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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Star Wars Republic Commando: Hard Contact (Star Wars Republic Commando 1)
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on 12 October 2017
These books are for my son who loves reading Star Wars books - he think these are brilliant.
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on 22 March 2017
A great read
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on 16 November 2004
Game-based books are not noted for characterisation, but here's a glorious exception. Traviss has taken a simple idea - team of clone commandos; mission to retrieve a scientist and destroy a deadly virus - and turned it into an intelligent story which does not, in any way, glorify war and killing. The clones, bred to a life of action, share the same face, but are all individuals with burgeoning realisation that there is life beyond the training camp and battlefield. The young Jedi that hooks up with them is flawed, but enterprising. And Traviss avoids the expected ending. Great stuff!
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2004
Three months after 'Attack of the Clones', a squad of specially trained Clone Commandos is sent to Qiilura to capture a Separatist scientist and destroy a bioweapons facility. However, when their insertion goes awry they are forced to rethink their plans, with only an inexperienced Padawan and a mysterious old woman for help.
After reading the awful game tie-in 'The Ruins of Dantooine' I was suitable wary of this book, allowing for a delightfully pleasant surprise. The story is a very military orientated story that reads like Star Wars meets Bravo Two Zero and is permeated by a very British type of dry black humour. The characterisation is excellent, with each of the clones being shaped by their previous experiences to give them distinctive identities and Etain being the perfect counterpoint, both from her inexperience and her very different philosophical outlook. This book explores ideas that not even the mainstream ones have challenged so far, particularly the relationship between clone and Jedi. Although there's no cameos from more famous characters, I did like the way in which it's prologue shows a bit of the Battle of Geonosis from a clone's point of view.
The only thing that bothered me about this book was quite how easily Etain puts aside her Jedi principles, particularly the whole thing about a lightsaber meaning she has to face those she kills, which she happily swaps for an impersonal blaster.
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on 21 November 2004
Republic Commando - Hard Contact is one of the best SF books I've ever read and one of the best books of any genre I've read. If you like Star Wars you'll love this book. If you hate Star Wars you'll love this book. Whatever your taste, if you like a good simple story told well then you'll love this book. The book will appeal to SF and non-SF readers equally. Its Chris Ryan, George Lucas and Isaac Asimov all rolled into one. The story is about a small group of commandos who must achieve a seemingly impossible mission and all the Star Wars stuff merely puts it into the Star Wars universe. But if you took all that out, like the fact the commandos are clones and their commanders are Jedi, etc, the story would still stand up as a cracking good story. Karen's strength is in her characterisation and in her knowledge of matters military. Every character is an individual and treated with respect. The characters are utterly believable, and you can't help but care what happens to them. The action is real and written by someone who knows what combat is like. Buy this book, you won't regret it.
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on 26 May 2014
I've decided to give this a rating of a five, purely because it was such an intense and rewarding experience. The book itself wasn't very long for me; however I feel that it was just right for the starting plot. Now, what I loved about this book where the Clone Commandos: Niner, Darman, Atin and Fi- biologically, they're all genetically identical but despite this they all see things differently, they all respond to emotions differently which I think is absolutely amazing, they share the same D.N.A but they're all so different which creates a sense of empathy as we see how 'human' clones can be and it leads us as readers to think: is it truly justified that these unique and individual men have been engineered purely for the one-dimensional purpose of war?

I'd go into more detail about how each character interprets emotions and situations; but that would only seek to ruin the book. But I can just see that it's really great to see them develop and let loose with each other as they're all strangers to one another. They were all so interesting that I love them all equally and after this novel I'm very invested into their characters and am looking forward to seeing their development throughout the rest of the series. As for the Jedi Padawan, Etain- I didn't know what to think of her at first, she's a bit like marmite- but toward the end of the novel I did grow on her. But don't get me wrong, the focus of this novel is about the Clone Commandos and rightly so; whilst their are Jedi in this book- it's about the Clones and what they experience and how they feel; which in my opinion makes this novel all the better.

