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Books Alphabet Squadron: Victory's Price (book 3) by Alexander Freed (March 2021)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Ancient Whills, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Gah sorry I meant to respond to this sooner!

    The Twins clues were the reason I'm pretty certain Freed had an idea for every nickname. It would definitely mean going back through the books because sometimes Alphabet would notice a chance on one of the TIES and I bet some of those are commented on in the Shadow Wing scenes ("so-and-so did a repair on their ship to fix XYZ").

    I have a couple of guesses though, and a suspicion about Broosh that's probably wrong, but I'll mention it anyway:
    The annoying "Char", who Chass can't stand, is probably Samran Phesh. Admittedly, this guess is cheating, because someone shouts his name after Char's ship is shot down. But the fact that Chass can't stand him and that Yrica thought Phesh was a jerk (so does Soran) is further evidence they're probably the same person.

    We know Snapper, Puke, and Blink (of course)'s identities at the end of the series because those are specified outright, so that narrows down the possibilities of some of the others.

    Spitsy has to be someone remarked on as a new recruit in the Shadow Wing scenes because Alphabet didn't recall seeing them before. The character Starzha, who has a few speaking roles in the Shadow Wing scenes, is specifically referred to as a new recruit in this book and Soran doesn't know her well.

    On the (probably incorrect but throwing it out there) Broosh theory: I thought there was a lack of closure with his character and then had a weird thought after reading the book. Granted, he's not the only character with a lack of closure (Rikton, for instance). But we don't hear what happened to him after the Battle of Jakku, and there's no indication he died. Many of the surviving Shadow Wing pilots are mentioned. His last comment was "We'll be seeing you around" to Nath as the Yadeez was falling apart, as if he knew his surviving crew was going to get picked up by the New Republic. He even mentions that enough blood has been spilt, as if he's done with it.

    Soran repeatedly says Broosh is one of the most pragmatic, even-tempered individuals in his crew. And we have enough Broosh scenes to know he's a pretty decent guy for an Imperial. He's even a bit of a renegade against the old school rules, like Soran. And then there's that last long chummy farewell scene between him and Soran before the latter leaves.

    I suspect he might be the fellow who picks up Wyl from the desert. Whoever that pilot was seemed willing to take charge of the situation (he wasn't a new recruit and probably not a younger Shadow Wing member), and he seemed to find a lot of irony in rescuing Wyl. The fellow also sounded a lot like Broosh, in terms of the casual dialogue.

    Now I'll defend my A-Wing comment: Soran says Wyl is a great pilot. One of the best he's seen in a while. Probably because he grew up flying.
    But Soran still kicks his ass because he's not good enough. An A-Wing won't win the war, and neither will Wyl's tactics. He can go far but not all the way.
     
  2. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    It is but
    it's about the feel and look of the ship. They've fought the Empire for years, feared Star Destroyers and Imperial prisons, now they're running a captured Star Destroyer - there's going to be a good amount of unease there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
  3. Noash_Retrac

    Noash_Retrac Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Now that is something missed in Legends. Why the New Republic still kept Imperial-class Star Destroyers for decades really troubled me...
     
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  4. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    More than any other this book explains why the Empire fell so fast after Endor, why the system was so entirely rotten and that it was entirely, entirely deliberate.

    The plot with the Messenger droids that delved into the details of Operation Cinder also showed the real face of the Empire. That there are Sith mathematical formulae to assess moral degradation and susceptibility, willingness to be more than is required, willingness to wholly abdicate all sense of personal responsibility - it's a very sick but very plausible picture of the Imperial system.

    You also just know that someone else, elsewhere, has a better, improved copy of that database for creating the First and Final Orders.

    Of course all of this renders Keize's crusade a doomed one, but his arc, along with a good few others, is that of evading consequences. Quell eventually works out that the only way is through, a lesson that Keize, for all his understanding of the Imperial system he served, is unable to get to.

    The other idea I really liked is how the experience of the urban warfare of Troithe in Book 2 convinced the New Republic High Command that they cannot attack Coruscant in the same way - that it was too densely populated, that any and all stray shots would kill many innocents again and again. The same path also leads to the answer of the question of why the Empire should be forgiven, with the answer being that, in one way or another, everyone was an Imperial and the system was designed to ensure no one stayed clean. Even with that general forgiveness or amnesty, each individual will still be haunted by their acts.

    It's also notable that few of the pilots ever looked to the future because they had no idea if they had one. There is a very high casualty rate on both sides, being a fighter pilot in SW is not a career with future developments save survival. In that respect, the epilogue sections were very effective as they showed what future the survivors did find.

