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5.0 out of 5 stars Like zombies, love this book
This is the perfect book for anyone who likes zombies and who like Star Wars. You get the best of both worlds all in one.
Published 9 months ago by Tom Wieleba

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Now that it's in paperback...
I seemed to tear through this book like so much flesh. It wasn't bad. Well executed but too short of course. I actually liked the inclusion of Han and Chewie. It felt at least a little Star Warsy. It got repetitive. Lots of screaming, retching and crying. I mean lots.

Now this story was well done for how little there was to tell. It was like an hour long...
Published on March 28 2010 by Jacen


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Now that it's in paperback..., March 28 2010
By 
Jacen (Victoria, BC) - See all my reviews
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I seemed to tear through this book like so much flesh. It wasn't bad. Well executed but too short of course. I actually liked the inclusion of Han and Chewie. It felt at least a little Star Warsy. It got repetitive. Lots of screaming, retching and crying. I mean lots.

Now this story was well done for how little there was to tell. It was like an hour long episode, not a movie. The inclusion of a C plot might have given it a bit more meat. Fine for a paperback but it must've hurt to pay full price for hardcover.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like zombies, love this book, Nov. 13 2013
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This review is from: Death Troopers: Star Wars (Hardcover)
This is the perfect book for anyone who likes zombies and who like Star Wars. You get the best of both worlds all in one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It could have been much better, Dec 8 2011
By 
J. Friesen "Avid Reader" (Edmonton, Alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
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When I saw this book at the store recently, I thought now there is a cool idea - mix two genres for something unique - kind of like how Seth Grahame-Smith did with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

The basic premise is simple - an Imperial prison barge stumbles across a derelict Star Destroyer in the middle of nowhere. A boarding party is sent aboard and only half of them come back, bringing a virulent disease which kills almost all of the 500 prisoners and crew onboard in only a few hours. The half dozen survivors, a pair of teenaged prisoners, the captain of the guards, a pair of smugglers and the barge's chief medical officer must then do whatever it takes to stay alive when the dead come back to life with a hunger for human flesh.

I've read a fair number of both Star Wars paperbacks as well as a fair number of zombie books, some good, some bad and some not-so bad. Unfortunately, this one was a not-so bad choice.

The story has some redeeming qualities, like the identities of the smugglers (not too hard to figure out if you think about it) and lots of action, but overall, the story didn't really work for me either as a Star Wars novel or as a zombie novel. The zombies were not only fast zombies, but capable of thinking and tool-using, so in my mind, they weren't really zombies. Call me a purist, but that's just the way I see it.

Frankly, I'm of the opinion if you do want to read it, go to your local library instead of buying it, because it's just not worth the $9.99 at the bookstore - who knows, maybe you can get a used copy on Amazon. Now, I'm not saying it's a terrible book - I finished it after all, but there are more enjoyable Star Wars books (Tales of the Bounty Hunters) and there are more enjoyable zombie books (Day by Day Armageddon) are just a couple of examples.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Definition of Compulsive Reading, Nov. 18 2009
This review is from: Death Troopers: Star Wars (Hardcover)
It is extremely rare that I would ever give a Star Wars book five stars. However, this book was absolutely amazing, and it was impossible for me to put it down. This book, which could be summarized as being a Star Wars horror novel, did all the right things for a horror novel. There was a vast supply of grisly scenes and cliff-hanging chapter endings to make you want to keep reading more and more. So much of this book was unpredictable to me, which is rare for a Star Wars novel, and it is clear that Joe Schreiber has talent. After finishing the book late in the evening before bed, I was left with a partial adrenaline rush and the partial feeling one gets when they finish watching a horror film, which, considering this is a book, is quite an outstanding feat.

The only complaint that I have with this novel is that it was not long enough! The novel itself numbers around 230 pages and the other 60 pages are a three chapter preview of the Star Wars novel "Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Outcast". Depending on how much of a Star Wars fan you are this is a pro or a con.

To sum up, I found out about this book based on all the hype it generated on the internet, especially with the fan-trailer contest (The winner of that contest has an amazing trailer and is what eventually lead me to buy this book, don't watch any of the others) and all I can say is that this novel lives up to the hype.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not too Long Ago, in a Galaxy Not Nearly Far Enough, Nov. 11 2010
Imagine a galaxy that torn apart by a massive civil war, lawlessness reigning in its fringes, populated by strange aliens, and droids and an Empire of stark grey inhumanity attempting to bend everything to its ruthless will. Yet despite all of this chaos, there is always some hope. There is always the promise -- no matter how small -- of something better.

