288 pages, 2009
Written by Joe Schreiber
My rating: ★★★★★
A virus so good, I caught it just by reading it! (Seriously, I caught a cold.)
A small disclaimer for those expecting a movie review, this is a book review. Why you may ask? Because it’s Star Wars and horror, that’s why. What more do you people want anyway? Just read the damn review.
Welcome to the Purge, an Imperial prison barge, home to several hundred of the galaxy’s worst criminals and scumbags. This sets a gritty atmosphere as you meet our cast of “good guys.” First we have Trig and Kale Longo, brothers barely in their teens. Next is Dr. Zahara Cody, the medical officer and daydream object for all post-pubescent males on the barge. Finally, we have the stereotypical bad interrogation officer who just happens to be majorly psychopathic.
Skipping the intro stuff and how all the characters are connected, we discover that the barge’s engines blew out, several days from their destination. But salvation is in sight! An abandoned Star Destroyer just happens to be close enough to get to, which screams all kinds of weird since it has approximately a dozen life signs while a Destroyer has a crew of eight thousand. Unfortunately when the away team comes back, they bring back a deadly disease.
In less than an hour after they get back, the majority of the away team is dead and rest of the ship is well on their way. With a great word selection, the variety of how people die, this part of the book is probably the second best in the novel, behind the zombies. The pictures the words paint are great and not marred by bad acting or lack luster special effects (take that movies!) The only limit is your imagination. Remember this for later.
Only six people survive, four of which have a natural immunity to the virus which just happen to be the four mentioned above. Seriously, if I have to keep reminding you of these things, this will take all day, so pay attention. Anyway, an antivirus is made…after the last patient dies. That’s what I call bad timing.
We have a cameo by a very popular duo about this time, and one that almost made me drop the rating. I love Han and Chewie; yes that’s who the duo is; but I like them having a purpose being in the novel, and there was no purpose than simply to say they are there. Their personalities didn’t particularly fit in my opinion and this is set before A New Hope, so his happy go lucky attitude isn’t as believable if he had this experience under his belt. Just saying.
Complaining aside, the author makes it work. It is about this time that the dead start to wake up, and soon after the group is running for their life. To save the best details for those who man up and actually read this; something not done much in today’s society; I’ll suffice it to say they move to Star Destroyer and discover what happened to the crew there.
The last bit I will leave you with is to assure you that the vocabulary involved is not difficult at all, and the author is very descriptive. If this were to be translated into a film, it would make a slasher look positively tame. This book is very accessible to people of all reading levels, and instead of using terms that confuse, the author enamors you with a scene of gory carnage that should be idolized by horror fans for decades to come. (Plus the reveal at the end is amazing!!!! But no spoilers, so get off your lazy ass and read it yourself. The library’s mostly free for you cheapskates out there. Yes you.)