- Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
- Title: Star Wars: The Old Republic - Annihilation
- Author: Drew Karpyshyn
- Publisher: Del Rey Books
- Number of Pages: 336
- Release Date: 13 November 2012
What is itStar Wars: The Old Republic – Annihilation is the fourth in a series of novels based off the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. The game is apparently set after the "class stories" in Star Wars: The Old Republic and the main protagonist in the story is a spy for the Republic known as Theron Shan. The book is written by Drew Karpyshyn, who started off as a Loan Officer but eventually ended up designing games for Wizards of the Coast as well as writing two novels set in the Forgotten Realms universe (both published in 2001). He joined BioWare in 2000 and was a writer and designer on games such as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, and several Baldur's Gate games. Besides his novels, he's probably best known as the lead writer for Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.
The book follows the exploits of Republic spy Theron Shan as he tries to stop Darth Karrid, commander of the most powerful ship in the galaxy, the "Ascendant Spear", from achieving galactic domination. Theron Shan is joined on his quest by the former master of Darth Karrid, a Jedi Master named Gnost-Dural, as well as a Twi'lek smuggler called Teff'ith.
How I got itMy wife surprised me by purchasing this book since she knew I enjoyed previous books by Drew Karpyshyn (although they were set in the Mass Effect universe) and she knows I like "Star Wars", so thanks for being awesome, honey 😊. While I've played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel, I've actually never played the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic which this novel is based off.
What I like:
Self-contained storyThe story never feels like you need to have played the game in order to understand what's going on.
FunThe story unfolds like a typical action-packed adventure set in the "Star Wars" universe. This means not only is the story appealing to fans of the expanded universe but also for those who haven't delved into much of the "Star Wars" lore besides the movies.
Half-naked heroesLook, you'll just have to read it to understand the reference but I had to admit, I laughed out loud when it came to this bit.
What I dislike:
Predictable?As mentioned before, the story unfolds like a typical action-packed adventure set in the "Star Wars" universe, which means the downside is that the plot is a bit predictable and you'll see what's going to happen a mile away. Also, all the usual tropes are here, such as the Jedi being wise but preachy, and the Sith being their usual evil selves: it's like a Roger Moore era Bond film. For some, this is exactly what they want to see and it's what they expect from a "Star Wars" story; for others, it's getting a bit long in the tooth.
Probably more appealing to those that have played the gameOkay, I did mention that you didn't need to have played the game in order to understand what's going on, and that comment still stands. However, after doing a bit of research it seems many of the characters in this novel feature in the game and some of them are quite prominent characters at that. Consequently, while you can still appreciate the story without having played the game, it's probably not going to be as rich and rewarding an experience.
Anti-climaxLet's just say that when the villain of the story is taken care of, it all came about rather suddenly and I was surprised that they were disposed of, once and for all, in a mundane manner.
Score – 7/10 (Good)Like a Roger Moore era James Bond film, this novel doesn't really take any risks in deviating from the tried and true formula for an action-packed adventure set in the "Star Wars" universe, which might be a good thing for some, but rather uninspiring for others. It's a well written book though, and should appeal to most "Star Wars" fans, especially for those that have played Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Is the book worth $12.99?: Yes. It's not a bad price for a sci-fi adventure set in the "Star Wars" universe.
If you like this, you might like…
- The Making of Prince of Persia: Journals 1985 - 1993 (2011)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011)
- Mass Effect: Andromeda – Nexus Uprising (2017)
[ LINK: Drew Karpyshyn's Website ]