Date Read: May 4th, 2021
Final Score: 7 / 10 !
Diving into the huge mess of Star Wars literary media has been something on the table for me for a while, but it's just such a daunting feat that I resisted for a good while longer than I probably should have (I was also still caught up in nursing the last single-minded obsession I had for Batman, and that kind of kick can only fit a single fandom at a time).
Still, I went from zero knowledge of the DCU to Graduate Level academic mastery over the politics of the company and the entire body of work it has produced in ~2 years. So, now that I'm edging into a major, compulsive Star Wars kick (and actually subscribe to Disney+), getting into the rest of the Storyverse's associated media has become kind of inevitable.
I picked this one up for a mix of reasons: 1) my library had it immediately available, 2) I recognized the author's name as being one that people I respect who are already enmeshed in the fandom consider to be a good one, and 3) the plot centered around the complicated morality of Stormtroopers (I was actually looking for Clone Troopers, but the Stormtroopers seemed an acceptable compromise considering that nothing with Clone Troopers met the first 2 criteria), and honestly, I am quite pleased with it!
This one is set about six months after the Death Star blows up at the end of Episode IV, and it aptly has a dash of Luke, & Leia, & Han Solo being involved with the plot. Too much for my tastes, honestly, but I can understand why they're present.
The examination of the Stormtrooper's complicated loyalties was AWESOME.
I definitely loved it and I deeply enjoyed how their story played out. I would've liked just a little bit more of the wavering and waffling sort of angst that comes with the concept of committing treason to avoid breaking an oath to serve and protect, but there was enough to placate me. Mara Jade's story had the best balance of internal-narrative spent on defining views and current loyalties, but her story was a bit less compelling because nothing in it actually mattered until she actually got involved with the Troopers.
Over all, I definitely enjoyed it. The head-hopping style of the narrative felt rather dated, but considering this was written in 2007, and written specifically to fit the feel of other Rebellion Era lit, most of which was published in the 80's & 90's, it wasn't too unbearable (even if it was a bit jarring).
I will definitely be picking up the next one in Zahn's Hand of Judgement duology at some point, and I'll certainly be picking up a lot of other Star Wars Expanded Universe media!