This relatively young member of the brand new Disney Star Wars Canon is yet another strong and hugely entertaining romp through that exciting but dangerous galaxy we all know and love like no other. Full of strong and dominant characters, this war epic sits right up there with the great war novels of science fiction history. In my opinion, the greatest Star Wars book of all time is SHATTERPOINT by Matthew Stover. This one is worthy to be placed on the same shelf, heck, even *right_beside_it* but SHATTERPOINT is a classic and remains the greatest. BATTLEFRONT comes damn close, though.
The book really comes alive in your hands when Vader appears at around the half way mark, when he takes a strong dislike to one of the story's main characters. In fact, that is putting things midly. I thought my kindle was going to *melt* when the great man in black appeared and the writer’s mastery of the Star Wars universe is so good that the excitement levels (and my blood pressure) haven’t dropped since.
The language the book uses, too, is sophisticated, and we take a look at KL923 as an example:
’Tabor stared at the prelate as he parsed the knot of verbiage...
Old favourites from the original trilogy make an appearance, and I am not just talking about sentient characters, here, either. The story re-visits Hoth at one point and of course that means we get to play with those funky ATAT’s. The book contains sub-plots, too, even though they don't really become apparent until you approach the seventy five percent mark. But strike they do, and volumes of emotional depth are suddently added to the reader’s awareness, and of course it all contributes to the enjoyment of the story.
The story starts off brilliantly and doesn’t really let up. Characters that are introduced at the start (obviously) may or may not be who (or what) you assume them to be, but that all enhances the book’s intrigue. There is a plethora of good guys in BATTLEFRONT, but as you would expect in a book focusing strongly on the action and dangers of war, some live and some die but they all fought for the same cause. Towards the book’s finale, the pace slows down a little and the reader has the chance to think. The story telling spotlight shines for a few heartbeats on a 'senior' player with the bad guys but when his true nature and identity is revealed, your heart is bound to break in his favour, just like mine did. Other bad guys around him feel the same way, too, which just goes to show that the all conquering and legendary force contains, controls and distributes the flow of compassion to both sides in this conflict and it might turn out to be a valuable piece of information to store in your memory banks for future reference.
So in summary, BATTLEFRONT is an excellent read and it doubles as an excellent introduction to the story telling abilities of Alexander Freed.
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