into the story and the characters. Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry, as I enjoyed the book very much.

As indicated, I found it easier to get into the world of ‘Star Trek’ compared to getting into the world of ‘Star Wars’. Reading books like ‘Lords of the Sith’ and the original ‘Thrawn’ trilogy were a challenge. I did enjoy most of the story in ‘Fire with Fire’ and I liked some of the characters featured.

‘Fire with Fire’ is divided into 37 chapters with a prologue at the beginning and an epilogue at the end. The prologue and the epilogue are quite lengthy to read and to listen to. The audiobook itself is about 11 hours and 5 minutes long. I spread out my reading/listening from March to May in 2022. 🙂

The audiobook is read by Alec Newman. In ‘Star Trek’ terms, Alec Newman played Malix in the three-part ‘Enterprise’ story ‘Borderland’/’Cold Station 12’/’The Augments’. He’s also done some Big Finish audios over the years, like the ‘Doctor Who’ stories ‘The Silent Scream’ and ‘Blue Forgotten Planet’. 😀

He’s also done some ‘Dark Shadows’ audios with Big Finish. It was interesting to hear this story read by Alec Newman, especially when there’s no music or sound effects to accompany the reading. This is more like the ‘Star Cops’ audiobook ‘The Stuff of Life’ and less like the ‘Dark Season’ audiobook. 😐

It also frustrated me when reading ‘Fire with Fire’ that the text didn’t match to what was being read by Alec Newman. This is very unusual, considering the ‘Star Trek: Prometheus’ audiobooks are meant to be unabridged readings of the books. How come the book’s text didn’t match the audio? 😦

Despite that, I was able to enjoy reading the book whilst the audiobook was being played in the background. I was able to pick up the nuances of what was going on in the story with Alec Newman reading it. The story is about the same, despite diversions on audio compared to what’s in the book.

This is my first encounter with Bernd Perplies and Christian Humberg as authors, considering they come from Germany. So I had no knowledge of who they were before as writers. Interesting point to note is that Christian Humberg happens to have written for both ‘Star Trek’ and for ‘Doctor Who’. 🙂

I did try to see if I could find any ‘Doctor Who’ works by Christian Humberg, since this was something I became interested in upon research. So far, I haven’t been able to locate anything specific as to what ‘Doctor Who’ works Christian Humberg has done in his career. They’re probably in German. 😐

If anyone can point me in the direction of what ‘Doctor Who’ works Christian Humberg has done, that’d be appreciated. It’s also fascinating to find the ‘Star Trek: Prometheus’ books being originally German works before they were translated into English. Interesting Big Finish went for those too. 😀

The story of ‘Fire with Fire’ in ‘Star Trek: Prometheus’ goes like this. There’s a mysterious terrorist organisation that has carried out several attacks against the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. The Federation sends off their flagship, the Prometheus, to investigate the mystery.

It’s believed the Renao, an alien race in the Lembatta Cluster, are responsible for the attacks against the Federation and the Klingon. They regard the Alpha Quadrant’s powers as little more than conquering tyrants. Can Captain Adams and the Prometheus prevent more bloodshed happening? 😐

From reading ‘Fire with Fire’, I believe the events of this story take place directly after ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’. Shinzon’s death is mentioned in the book somewhere. There are also call-backs to characters from other ‘Star Trek’ shows that feature in this ‘Prometheus’ story like ‘Deep Space Nine’.

Going back to enjoying ‘Star Trek’ more than ‘Star Wars’, I understand how the world of ‘Star Trek’ works compared to how the world of ‘Star Wars’ works. I can get into the 24th century setting and I can visualise Captain Adams, the Prometheus and its crew easily from seeing the ‘Star Trek’ shows. 🙂

Talking about the characters, the Prometheus is captained by Richard Adams. For some reason, I couldn’t help visualise Adams as being played by Seth MacFarlane as Captain Mercer in ‘The Orville’. 😀 Maybe it was the way Alec Newman read him or maybe I’d seen ‘The Orville’ on Disney+ lately. 😀

Incidentally, the book also contains acknowledgements and an appendix. The appendix lists the names of the Prometheus crewmembers as well as the Bortas, a Klingon ship that the Prometheus teams up with. Mind you, there are some Prometheus crewmembers I didn’t register when reading/hearing the book/audio.

