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Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Friday, October 27, 2017

By the Book - Death Troopers



Welcome back!
            In honor of Halloween, October’s book review will be horror theme. The novel in question is entitled Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber,  book inspired by one of the most popular sci-fi opera’s out there; Star Wars. This story was meant to be a sequel to Red Harvest, which I reviewed earlier this year.

            When I went to Amazon to order some new material for my library back in April, Star Wars related content was high on my list of interests. That's when I came across Death Troopers, a cross between zombies and a popular sci-fi franchise. I later selected Red Harvest when I found out it was its prequel.

The story begins in the Imperial prison barge Purge, as it breaks down in a distant, uninhabited part of space. Its only hope appears to lie in a seemingly abandoned Star Destroyer, drifting nearby. When a boarding party is sent to scavenge for parts, only half of them come back, bringing with them a deadly contagion. Within hours, half the Purge’s population die, come back as zombies and begin to hunt the survivors. In an attempt to escape, the survivors take shelter in the Star Destroyer, unaware of the horrors within.


Back of the Book:
When the Imperial prison barge Purge–temporary home to five hundred of the galaxy’s most ruthless killers, rebels, scoundrels, and thieves–breaks down in a distant, uninhabited part of space, its only hope appears to lie with a Star Destroyer found drifting, derelict, and seemingly abandoned. But when a boarding party from the Purge is sent to scavenge for parts, only half of them come back–bringing with them a horrific disease so lethal that within hours nearly all aboard the Purge die in ways too hideous to imagine.

And death is only the beginning.

The Purge’s half-dozen survivors–two teenage brothers, a sadistic captain of the guards, a couple of rogue smugglers, and the chief medical officer, the lone woman on board–will do whatever it takes to stay alive. But nothing can prepare them for what lies waiting aboard the Star Destroyer amid its vast creaking emptiness that isn’t really empty at all. For the dead are rising: soulless, unstoppable, and unspeakably hungry.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT

What I Learned From This Book:
  • Crossing genres: The most obvious aspect of this story, is how it crosses two very distinctive genres, Zombies and Star Wars. Each genre are pretty solid on their own, but combining the two is something that has been rarely seen. The author successfully managed to integrate both genres into one epic story. For more information on integration, visit one of my previous writing prompts on the subject.
  • Safe characters: One of the first rules of writing a zombie story, is that no character should be safe from getting killed. The promise of death should threaten all characters in a horror novel. That is why when these types of books suddenly include ‘’brand name’’ characters (in this case, Han Solo and Chewbacca), the story loses a large amount of tension, cause we know those characters aren't in real danger. Another prime example of this phenomenon is the Resident Evil movie franchise; at some point, the story loses tension because we know the main character will be back for a sequel.  
  • Futuristic vision: The story takes place aboard a prison ship. Seeing the author's futuristic interpretation of a setting inspired from a modern day establishment such as a prison was pretty interesting. It is a great example of how science-fiction writers take an idea, and push the boundaries. Please see my previous article for more details on writing science fiction

Joe Schreiber is an American novelist best known for his horror and thriller novels. His works include Chasing the Dead, Eat the Dark and No Doors, No Windows. In October 2009, Joe created his first contribution to the Star Wars universe; Death Troopers. Schreiber was born in Michigan (1969), but is currently based in central Pennsylvania, where he works as an MRI technician and lives with his wife and two young children.

For those interested in reading more books from Joe Schreiber, please check out these following websites:


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Until next time!

Cheers,

Patrick Osborne