Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams

January 6th, 2012 by Brian Leave a reply »

This one’s a Star Wars book, but it’s a little different because it’s built around the MMORPG The Old Republic.

Sean Williams also did the novelization of The Force Unleashed, so he’s familiar with taking a guy walking around slashing things with a lightsaber and creating some connecting narrative. The Old Republic has a storyline, but what makes it different is that multiple users play along and help create the experience.

That being said, Fatal Alliance feels like an online role-playing game. Each character represents a playable class in the game. You have your grizzled soldier, your naive Jedi, and your conniving diplomat. Williams did creatively twist some characters, but for the most part, these are characters we’ve seen before.

There is a mystery driving the plot. A planet not in the charts promises wealth for both sides of the galactic war and two different parties try to get there first to stake a claim. You may have guessed already that the planet has a hidden danger and that there will be some kind of alliance…a fatal alliance…that forms to defeat the common enemy.

What I really liked was seeing main characters from both the light and dark side of the Force. This is one of the first Star Wars books that I’ve read where one of the Sith may actually be a protagonist alongside a Jedi. (I know there are books that detail the bad guy perspective, but not one that I’m familiar with where both sides are the heroes.) It makes sense, though, when you consider the source material is a game where players can create characters from any place on the moral spectrum.

I enjoyed reading it. Granted, I’m a Star Wars fan, but someone picking up this book is probably going to be a fan. I more want to highlight it for students who know about the game and want something to read that’s connected to it.


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