There are characters like first officer Commander Roaas, second officer Lt. Commander Sarita Carson, communications officer Ensign Paul Winter, science officer Lt. Commander Mendo and chief medical officer Dr. Geron Bari. I didn’t get to know these characters much when reading the book. 😐

There are exceptions of course. There’s Lt. Jassat ak Namur, who happens to be a Renao aboard the Prometheus. The Renao happen to be red-skinned apparently. It was interesting to read Jassat’s journey and how he coped with balancing out his Starfleet duties and being loyal to his Renao roots.

There’s security chief Lt. Commander Lenissa zh’Thiin, who I believe happens to be an Andorian serving aboard the Prometheus. It was shocking to hear her struggle when she was a captive of the Renao and had her antennae injured. And there’s chief engineer Lt. Commander Jenna Kirk in this. 🙂

Jenna Kirk happens to be the great-great-niece of James T. Kirk apparently. I can imagine Jenna Coleman playing the character if these ‘Star Trek’ novels were made into Big Finish audios. 😀 I really wish I could hear all the actors’ voices if ‘Fire with Fire’ was made into a Big Finish audio adaptation.

Apparently, there is an Emergency Medical Hologram aboard the Prometheus who is called Dr. Tric. I doubt he looks like Robert Picardo, though I’d like to think that he does. 😀 It seems a shame that the ‘Prometheus’ books don’t seem to give us enough time to get to know the starship’s characters.

In terms of certain familiar ‘Star Trek’ characters appearing in this story, there are ‘Deep Space Nine’ characters like Quark, Morn, Nog and Chief O’Brien appearing and I believe the Deep Space 9 in this story has been redesigned or it’s a brand-new one. Mind you, we don’t spend enough time on DS9.

Ezri Dax makes a brief appearance in this story and she happens to be a Starfleet captain by this stage. 😀 Admiral Nechayev who’s appeared in episodes of ‘TNG’ and ‘DS9’ also briefly appears in this story. Other characters like Julian Bashir, James T. Kirk, Jean-Luc Picard and Worf are referenced.

The Klingon characters include Kromm, son of Kaath, who commands the Klingon ship Bortas in the story. Kromm is keener for a fight compared to Martok, the Klingon chancellor on Qo’noS, who appeared in ‘DS9’. Martok orders Kromm, much against his will, to help Captain Adams and his crew.

Alexander Rozhenko, Worf’s son makes an appearance in the story. It was nice to find Alexander appearing in ‘Fire with Fire’, especially as he’s the Klingon ambassador, bridging and refereeing between Captain Adams and Kromm’s different opinions. Alexander is mostly with Klingons though.

The biggest ‘Star Trek’ character to appear in ‘Fire with Fire’ with Spock, who is the Vulcan ambassador by this stage and is helping the Prometheus crew and the Klingons solve this mystery with the Renao. This is presumably after Spock dealt with unifying both the Vulcans and Romulans. 🙂

Hopefully it’s before Spock made a fateful trip that led into the 2009 film ‘Star Trek’. I enjoyed reading Spock’s scenes in the story, especially when interacting with Adams. I could easily visualise Leonard Nimoy playing the character in the book. Spock also helps out on the Prometheus’ bridge. 🙂

There are Romulans who appear in the story, including a scene where one Romulan is on Romulus. For some of the story, it’s suspected the Romulans are involved somehow with the attacks on the Federation and the Klingons compared to the Renao. But it seems the Renao are responsible for this.

Or rather a cult of the Renao called the Purifying Flame. When the story comes to its conclusion, it’s decided that the Prometheus captained by Captain Adams is going to investigate further concerning the Purifying Flame in the Lembatta Cluster. So, how will Captain Adams and his crew expose them?

‘Fire with Fire’ has been an enjoyable first book in the ‘Prometheus’ trilogy of ‘Star Trek’ novels. It was also good to hear the story read to me in the background by Alec Newman, despite the audio diverting at times from the text included in the book. I still wish the audio was a full-cast adaptation.

It would’ve been great to hear this story performed by actors playing characters rather than have it be read to us for 11 hours and 5 minutes. I’m glad I checked out this story in a leisurely manner by reading and hearing a chapter per day. I look forward to checking out the next instalment of the ‘Prometheus’ trilogy.

‘Fire with Fire’ (PROM) rating – 7/10


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