22/06/2013

Book Review: Annihilation

The other week I found myself in Forbidden Planet thanks to some friends, and unsurprisingly it turned out to be the kind of place where it's pretty hard not to spend any money as a geek. Among other things I ended up with the paperback version of SWTOR: Annihilation by Drew Karpyshyn.

Set some time after the main plot arc of the base game, it tells the story of how the Republic sets out to destroy an Imperial space ship which is apparently so special and powerful that its mere existence is apparently totally turning the tide of the war in favour of the Empire. Hrm, where have I heard that before?

I have to admit that the summary on the back didn't exactly fill me with high hopes for the book, and things turned out pretty much as I expected. I liked it less than the previous two SWTOR tie-ins I read, though it was alright I guess.

The main problem I had with it was that it all just felt very generic. The plot is a classic "destroy the superweapon against impossible odds" story (which kind of gets overused in Star Wars fiction in general), and I struggled to get myself to care about any of the main characters as they all seemed pretty flat to me and had little personality. To be fair, apparently the book is a sort of continuation of a comic series featuring these same characters, so maybe they were fleshed out previously and the book feels more rounded if you've read about them before.

On the plus side, the writing is fast-paced and you never have time to get bored. Occasionally there are glimpses of the author trying to touch on a deeper theme (I quite liked Theron's thoughts on who is and isn't part of his family), but they are few and far between. Also, if you have any interest in Old Republic lore whatsoever, Annihilation contains some very juicy bits of information about Darth Malgus, Master Gnost-Dural, Satele Shan and Jace Malcom.

Basically, I can still recommend this if you can pick it up for cheap, feel like immersing yourself in an easy to read little Star Wars adventure and have some interest in learning more about the background of some of the more important NPCs in the game. Just don't expect it to be more than that.

4 comments:

  1. The plot is a classic "destroy the superweapon against impossible odds" story (which kind of gets overused in Star Wars fiction in general) …
    Indeed!

    I’m glad you enjoyed reading the novel, though.

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  2. Yeah, it's like... brain candy. I do enjoy getting tie-ins with the game because then I squealed like a baby when Jace was the quest giver on rep alderaan bonus series AND on Makeb bonus staged junk. SQUEE! I'm such a nerd.

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    Replies
    1. To be fair, that's kind of what I think a good tie-in should be. It doesn't have to be amazing, and in fact it's probably better if it isn't too relevant to the actual game. Just a bit of extra fun on the side.

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  3. I guess you can tell the franchise based on what it's fallback is: WoW's is Corruption and TOR's is the superweapon.

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