[singleicon id=”fa-empire” color=”#ab0000″ size=”1.3″] Alejandro Martinez

I remember the first time I felt potential fear whilst playing a video game. I was in the morgue of Arkham Island from Batman: Arkham Asylum. It was at night, and my friend was screaming.  Good times.  If Joe Schreiber’s Death Trooper was turned into a video game, I wouldn’t want to play it at night.  The suspense that is created within the first third of the book superchargers the actual revelation of what the ‘problem’ even is.  By then, we are already given a decent psych profile of our main characters to help understand the decisions they make during the rest of the book.

Setting:

In the year 3434 of the second age, oh sorry, wrong franchise. Death Trooper takes place just a few years Before the Battle over Yavin (A New Hope).  Jedi are still irrelevant to the main plot, and Darth Vader is behaving in manner that will earn him a large lump o’ coal this Christmas.  A prison barge, called the Purge, is on its way to dump some rebel scum, and some regular scum, at a detention site when the engines seemingly stop.  But hooray! A star destroyer is close by floating not too far far away.  After a boarding party lands, they find the place abandoned… or is it?  To avoid spoilers, I will be replacing the ‘bad guys’ with ‘puppies.’ Some of the crew get puppied, and take the puppies back to the prison barge.  What a mistake. The puppies are spreading and people are dying.  There are a select few that do not get hurt by the puppies so the story is all about them trying to survive the puppies.  The characters are continually faced with puppies that they used to know before they were puppied, which creates an added emotional strain on trying to defeat the puppies. The premise: survive the puppies.

Positives:

My helmet off to Joe Schreiber. The writing is wizard and the plot is developed beautifully in manner that caters nicely to several different story lines that are intertwined with the whole puppy mess.  We see realistic struggles between  family, friends, disgruntled workers, and of course the puppies.  

It is a horror book. So the puppies do nab some character. Yet, despite some easy predictions, I was pleased with the overall outcome of ‘Schreiber’s List.’

Lastly, there is a nonchalant introduction to some characters that made me put the book down, yell, “yes!” and continue reading, leaving my family to wonder (yet again) who I am.

Negatives:

Do you ever have that moment in a movie (sometimes in books) where the main characters are about to die then something totally impossible happens to save them and you say “psh that is so fake?” Well all those stories are fake so get over it.  However, that moment happened not once, not twice, but three time.  It felt the same as if Luke missed the proton torpedoes the first time in the trench and needed to make another pass.  Redundant redundancies are just the worst. Probably my only comment on the plot/writing.

Secondly, ew. This is not so much a negative as it is a warning that the puppies are gorey.  Let’s just say that AMC’s The Walking Dead certainly took a page out of Schreiber’s notes.  While this fan does not mind gore, there were definitely times where there was an infatuation with it that toed the line of absolute grotesqueness.  

Conclusion:

At times, the cheese factor is quite high.  But the majority of the experience was excellent.  If you are squeamish, move along.  However, if you can handle some messed up puppies, then by all means enjoy the read. 

Death Star Rating: 4

Artistic Note: (because that makes it sound unique)

I recommend buying it hard-copy with the images on the front and back.  The art creates an added dimension to the experience that function as an aid to your imagination, as opposed to a movie where your imagination is created for you. A kindle edition would deny you that element of literary glory.

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Alejandro Martinez
As a Millennial, I enjoy all things Star Wars (even the prequels). By day I am but a humble un-teachable teacher, but by night I dawn a cloak of fandoms that are too difficult to keep track of: Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Batman, Halo, and of course The Walking Dead and Harry Potter… to name a few. My perfect wife enables me in my fictional scientific pursuits; in kind, she receives a hand-crafted mixture of Cuban and Hawaiian coffee in the form of a latte each morning.