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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance

Narrated by: Marc Thompson
Length: 13 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (808 ratings)

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Summary

BioWare and LucasArts—creators of the hugely popular Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game—have combined their storytelling talents and cutting-edge technology for an innovative new massively multiplayer online role-playing game that allows players to create their own personal Star Wars adventure 3,500 years before the rise of Darth Vader. Now, number-one New York Times best-selling author Sean Williams brings the world of the game to life in his latest novel, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance.

Tassaa Bareesh, a matriarch in the Hutt crime cartel, is holding an auction that’s drawing attention from across the galaxy. Representatives of both the Republic and the Sith Empire are present, along with a Jedi Padawan sent to investigate, a disenfranchised trooper drummed out of the Republic’s elite Blackstar Squad, and a mysterious Mandalorian with a private agenda. But the Republic’s envoy is not what he seems, the Empire’s delegate is a ruthless Sith apprentice, the Jedi Padawan is determined to do the right thing and terrified that he can’t, the trooper hopes to redeem her reputation, and the Mandalorian is somehow managing to keep one step ahead of everyone.

None of these guests—invited or uninvited—have any intention of participating in the auction. Instead they plan to steal the prize, which is locked inside an impregnable vault: two burned chunks of an exploded star cruiser, one of which may hold the key to the wealth of an entire world.

But the truth about the treasure is dangerous and deadly. And in the end, Sith and Jedi, Republic and Empire, must do something they’ve never done before, something that all the agents of good and evil could never make them do: join together to stop a powerful threat that could destroy the galaxy.

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©2010 Sean Williams (P)2010 Random House

Critic reviews

"This novel is tied in to the Star Wars universe at a stage in its history that is still being explored in print fiction, and it is also the prequel to what promises to be the largest, most ambitious electronic role-playing game yet to be spun off of that universe. With so much riding on its shoulders, the book demands an unusual gift for cracking good space opera, and that Williams possesses in full measure." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good But Be Warned

It may not be the case for everyone but the added SFX ruined this for me. The ambient sounds are awful and almost as loud as the voice acting sometimes and was very distracting, for me anyway.

1 person found this helpful

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Almost perfect

Great story we'll read. My only complaint being some of the feminine voices are winey.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic

Like all the Old Republic books it's something you can't miss if you're a Star Wars fan.

1 person found this helpful

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boring and unfocused

was a real chore as the story want interesting and there was too many characters none of them particularly interesting.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Good book

An original plot, fast paced action and a few key engaging characters. Interesting to get a view of a different balance in the star wars political world. Is held back from 5 stars due to a number of flat, wooden and pointless characters who confuse the plot and hold the flow back and a lack of original imagination in adding new elements to the star wars universe.

1 person found this helpful

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Slow and anticlimactic

The characters are boring, the Sith Lord has an interesting side to him but dies very suddenly and too easily. Character development is barely noticeable. Story could’ve been great towards the end but fails and I’m not sure why I finished the book. Better luck next time.

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meh

struggled to get through this and found it hard to keep track of all the characters

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enjoyable read

I really liked it . Excellent narration and engaging story. The sound effects are good but the high pitched ringing sound in the background for most of the time was really annoying.

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Interesting and engaging Star Wars tale.

If you like the deep lore of Star Wars canon, it's perfect. Great exploration of the motivations of the Jedi and the Sith, exciting space battles and lightsaber duels. Very memorable characters. Great performance by the reader.

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Brilliant and immersive

Excellent story, sound effects and voices (especially for the masks and siths). Just go for it!

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  • Jason
  • 07-02-13

Okay Book for Star Wars Fans

If you're someone that has to experience the entire Star Wars catalog, then you may want to listen to this, otherwise I couldn't really recommend it. It's not terrible, but there are much better sci-fi books. The story seems to drag on most of the time. Even the action sequences seem to get boring after awhile. The core story is interesting enough, as it unfolds kinda like a mystery novel. But unlike a good mystery, the ending didn't have an amazing revelation. Also, the last chapter, what I would consider the prologue, was unnecessarily long.

In contrast to the story, Marc Thompson was an excellent reader. Also, the production quality was excellent. Some people might not like all the sound effects, but I thought they really added to the atmosphere of the story.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cindy
  • 14-05-12

Unexpected and Enjoyable

I found Fatal Alliance a joy to listen to. I especially appreciated the author's combination of characters, combat, and modern science fiction tropes that helped create a fascinating tale. For me, the inclusion of the Jedi and Sith masters and the story surrounding them was an unexpected highlight of the book. The book was full of great moments, interesting characters, and intriguing story arcs throughout.

