The Old Republic: Annihilation

February 17, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

annihilationThe Old Republic: Annihilation by Drew Karpyshyn

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Annihilation is that last of the The Old Republic stories, and brings that series to a decent close. Here, we have a group of undercover rebels infiltrating a powerful Imperial ship, hoping to stop it before it does serious damage to the Republic. The novel doesn’t bring about the end of the Imperials, but then again, neither did Return of the Jedi. Both stories, though, suggest that the events depicted represent the beginning of the end, which with some stories is enough.

It’s been neat watching the different stories people write for the Star Wars universe. We’ve seen horror and space opera with the last two books, and now Karpyshyn gives us a cyberpunk story, complete with slicers (hackers) and direct data jacks into the brain. The book is more Star Wars than Neuromancer, though, so fans who might not like cyberpunk shouldn’t be afraid to read this book.

Annihilation uses a couple of characters established in Fatal Alliance, making this the first book in the series that directly follows from an earlier one. I also understand that the chronological order of these books differs from the published order (and that Revan takes place long before the other three), which might account for some of the characters not being present in all books. It’s just interesting that these books are all ostensibly under a single series, when the stories differ so much in character, time, and setting.

I wish that the series had been a bit more contained, with a clearer beginning and end. If the series is supposed to be about the Old Republic, I would have preferred that the books start with the formation of said Republic, and ended with its demise. Or something. I get that the books were part of a multimedia marketing ploy to cash in on the game’s popularity, and the novels were satisfying as standalone books, but for books that are published as part of a series, they ought to focus more on what that series is supposed to be about.

The Old Republic has been an engaging, interesting series. The first two books, I think, were better than the last two, but the last two were better stories than, say, Into the Void or Lost Tribe of the Sith. I’m not sure it compares to Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy, but let’s be honest here: how could they?

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