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The JC Lit Reviews Special: DEATH TROOPERS (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Oct 19, 2009.

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  1. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Death Troopers -- so scary I couldn't get the thread up for almost a week!

    Some rules: rate Death Troopers on a scale of 1 to 10, supplementing your rating with a review, if you want to (It's not necessary but is highly encouraged). However, please do not rate or review the book until after you've read the whole thing. Thanks. :)

    Go for it.;)

    Some previous review threads:

    [link=]Republic Commando: Hard Contact, by Karen Traviss[/link]
    [link=]Shatterpoint, by Matthew Stover[/link]
    [link=]The Cestus Deception, by Steven Barnes[/link]
    [link=]Medstar I: Battle Surgeons, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry[/link]
    [link=]Medstar II: Jedi Healer, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry[/link]
    [link=]Jedi Trial, by David Sherman and Dan Cragg[/link]
    [link=]Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, by Sean Stewart[/link]
    [link=]Labyrinth of Evil, by James Luceno[/link]
    [link=]Revenge of the Sith, by Matthew Stover[/link]
    [link=]Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno[/link]
    [link=]Galaxies: The Ruins of Dantooine, by Veronica Whitney-Robinson[/link]
    [link=]Tatooine Ghost, by Troy Denning[/link]
    [link=]Survivor's Quest, by Timothy Zahn[/link]
    [link=]Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream, by Aaron Allston[/link]
    [link=]Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand, by Aaron Allston[/link]
    [link=]Traitor, by Matthew Stover[/link]
    [link=]Destiny's Way, by Walter Jon Williams[/link]
    [link=]Force Heretic I: Remnant, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix[/link]
    [link=]Force Heretic II: Refugee, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix[/link]
    [link=]Force Heretic III: Reunion, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix[/link]
    [link=]The Final Prophecy, by Greg Keyes[/link]
    [link=]The Unifying Force, by James Luceno[/link]
    [link=]Dark Nest I: The Joiner King, by Troy Denning[/link]
    [link=]Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen, by Troy Denning[/link]
    [link=]Dark Nest III: The Swarm War, by Troy Denning[/link]
    [link=]Outbound Flight, by Timothy Zahn[/link]
    [link=]Republic Commando: Triple Zero, by Karen Traviss[/link]
    [link=]Legacy of the Force: Betrayal, by Aaron Allston[/link]
    [link=]Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines, by Karen Traviss[/link]
    [link=]Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, by Drew Karpyshyn[/link]
  2. GrandMasterKatarn

    GrandMasterKatarn Jedi Knight star 4

    Feb 8, 2008
    Despite the fact that it was a zombie-novel, I'll try and rate it accordingly.

    Rich full cast of characters some who you will like, and others who you will dislike, even hate. The Longo brothers are somthing to be rooted for alongside the Zaraha in their attempts to figure out whats going on and to protect everyone from harm. Aur Myss and Sartoris are the main dislikeable presence. Although there are others (Wembley is good, the erratic and self-controlling Captain of the Purge is bad), they mostly play to their good/bad groups.

    The very idea that Han and Chewbacca were able to be captured and placed in Solitary Confinement was perhaps the most hilarious thing in the novel. It does make me wonder whether Leia knows about this, or even if Han's told her.

    The Zombies were good in and of themselves. They not only act like typical Zombies, rushing around, eating and killing everything in sight, but the ones on the derelict Star Destroyer are more intelligent than they appear to be. They've learned how to lock the ships in place with tractor beams, use weapons, and run in packs. They even learn to use space ships to chase down their targets and kill the survivors.

    The virus is never fully expanded upon. I would have liked to have a scene involving an explanation of what the disease had been made for, what the Empire would have used it for (i.e.: if this was the thing that was launched in Dark Forces Level 2) or if it was to be used as a test subject for controlling creatures in the Unknown Regions, and who had proposed the idea to the Emperor (unless he was unaware of it).

    Not enough near-escapes. The whole novel seems to have been written with out much in the way of near-escapes. Mostly everyone comes away unharmed (Kale Longo and Sartoris are the only two main characters to bite the dust). The other main characters (the droid and Myss were already writes offs from the beginning and are easily predictable in how they die.

    All in all, it was a good read and I enjoyed it. 5/10
  3. Jedi Vince

    Jedi Vince Jedi Youngling star 3

    Aug 2, 1999
    This is easily the worst Star Wars book I have ever read. I think it's so bad, that I almost have to reevaluate every other Star Wars book I thought was bad.

    I guess there is one positive aspect to this work: the premise -- it's why I bought it. I was intrigued by the concept, and I'm in the mood this sort of thing near Halloween. But the execution ... my heavens, the execution.

