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A surprisingly pleasing read overall. Having dipped into popular fiction a few times with Star Trek and X-Files books I was sceptical given my mixed experiences. However Sean Williams doesnt disappoint. Predominently the characters are interesting despite the predictability of the narrative. The book seemed well balanced between action reflection and the Jedi fortune cookie pithy zen statements abound.
This book doesnt "break new ground" infact it doesnt add any fairly unique ideas to the mix. The story line is very predictable with droid villans "hexes" that evidently are well suited to the video game genere but less interesting; done to death in my own opinion (think Borg meet Stargates Replicators and your not far off). That said I dont think that this was what this book was written for and as a casual read it works fine.
I presume this is based on the Old Republic video game and not the Knights of the Old Republic video games I have enjoyed. I would have given the game a go but apparently its windows only so I cant. Consequently I cant comment on similarity and can only review on the basis of what I read. I think the book is worth a read but nothing spectacular. If you want deep meaningful science fiction pick up Herberts Dune Sequence. Otherwise if you want mystery and adventure of great depth try Arthur C Clarke's Rama. But if you want a casual and enjoyable read brimming with cliche and nostalgia? this book will do just fine.
THE STORY: Set before 'The Old Republic' computer game, during the uneasy peace between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, this book tells the story of the discovery of a deadly new droid technology. At first agents of the Sith, the Republic and the Jedi all vie for possession of the technology but soon they realise that they must form an unprecedented alliance in order to end the threat it poses to the entire galaxy.
WHAT'S GOOD: I was pleasantly surprised by this book, having feared that it would be little more than an advert for 'The Old Republic' MMO and having particularly bad memories of Star Wars' other MMO tie-in novel (the dreadful 'Galaxies: Ruins Of Dantooine'). Instead we're given an insight into the state of the galaxy through the actions of a group of indivduals who find themselves adrift in it; a Jedi Padawan struggling to become a Knight, a disenfranchised former Special Ops trooper, a Sith apprentice out to prove herself and an Imperial spy with increasingly conflicted loyalties. Thrown into the mix are two very different underworld characters, the ruthless Mandalorian bounty hunter Dao Stryver and the mysterious smuggler captain Jet Nebula (yes, the name is ridiculous but that is directly addressed in the book). My favourite part of the book was the eponymous fatal alliance on Sebaddon. In particular it was great to see the Jedi Padawan being forced to work alongside and learn to appreciate the power of Sith Lord Darth Chratis, whilst the Sith apprentice finds herself suitably impressed by fighting alongside Satele Shan, Grand Master of the Jedi Order. In the end, despite my initial cynicism, this book succeeded in not only telling an enjoyable story but also leaving me hungry for the world of 'The Old Republic' game.
WHAT'S BAD: The plot of this book is more than a little contrived, with vast leaps of logic which leave gaping plot holes in their wake. In fact, the plot is treated like nothing more than an unfortunate necessity in order to bring about the alliance and set-piece battle at Sebaddon. Also, although it did work on me, the fact that this book is essentially marketing material for the TOR computer game is all-too apparent. In fact, the eight main characters presented in the Dramatis Personae directly represent the eight classes of character available to play as in the game. Worse than this, is the cringe-worthy summing-up between Stryver and Nebula in the epilogue which pretty much reads as a 'We need YOU to be a HERO' game advert.
Its a nice book to read while waiting for SWTOR. It isn't the best star wars book out there, but I've read worse, and at least it talks about people/places we may see in the game (some of them we will for sure). I didn't quite like the robot/android stuff because for some reason it didn't quite feel star wars.... I did like a lot of classes we will play were portraid by the book characters. We had the trooper, Jedi, Sith, Smuggler, Imperial Agent... Even a droid companion. All of them are in the book, and it was a nice way to see different takes on the same situation from all this characters. In the end I give this book a 3 out of 5 and recommend it to anyone crazy for star wars and waiting for SWTOR. For anyone not into the game, the book isn't going to be as appealing, and if that is the case you might want to pass this up.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the longer-than-most Star Wars book, 'Fatal Alliance'. Being a player of The Old Republic enriched this experience, as I got to understand some of the characters a little better. The most prominent and interesting feature of this novel, in my opinion, is that it'll most likely make the reader see the Jedi and Sith in a different light, in terms of their relationship with one another.
Some fantastic characters are introduced in this novel like the Padawan Shigar and the terrifying Darth Chratis, but there are some old favourites like Satele Shan, too.
I have never played the old republic games but took great interest and watched videos on youtube. I bought this book and then googled some of the characters names, just to get pictures and a quick backstory. I have to say its one of the best sw books I have read. awesome characters great enemies gripping story from start to finish. it was action right from the start and never stopped. exactly how sw eu books should be. the droids ( hexes) are the stuff of nightmares and at one point I thought theres no point in attempting to fight these anymore. but...... MUST READ
Didn't know what to expect as I'm a massive Star Wars fan and this was my first time giving the Old Republic a try and it didn't disappoint, the characters grow on you quick and you soon recognize the similarities of the universe you know and appreciate the new timeline, I really enjoy the book it moves at a good pace and it is a great introduction to the franchise.