Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Lucasbooks (October 13, 2009)
Order from here:
I first heard about this book coming out, by a friend in Star Wars Galaxies. My first thought was what in the world could they be thinking. This type of thing has no place in the Star Wars Universe. But when the book was released, I decided to keep an open mind and give it a chance. The story starts on board the Imperial Prison Barge Purge. The ship comes into contact with a derelict Imperial Star Destroyer. Scans show that where there should be thousands of life forms on the Destroyer, there are very few. A decision is made to send a party of 10 people over to the destroyer to salvage parts and repair the barge. The trip goes uneventful, and no working parts are found. On the return trip, several members of the boarding party start coughing, and throwing up. Soon, whatever has been picked up on the ship is spread to the rest of the crew. Prisoners and jailers alike start dropping dead. Then something even more dark and terrifying starts happening on board the ship. I won’t go into any more details than that, because I don’t want to spoil the story.
I thought this book was pretty good. I wasn’t quite prepared for this type of story in the Star Wars universe, and had my doubts. The characters, not being characters we were familiar with, weren’t quite as developed, and things went so quick that things were left out when they should have been. Sometimes emotions that one character felt, didn’t seem to be there. There was a moment of surprising sacrifice. Narrow escapes. A lot of the things you’d expect in a Star Wars story. Some things were anti-climactic. For instance a fight between the Longo brothers and Aux Myss I felt should have gone longer. Here’s an evil gangster, who’s managed to survive some of the worst criminals, and a face-off with him is over in the blink of an eye. It just seemed to wrap things up too easily so the author could get on to the story he wanted to write. Also, there was the introduction of two characters that seemed gratuitous and not really needed for the story. In fact, by placing these characters in the story, it disrupted the literary timeline, and inserted a major event (like what happend in Shadows of Mindor) in the life of characters that is never referenced in future stories.
Overall, if taken as a standalone Star Wars story with a different twist, it was a good story. I’d recommend it, but would more strongly have recommended it had all the characters been throw-a-ways. Pick it up, I managed to read it in about 2 days, so it’s a quick read, and quite appropriate to have released it around the halloween season. There also is a tie in currently going on in the Star Wars Galaxies game. I’m not sure if the book was written to promote the game, or if the game was changed to help promote the book, or if both were just done in order to cash in on the holiday, but check it out and let me know what you think.
You can discuss it here