    Structurally, the book started off well, but just began to meander for over 100 pages before getting on with it. Like a a previous poster wrote, there wasn't nearly enough escapes for this escapist fare. I wasn't looking for this book to be thematically well developed (not saying the writer couldn't accomplish this ... I just wasn't expecting it), but a little more thrills would've helped smooth out some of the edges.

    I didn't care for any of the characterization. Zahara was passable, but the brothers were flat, and as soon as I read some lame root cause for Santoris to be a SOB, I knew I was in for a long experience.

    The virus added a sense of mystery, but it was never really resolved, so that didn't resonate well with me.

    While everything else functioned on a low level, the prose was the straw that broke the back of this work for me. I do not want to read another participle phrase as long as I live. So, as an homage to the prose of this disappointing novel, I offer this sentence: I walked into the book store, taking the book out of its bag, setting in on the counter, requesting a refund.

    I have never returned a Star Wars book before this.

    2/10 for the great cover and physical presentation of this book.
  4. darthcaedus1138

    darthcaedus1138 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 13, 2007
    I thought this was a special entry in the Star Wars Universe. First Star Wars horror novel.(Apart from GoF)

    The horror was awesomely effective, the characters were lousy, the plot was okay, but for the horror alone, I'll give it a

  5. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 14.5/3 = 4.83
  6. RebelGrrl

    RebelGrrl Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 13, 2006
    The book was a good romp and I liked the author's writing style. I don't notice chapter changes except for when I need to pause my reading and then I choose one, so I am not fussed over chapter length.

    The zombies were good and not your usual lurching, drooling undead. Not that there wasn't plenty of lurching and drooling, but there was also a modicum of intelligence, enough to launch small fighters, lure victims into traps, and work in a pack. They were fast when they had sufficient body parts for speed and had the agility to go through ventilation shafts.

    The gore was not so intense or disgusting for me that I had to put away my spaghetti dinner while I read the book. I promise you, I don't have an iron stomach, but it takes actual drawings or images to turn it, and far more lurid textual descriptions.

    I liked the doctor and Trig and Kale. I thought that a different smuggler duo could have been substituted for Han and Chewbacca, though, to increase the drama. We all know that they were guaranteed to survive... at least until Vector Prime for Chewbacca.

    The bits with the baby wookiee is what got to me the most. Chewbacca's reaction and horror was perfectly portrayed here and matched my own.

    I thought, however, that coming up with an antiviral so easily that also worked cross-species from a single type of antiviral a little far fetched. It would not have been necessary if Chewbacca had not been in the story and needed to survive it.

    I was also disappointed that the ending was left with the potential for a sequel, with the SSD and the small craft just floating out there, the zombies potentially going dormant like the ones in the laboratory did and the ones in the pile of flesh Trig climbed up had. Waiting, until another hapless ship passes by...

    I'd give it an 8/10. -1 for including cast that cannot die and -1 for not having that cast use the Force-given sense they've got and destroy the SSD, at least.
  7. TIEPilot051999

    TIEPilot051999 Jedi Master star 7

    Mar 27, 2002
    After the garbage FOTJ and the latest CW books had pumped out, I had pretty much given up on SW Lit. Especially after reading the summary of Omen, which I consider to be the worst SW novel I've ever read. And considering that honor was until then bestowed on Revelation, the book had to suck especially hard.

    But I was looking forward to this one, because it didn't look like it would continue down the "80's-Doctor-Who" road FOTJ was going, and it didn't look like it would continue to beat down the same stuff that CW books were doing.

    In short, it's the book that saved SW Lit in my eyes, and fully deserves the 10 I'm giving it.
  8. Rogue...Jedi

    Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 12, 2000
    It was far too short, and would have been significantly improved IMO without the inclusion of Han and Chewie, awesome as those two characters certainly are. Decent enough plotline, though it could have used more.

  9. Zebra3

    Zebra3 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 28, 2004
    The book itself: I've never done this before but I'm really impressed with the way this book was put together. I was more than surprised to see it with the cover image (easily the most shocking SW cover art I've seen) actually printed on the cover itself. I know that was done because of the poster on the back of the dust jacket, but still I was surprised. The binding on the book also seemed to be of a higher quality than normal. It felt very sturdy while I was holding it. And the pages seemed to be thicker than usual. It's a book that would stand up to a lot of abuse.

    The story: I wish I could say I was as impressed with the story, though. It just seemed to be a sort of generic zombie tale. I'm not saying it was bad, far from it. I guess I was kind of hoping for more. None of the characters really seemed to stand out much. Although, the author does get my thanks for actually giving Chewie a point of view. I honestly can't remember the last time we got that. I found the bit about the virus to be really intriguing and was disappointed that it wasn't expanded upon. I guess that's what the prequel will be for. As for the horror factor, we certainly got it. I think the chapter "Skin Hill" was my favorite for that. We didn't get nearly enough of that crazy guard and I'm not entirely sure I buy his sacrifice at the end. There's also something I don't get. If they're all immune to the disease how exactly could Kale and the crazy guard have gotten infected at all even if they were bitten?

