A Long Time From Now, In A Galaxy Pretty Far Away…Jason Anspach and Nick Cole put into this book — indeed the entire series so far — elevates it beyond the normals of this genre. I’ve been reading a fair amount of military scifi lately, and these two have put together a series that is head and shoulders above many of the best sellers today.
Style, pacing, character… just the pure substance of the book, for goodness sake, really make it stand out. A quality read from start to finish, and I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the stories from the edge of the Galaxy.
The series has been marketed as “#starwarsnotstarwars” and there is a lot of truth to this. There is never a mention of stormtroopers, the Jedi, or even the Empire (they stick with the “Republic”). But, from the cover art to the descriptions, these are obviously stormtroopers – but not from a cartoonish, fumbling adversary perspective. No, these troopers — these Legionnaires — are hardened, professional soldiers. More like the clones in the “Clone Wars” cartoons than the comically inept white plastic encased henchmen from the movies.
The Legion means business. And, in a pleasant change of pace, they actually hit what they aim at.
There is a “rebellion”, but, as this story is told from the Legion’s perspective, they are not the happy, freedom fighters from the Star Wars mythos. No, in the view of these soldiers, the Mid Core Rebellion are nothing but a bunch of terrorists.
The story starts out with a group of soldiers deployed to a desert hot spot, trying to sort the true enemy from the indigenous population of “koobs” on the remote planet “Kublar.” And, despite the high tech and the exotic locale, the scenes here could have come right from first hand accounts of soldiers deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan – it certainly reminded me all too well of my own experiences there. The authors’ capture of the paranoia and distrust of fighting a guerrilla army, of trying to sort the innocent from the dangerous, is spot on. And, sadly, the resulting hardened stance of the Legionnaires is all too real as well.
During a convoy to broker peace terms with a local warlord, the comms cut out. Then things get worse. And that is where our story kicks into high gear.
An engaging page turner, this book will pull you in and keep you there. Needless to say, I read then entire thing in less than 48 hours, start to finish.
If you are a fan of military scifi – this book is definitely for you. If you are a Star Wars fan and are looking for a new twist on the stories you surely know by heart – this book is for you, too.
If it’s any indication, I’ve already bought all of the books in the series so far. So, yeah, I’m all in.
Final Verdict: ★★★★★
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Base image courtesy of Lucas Arts