The plot was also excellent; I've been left with no unanswered questions, everything fell into place perfectly and there were no points at all where I was left confused about the direction of the novel. Ghez Hokan was also an excellent novel, I even felt slight empathy for him at some points, despite his actions throughout the course of Hard Contact which goes to show just how talented Travis is at creating emotional investment for characters. The planet of Qillura was also an excellent environment which helped bring out the personality of the Commando's and it was a peaceful environment which contrasted with the Commando's purpose of war and conflict, which they've been brought up to do through no choice of their own.

Hard Contact is action packed and there's never a dull moment, there's enough intense action scenes to keep people on the edge and there's also a lot of areas for character development so you can really get to know the characters. Also, the fact that there's a nice bit of contextual knowledge for each chapter makes it even more enriching as you learn about what's going on the environment; or something that the clones war taught and that's why they interpret situations in certain ways- those bits of text at the start of every chapter really helped emphasise the characterization of the Commandos, the plot and setting and it really fit in well with the book.

I'll finish off here, if you like bonding between a squad much like Band of Brothers, who have a duty and a sense of purpose and belonging then you'll live this novel; as Omega Squad are all brothers and that's what makes the mission and plot so special. If you love clones and want to learn more about their feelings, attitudes and indeed treatment you'll love this book, I'd even recommend it to people who aren't star wars fans because it teaches a lot about comradeship and the difficulties of war and soldiery; it's not easy and Travis executes that message exceptionally well with the portrayal of the Commando's who I love so much. Everything about this novel is great and I can't wait to finish the series. 5 stars out of 5.
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on 16 October 2013
I liked the introduction to the characters in this book, Karen Traviss drives home her opinion on the characters without it becoming bothersome.
The Republic Clones are such an interesting subject to handle due to the intense debates there has been in the "real world" about cloning, set in the SW Universe it gives the author a possibility to imagine the problem from another viewpoint (or two). I especially like how the "same man" (the Clone Troopers) gets to be so different, and I guess you could have great wide debates on Nature versus Nurture on the background of this.

Going from a more Jedi-inspired reading to a series that deals with military troopers you do find yourself losing some of the Sci-fi fantasy of Star Wars and instead thinking of military action from whatever Hollywood war movie you last saw.

All in all it was a good read and I'm already halfway through the sequel.
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on 13 May 2011
This is the beginning of a wonderful series. Hard Contact makes a perfect start too. We are launched into the minds of men, boys, to be more accurate, also known as clones. The Clone Wars series touches very lightly on the clones' individuality, personality and inner feelings, but strives to tell the tale of the Jedi. The Republic Commando series gives us an entirely different perspective. We're thrown into the minds of a squad of RCs, with their views, personality, ideals, values, morals, struggles and pain along with it.
In this novel we meet this squad on their second deployment. I will not say anything to ruin the story.
This is the beginning of a series and whether you enjoy this book or not, the books following it are a must-read (if for nothing but their finale).
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on 1 August 2014
At first it felt like a Generic Military novel with Laser Rifles.
But before long I got into the swing of it and in that Star Wars mood and after getting to know the characters in the first few chapters, it didn't take long for the pace to speed up and rush down an action packed stream, all the way to the climatic ending. A decent book. Nicely written. The military chatter can get a little confusing if you are not used to abbreviation but they do explain what they mean as they also end up confusing the young Jedi.

I played the Video Game first, wasn't sure how this would compare.
Was actually very good. Id recommend it.
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on 7 August 2006
Karen Traviss really is brilliant the work she has done for the star wars community is fantastic, she is the NO.1 authority on the clones and mandalorians. Republic Commando is an amazing book that shows the true face of war and shows that the clones arent just mindless beings, but that they are human and you really feel what they go through. The story is a classic and the group of commandos she has created are all brilliant individuals and you really feel connected to them. go and buy this now as you wont regret it.
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