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Star Wars: Inferno Squad (Battlefront #2) by Christie Golden Book Review

Write on: Sat, 08 Aug 2020 by  in Charles' Reviews Read 2565

4/5

STAR WARS: INFERNO SQUAD is the tie-in book to STAR WARS: BATTLEFRONT II by Christie Golden. I'm a huge Christie Golden fan and love her work with Warcaft, Ravenloft, Star Craft, and her work in the Fate of the Jedi series. I was hesitant to read this book, though, because I felt that the  Battlefront II game had been something of a disaster. I didn't dislike the protagonists of the single player campaign, even wanted to see more about them, but cutting off a third of their campaign for DLC left their story feeling pretty unfinished. Also, I felt like the game had been falsely advertised since it had implied a full Imperial campaign but you only spent a little time as Inferno Squad before defecting to the Rebellion.

Even so, I've softened my opinion regarding Iden Versio and her team and really wish we'd get more ofd their adventures during the Imperial Era. One of the disappointments I had in the TIE Fighter series was that they barely had any time to establish characters for what could have been a solid ongoing series. One of the benefits of the old Legends universe was the fact that we were able to follow the continuing adventures of numerous smaller groups. It's why I love the current ongoing Doctor Aphra series as it reminds me of things like Knights of the Old Republic and Legacy.

The premise is that Iden Versio and her three Special Forces troopers are working for the Imperial Security Bureau. Iden is one of the few survivors of the Death Star, which automatically means she's a complete fanatic, and wants some payback for the destruction of the Imperial war machine. After some low-level missions planting bugs and being closer to spies than commandos, they're given the mission of infiltrating the Partisans that have been given a second wind after their near-destruction in the movie ROGUE ONE.

I've always liked the Partisans and am interested in seeing more of them in future supplements (presumably before now). They're the terrorists to the Rebel Alliance's freedom fighters. It was something only the Star Wars RPG ever dealt with before in Legends and only barely with things like the Justice Action Network and the Imperial Remnant (ironically).

One thing that real life has shown is that oppression doesn't make someone a good person, it just makes them oppressed. Plenty of people would fight against the Galactic Empire but engage in terrorism to do so. Putting up die-hard fascists like Inferno Squad against hardcore terrorists is an interesting premise even if it's darker take from Star Wars than we're used to. Part of what I like about this novel is that it really shows the average Imperial is fully capable of doing unimaginable evil while not mentally engaging with it. Iden mourns her comrades on the Death Star while not really thinking about Alderaan (dismissing everyone who died there as rebels despite 99.999999% being noncombatants).

Iden's willing to go along with the Partisans making terrorist attacks against Imperial citizens because that's the mission and it's for the greater good. Finally, her biggest worry is that her mother will be disappointed in her due to having them fake her defection. They're tribalistic "Team Us vs. Team Them" and it's unfortunately all too realistic. The fact that being undercover screws with that sensibility just a little is well-done.

I wasn't quite sure what the mission objective was for Inferno Squadron because they could eliminate the Partistans at any time and they don't seem to be doing much to find out where the leak of Imperial information was. I did like the interactions between the squad as well as their differing views on the war as well as the Partisans. I was also surprised at the inclusion of a major character from The Clone Wars 3D series and was glad to see them use that bit of continuity.

In conclusion, I really liked this book and would like to see further adventures of Inferno Squad during the Galactic Civil War. I don't see it likely as happening but Disney should know that it has plenty of interesting characters that fans would love to read more about. Inferno Squad seems like a group that would be great to show up in the Galactic Civil War, blowing up Rebels and performing more missions. Admittedly, I wanted to see more of that in Battlefront II anyway.

Available here

Last modified on Tuesday, 18 August 2020 17:33
C.T. Phipps

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles".

He's written Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, and The Supervillainy Saga.

Website: https://ctphipps.wordpress.com/