Welcome back to Go/No-Go, Tosche Station’s regular feature where we offer our spoiler-free opinion as to whether or not you should spend your hard-earned money on a book, film, or other entertainment. Today on the launch pad: Star Wars: Battlefront II: Inferno Squad. It’s the prequel for the highly anticipated Battlefront II game and follows the members of Inferno Squad as their team is formed and through their first missions. But how do we feel about the book? To mission control for the verdict!
Bria: I’m biased. I admit it freely. I went into this book wanting to love it and that Iden Versio costume I have in my closet has something to do with it. I loved this book. I really did. It doesn’t quite reach the levels of love that I have for Bloodline but it does a damn good job of also wrecking my emotions. Inferno Squad felt like the Wraith Squadron-Republic Command mash up with more ladies that I never knew I needed until it was in my hands. Ignoring some Alderaan’s destruction related things, Iden Versio is one of the most personally relatable characters in Star Wars that I’ve encountered in a very long time and I could not be more grateful for her. In fact, I love all of the members of Inferno Squad and desperately want to read another book about their adventures before the Battle of Endor. Inferno Squad is a book that doesn’t shy away from moral ambiguity nor does it give readers a black/white look at the Empire and Rebellion. Like much of the current canon, it gives the Empire nuance without detracting from the Rebel Alliance. Plus… Iden Versio. Have I mentioned yet how much I love Iden Versio? I really love Iden Versio. Inferno Squad gets a strong GO from me!
Nanci: I was excited to read Inferno Squad, if only to see what Christie Golden can do when unfettered by a previous story. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Fate of the Jedi series, other than the Luke and Ben interaction, and Dark Disciple, while I thought it was well-written, wasn’t in my wheelhouse. I did really enjoy one of Golden’s Warcraft books, however, so I predicted that Inferno Squad, set in an era I enjoy and with a wholly original story (not to mention a female protagonist – kind of) would be more to my liking. To my pleasure, it was! Golden’s writing is tight and efficient; at a little more than 300 pages, the story flies by and no plot point seems extraneous. However, nothing feels rushed. I read this book in less than two days, and towards the end it was hard to put down as I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to all the characters. Speaking of the characters, they really shine under Golden’s capable pen. I am not as big a fan of Iden Versio as Bria is (but who is, really?) but I appreciate her fanaticism for the Empire, as well as the human moments that made it easy to relate to her from time to time. (Which is essential for a main character.) It’s been neat getting more books from an Imperial perspective lately and trying to get into Imperials’ heads, as it helps you learn more about the Empire as a whole. As Grand Admiral Thrawn says, to defeat an enemy, you must know them! While I’m still a Rebel through and through, I found myself rooting against the partisans (because screw those guys), and wanting Inferno Squad to succeed in some of their goals, but not all. You’ll see what I mean. Star Wars is known as a story of good versus evil, but it’s good to get ambiguous stories that flesh out the universe and bring the characters to life. (Also, I’m a huge fan of Del Meeko and wish for him to defect to the Rebellion, please and thank you.) Inferno Squad is a good, quick read for all Original Trilogy fans, with some interesting connections to the Clone Wars era (thanks to the memory of Saw Gerrera), and is a must-read for all Imps for Life. It gets a GO from me.
Flight Director’s Ruling: Inferno Squad is a GO for launch!