When you look on a shelf and see a book written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, you expect it will be one of their Dune prequels, or maybe one of the concluding books to the saga. There is an exception to this (actually two now) in the form of Hellhole.
Hellhole presents a vast setting in a collection of worlds known as The Constellation. We first see the wealthy Core Worlds during the final battle of a massive rebellion led by General Tiber Adolphus. Despite the brilliance of his strategies and the vast size of the fleet at his command, Adolphus is not prepared to commit a monstrous act to win the war.
The General’s sentence is to be sent to Hallholme, a newly-discovered planet that is ravaged by terrible weather, harsh climate, and a low life expectancy. Instead of dying, Adolphus manages to establish a settlement and set up the basic levels of interstellar commerce.
Hellhole‘s vast setting alludes to the political nature of the Dune novels, but it’s focus on a post-rebellion setting draws on the tone of Firefly. General Adolphus himself resembles characters from both of these settings with Miles Teg’s military genius and Malcolm Reynolds’ unconventional negotiating tactics.
Just from the first fifty pages, I know Hellhole is going to be a great read.