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The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance by Sean…
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Showing 5 of 5
Not bad. Better than the current Legacy series of novels. Starts kind of slow, and struggled to hold my interest for a bit - but I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. It definitely gets better the deeper you get into the story.
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  kevbayer | Jun 20, 2014 |
This book takes place sometime after the uneasy truce between the Republic and the Empire. Both sides are looking for the advantage and they think that they have found it in the form of a ship that was found by a smuggler by the name of Jet Nebula. The ship self-destructs and the data core is being auctioned off by the Hutts. Both the Empire and the Republic send envoys to procure it. There is a lot of double crossing in this novel and there are many characters whose motivations aren't clear. The issue with this novel is that there is too much happening, and it is hard to care about any of the characters. It is never made clear who the protagonist is and by the time the novel ends, nothing has changed. Essentially this reads like a 400 page introduction, which I guess it is since it is a video game tie-in novel. Because of this I found the novel unfulfilling and flat. I expected more from the Star Wars Universe. ( )
  burningtodd | Jun 11, 2012 |
That this is the best of the three Old Republic tie-in novels doesn't say much. Here at least I liked the characters somewhat (and they had personalities) and I was a little invested in the mystery and plot that takes them to Hutta and beyond, but like most tie-in novels, it's clear that its real purpose was to highlight a new franchise. You could almost see the checklist in their heads. Imperial Agent? Check. Jedi Knight? Check. Trooper, smuggler, appearances by major NPCs, check, check, check.

I read it to get a better sense of the world, and I guess it worked for that. But books written to fulfill a list of criteria just-- aren't usually that interesting. It all falls flat. ( )
  Aerrin99 | Feb 13, 2012 |
Overall, the book was okay. I've read far better Star Wars books, but I've also read far worse. In fact, if I'd simply read this book, I probably wouldn't have been moved to write a review for it. I'd have just marked it three stars and moved on.

However, I "read" the audio version, which has two problems the print version wouldn't suffer from.

The first problem was one that was probably unavoidable, and certainly unintentional. To differentiate the various characters, the narrator employed different voices, which seems standard in audio books. Unfortunately, his choice for one voice reminded me strongly of Kif Kroker from Futurama every time I heard it. He wasn't, nor was he suppose to look like him, so the continuing mental image was jarring.

The second problem was avoidable, and responsible for the two-and-a-half star rating. They decided to use sound effects, I'm assuming to make it a more movie-like experience. Since this is my first SW audio book, I don't know if these are the norm, but they quickly went from "oh neat, sound effects" to seriously distracting in parts. At points they also seemed to not quite mesh with the description of certain scenes. Frankly, they would have done far better to leave them out. ( )
  Lostshadows | Feb 1, 2012 |
Unless a book really hooks me, I know I can take much too long to read. So maybe I didn’t devour Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Allliance in no time like I had expected, but at the same time I delighted in taking my sweet time to read it. I’ll cut to the chase here — if you can look beyond the faults that are so typical of novels based on video games, you will probably enjoy it.

I’d like to mention that I am a big reader and fan of Star Wars expanded universe books, and I can honestly say that Fatal Alliance can stand next to any of them. I’d even go as far as to say it was better written than most of the Star Wars books I’ve read. Sean Williams’ writing style is easy to follow, without feeling like you’re being talked down to. Dialogue can get cheesy and positively cringe-worthy at times, but it’s made up for by the author’s excellent handling of the characters’ relationships with each other.

The story, on the other hand, was a bit disappointing. I realize, however, that storylines that work for a game don’t necessarily translate as well into book form, and I’m sure much of characters and plots from Fatal Alliance were developed under such game-to-novel constraints. At times you may find the story predictable, and inevitably, you will come across parts in the book which will make you stop and think, “Wait, that doesn’t make much sense!” Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to look past these flaws if you can maintain appropriate expectations for an MMO tie-in of this nature.

Fatal Alliance is also blessed/plagued with a large ensemble of characters, depending on the way you look at it. The novel follows the activities of no less than eight characters, no doubt for the sole purpose of showcasing all the classes of the SWTOR game. Consequently, you can expect to find the points-of-view constantly switching around between and even within chapters, sometimes rehashing certain events over and over again. This may annoy some readers, but I think most will end up appreciating the author’s attempt to give equal attention to both the Republic and the Sith.

I also found the character development sufficient, but perhaps die-hards will still find it unsatisfying. In some ways, I believe the book was written with the expectation that the reader is already familiar the Star Wars universe, as well has decent background knowledge of the SWTOR MMO. Indeed, the class archetypes (Smuggler, Jedi Knight, Trooper, etc.) and their traits are well reflected in the novel, and readers will greatly benefit from having existing knowledge of them. Otherwise, you may find the story background and characters’ histories severely lacking and even confusing, and admittedly character development will not go that much further beyond what has already been established and/or understood about the archetypes.

Nonetheless, I am impressed with the way Williams handled the characters and the classes they represent, especially considering how much of it is obviously required to correspond to the game. It’s a challenge to create characters that are based on such prominent archetypes and still make them unique and interesting, but he manages well. Particularly, if you are interested in the Smuggler or Imperial Agent and are disappointed by the limited information Bioware has revealed on them so far, Fatal Alliance will be a treat. While reading, I also picked up on many hints regarding class abilities and other game mechanics, so SWTOR addicts might also have that to look forward to.

While some of my criticisms of Fatal Alliance might seem a little harsh, I do want to make it clear that I enjoyed the book. I think most people who are looking for a fun, casual read will enjoy it too; just don’t expect an epic tale. If you are a fan of Star Wars or the expanded universe, this book is worth checking out. And if you’re a fan of SWTOR, this is a must-read. ( )
  stefferoo | Jun 26, 2011 |
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"Tassaa Bareesh, a matriarch in the Hutt crime cartel, is holding an auction that's drawing attention from across the galaxy. Representatives of both the Republic and the Sith Empire are present, along with a Jedi Padawan sent to investigate, a disenfranchised trooper drummed out of the Republic's elite Blackstar Squad, and a mysterious Mandalorian with a private agenda. But the Republic's envoy is not what he seems, the Empire's delegate is a ruthless Sith apprentice, the Jedi Padawan is determined to do the right thing and terrified that he can't, the trooper hopes to redeem her reputation, and the Mandalorian is somehow managing to keep one step ahead of everyone. None of these guests--invited or uninvited--have any intention of participating in the auction. Instead they plan to steal the prize, which is locked inside an impregnable vault: two burned chunks of an exploded star cruiser, one of which may hold the key to the wealth of an entire world. But the truth about the treasure is dangerous and deadly. And in the end, Sith and Jedi, Republic and Empire, must do something they've never done before, something that all the agents of good and evil could never make them do: join together to stop a powerful threat that could destroy the galaxy."--Dust cover flaps.… (more)

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