    As I said, not a bad book. I enjoyed reading it and am looking to Shreiber's next SW book.

  10. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 45.5/7 = 6.50
  11. BennyM

    BennyM Jedi Knight star 1

    Oct 20, 2007
    6.5 out of 10. It was good for a "first" Star Wars horror novel, I felt it was too short and could have had a more solid plot. Though it was still a fun and page turning read.
  12. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 52/8 = 6.50
  13. MistrX

    MistrX Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 20, 2006
    I liked it. It's a pretty typical horror story and won't revolutionize the genre, but then again, I really like horror stories, especially zombie tales. The first third may be the best part, as the tension builds to where we all know it's going to go, that inevitable and in this case gruesome march to when things start to hit the fan. In the short time we get at the beginning there's actually some attempt at setting up the POV characters, giving us some personality and background, though they still may be somewhat two-dimensional as the story progresses. This especially felt like the case to me for Trig, who may be considered the audience's perspective since he reacts the way most of us probably would in a situation like this one. It may be less so for Sartoris, the mostly unlikeable captain of the guard, who the biggest attempt at a character arc in the book, with tidbits showing why he's the man he is and why he eventually makes the choices he does. I'm not sure I quite buy the final choice he makes at the end, but it's a good effort regardless.

    The story's not about the characters, though. This isn't a human piece, it's a gross-out, survival horror story with cheap chills and scares at the end of every chapter and story stop. And one might say "cheap" as a bad thing, but in this case it wasn't. It kept me reading, wanting to find out what it was that grabbed this character or moved in the dark there or screamed here, blinded there. It's good, messed up fun for those who like that type of story. It's also by far the goriest Star Wars tale I've ever read, Stover included, and about half of the book would qualify for the site's "The Ugly" category. As it is, it's a good book to read once and an enjoyable way to start the horror side of the Star Wars novels.

    My biggest complaint, probably, would be the ending. After the slow buildup we get and the various goings-on and running around that takes place in the middle, the ending's rushed and resolved in minutes with quick, easy explanation. I would've liked to see more thought and time put into that.

  14. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 60/9 = 6.67
  15. Darth_Culator

    Darth_Culator Jedi Master star 2

    Dec 10, 2005
    I give it a 1, only because the scale doesn't go to 0 or negative.

    This is, without a doubt, the worst Star Wars book since... ever. It doesn't even have the camp value of the Jedi Prince series, or the so-bad-it's-good elements of The Crystal Star.

    The only things I can put in the "good" column are that nearly everyone died, so we don't have to hear from them again. Except, surprise, there's an INEVITABLY HORRID [link=]prequel[/link] coming!

    This is like taking taking all the least fun and least interesting parts of the Galaxy of Fear series and putting them in one book, except subtracting most of the Star-Wars-y-ness (I don't think we have a word for this) from what's left.

    This is the first time I can recall ever seriously considering returning a book for a refund on the weight of its sheer crappiness, and I own almost every Star Trek book by William Shatner.

    It's. Just. Plain. Bad.
  16. Manisphere

    Manisphere Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 25, 2007
  17. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 61/10 = 6.10
  18. chiss_man

    chiss_man Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 1, 2002
    Laughably short, and generally full of zombie story cliches, Death Troopers is not a bad zombie story. It's a perfectly decent one, however, it's not a good Star Wars story. Han and Chewie, while fun, should not have been involved, and the book had way too few twists and turns to make it anything more than a quick linear read. It just did not FEEL like Star Wars, and as such, all I can give it is a 5/10
  19. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 66/11 = 6.00
  20. El-Elyon

    El-Elyon Jedi Master star 2

    Feb 27, 2002
    listened to the audiobook, boringly predictable, almost skipped a few chapters to get to the end! [face_hypnotized] did anyone else think that the chick was ripped straight out of prison break season one? and so many people seemed to have brit accents too... marc thompson does a far better job [face_mischief]

  21. Jacen7878

    Jacen7878 Jedi Youngling

    Aug 23, 2004
  22. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 74.5/13 = 5.73
  23. Xicer

    Xicer Jedi Padawan star 4

    Aug 21, 2008
    Huh, not a lot of reviews for this one. I got the audiobook for this, the sounds effects were pretty cool and creepy. The book itself was alright. Definitely one of the most gruesome SW novels out there, and the level of detail was impressive. I don't much care for zombies though and none of the characters were very interesting. They kinda killed the suspense when Han and Chewie were introduced. Oh and I agree about the British accents. Overall I'd say 6.5/10.
  24. KnightDawg

    KnightDawg Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 26, 2007

    Almost give it my 1st ever SW 10, but the final chapter didn't really do it for me.

    Looking forward to the prequel.
  25. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 90.7/15 = 6.05
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