Page Count: Hardcover, 336
Author: Christie Golden
Timeline: Follows A New Hope
Main Characters: Iden Versio, Gideon Hask, Seyn Marana, and Del Meeko.
Brief Synopsis: After the destruction of the first Death Star, the Empire is reeling, but the formation of Inferno Squad offers a new avenue for revenge against the Rebels.
I am very surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Books written to provide context to a video game don’t have too much promise. There hasn’t been much hype behind this book from what I’ve seen, but I decided to read it because I loved Dark Disciple, which was also by Christie Golden. Golden is now two for two in my book. She has many Star Wars Legends books and I hope that she continues to write more in the Canon universe. As for the book itself, it was a compelling story and gave some much needed background to the story in Battlefront II. I was not a huge fan of Iden’s arc in the video game, but because of this book, her character arc is much more complete. I plan on replaying the story and expect that I will enjoy it more the second time. Inferno Squad was an excellent story, much better that I expected, so let’s dive into the details.
Characters were a very strong point for Inferno Squad. While these characters were introduced in Battlefront II, the story mode was lacking in some of its details. So, the characters did not have a considerable amount of depth. I was also never invested in the characters in the video game. So Golden had to give these characters their depth and make them likeable. The book follows four characters who make up Inferno Squad: Iden Versio, Gideon Hask, Seyn Marana, and Del Meeko. In the development of the characters, Golden started out simple. While it felt slow at first, it was successful at having me become aware of who the main characters were and how they were unique from each other. While Iden was the main character, I liked the other three characters as well. It wasn’t as if one character outshone the others or that I was uninterested in one of their arcs. Each character had strong depth and relatability. And, as expected, Iden Versio was the most developed, and my favorite, character in the book. I was not a huge fan of her redemption arc (spoilers) in Battlefront II, but now that the arc is more complete, I am looking forward to returning to the story mode and enjoying it more. Characters were certainly a strength in Inferno Squad, so I am giving 19 points.
Score: (19/20 pts)
Another Star Wars novel and yet another New York Times Bestselling Author. So, the writing of Inferno Squad was great. The writing of the novel seemed to evolve as the plot evolved. It started out simple as Golden started to develop the story and once it was done, the writing started to become more complex to match the complexity of the plot. It was easy to read and not lacking in necessary details. Not really any downsides for the writing style, so I am giving 18.5 points.
Score: (18.5/20 pts)
As I stated for the characters and the writing style, the story started out simple in its developmental stages and became much more complex when the real story began. Early on, I was a little disappointed thinking that the entire book would have a simple plot. But this part of the book was necessary and paid off well with the exciting climax. Most of the content follows a single mission of Inferno Squad and it proved to be compelling, intense, and Golden didn’t pull punches with what happened. There were multiple times that I was in shock over what was happening, definitely in a good way. The conclusion to the book did feel a little abrupt at first, but I do think it did a fine job at wrapping up the story. The plot was strong with not any glaring weaknesses, I am giving 19 points.
Score: (19/20 pts)
I didn’t expect my intrigue to be very high for this book. But, boy, was I wrong. Inferno Squad had a lot of things working for its intrigue. With the writing style, it was easy to read. So, when the story was the most exciting, I could read page after page with ease. The characters were also relatable, and I found myself rooting for them. Because I wanted to find out what was going to happen to each individual character, it motivated me to keep reading. And the plot was also high stakes and intense. In those times, I couldn’t put the book down. I had to find out what was going to happen next. Finally, as I mentioned before, Golden didn’t pull punches. There was some shocking content that really compelled me as the reader. So, my intrigue was high for most of the novel, mostly after the developmental stage of the story, resulting in a score of 19 points.
Score: (19/20 pts)
What Does It Add?
Like most books written to supplement other Star Wars media, Inferno Squad will not score very high in this section. It was written to give background to Battlefront II, not to make Canon some cool new Star Wars lore. But that doesn’t mean that Inferno Squad added nothing to Star Wars. One of the most prominent themes within Star Wars is the battle between good and evil. In the Original Trilogy, the Rebels are clearly good, and the Empire is clearly evil. But such as it is in life, good and evil is never so clearly divided. Inferno Squad blurs these lines a bit (in a similar way that Lost Stars by Claudia Gray did). Inferno Squad is an imperial squad and because the reader ends up relating to those characters, they feel less evil. And since this squad deals with Saw Gererra’s partisan group, we see the more radical side of the Rebellion. It was a great representation of why the Rebel Alliance did not associate with this terrorist-like group. This added to the conversation of the fight between good and evil in Star Wars, but it did not create it. So, I am only giving 16 points.
Score: (16/20 pts)
There is nothing in Inferno Squad that added to nor took away from the logic within the Star Wars universe. So, I am neither adding nor taking away extra points.
So, my final score for Inferno Squad is a 91.5/100, or an A minus. This is a relatively good score, being pulled down slightly for not adding much, beside a good story, to the Star Wars universe. The story itself was excellent and enjoyable from the start to finish. If you are wanting more background on Inferno Squad or if you are just wanting a good Star Wars story, this is a book you should check out! But if you are wanting a story that adds content to Star Wars, there are other books that will do it better. If you do decide to read Inferno Squad, I’m confident you’ll enjoy it!
I hope you enjoyed this book review and if there is a book that you want me to read or review, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. As for now, I will only be doing Canon books (but in the future that might change).