Joe Schreiber, STAR WARS: DEATH TROOPERS.

by waxbanks

A zombie novel set aboard a Star Destroyer. Its cover image: an Imperial stormtrooper helmet dangling from a meathook, a severed head still inside.

Sold. Give that commissioning editor a big raise.

Unfortunately, the book’s only passable — the characters are competently sketched in, the setting is irrelevant, Han and Chewie are effectively but not interestingly rendered, and the Climactic Revelations (the Empire created the zombies!) don’t have any heft or resonance. Labyrinth of Evil is a more effective page-turner, though admittedly that’s a low bar, and the Thrawn Trilogy has far more to say about the Star Wars universe. That’s a low bar too, come to think of it.

I’m 0-for-2 with zombie novels. World War Z fell apart less than 2/3 of the way through, when its Interesting Metaphor stopped being interesting and Max Brooks’s tin ear became an unavoidable and unforgivable liability. And this one…well, it kept me entertained for a couple hours. What more can you ask? Hordes of zombies are, I think, a ready-made cinematic subject but a harder sell on the page. I wonder if Patient Zero is any better…? Bah. Time for some grownup books.

Kudos to all involved for even attempting a Star Wars survival-horror novel, though. It was, and remains, a great idea.

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