Genre: Science Fiction
So I said I was going to do Outbound Flight next, but Death Troopers kept taunting me from my bookshelf, so here it is! Now, some people are wary of Death Troopers because they aren’t sure zombies really fit in the world of Star Wars, but Joe Schreiber masterfully presents this dark story, which takes place in year 1BBY, about one year before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope.
Two teenage boys-Kale and Trig Longo-are among many inmates on a prison barge called the Purge. On its way to a detention moon, the ship breaks down. Luckily, it is near a seemingly abandoned Star Destroyer called the Vector, where the crew can go collect parts for the Purge. Jereth Sartoris takes a team onto the eerily quiet Vector with only half the men returning to the Purge, bringing with them a deadly virus called the Blackwing virus (the origins of which can be read in the prequel to Death Troopers, Red Harvest).
Investigating the virus is the prison barge’s doctor, Zahara Cody. Finding out she is immune, she searches the barge for any survivors to initiate the antivirus. Both Kale and Trig seem to be unaffected, but the virus spreads fast, and they seek an escape pod as their only plan, where they run into Sartoris, another who seems to be immune.
In her search for survivors, Doctor Cody checks the isolation bay, the only place the virus may not have struck yet. In the bay, she finds none other than Chewbacca and Han Solo, initiating the antivirus to the only survivors she has found so far. Making their way to escape, Doctor Cody warns to watch out for all the bodies, only to find that they had vanished!
Of course, Sartoris takes the pod for himself, leaving the boys, who end up with Han. Returning to the Vector to find their means of escape, the group must find some way to get away from these dead things, things that have been kept alive by the mere presence of a more concentrated form of the virus. This is when Doctor Zahara comes to the conclusion that someone wanted this virus to be spread over the entire Empire.
The scare factor was interesting, but the zombie action was reserved for the later part of the novel. This aside, I would highly recommend this book, and YES, you should read it, even if you are one of those Star Wars fans that is unsure about adding zombies into the universe.
I do not know why there is a Jedi in this image, but subtract that and you get a pretty solid rendition of the novel’s imagery. We know they survive, obviously, because they play a major role in the main story arc to come. But first, Han must get his ship out of Imperial impoundment…