Star Wars - The Old Republic: Annihilation by Drew Karpyshyn
The Sith Empire is in flux. The Emperor is missing, presumed dead, and an ambitious Sith lord's attempt to seize the throne has ended fatally. Still, Darth Karrid, commander of the fearsome Imperial battle cruiser Ascendant Spear, continues her relentless efforts to achieve total Sith domination of the galaxy.
But Karrid's ruthless determination is more than matched in the steely resolve of Theron Shan, whose unfinished business with the Empire could change the course of the war for good. Though the son of a Jedi master, Theron does not wield the Force - but like his renowned mother, the spirit of rebellion is in his blood. As a top covert agent for the Republic, he struck a crucial blow against the Empire by exposing and destroying a Sith superweapon arsenal - which makes him the ideal operative for a daring and dangerous mission to end Ascendant Spear's reign of terror.
Joined by hot-headed smuggler Teff'ith, with whom he has an inexplicable bond, and wise Jedi warrior Gnost-Dural, Darth Karrid's former master, Theron must match wits and weapons with a battle-tested crew of the most cold-blooded dark-side disciples. But time is brutally short. And if they don't seize their one chance to succeed, they will surely have countless opportunities to die.
The fourth novel to tie in with The Old Republic MMORPG, and a direct sequel to the Dark Horse Comics mini-series The Lost Suns, Annihilation continues the adventures of Theron Shan as well as a number of other characters from the game. Off the bat, I should say that fans of The Lost Suns should definitely pick up this book, though no prior knowledge is necessary. Likewise, you should enjoy this if you enjoyed TOR: Fatal Alliance the novel which precedes this one chronologically.
This is the last of the announced The Old Republic spin offs, and it's nice to spend time with some engaging characters and to finish stories begun in other media. Karpyshyn knows this world well. However, it's not perfect.
With so many novels in the Star Wars EU and so many new stories to tell in The Old Republic timeframe, the idea of a spy thriller was very appealing, but, sadly, that isn't what we get.
This is a fast paced romp that, despite moments of grit, never becomes the hard edged espionage tale that I would have liked it to have been. As a spy story it has more in common with an Alistair Maclean style “men on a mission” World War 2 story - indeed, the middle section in which Theron is tasked with stealing a code device bought to mind stories of enigma machines and hunting U-Boats. But the story never becomes Hunt For Red October in space either and this failure to break the mould is at times a little disappointing. But if you can look beyond what this book could have been, and instead at the book you are getting it is a lot of fun.
It's an entertaining novel; there are moments of genuine humour and warmth amidst the many explosions and battles. The characters are more developed in prose than their comic book origins, and Karpyshyn has some well placed quips and gags that lend sparkle to even the heaviest of expositional scenes. Twi'lek rogue Teff'ith particularly stands out, her brash voice undermining the more earnest Jedi and military characters. Other highlights include Theron's relationship with his long suffering boss and a genuinely entertaining briefing scene that would otherwise have been stiff and dull exposition. It's also nice to have a story that focuses on a non-force talented lead, and having a Jedi in a supporting role for a change is a refreshing reversal.
It does take a while to get going, and while some chapters are full of plot progressing action, others seem to add little to moving the story forward. Some sub characters lack resolution and seem to disappear around the half way mark.
A subplot regarding Theron's parents is initially handled clumsily both by the characters and the writing, seeming to trip the story adding neither surprises nor moving us forward. But it slowly develops and resolves nicely whilst leaving the door open for any future instalments.
Finally, whilst the company of Theron Shan is fine, if you're looking for a real spy thriller in the Star Wars universe, full of truly unexpected twists or the James Bond of the Star Wars universe you should be reading the adventures of Jahan Cross in the Agent Of The Empire mini series by Dark Horse comics.
Essential to fans of the setting, this book, whilst at times seeming a wasted opportunity, is a solid adventure a very long time ago in that galaxy far, far away.
This Star Wars - The Old Republic: Annihilation book review was written by Sean Mason
Have you read Star Wars - The Old Republic: Annihilation?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Star Wars - The Old Republic: Annihilation reader reviews
7.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
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 ...
Star Wars: Hand of Thrawn
Once the unquestioned master of countless solar systems, the Empire is tottering on the brink of total collapse. Once commanding an invincible armada of Star Destroyers, it...
Star Wars - Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide
Set in-world, Star Wars: The Imperial Handbook shares the knowledge of a newly promoted Commander in the Imperial Military, providing a comprehensive overview of the Imperi...
In the time immediately following the destruction of the Death Star and the years between the Battle of Yavin and the foundation of the Rebel Base on Hoth, the Empire's...
Star Wars: New Jedi Order
Twenty-one years have passed since the heroes of the Rebel Alliance destroyed the Death Star, breaking the power of the Emperor. Since then, the New Republic has valiantly ...
Star Wars: X-Wing
Michael A Stackpole
Join the most elite fighting force in space on a do-or-die mission only the X-wings would dare to embark upon! They are sleek, swift, and deadly. They are the X-wing fighte...
Star Wars: The Old Republic
3,500 years in the past of the far-away galaxy, when the Jedi and Galactic Republic clashed with the Sith Empire, smuggler Jet Nebula has stumbled across a treasure richer ...
Star Wars - Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
The Sith have existed in the galaxy for centuries, lurking, waiting for their chance to seize control. In his quest for domination, Darth Sidious tracked down five pivotal ...
Star Wars: Republic Commando
As the Clone Wars rage, victory or defeat lies in the hands of elite squads who take on the toughest assignments in the galaxy ...On a mission to sabotage a chemical weapon...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: