When I think about Star Wars, I think about Jedi and Sith with their awesome lightsabers. I think about X-wings and TIE fighters in space battling each other. When I think about Star Wars, I’ve never thought about zombies.
And yet, here it is. A Star Wars book about Imperial zombies. This book creates a very intriguing setting and storyline, but does it live up to its potential? For me, the answer is yes and no.
This book takes place between the movies Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. An army from the Galactic Empire is taking a prison ship called Purge to a prison planet. The barge is a prison for the most dangerous criminals in the galaxy. Unexpectedly, the barge breaks down, and it just so happens that there’s a derelict Star Destroyer nearby that is seemingly abandoned. A crew of ten boards the ship to scavenge for parts, but only five of the scavengers come back, returning with them a disastrous disease that infects everybody, save a handful of survivors, on board. The disease eventually kills everybody, and the survivors board the Star Destroyer, only to find out that’s not a very good idea. Everybody that died from the disease rises as an army of the undead.
First of all, if the book was trying to scare me, it failed. I found Joe Schrieber’s other Star Wars book Red Harvest giving me more chills than this one. The build-up was clever, but not exciting. One thing you need to know is that even though this book LOOKS like it’s supposed to be about zombies, they don’t come in at least until a little after the halfway point of this book. Even then, I found the events BEFORE the zombies to be a little more thrilling.
The characters are either decently written to very poorly written. Kale and Trig Longo are two brothers imprisoned on the prison barge. Kale, being the older brother, has a love for his little brother Trig, but these feelings are rubbed in your face a little too much. I admire a character’s trait being revealed through the character’s actions rather than his words. The words outweigh the actions here in a way that’s almost embarrassing, and makes the character feel like he’s fibbing.
Despite the horror, does this book still feel like Star Wars? Probably less so than Red Harvest. The only things in this book that earns it the title Star Wars is that the Empire is involved, there’s a Star Destroyer, and there are two familiar characters in this book that doesn’t do much anyway. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant twist since I wasn’t really caring for the other characters anyway.