501st: An Imperial Commando Novel – Karen Traviss



Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Lucasbooks (October 27, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345511131
ISBN-13: 978-0345511133


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Main Characters:

Omega Squad


Jusik – Healer Jedi/Mandalorian
Kal Skirata –

Storyline Summary

This novel takes place about 3 months after Order 66. Darman and Niner (who is now recovering from his spinal injury) are part of the Empire’s Imperial Commando Units. In fact, they’ve been made a part of Darth Vader’s personal guard, the 501st. Kal and his “sons” are trying to build new lives on Mandalore, but Kal is determined to pull out Darman and Niner. The 501st is assigned to hunt down all Jedi. Kill all Masters and Knights. Bring Padawans back alive when possible.

Novel Review

I’ve loved just about everyone of these Commando books. Karen Traviss always had a great way of looking at the military life of a squad of troopers. She did so in very realistic ways, you mourned when a soldier was lost, you were happy when one survived.

This novel, while it continues to build on the personalities of all those we’ve met, lacks that adventure aspect in her other stories with these characters. There are a few combat sequences, but for the most part it feels to me like a Soldier on R&R type story. The action sequences that do exist are few and far between, and often times seem to be anti-climatic.

Sadly, this will probably be the last of the Omega Squad storyline novels. There seems to be some conflict involving this series, and the lifestyles of Mandalorians as depicted in The Clone Wars or elsewhere. It would be interesting to see what happens to Niner, Darman and the rest of the boys, but at this time it appears they’ll be permanently in limbo.

If you want to see what happens after Order 66, then you might want to pick this up. But I wouldn’t read it expecting any great revelations. It was just so-so in my opinon. Whether that’s because of all the controversy, or because Ms. Traviss had nowhere to go with the characters, I’m not sure. I was rather disappointed though with the outcome of this book. It just didn’t wrap up things to a satisfactory conclusion, at least not for me. You would think give the objectives of the 501st that there would be a lot more action.

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