Archive for horror

Review: Red Harvest

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , on 20 December 2015 by Megan

by Joe Schreiber.

redharvest

In many respects, Schreiber (whose name, deliciously, means writer in German!) redeemed 21st century Star Wars books for me. He writes gory scifi horror,  so it’s kind of sad/frustrating that a lot of Star Wars fans, those who don’t like horror or can’t stand gore, will never get to experience him. But with as haphazard as post-2000 Star Wars books are, the Schreiber stuff is always gold.

Essentially contemporary with Star Wars: The Old RepublicRed Harvest
focuses on the Sith Academy at Korriban, where a Sith lord is seeking the ultimate prize of immortality.

It also touches on the Jedi, the famous Agricultural Corps where Force-sensitives who don’t make the grade are often sent. Hestizo Trace is a young Jedi who did make the grade but whose gifted skill with plants has left her assigned to a rare orchid — which just so happens to be the key to the immortality ritual. When Hestizo is kidnapped for the rare orchid, her Jedi brother chases across the galaxy looking for her.

To the mix of kidnapped Jedi horticulturist, semi-sentient orchid, and Liam Neeson as Jedi Knight in Star Wars: Episode Taken, throw in a healthy dose of undead plant zombies with lightsabers.

Yes, what I’m telling you is that this book is a lot of fun. Yes, it’s got quite a bit of cheese, but it’s done right — and cheese done right can be like macaroni and cheese or cheesecake, too good to pass up!

taken_redharvest

I see what you did there ;) No, I wasn’t kidding about the main character being Liam Neeson.

All that being said, I don’t think I would have enjoyed this book as much if I hadn’t started playing SWTOR. It’s a typically great Schreiber horror ramble, wonderfully atmospheric with gore, jump scares, and tropes turned Star Warsy — so I’m not saying it’s not worth it if you haven’t played TOR. I’m just saying that if you do play TOR, you’ve got an extra special journey in front of you.

I’m really convinced Schreiber must’ve played some before writing this. So much of the book feels like it’s straight from the game, with mad lords, scheming acolytes, morally nebulous bounty hunters, stubborn Jedi, and plant zombie “mobs.” The description, atmosphere, plot all seemed to come out of my favorite planet arc, “The Thing that Czerka Found,” so it made me enjoy the whole book that much more. A great bit of Old Republic realcanon!

Read Death Troopers

Posted in Reviews, Spotlight with tags , , , , on 17 June 2011 by Megan
Death Troopers

Troopers and “Troopers.”

This book has been on my “to-read” shelf for ages and I finally got it from the library and read it. I was confident enough in it that I would’ve been willing to buy it without reading it, and my confidence was not misplaced.

Joe Schreiber is a good writer with a grasp on the realistic aspect of the Star Wars universe, and this example of Star Wars + horror is well done, captivating, and definitely does not disappoint. When I went into it, I knew absolutely nothing about it, and that’s making a review very difficult, because much of my delight in the book came from pleasant surprises all through it. (I was apparently the only person on the planet who didn’t know it was about zombies. I was pleased with that surprise, but I’ll tell you and it won’t spoil much.)

Set the year before A New Hope (year 01137), the plot follows a few prisoners — two boys, a couple of smugglers — one of the guards, and the medical officer of the Imperial prison ship Purge. It does indeed follow the standard zombie protocols — outbreak, infection, death — but I deny the accusations that the SW elements are merely “pasted on top.” True, it’s about a bunch of random characters, but enough takes place in the universe that we don’t always have to have main character adventures. It is, to my knowledge, the only adult SW horror book, and is a light read, perfect for the approaching summer months. Highly recommended!

(The only thing I would note is that it is a zombie book and as such does contain a few instances of pretty intense gore. Not much, but enough you might want to be forewarned.)

Check it out on Amazon.