BioWare and LucasArts—creators of the hugely popular Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game—have combined their storytelling talents and cutting-edge technology for an innovative new massively multiplayer online role-playing game that allows players to create their own personal Star Wars adventure 3,500 years before the rise of Darth Vader.
Now, number-one New York Times best-selling author Sean Williams brings the world of the game to life in his latest novel, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance.
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 the Sith Empire are present, along with a Jedi Padawan sent to investigate, a disenfranchised trooper drummed out of the Republic’s elite Blackstar Squad, and a mysterious Mandalorian with a private agenda. But the Republic’s envoy is not what he seems, the Empire’s delegate is a ruthless Sith apprentice, the Jedi Padawan is determined to do the right thing and terrified that he can’t, the trooper hopes to redeem her reputation, and the Mandalorian is somehow managing to keep one step ahead of everyone.
None of these guests—invited or uninvited—have any intention of participating in the auction. Instead they plan to steal the prize, which is locked inside an impregnable vault: two burned chunks of an exploded star cruiser, one of which may hold the key to the wealth of an entire world.
But the truth about the treasure is dangerous and deadly. And in the end, Sith and Jedi, Republic and Empire, must do something they’ve never done before, something that all the agents of good and evil could never make them do: join together to stop a powerful threat that could destroy the galaxy.
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©2010 Sean Williams (P)2010 Random House
"This novel is tied in to the Star Wars universe at a stage in its history that is still being explored in print fiction, and it is also the prequel to what promises to be the largest, most ambitious electronic role-playing game yet to be spun off of that universe. With so much riding on its shoulders, the book demands an unusual gift for cracking-good space opera, and that Williams possesses in full measure." (Booklist)
The narration was by far the best part of this story. Marc Thompson made an otherwise lazily constructed novel into a passable listen. The character build was decent it the entire structure seemed lazy and poorly written leading to a mix of confusion and boredom.
I just can't fully fall into any story that tells the same events over and over from the point of view of everyone involved! Pick a character and write your story convincingly enough to keep your audience attracted. Example: Chapter5 - event occurs and we hear one story representing everyone involved. Chapter 6 - 6 people go off in separate directions to fulfill the plan. We hear the timeline of events from character 1. Chapter 7: we hear the same timeline again from point of view of character 2. Then AGAIN from point of view of character 3. Then AGAIN from character 4. Chapter 7 - we AGAIN hear the SAME timeline from point of view of character 5 then character 6!!!! At this point I'm just exhausted and can't follow anymore! Then all parties get back together and plan for the next encounter that we have to hear about 15 times!!!!! I'm tiring myself just trying to write this!
Anyways, the narration is incredible as always, and their were a few interesting characters. Unfortunately, IMHO, the story structure was exhausting and at times confusing and the plot really wasn't worth the struggle to listen. I would suggest passing on this and saving your $16 and 13 hours!
Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane. Reviewer at BiblioSanctum.
Williams went out of his way to make sure you knew this was a gaming novel. This book is written with slant toward people familiar with the games or Star Wars in general as most tie-in media is. There’s not much description of the characters or surroundings because the book assumes most readers have played the game and can picture the setting and characters based on what they know about the settings and how the various races typically look, which can be a turn off for someone who may be only slightly familiar with the Star Wars universe. Williams also managed to fit in a shout out to all the classes you can play in SWTOR in this book in the most obvious of ways. There’s not anything wrong with that, but the execution felt cheesy. If you’ve ever played SWTOR, you could easily pick up on the classes these characters represented, but Williams took it a step further by stating outright what classes these characters represent. Example: Moxla was a trooper, and that was easy enough to understand from what we learned about her. There wasn’t really any need to spell it out to the readers, even those who may only be familiar with the movies and/or other Star Wars media. However, we had to have a Captain Obvious moment where another character makes sure to point out that she’s a trooper. We understand she’s a trooper, really. That happened with many characters. I found myself thinking, “I understand he’s a smuggler. I understand he’s a Jedi knight. Why are you stating such obvious facts?”
I’d like to talk about a narration well done. Marc Thompson does an exceptional job narrating this story, giving all the characters such distinct voices. And trust me, this book has many characters who speak, so to be able to nail different voices for all of them takes talent. I might have enjoyed his narration more than I enjoyed the story. A few caveats on this audiobook. It is full production, which means there is music and sound effects. From time to time, and this is a complaint I have for most full production audiobooks, the din in the background can drown out the narrator’s voice. Ifound it particularly distracting when Thompson was speaking over a character that was speaking Huttese to simulate translating. That was distracting. Another thing is that the quality was inconsistent. I don’t know if this was an issue with my player or if it’s an issue with the audiobook, but there were parts that were just weak quality.
This book asked me to suspend much of my beliefs as far as the plot was concerned. I never really felt the basis of the plot was a strong one. Plots like these stand up in video games because players have to infer much of the details or what’s going on in the background. Often the players are much more imaginative than the writers in this respect. It gets trickier ro explain this plot “on paper” because then the writers are tasked with fleshing out the story with more detail, and sometimes, that can leave readers thinking that maybe they didn’t think through this plot enough, which is partly the case here. There were many ways that a plot like this could’ve gone that would’ve made it more believable, but it wasn’t so bad that I gave up on it. As far as stories go, this one did keep me engaged. It actually turned out better than I was expecting. And admittedly, I did get a kick out of characters from the game being introduced into the story, such as Satele Shan and Watcher Three. The new characters Williams’ introduced weren’t terribly rounded, but they were likable enough that I cared about what happened to them… well, most of them. Also, I enjoyed most of the action sequences and could see them playing out epically in my head.
