Madison Watkins, Staff Writer
After the release of Electronic Arts (EA Games) “Star Wars: Battlefront” most Star Wars fans were disappointed due to the limited content and expensive downloadable content (DLC) for their online multiplayer mode.
With the November 17 release date for its sequel approaching, fans are urgently waiting as EA promises free DLC and more single player content for those with spotty internet providers. The most promising of these new features is a single player campaign about a special forces unit of Imperials called the Inferno Squad that spans the gap between the films “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens.”
In preparation for the game’s release, EA released a prequel book by Christie Golden that gives a backstory to the Inferno Squad and their first missions together called “Battlefront II: Inferno Squad.” It was released on July 25 this past summer. Golden has written four Star Wars books in the past, including a short story for the recently released anthology short story book “From A Certain Point of View.”
The squad members are Iden Versio, Gideon Hask, Seyn Marana and Del Meeko. The supervisor for the squad is Admiral Garrick Versio, who also happens to be Iden’s father. It is made clear from the beginning of the novel that the Admiral was always cold and distant towards his daughter and Iden had made her way through the Empire without his help.
After Iden narrowly survives the Battle of Yavin when the first Death Star explodes, her father notifies her that she is to be part of a special forces unit to take on covert operations for the Empire. A test was undertaken to see how each squad member would carry out missions if they were the leader, and Iden is chosen as captain. The rest of the novel follows the team on their first missions and learning how to work together, including a deep undercover mission to infiltrate the remaining members of Saw Gerrera’s rebel group The Partisans.
The characters were easily likable once they were introduced. The book was an enjoyable origin story that leaves fans wanting more. It has some great unexpected coverage, (or Easter-eggs) for the fans of the Star Wars Expanded Universe such as characters from “The Clone Wars” television show and Jyn Erso novel “Rebel Rising.”
The pacing of the book was one of the downsides. The plot felt rushed in some places, then slowed down for the second half of the book. The characters were also not developed too well. They did not have enough time together before they had to split up again for their undercover mission, which gives the reader a reason to doubt how capable they are to complete their mission.
The pacing is somewhat understandable because Golden can only go so far (in writing the story) to introduce a lot of new characters and give them good development while giving them room to grow during the game that follows. Because the book is a prequel to the game, there is a guarantee that their missions will be mostly successful so the reader should not be questioning what the team is capable of.
Despite its faults, “Inferno Squad” leaves you wondering what happens next to the squad members. The book had a strong beginning to get readers invested into the story, a shaky middle that separates the team members as soon as readers get used to their dynamic and a strong ending that can leave the audience teary-eyed.
Overall, the book accomplished its goal of getting fans excited for the upcoming “Battlefront” game and welcoming new characters the Empire will be proud of. You can find “Battlefront II: Inferno Squad” at your local bookstore or online for $28.99.