Star Wars - The Old Republic #FatalAlliance Book
For me, Sean Williams' 'Fatal Alliance' was a difficult book to get in to. As you can probably see from a few past blog entries, I was really enjoying reading through some of the novels from the expanded Star Wars universe for a while. Even when they were badly written or lifting bits straight out of films starring Liam Neeson *cough*RedHarvest*cough* it was still good fun to discover new characters and places, as well as revisiting familiar ones.
The book begins with a tantalising prologue; a smuggler called Jet Nebula, and his crew discover a ship called the Cinzia, which, after a short back and forth between the Jet and a strange voice on board the Cinzia, makes the decision to self destruct rather than risk being boarded. What could've been so important it deserved total inhalation over being stolen by a band of smugglers.
After this the book jumps between new characters from chapter to chapter, including a Jedi, Sith, Ex-Special Forces agent and a Sith informer posing as a Republic intelligence officer. I think this is the reason I found it took some time to make a lasting impression. Just reading a chapter a night I was quickly forgetting who people were and having to backtrack to remind myself who everyone was.
More recently however, I was able to give the book much more time (thank-you half term!) and it is a very epic tale with interesting characters that you do feel for. Predictably, the Cinzia turns out to have not been as totally destroyed as we thought, and the Hutts end up getting whatever they use as hands on some of the debris from the ship. With the tantalising prospect of a previously unknown resource rich world buried within the navigational computer found amongst the debris, the Hutts intend to auction off their findings to the highest bidder.
Of course, this doesn't go to plan and eventually all character plot lines converge in a hectic battle in the Hutt palace. When it is learnt what the item discovered actually is and where it originated, in line with the books title, an alliance has to be formed between our now familiar cast for the greater good of everyone involved. With a few surprises and excellently told planetary invasion, the climax piles on the excitement, making it very difficult to put down.
Upon reaching our conclusion, I felt the story had a nice 'wind down' period of a couple of chapters, making the book feel nice and resolved, yet leaving a little bit of curiosity as to the fate of the Jedi and Sith characters you have come to know quite well.
So, a good read then, and definitely not the fault of the book that I was unable to get into it at first. If you have the time to give, then this is a well told and captivating story and an excellent arc of the Old Republic group of novels. It's not literary genius, but manages to be intriguing, exciting and varied throughout. Definitely a 'read'.