Originally posted on The Canon Rebel - November 2nd 2015
As you may remember, I wrote a blog way back in July (when it was warm) detailing why I was very much looking forward to Twilight Company by Alexander Freed…if not, check it out as I use that post as the inspiration for this one. You’re not going to find a traditional review here as I’ve written (and far less colloquially) that for swcanonreviews.net – going live later today!
What I want to concentrate on is whether or not my three points back in July have actually come to fruition after reading the book, I will then end it with some very quick overall thoughts.
1) Brand New Characters:
This book has a lot. It can get quite confusing in the opening third but I got what I wanted. I asked for “some new names and stories to fall in love with” – Freed nailed it. There are deliciously evil Imperials, brave and wise Basilisks and relationships that twist and turn in differing ways. Freed has a painter’s palette in his hand and he dabs new names and their colourful personalities all over this book.
However, this doesn’t mean the book is poorly constructed, in fact it is done very well. He uses different chapters to highlight contrasting viewpoints of galactic warfare and when the characters do finally meet it is in a very satisfying way.
Do these new names have a future? I hope so, specifically two. Hazram Namir is a reluctant leader who’s growth throughout the book is a highlight, he’s a broken young man who has fought far too many battles but he’s resilient and incredibly loyal. His main antagonist is the anti-hero Governor Chalis, an expert in all things Imperial logistics. She holds a lot of power in her hands over both the Empire and the Rebellion’s Ruling Council and she knows how to wield it to gain traction for her own agenda.
So…new characters? Delivered.
2 + 3) Timeline/The “War” in Star Wars:
The placing of this book in the Canon timeline makes clear sense. It starts within A New Hope and then goes on to include the Battle of Hoth (prediction = spot on) and then further in to The Empire Strikes Back’s timeline. In other words – we are in the midst of the Galactic Civil War.
This meant Freed had a lot of license to show the reader the utter savagery of warfare and on the flip side, its unfortunate beauty in bringing the best out of people. The timeline allows for this to happen and in turn this results in a fascinating story that really does make you think and takes a hold of you weeks after you’ve finished.
We also see the famous battles from a completely different perspective. Han, Luke and Leia are non-existent within the pages of this book. However, I didn’t miss them. Freed is able to create a compelling novel that truly shows what normal people went through during this time of war. This is the truth of what we don’t see on the big silver screen.
As you can probably tell, I really enjoyed this novel. It took me a while to get into and I urge you to give it the time it warrants. I sincerely hope this book has the success it deserves and Freed is welcomed back to the Story Group’s table for another adventure with the Twilight Company.
Look out for my “proper” review on swcanonreviews.net a little later today but this book deserves its own place on the Canon Rebel.
Thank you Mr. Freed.