Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad
By New York Times Bestselling Author of Star Wars: Dark Disciple
*Warning: this book review does contain spoilers for those that have not yet read Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad*
The Empire’s Elite Strike Force takes on a band of Rogue Rebel Warriors‒in a battle of dangerous secrets and deadly revenge.
Humiliated and emasculated, by the events on and above Scarif, the Empire is on the defensive. A small band of rebels, formerly known as Rogue One infiltrated a major Imperial military station and stole secretive plans to the ultimate weapon, the Death Star. And that’s not all. No. The rebel cell did perish during their mission, but the Rebel Reliance delivered the final blow. Yes, they destroyed the Empire’s technological terror. The Death Star. But that taste of victory for the Rebels won’t last long. The Rebellion may have hope, but the Empire has Inferno Squad. The Empire’s elite, the best of the best have been called in for retaliation and the elimination of the remaining partisans—Saw Gerrera’s freedom fighters
Even though their leader met his death in the destruction of Jedha city, the partisans have carried on his extremist military acts against the Empire—no matter the cost. So now, the secretive Inferno Squad must prove their worth. The so called best of the best must take down the rebel extremists from within. A feat that’s not that easy. The threat of discovery grows daily for the elite Imperial squad. The level of danger quickly escalates to a death-or-glory test of morality, one they dare not fail. They each serve at the pleasure of the Empire, but at what length? How far will each one go to preserve and protect the Empire?
Yes. The Rebellion has hope, but the Empire has Inferno Squad. Christie Golden’s latest Star Wars novel, ‘Battlefront II: Inferno Squad,’ sets the stage for the upcoming video game that releases in November. This story gives us an in-depth introduction to Iden Versio’s character and the special squadron that follows her lead.
We are introduced to the very talented TIE fighter pilot Iden Versio as she is surviving the destructive blast from the obliterated Death Star. After which, her father, an Admiral in the Imperial Navy, Admiral Garrick Versio, creates a special forces unit known secretly as Inferno Squad—in an attempt to prevent any more intelligence leaks like that of the Death Star plans.
Carefully crafted by Admiral Garrick Versio’s design, Iden is deemed Captain of Inferno Squad and has full command of her crew—childhood friend and fellow pilot Gideon (Gid) Hask, engineer expert Del Meeko, and Navy Intelligence officer with an eidetic memory Seyn Marana.
The first few missions are nothing in comparison to what they encounter once they are thrown in with the partisan group known as the Dreamers. Each one has to be accepted or ‘taken’ in separately. And each one has to undergo an identity transformation—some more extreme than others. That said, they must still work together and yet, keep each other’s cover on the down-low. Following the plan is key. They need to gain the trust of the rebels and get the intel they’ve been using against the Empire. But, let’s face it, there is no such thing as a foolproof plan. There is only the best chance of success. Or in this case, survival. A lesson Inferno Squad learns and will never forget.
Similar to Claudia Grays’ novel, ‘Lost Stars,’ we get to see the Imperial’s perspective on the Rebel Alliance through the scope of a smaller rebel cell, and how they operate out in the field on their own. That said, this is no Disney Rebels. In fact, we get to see an up-close and personal take on Saw’s freedom fighters, and I can honestly say, that Rogue One barely scraped the surface. But, to be fair, good is a point of view. Power can be corrupting. You may think you’re doing good things, but in actuality, you’re not.
Christie delivers a story of suspense and tension, and even if you were to take Star Wars out of the story completely, it would still be a damn good story. Iden herself is the classic Star Wars lead. She’s got so much talent and the drive for duty but struggles with her feelings, especially when it comes to her parents a.k.a. attachments. Eventually, this trickles down into the squadron, and even certain judgment calls regarding the Dreamers, namely the mentor.
But Iden isn’t the only one who struggles between doing her job and moral confusion. Two other members of the Inferno Squad, Seyn, and Del forge friendships that place them in well, quite the pickle of a predicament. While heartwarming, it’s also the setup for a twist that you will not see coming. So, hold onto your butts! And if you’re an old softie like me, have some Kleenex on hand.
All in all, Inferno Squad is a story in and of itself. It has legs to stand on with or without the impending video game and campaign. Christie gave this story clout and maintained the continuity by connecting eras and characters that I, for one, didn’t think we’d hear from again. Oh, and I’m not telling you who. You’ll just have to read it and find out for yourself. And, if you’re a fan of the Empire you should have no trouble at all diving into this book. And if you’re not, well, I think you may just be in for one helluva ride. Remember, there are two sides to every coin, and sometimes you just have to play both.
*Thanks to Del Rey and Random House Publishing for providing us with an advanced copy of Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad for review purposes.*
Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad by Christie Golden is available for purchase on July 25th, 2017. Available in: Del Rey Hardcover, eBook, and Random House Audio narrated by Jania Gavankar.