Imperator (Galaxy's Edge) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 308 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
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You will learn much about this boy turned man in the course of this book set over thousands of years and mind bending adventures. It's an amazing journey and eye opening to witness the evolution of the boy become man. And you it will cause you to question your own journey as you are swept along. A powerful book by Cole and Anspach.
Good stories are often more about a villian's journey than a hero's...I think this tale covers both very well. I could empathize with both (the same guy...people change. )
I truly enjoyed this book. Great all-around Sci-fi storytelling. Sentient robots, a touch of horror, and action packed combat are just a few of the bits I liked.
The unique settings drew me in; familiar at first, then more alien, lending a frightening aspect to what the characters encounter. Fear of the unknown sets the tone, and the pacing kept me coming back to finish this over a couple of very busy days. Sleep was sacrificed, and I have no regrets. I will definitely be reading this one again soon, and often.
I want more of this main character.
He is known as Goth Sullus, an enigmatic figure of dread who will make galactic civilization tremble. Conqueror, Emperor, a being who has mastered ancient and alien arts and has become more than a man. But who is he? Where did he come from?
Imperator delves into Sullus’ past, and uses this conceit to explore times and places only hinted at. Readers will see the Savage Wars firsthand, when starfaring humanity struggled against mutated branches of the species, warped by mutation and technology gone mad, and in an homage to Heart of Darkness as well as Star Wars, readers will follow our protagonist through a dense alien jungle and into his fracturing psyche as he is forced to relive a running fight through a generation ship the size of a planet, stocked with experiments on the mutability of abominations that can be worked on the human form, and dotted with alien artifacts from a vanished star-faring civilization.
Dare you join him in his tragic search for the ancient knowledge and power, with the goal of changing the course of humanity for the better, knowing what he will become?
And, dear reader, could you have done any better?
But reducing IMPERATOR down to that single question does a disservice to the first glimpse beneath the hood of the Emperor, Goth Sullus. Here they lay bare his history, his motives, his rise to power, and even the secret of his name. Part character study and part secret history of Galaxy’s Edge, Anspach and Cole weave three plot lines together, his present, his past, and our near-future, into the action and mysteries readers have come to expect from Galaxy’s Edge and its inspiration, Star Wars.
There is a risk to revealing so much about Goth Sullus so soon, as the list of villains who lost their appeal alongside their air of mystery is long and distinguished. Fortunately, Anspach and Cole deliver. Not only do they portray Sullus as sympathetic even as his choices cause him to fall, the revelations about his long and near immortal history open up even more mysteries for readers to ponder and explore.
Clever Star Wars fans may recognize Sullus’s motivations in conquering the galaxy as similar to the Emperor’s in the Star Wars Extended Universe. And there are plenty of callbacks to a galaxy far, far away, taken from all eras, even Rogue One. Suitably repurposed, of course. Like a kaleidoscope tumbler, Galaxy’s Edge takes the old images, symbols, and stories from Star Wars and puts them together in new and novel forms. After all, Darth Vader never went to Dagobah to learn the Force. The shuffling of familiar elements creates that Star Wars but not-Star Wars taste that so many readers are craving.
That Imperator and Galaxy’s Edge never fall into fanfiction and pastiche is a credit to Anspach and Cole as writers. But its what else they did that’s more impressive. They expanded the palette of tropes, settings, and conventions used in Star Wars-style space operas. Take the military grit of Black Hawk Down, the horror of Event Horizon, the moral complexity of The Killer Angels, the post-apocalyptic setting of Book of Eli, and toss it all into Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World. Did you expect to get Star Wars out of this mix? Because that’s what Jason Anspach and Nick Cole did in Imperator, and throughout all of Galaxy’s Edge with a kitchen sink of non-Star Wars tropes. And this mix of decidedly non-Star Wars tropes and conventions is somehow more Star Wars than the recent films that got to play with Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie.
But with the glowing praise comes a caveat: do not read Imperator before you finish Attack of Shadows, the fourth Galaxy’s Edge book. Goth Sullus’s story relies on and reveals many of the plot points and mysteries of that book.