This review originally appeared on The Star Wars Report.
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In the aftermath of Scarif and the destruction of the indestructible Death Star, the Empire finds itself vulnerable for the first time in twenty years. Its time to get serious about the treat of the Rebellion and destroy what is left of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans. For this task, the Empire forms a new group who will work on the outside, an elite team who will suss out the Imperial traitors, infiltrate Rebel and Partisan groups to find out where the leaks are coming from and bring them to justice. The group, Inferno Squad.
Christie Golden has given Star Wars one of it’s most thematically rich and complex books to date. Following the Inferno Squad through their missions, they are constantly being faced with the moral questions of just how far they should go to complete their mission. Is it right to kill Imperial subjects to keep their cover? Is it right to loose a member of their team for the same reason? How far is too far in war? Was the destruction of Alderaan justified?
The point becomes even more complicated when Golden introduces the Partisans. Rogue One made it clear that it was Saw’s militancy and extremism that lead to his split with the Rebel Alliance. Calling themselves the Dreamers, what is left of his sect works to continue what Saw began. Yet the actions they are willing to take, to fight the Empire, leave the reader uncomfortable. They are supposed to be the heroes, right? The Partisans are asking the same questions Inferno Squad has, how far is too far? In the end, when do you lose your moral superiority over your enemy?
Golden never makes it easy on the reader and for that she should be applauded. The answers to these questions are not easy and their expansion in the Star Wars universe feels like a milestone. It continues the fantastic groundwork laid in Rogue One and books like Rebel Rising.
Many of the books so far in canon have allowed the read to peak behind the iron curtain of the Empire and see what life is like for those among it’s ranks and Inferno Squad continues that trend. Each of the new characters Golden introduces feels fresh and recognizable, creating an immediate sense of intimacy with the story and desire to keep turning the page. Don’t let the brevity of this review fool you. The length is the highest compliment. This book needs to be experienced and read for itself, the less you know going in, the better. Golden has done it once again, batting 1000% in the Star Wars canon. Inferno Squad is a must read and is rated 4.5 out of 5.
This review was completed using a copy of Inferno Squad provided by Del Rey.