Reviewed in the United States on May 3, 2018
The first book of the series was about the Legionnaires and their conflict on the planet Kublar. It was epic, and gave us a brilliant back ground into the soldiers and their lives, how they fit into the Republic, and the stupidity of some aspects such as the bureaucrats that infiltrate the ranks to try and make a name for themselves to get quicker promotions.
Galactic Outlaws is set 7 years after this battle, and whilst they still have Legionnaires, they are not of the same quality as the old school. The older generation (most who have left and gone off to be Mercs or Bounty Hunters), look at the newbies and see them as target practice, with armour that is nothing compared to what they used to have, poorer training, and lack of decent equipment overall.
The story focuses on two of the older Legionnaires, one known as Tyrus Rechs, and the other is Aeson Keel.
They both served at Kublar, and although Rechs is older, Keel has certainly been around. Rechs is now a bounty hunter, a grizzled old warrior who has seen it all, had more lives than a cat, seen more bodies than a morgue attendant, and has left more destruction in his wake than the reaper himself.
Keel is a quasi-bounty hunter, part courier who works with a holographic side-kick Ravi, who also works as his conscience a lot of the time, helping him keep on the straight and narrow, and probably stopping him turning into a Rechs. When he does his seedier work, he changes his helmet, and becomes ‘Wraith’, a figure that terrifies the underworld, and spreads a fear amongst others like a wildfire through a sugar cane field.
Through these two lives we see what has become of the Legionnaires that once fought as proud, honourable soldiers for the Republic, both now full of bitter resentment, anger, sorrow, regret, with little of their own souls to give to anyone else anymore. Through a twist of fate, they both find themselves helping out young girls, Rechs is approached by a young girl looking to hire a bounty hunter to avenge her father, and he can’t help but try touched as he is by her story. Keels on the other hand is moving slaves, two of them he believes are a prince and princess.
And so the adventure begins, with both our ‘Reluctant Heroes’ trying to help their respective young women in trouble.
It should be noted though, this isn't about a damsel in distress. These young women, one only in her early teens, the other not much older. Both though show early on that they are full of steel, and capable of holding their own.
This is a totally different story to the first book, looking at the impact that the battle on Kublar and the subsequent fallout has had on the Legionnaires (as well as the multitude of other battles that they have had to endure with insufficient support from leadership). It has left a lot of the older and original Leej’s damaged.
This is a really clever story, well written, and in a lot of ways, probably too close to the truth to be comfortable. Not that there are Sci-Fi Legionnaire’s running around, but that we expect our soldiers and special forces to do things that no human being should ever have to, and then assimilate back into society. A lot can’t, and this leads to sociopathic behaviour, in some instances, it leads to the soldiers actually taking on jobs as Mercenaries or guns for hire in countries they should not be in, taking jobs that are too dangerous for Western forces.
This book looks at the darker side of warfare, and does a brilliant job of it. It also allows us to get a bit of a feel for how someone like Boba Fett might have made a living. There are a lot of similarities between this series and Star Wars, except for in this series, the highly trained soldiers can actually hit a Bantha two feet away with a thermal detonator, unlike a Storm Trooper.
Galaxy’s Edge is like the Star Wars Clone Wars – the cartoon they made for kids, but this one is not in the Star Wars universe, and it definitely is NOT for kids. It is a must read though!!