Thursday, November 19, 2009

STAR WARS: Death Troopers

Death TroopersI was quite intrigued when I first heard about the STAR WARS: Death Troopers novel. Actually, I believe I was open mouthed and awe struck. The introduction of zombies into the STAR WARS universe was unusual, but I grew instantly keen on the idea as soon as I learned of it. If you follow the above link you can read the blurb on the back of the novel.

The book is only around 240 pages and the pages turn very quickly. Partially because the chapters are short and action-filled, but also partially because the plot has you reading quickly to see what happens.

It’s hard for me to decide my opinion on this book. I was entertained by the plotline. I cared somewhat about the characters. I was intrigued by the zombie thing (who isn’t?). I was repulsed by the zombie thing (who isn’t?). And if you want to think about something that can scare you, think about zombie Wookies.

One problem I had with the book was that it wrapped up too nicely, too succinct for my liking. So much so that I had to roll my eyes in disbelief a few times. Sure, I can suspend reality into believing the undead are alive and hungry in a far away, make believe galaxy, but pushing too much luck/coincidence into a character and that suspended belief turns into disbelief.

One thing I really enjoyed was the rushed pace the novel took. The action is really intense and the fear of the characters is palpable. I had no problems visualizing the mob of zombies shambling through the corridors of the spacecraft. The blood and gore was described well enough to bring home the point, too.

I had mixed feelings about the characters. The two teenage brothers have my pity and I like them, but some of their actions are a bit stupid. The “sadistic captain of the guards” is also pitiable, but loathsome. The “rogue smugglers” were a bit too trite, but they held my attention. And the “lone woman on board,” who happens to be the chief medical officer, was a tad cliché, too. However, the relationships between these characters were for the most part well done.

As I said, I had mixed feelings on this book. It definitely fits in the STAR WARS universe (and apparently it is canonized), but only by setting, really. With a few minor tweaks, the novel could work in almost any given setting. I guess I wanted more STAR WARS philosophy, but it was lacking. I can recommend this book to you because it’s a very quick and entertaining read, but don’t set your hopes too realistically. Besides the few eye rolling scenes, I enjoyed the book.


David Wagner said...

Nice review. I guess the book will go on my "maybe" list... if I happen across it, perhaps I'll give it a quick read, but I likely won't hunt it down to read it... although just the idea of a Star Wars zombie story makes it almost a mandatory read, even if it is mediocre, out of respect for the coolness of the idea itself...

Anyway, thanks for the review.

Krista said...

Ha ha, I still think this is just too funny! I don't know if I'll be reading this one or not...I'm just a bit iffy about it. I think Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has ruined me for life, ha ha! :DDD

You gotta love intense action, though... I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'll let you know if I ever pick it up :)

Oh, and I have commented on a few of your posts I missed... I've just been busy and things aren't going all that well right now... prayers welcome. I just wanted to let you know, 'cause I'm not sure how often I'll be able to get on and, you know, blog and read blogs... but hey, you'll be one of the first ones I visit when I do get on! :)

logankstewart said...

@David: If you ever find yourself needing a quick-fix, action book with a mediocre plot, then this one's definitely for you.

@Krista: I've yet to read PP&Z, and I'm not sure if I e'er will. And I'll definitely pray for you and your life. Thank you for reading my blog and enjoying it.

Brandon said...

Good review Logan :)
Your criticism reminds me of my criticism over my own first book. But I guess that's what first books are for...learning.

It's cannonized eh? Does that mean it's officially embraced like all those other star wars universe books?

logankstewart said...

Brandon: Yep, that's exactly what it means, for the most part. It's officially in the STAR WARS Expanded Universe, but whether or not fans fully "embrace" it is yet to be seen. But it is officially in the STAR WARS EU timeline.

And thanks for the compliment.