Top positive review
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A surprise overall.
on 8 January 2012
Set before 'The Old Republic' computer game, during the uneasy peace between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, this book tells the story of the discovery of a deadly new droid technology. At first agents of the Sith, the Republic and the Jedi all vie for possession of the technology but soon they realise that they must form an unprecedented alliance in order to end the threat it poses to the entire galaxy.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book, having feared that it would be little more than an advert for 'The Old Republic' MMO and having particularly bad memories of Star Wars' other MMO tie-in novel (the dreadful 'Galaxies: Ruins Of Dantooine'). Instead we're given an insight into the state of the galaxy through the actions of a group of indivduals who find themselves adrift in it; a Jedi Padawan struggling to become a Knight, a disenfranchised former Special Ops trooper, a Sith apprentice out to prove herself and an Imperial spy with increasingly conflicted loyalties. Thrown into the mix are two very different underworld characters, the ruthless Mandalorian bounty hunter Dao Stryver and the mysterious smuggler captain Jet Nebula (yes, the name is ridiculous but that is directly addressed in the book). My favourite part of the book was the eponymous fatal alliance on Sebaddon. In particular it was great to see the Jedi Padawan being forced to work alongside and learn to appreciate the power of Sith Lord Darth Chratis, whilst the Sith apprentice finds herself suitably impressed by fighting alongside Satele Shan, Grand Master of the Jedi Order. In the end, despite my initial cynicism, this book succeeded in not only telling an enjoyable story but also leaving me hungry for the world of 'The Old Republic' game.
The plot of this book is more than a little contrived, with vast leaps of logic which leave gaping plot holes in their wake. In fact, the plot is treated like nothing more than an unfortunate necessity in order to bring about the alliance and set-piece battle at Sebaddon. Also, although it did work on me, the fact that this book is essentially marketing material for the TOR computer game is all-too apparent. In fact, the eight main characters presented in the Dramatis Personae directly represent the eight classes of character available to play as in the game. Worse than this, is the cringe-worthy summing-up between Stryver and Nebula in the epilogue which pretty much reads as a 'We need YOU to be a HERO' game advert.