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Star Wars: Death Troopers Paperback – 22 Oct 2009
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"This is the Star Wars of every horror fan's dreams - gory, funny, and brimming with a blood-spattered cast of swashbucklers and space-zombies" (Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)
"Brilliant . . . This book combines two of my favorite things on earth: the Star Wars universe and the undead" (Tommy Wirkola, director of Dead Snow)
An original tale of horror set in the Star Wars universe -- taking Star Wars fans to places they have never gone before.See all Product description
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There is a point. Who says, the Star Wars universe cannot have some horror lurking within the darkest depths of space. Admittedly some of the characters are losely drawn, and it is easy to tell who is going to be bait for the creatures now ravaging the prison barge. I think if there had been another seventy or so pages before the main event, as a reader I might have found a little more to emotionally latch onto.
That aside, this book flies past at such a speed, it is a joy to read. And it is quite unpleasant in places, genuinely vile in fact. I wish the story itself had never actually used the Z word, but thats a minor quibble.
About a hundred pages into the story, the ships doctor goes to solitary conifinement, aka The Hole, and finds two prisoners inside. I will not ruin who exactly it is, but the story takes on a whole new level of excitiement when these established Star Wars characters arrive on the scene.
Not always a perfect story, but one I suspect I might read again, and it leaves the door open for a whole new range of Star Wars storytelling, just because they are Science Fiction stories, doesnt mean they cannot cross genres.
To be honest, I bought the book because of the totally awesome cover art. I mean look at it, it rocks!
Upon starting the book, I noticed the one thing I hate most. Relative large amount of whitespace and a big font. When you see this in a book you know they (publisher) do this to increase the volume of the book. I don't like that. Always a bad sign.
The book reads like a train. Fast-paced action, page after page. You'll notice this immediately. Every 3 or 4 pages, a new chapter starts. Action action, not a bad thing per se, because you can actually feel the adrenaline in the book. But it's a bit anti Star Wars.
The plot is ... meh ...
Again, this is to be expected, it's zombies in Star Wars. Trust me when I say that at a certain point, when two famous Star Wars characters are introduced into the plot, you'll probably say something like "What in the name of ..." Trust me, you will say something like that.
My first reaction was disappointment. It's such a cheap trick to "lift up" the story.
But as the story unfolds, you kinda appreciate the famous characters in the novel, because without them, it would be a lot harder to relate to the characters.
Anyway, it was an entertaining read.
Nowhere near the league of T. Zahn or some of the other wellknow books, but entertaining.
Recomended for Star Wars fans with imagination.
Mr. Schreiber is obviously a "Star Wars" fan. He throws in such obscure technical details and races (like the brief cameo of what is apparently a Paaerduag prisoner, a unique species which was only seen fleetingly in one RPG video game, so far as I know) that you suspect he could probably navigate the "Star Wars" galaxy by himself and converse with several species in their native languages along the way. Regardless, even with the sci-fi explanation of The Blackwing Infection, and even with the familiar species, ships, technology, and whatnot . . . "Star Wars" and zombies just don't seem to mix.
Don't get me wrong; the writing is excellent and gripping. I was so wrapped up in the story that I powered through the whole (admittedly shorter-than-standard) book in the same afternoon I got it. But it just doesn't FEEL right. Like Jeter's "Bounty Hunter Wars" Trilogy and "The Crystal Star," this novel just sticks out like a sore thumb from the rest of the field.
But purely on the merits of Joe's writing, I'd like to see him produce another "Star Wars" novel, so long as there is not a single trace of The "Z" Word. There's bound to be lots of creepy horror-type stuff he could explore and convey with his talent that wouldn't involve ravenous revenants. Even a straight sci-fi would be welcome. But for all his talent and knowledge, this book came off to me like "The Star Wars Hallowe'en Special." (It even mentions Wookiees and Life Day!) No, Mr. Schreiber is a "Star Wars" fan and a pretty darn good writer, so I think he definitely deserves another chance in this fictional universe -- so long as we get something a little more in keeping with the rest of the novels to date.
If this had been a pure zombie tale, I would've given it five stars, but as it feels like a zombie tale shoehorned uncomfortably into the "Star Wars" universe, I'm afraid I had to rank it somewhat lower. Opinion seems to be blatantly polarised around this novel. A few people, like me, do not care for it much, and some have been quite vehement in their rejection of it. Many other people in various internet forums seem to have gotten quite a kick out of this book, and you may, too. I haven't seen much feedback where people could take it or leave it (or maybe I'm not checking enough opinion sites). Still, the best thing you can do is to read as many of these reviews as possible to decide if this might be the type of book you like, and hope you don't pick up too many spoilers along the way.
So, to recap: superb zombie story, bad "Star Wars" story -- at least as far as I'm concerned.
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