This was an interesting trek through the Star Wars universe, and despite some complaints mainly with the weak (very weak and also partially stupid) plot, I’m actually looking forward to reading more novels to fill in the gaps of this universe because it’s all in good fun. Also, Jet Nebula and Clunker are the MVPs of this novel.
Not really. I didn't particularly enjoy the story and felt that there were some major plot holes.
The reader was ok - my wife read this book and I listened to it. Our opinions of some of the characters' personalities was wildly different - we eventually realized that it's because Thompson adds a lot of personality through his voice. For some characters, it really complimented what was written... but the Sith spy's voice reminded me strongly of LaMarche's Kif voice from Futurama. As such, I found the character whiny and annoying, whereas my wife found him heroic in his struggle to maintain his morals despite his roll with the Sith.
This story had 2 major plot issues in my opinion. Firstly, it takes place thousands of years before the movies and yet the technology is significantly more advanced than we saw in the movies. My other issue is with the Jedi's morality - at one point, he's breaking into a Hutt's palace, literally trespassing in the home of a paranoid crime lord. The security force finds him and he remorselessly slaughters them, disregarding them as simply being gamorian. I was taken aback at the Jedi's inconsistent disregard for life in this story.
New, different era. brand new characters..... a little slow at the beginning but man did it pick up!!!! Loved the sound effects and Marc Thompson does great girl voices!!! HA!!!!!!
Just like many I am looking forward to the upcoming online game. The desire to submerge into this universe influenced my decision to check this audio book out.
Now that I have enjoyed this book I think I can say with confidence that it is a good read for any Star Wars fan. I believe the story stands on its own quite well and I think everyone should consider book for their library. Even if you have little interest in the game.
The plot and dynamics of this book are engaging and the reader is easy to follow.
The only negative remark is that the ambient transitions are overpowering and need to be less prominent.
Other then that I really enjoyed this book and wish there where more with these characters.
This book started out very slowly and I almost (for the first time ever) decided to not listen to all of an audio book. Towards the end of the first part of the audio book it picks up a little but still not enough. There just isn't much of a story here.
While another great performance by Mark Thompson, the story feels like it lacks a portion of the Star Wars magic that draws a reader in. An entertaining story, one that is well-written and performed even better, but it nevertheless leaves you with an odd feeling at it's conclusion. One that carries a strange emptiness with it, like if you had a familiar dish served to you with a few new ingredients that were rather pleasant but one of your favorite ingredients was missing.
Characters in this story that should have had more impact seemed to be left on the sidelines, but aside from that this was a very good listen.
Not my first reccommendation, though.
An original plot, fast paced action and a few key engaging characters. Interesting to get a view of a different balance in the star wars political world. Is held back from 5 stars due to a number of flat, wooden and pointless characters who confuse the plot and hold the flow back and a lack of original imagination in adding new elements to the star wars universe.
It's a great plot with great characters that keep you interested and listening. For any Star Wars fan this is a brilliant story!
"Got distracted a few times"
Really fun great great great performance but I got distracted at points so it does justify the full 5 stars. Happy I listened to it I just found the hexs a bit if a naff enemy.
"Very enjoyable experience."
I felt that the noises of the sound effects along with the telling of the story and the different voices added to the whole experience made listening of this audio book extremely enjoyable.
"Great audiobook! Very well read !"
A very enjoyable audiobook, a great story and very well told ! The author paints an excellent picture of the characters and locations that are further brought to life by the reader and the sound effects throughout.
"It was passable"
As far as Star Wars novels go, this is not the finest. It just needed a better story and characters, simple as that.
It just wasn't a particularly interesting story, and being set so long in the past didn't help.
I can't remember, none stick out really.
Only if you are a big Star Wars fan, and even then, not particularly.
I'd skip to the second book in the series, much better.
Can't get enough of these right now, fallen firmly back in love with Star wars recently thanks to the beauties.
"Intense & Engaging Story From The Old Republic Era"
As my 1st Sci-Fi Audiobook, the best! I would measure any other Sci-Fi Novels, especially Star Wars Novels against this book.
None just yet, as I need to read and listen to more Sci-Fi books, but I would compare the story and performance to any one of the Star Wars Movies.
Shigar Konshi, a Kiffar Jedi Padawan under the tutelage of Jedi Grand Master Satele Shan. Marc Thompson's performances for all the characters were top notch but I was mostly intrigued and connected to the character of 'Shigar Konshi'. One 'meeting' sets him on a journey that truly expresses the character's thoughts, feelings and actions in every way and listening to this journey unfold in this audiobook is amazing!
No, for me listening to it in stages helped me to anticipate the next part of the story. Which made it more exciting.
For any Star Wars fans interested in 'The Old Republic Era', the events of this book are set near the end of 'The Cold War' between the Galactic Republic & the Sith Empire, one year (3643 BBY(means Before the Battle Of Yavin) before resumed hostilities between the two sides in the 2nd Galactic War (3644 BBY).
"very good star wars audio book"
it is a very good star wars audio book. the story is very good with well described characters. like most star wars auydiobooks there is really good sound effects.
"Decent, enjoyable listen"
I think this is a good introduction to a new Star Wars era. Despite no familiar charactres to work with, the author does a good job of introducing and making the characters interesting and that makes the story work out well
Its well written to my mind, this particular writer has a style or uses a style of telling the same time period from different viewpoints one after the other, which works out well.
I won't spoil the story particularly, but here you will find as in the latest Fate of the Jedi books that the Sith form a significant and important part of the story and are characterised well. Recommended.
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