This review is for Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed. It contains mild spoilers.
Battlefront: Twilight Company is the latest offering within the official canon, and it also serves as a tie-in to the upcoming video game, Star Wars Battlefront. I came to this book as a non-gamer, but I don’t feel a lack of gaming experience hindered my enjoyment in any way. Twilight Company stands firmly on its own merit.
The title refers to a group of rebel soldiers — the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry known as Twilight Company — and their efforts fighting the Empire on battlefields spread throughout the galaxy. The men and women, human and non-human members of Twilight Company are known for their resilience and ability to survive even the most unfavorable odds. Although the events of the book take place during the same time period as The Empire Strikes Back, it does not rely on using those familiar characters to prop up the story — which helps to show the scope of not only the galaxy, but of the Rebellion itself.
The story mainly spotlights three characters: The protagonist Hazram Namir, rebel soldier in Twilight Company, Imperial Governor Everi Chalis, and Thara Nyende, aka SP-475 of the Imperial Ninety-Seventh Stormtrooper Legion.
• Namir is a proficient soldier, albeit a reluctant rebel. He’s not entirely devoted to the cause — He fights because it’s what he was made for and trained for since he was a boy on his tumultuous home world of Crucival. He wants to protect his own. No more, no less.
• Governor Chalis, an Imperial defector in the custody of Twilight Company, is in possession of valuable information and expertise that could help turn the tide of the Galactic Civil War, if for her own reasons.
• Thara is stationed on her home world of Sullust. She is dedicated to the Empire, but she is equally dedicated to helping her people. She shows a compassion we don’t normally see in those associated with the Empire. It’s an interesting perspective.
In pursuit of Twilight Company are Imperials Prelate Verge, who imagines himself as the Emperor’s golden boy, and Captain Tabor Seitaron, an older officer called back into service to assist in locating Governor Chalis before she can do too much damage.
While not relying on beloved characters from the Star Wars saga, there are a few appearances that are deftly handled. As the cover hints, members of Twilight Company find themselves in the midst of the Battle of Hoth, where they encounter Darth Vader at his terrifying best as he stalks the base searching for Luke Skywalker and dispatching those who get in his way.
Also on Hoth, Namir shares a drink with, and receives some friendly advice from, an unnamed captain making repairs to his ship….
Callbacks to the Clone Wars and the events of A New Hope pull the narrative together nicely — and solidify Twilight Company’s place in the canon — without feeling obligatory or forced.
The action in Twilight Company is gritty and non-stop. Aerial battles are at a bare minimum — This is ground warfare, vividly realized. Character development progresses satisfactorily, and much of Namir’s story is told through flashbacks to various points during his youth on Crucival. Due to the nature of flashbacks, there is some jumping around in the timeline — but it didn’t prove distracting.
My rating: 4 1/2 out of 5
Thank you to Del Rey for providing a copy of this book for review purposes.Powered by Sidelines