NO SPOILERS- Preview Review
I rarely get advance copies of anything so I was thrilled to get my hands on BLACK STAR RENEGADES in July at San Diego Comic Con. The author, Michael Moreci, has worked on some popular comics– Roche Limit, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and more, all of which I appreciate from my place of naive and very casual comicbook fandom. I first encountered his work through his upbeat and insightful StarWars.com articles. This is his first novel.
Moreci has both talent and enthusiasm for sci-fi and space opera. He is a great fit for Star Wars writing, even when what he’s writing is not technically Star Wars.
Black Star Renegades is a wonderful Star Wars book that just happens to not be set in the Star Wars universe. I don’t mean this in anything but a positive way. The things I love about Star Wars are in this novel: the reluctant hero’s journey, the necessity of friendship and teamwork, flirtatious banter, droids with attitude, an evil empire with a superweapon, and even a quasi-religious/Samurai warrior order who wield technological fighting sticks. Again, don’t take this to mean that I found the book derivative– I didn’t. I’m just saying that it’s not like he is unaware of his influences, and you won’t be either.
The magic of Moreci’s book is in the way he takes these elements and creates a story that blasts off and doesn’t let up. The backdrop is written with care and brings the reader into a universe that, despite first-glance similarities to the familiar Galaxy, stands apart and feels fresh and worthy of its creation. Moreci provides us with characters who are immediately accessible, varied, and ring true. The motivations of the principals feel genuine and there are twists and adventures that you probably won’t predict in advance. The author punctuates internal and spoken dialogue with quippy truisms and metaphors, giving the interactions life while helping the reader bond with the heroes. Though the lead of the piece is a man, there are female characters who command equal respect, and drive the action just as much as he, and, importantly, this doesn’t feel forced or pandering. The battle scenes have strong forward momentum, and that’s essential with a fun read like this. Nothing slows down an action-adventure book like clunky fight sequences. And that is ultimately what Black Star Renegades is– a fun action-adventure read with a good cadence and a sense of humor, which is always nice in a book about an imperialist superpower set on galactic domination and the enslavement of planets. I won’t say anything about the specifics of the story or the cast because a roller coaster is more fun when the drops come unexpectedly, but you can count on a zippy ride.
Black Star Renegades comes out in January 2018 (available for pre-order now) and a sequel is already planned. I, for one, am ready for the opening scroll….
The Scale: DEFINITELY READ THIS– READ THIS– PROBABLY READ THIS– MAYBE DON’T READ THIS– WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU READ THIS
Black Star Renegades earns a DEFINITELY READ THIS from me.
[media-credit name=”Cover Art by Wayne Haag” link=”http://www.ankaris.com/” align=”alignnone” width=”248″][/media-credit]