Now imagine what would happen if even that hope is minimized even further: if not taken away completely. Something more inevitable than Imperial legions, than Darth Vader, than even Death itself threatens to sweep across this galaxy. Not stormtroopers, but Death Troopers.

This is the scenario that Joe Schreiber presents to the reader: encapsulated into the repressive microcosmic environment of an Imperial prison barge, an abandoned Star Destroyer, and the humanity -- or sentience -- that somehow manages to survive on both. I would just like to state that I review very few books, and I have never reviewed a Star Wars book before. However, there is something about Death Troopers -- in the way it is executed in itself, in the way it has been advertised, and in how it might fit into the Star Wars Expanded Universe canon that I really want to talk about.

Death Troopers is an experiment in mixing an element of the horror genre -- specifically the zombie genre -- with the space fantasy genre of Star Wars. This is not, however, the first time zombies have played a role in the Star Wars EU. Rakghouls, Korriban Zombies, Technobeasts, possessed corpses fighting the Jedi Master Mace Windu and other elements of this kind have always existed in Star Wars comics media. However, what is very interesting is that as far as I know Death Troopers is the first Star Wars novel to feature the zombie element and that bears some consideration.

The main question here is what does Schreiber do here that is different from what others have done before? Well, an easy statement to make is that he attempts to transplant the trope of the zombie specifically -- of the slow, creeping, mindless disease that consumes everything in violence and hunger -- into the adventurous, against all the odds, conflictive and yet idealistic universe of Star Wars.

Do these two tropes function well together? Sometimes, I found their interaction to be a bit jarring and I do think that other reviewers of this book have a point with regards to saying that there are many elements of Death Troopers that could be very interchangeable with other universes when there are something like zombies involved. Yet does this reflect badly on Schreiber's writing, or say something about the universal horror that zombies themselves possess: that ability to potentially take the individuality, the details, the sentience, the humanity out of everything they spread across?

In terms of the horror genre, I do believe that Death Troopers is a text-book example of it. It is fast-paced, suspense-filled, and there is an underlying depression and fear. Schreiber really does things with the image of the body: the body as something that is constraining, that feels and smells, and reacts which I don't think very many Star Wars books or literature really focus. Under Schreiber, the metaphor of the body becomes something that contains fear, that secretes liquids, awkwardness, and sensations that transcend all the stark symmetry and symbolism of a Galactic Empire, of advanced science and technology and ideology.

It is the image of the body that becomes more dehumanized than a droid: not only because zombies seek it for sustenance, but also because fellow living beings will imprison it, torture it, mutilate it and leave it to rot like that much refuse. This is done out of fear. But Schreiber also demonstrates that fear is a great motivation for survival, and even personal realization. It is only when someone faces the complete alien, the unliving, the ultimate non-humanity or Other that the Self can become actualized. There are a few characters who go through this process and even though not all of them survive, they change for it.

The greatest strength of this story is not so much in the details of the universe involved, but rather through the personal psychological perspectives that the author attempts to describe and allow the reader to experience. It is this personal psychology or humanity, through looking at the altruism of Dr. Cody, or the ruthlessness of the Imperial Jareth Sartoris, or the mutual love and survival pact between the teenage brothers Kale and Trig Longo, or even the inherent loyalty within the droid Waste that the reader can see the contrast between individualism and the great rotting horror that threatens all of it.

I do think that the book itself does have weaknesses. I think that its fast pace can make the reader skim past specific descriptive details. Sometimes, as again other readers have mentioned, it does seem like the connection between zombies and Star Wars here is a forced one and perhaps the inclusive of two extra well known characters does take away from the experiences of the original ones in this book.

Another matter to consider is if one can consider this story to be a Star Wars story. Certainly, the identity of the people in solitary confinement makes a lot of sense in retrospect: especially given that one of them was once known as "the most dangerous man in the galaxy" by his own wife no less. However, sometimes it does feel like the author is not particularly aware of the details of the Expanded Universe he is attempting to write in. One example is that when the "most dangerous man in the galaxy" attempts to pilot the abandoned Star Destroyer and reflects on what the Empire would think of this outrageous fact, the author doesn't seem to remember or know that at one time this same man once attended the Imperial Academy.