    One of the book's biggest strengths is it always explains why its characters are doing what they are, even if that exasperates both their comrades and the reader.

    Overall, it's an excellent trilogy and a brilliant addition to the new material.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
  5. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Man I remember back in the day people getting all mad because the Empire fell in a year (Mostly because it wasn't like Legends) but I just thought it worked it just needed to be told to it's best version...and I think Alphabet Squadron probably is it's best self.

    Funny how all the pieces started from Shattered Empire in 2015 then built on by Aftermath are now all consolidating in Alphabet Squadron...its cool.
     
  6. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    For me it made sense that the Empire fell apart without the Emperor and Vader to keep it going. But Alphabet Squadron goes deep into why it did.
     
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  7. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    I've never been bothered with it myself.

    Even real world history as taught me that what might seem to be the most sturdy and entrenched regimes...can easily collapse like a house of cards ...because at the end of the day that sturdy entrenchment was nothing but mere illusion and fantasy.
     
  8. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    There tends to be a bit more to it than that.
     
  9. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    @Jedi Ben

    From your review


    Maybe a Exegol book will find that database...that be fun ;)
     
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  10. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    Exactly. It doesn't sketch it out obviously, it's very much my interpretation but it fits very well for explaining why everyone in the First and Final Orders is a total bastard.
     
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  11. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Palpatine: "Okay if you are a physchopath level 2 you go to the First Order Physcopath Level 1's Final Order"

    :emperor:

    But no it's a good interoperation it does the great EU thing of recontexulizing and smoothing over more head scratching elements.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
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  12. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    Psychopath level 0 goes to the Final Order.
     
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  13. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 9, 2016
    [face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh]

    and the rest...eh send them to Thrawn or Gideon
     
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  14. Freelancer257

    Freelancer257 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2004
    I thought this was the best one of the trilogy, which potentially leaves room for
    the characters to return in other stories set before the "five years later" time jump at the end of the book.

    I wasn't really convinced by Imperial fears that the fledgling New Republic would spend vast amounts of resources and time hunting down and punishing every one of the millions of individuals who had ever served the Empire. That didn't happen to the prisoners in Traitor's Remorse in the first book in the trilogy. In the real world, that never happened after the fall of regimes such as Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union or apartheid.

    I also thought the exchanges between
    Imperial and Rebel pilots in the middle of the Battle of Jakku went on far too long. Starfighter combat has always been depicted as incredibly intense and fast-moving but these characters seem to have time to recite the names of their dead comrades, say how they're going to die, sing songs and bake an apple pie before they enter combat.
     
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  15. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Finally got around to this and finished it today. I thought it was pretty good. A nice wrap to the trilogy.
     
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  16. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    One thing that was odd across the entire trilogy was
    the idea of engaging Shadow Wing, in a "fair fight". As, across all three books, they demonstrated zero interest in any such thing.

    Now, that strand of thought tends to be filtered through Quell's point of view but not always.
     
  17. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2003
    What's your definition of a fair fight, Ben?
     
  18. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    It pretty much doesn't exist - the idea of two opponents exactly matched? Nope. It's a great idea for stories but that's where it stays.

    Tactics? Strategy? Let's call them what they are, ways to tip the odds, to cheat in order to win.

    In terms of starfighter combat it'll be about 3d sense of space while being able to react and pre-empt a dynamic enemy, asssess weaknesses snd take advantage of. And maybe that's the most important point - war's not a game or a sport.
     
  19. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    I'd like to know who came up with the chapter names - was it the author or someone in the Story Group?
     
  20. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    I really liked those, particularly how they linked back to the part title.
     
  21. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    I presume a fair fight is one which doesn't involve civilian causalities as the aim, myself.
     
  22. Daneira

    Daneira Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Doesn't seem that complicated to me - the NR has determined Shadow Wing are better fighter pilots than Alphabet and Hera's other squadrons. A "fair fight" is them just shooting at each other in the empty void of space with nothing else complicated happening, which will result in a Shadow Wing victory. So, unless some subterfuge is going on (like the whole thing with trying to get them to park on an asteroid in Shadow Fall and be taken out by Twilight Company on the ground), Alphabet & co can expect to lose every time.
     
  23. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    What is Shadow Wing without their tactics and the ability to use them? They successfully tilt the odds to their favour, therefore, once the tricks are known they can be countered. But notions of fairness in any of this? Not seeing much of it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
  24. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    My favourite part of these books is that fact - we're completely outmatched by Shadow Wing.

    They're terrifying.
     
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  25. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 1999
    Oh yes, but one of the best things is how it was explained. We came to know exactly what they were doing and how, but the knowledge makes them no less scary.