Review: Star Wars: Death Troopers

Star Wars Death TroopersIn the limitless reaches of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, it’s quite shocking to consider that zombies do not appear more often. Well, until now. In Death Troopers, the horror of the undead is brought to the population of an Imperial prison barge, in particular two young brothers, the chief medical officer, and a couple familiar faces I won’t spoil.

When the barge comes across a seemingly abandoned Star Destroyer right after a need for parts arises, they send men to investigate and try to salvage what they can. But they end up bringing back more than they meant to, and soon everyone is dead; everyone but the few who are naturally immune. But does that immunity matter once you’ve been bitten?

The setup seems simple enough -– zombies in space -– but nothing in this book beyond that is truly simple. Complicated characters lead the narrative through each event, from unnerving to terrifying, in a way that makes you either root for them to make it or just fall off a ledge and get eaten already, according to the nature of the character.

In horror, it should sometimes be taken for granted that a lot of people will die in bloody, disgusting ways. The key, then, for a horror writer is to make each death mean something, either to the smaller or greater part of the story. Joe Schreiber succeeds in this area. It’s not meaningless, mindless gore (although it IS gory), it’s gore and terror and fear and all anyone could ask for in a book that involves both Storm Troopers and the living dead.

Everything in this book was done to start out unsettling the reader and keeping them unsettled until the very end. As a fan of horror stories, unsettled is a feeling I enjoy in my reading, so this book is definitely a keeper for me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading Joe Schreiber’s newest Star Wars novel, Red Harvest.

Buy, Borrow, or Pass?
Buy. Death Troopers is a must for any Star Wars fan. Even zombie fans unfamiliar with Star Wars will enjoy it.

Star Wars: Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber
# Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
# Publisher: LucasBooks; Reprint edition (October 26, 2010)
# ISBN-10: 0345520815
# ISBN-13: 978-0345520814

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