You would also think that these two characters would remember this incident for a really long time in canon, but then again they have also seen and experienced some pretty strange things on par with what happens to them on the ships here. At the same time, the inclusion of these characters is an attempt to bring back that adventure, levity and hope to a situation that is very dire, dark and sometimes gory to the point of sheer hideousness. Whether or not this completely succeeds is another matter entirely. I can also argue that the struggle of a few unique individuals against a tide of darkness is very much in the spirit of the Star Wars universe as well.

Another thing to consider about the story and how it is presented to the reader is also through the supplementary material that was advertised online. Excerpts from the "letters" of certain characters -- some of whom never made it into the main storyline -- can be found on certain Star Wars and publishing sites though Wookieepedia has links to all of them here without spoilers for the main product:

Look for Death Troopers: Recovered Messages from Purge.

These "viral-letters" can create a particularly dramatic, suspenseful and creepy effect: especially if you haven't read the book yet. In many ways, it may make you want to read it more.

So who would I suggest read this book? Quite honestly, I can see Star Wars fans and non-fans alike reading this story. Obviously it is a book for mature viewers and reader's discretion is advised. However, I would suggest to non-fans of the Expanded Universe and even to fans that *after* they read this book they look up an entry on Wookieepedia. It is called "Mnggal-Mnggal." It could be a coincidence -- and Schreiber created this story before this entry was ever made in "The Unknown Regions" Star Wars Supplemental Role-Playing book, but links have been hinted on, and it is definitely something worth considering and also something that really makes a reader realize that sometimes even a fictional universe is not nearly enough away with the potential horror that it still contains.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great cover, great possibilities, awful book., Jan. 30 2011
What should have been a great combination, Star Wars and the undead, is dull and fails to engage on any level.

If you like avery light read it may be for you, otherwise keep clear and spend your money on something worth reading.

Times Bestseller... you've got to be kidding
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Z, May 23 2010
By 
Chris (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Death Troopers: Star Wars (Hardcover)
I kept hearing AC/DC in my head while reading this book. Anyway, this mash-up was very exciting to read and there's a surprise that may be the best ever in a Star Wars novel. The explanation for the creatures was disappointing, but the final two pages redeem it. Good job, Joe.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars mediocre, Nov. 22 2009
By 
Harmony K. (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Death Troopers: Star Wars (Hardcover)
This is not really a Star Wars book. It's only got a thin wrapper to make it appear so, for better sales.
Give me the text file and I can turn it into a Resident Evil book or an Alien book in 5 minutes with a few Replace commands in Notepad.

Yes, it features Han and Chewie, but they don't even appear until page 90 of 234, and they don't do anything special that anybody else couldn't have done. No character development whatsoever. Absolutely no contribution at all to the Expanded Universe. That is, with or without this book, there's no change that affects other books. This is not one of those memorable books like Zahn's Thrawn trilogy which introduced Mara Jade, or Matt Stover's Revenge of the Sith which really changed the galaxy.

No interesting aliens. No Jedi, no Sith, no space fights, no lightsabers. A few references to Darth Vader, but they could have said "Umbrella Corporation" or "The Initiative" or "US Government" instead and it would have worked just as well.

I hope Star Wars editors are not running out of material, and this is just an accident. I don't mind expanding the Universe in new directions, but this is the wrong way to do it. You can't just take a horror novel and make superficial changes to slap a Star Wars label on it. OK, you can, obviously, but it's going to annoy the fans.

Anyway, apart from that, it's not a bad book. That is, if you like zombie books. I own and have read 120+ Star Wars novels and I'd say this one is not the worst. That dubious honor stays with Barbara Hambly, of course. It's way below average, but still worth reading.

As far as zombie books go, it's about average IMO. Not as good as the Resident Evil books, but I've read plenty of worse stuff too.

A few silly things from the book:
- an X-Wing being thrown back by the recoil after it shoots its laser cannon. Gimme a break, lasers are made of light, there's no matter thrown about, so no recoil...
- some monsters shooting at a human from a few meters away, "with deadly accuracy". And yet they missed, again and again and again. Again, gimme a break, "with deadly accuracy" sounds good but it's stupid in this context.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb, Feb. 20 2011
The book was well written, included a host of memorable characters who I'm sure we all know. Fairly short in comparison to other Star Wars books, but definitely one to get if you enjoy Star Wars lore!
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Death Troopers: Star Wars by Joe Schreiber (Hardcover - Oct. 13 2009)
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