Notable Points: The author did such an great job with the Mandalorian. The character was a great addition and helped keep the action moving. I also enjoyed the Sith arc and was impressed with the way the author portrayed the Master/apprentice relationship. The Jedi/Commando/Smuggler story arc was also a breath of fresh air that allowed for some entertaining interactions. A surprise came from my interest in the story of the imperial spy and the additional dynamic his tale brought to the story. The author's ability to combine so many interesting characters, in addition to a great storyline, was an experience I didn't expect from a Star Wars novel.

Questionable Points: As the book approached the end, there is a moment when the Sith meets the source of the android threat. The interaction of the Sith, the source of the android threat, and the Sith's master was written well but felt a bit generic. This portion did not take up much time overall, but was a main plot point and could have been handled with the same unique care other plot points in the book were given. This was pretty much my only disappointment, but only because it was a tad predictable/traditional in execution.

Fatal Alliance is a excellent example of what a great science fiction book should be and a wonderful piece of storytelling.

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Linder
  • 19-08-10

This doesn't feel very Old

This is a wonderfully read Star Wars Book. The production is top notch. The Marc Thompson was fantastic with all the voices and accents. If you love Star Wars check this book out. There are no main characters in this story. I think they are gearing up for the Video MMO game by Bioware. If the production value was not there then this would have been a 3 star. Nice job Marc Thompson.

15 people found this helpful

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  • T. L. Walker
  • 12-12-15

There is no Death, there is only the Force...

Williams went out of his way to make sure you knew this was a gaming novel. This book is written with slant toward people familiar with the games or Star Wars in general as most tie-in media is. There’s not much description of the characters or surroundings because the book assumes most readers have played the game and can picture the setting and characters based on what they know about the settings and how the various races typically look, which can be a turn off for someone who may be only slightly familiar with the Star Wars universe. Williams also managed to fit in a shout out to all the classes you can play in SWTOR in this book in the most obvious of ways. There’s not anything wrong with that, but the execution felt cheesy. If you’ve ever played SWTOR, you could easily pick up on the classes these characters represented, but Williams took it a step further by stating outright what classes these characters represent. Example: Moxla was a trooper, and that was easy enough to understand from what we learned about her. There wasn’t really any need to spell it out to the readers, even those who may only be familiar with the movies and/or other Star Wars media. However, we had to have a Captain Obvious moment where another character makes sure to point out that she’s a trooper. We understand she’s a trooper, really. That happened with many characters. I found myself thinking, “I understand he’s a smuggler. I understand he’s a Jedi knight. Why are you stating such obvious facts?”

I’d like to talk about a narration well done. Marc Thompson does an exceptional job narrating this story, giving all the characters such distinct voices. And trust me, this book has many characters who speak, so to be able to nail different voices for all of them takes talent. I might have enjoyed his narration more than I enjoyed the story. A few caveats on this audiobook. It is full production, which means there is music and sound effects. From time to time, and this is a complaint I have for most full production audiobooks, the din in the background can drown out the narrator’s voice. Ifound it particularly distracting when Thompson was speaking over a character that was speaking Huttese to simulate translating. That was distracting. Another thing is that the quality was inconsistent. I don’t know if this was an issue with my player or if it’s an issue with the audiobook, but there were parts that were just weak quality.

This book asked me to suspend much of my beliefs as far as the plot was concerned. I never really felt the basis of the plot was a strong one. Plots like these stand up in video games because players have to infer much of the details or what’s going on in the background. Often the players are much more imaginative than the writers in this respect. It gets trickier ro explain this plot “on paper” because then the writers are tasked with fleshing out the story with more detail, and sometimes, that can leave readers thinking that maybe they didn’t think through this plot enough, which is partly the case here. There were many ways that a plot like this could’ve gone that would’ve made it more believable, but it wasn’t so bad that I gave up on it. As far as stories go, this one did keep me engaged. It actually turned out better than I was expecting. And admittedly, I did get a kick out of characters from the game being introduced into the story, such as Satele Shan and Watcher Three. The new characters Williams’ introduced weren’t terribly rounded, but they were likable enough that I cared about what happened to them… well, most of them. Also, I enjoyed most of the action sequences and could see them playing out epically in my head.

This was an interesting trek through the Star Wars universe, and despite some complaints mainly with the weak (very weak and also partially stupid) plot, I’m actually looking forward to reading more novels to fill in the gaps of this universe because it’s all in good fun. Also, Jet Nebula and Clunker are the MVPs of this novel.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TheRabidWookiee
  • 25-08-10

Awesome book!!

I actually own the hard back and it was so good i decided to get the audio version as well. The story starts off a little slow.. of course it has to introduce characters and what not. but when it picks up.. it just keeps going. I love the relationship between the Darth Chratis and Ax as well as the Jedi master and her apprentice. All the main characters in this book are great. They each have their own personality and I love how they relate to each other. Definitely a good read / listen. I can't wait for Sean's next book The Force Unleashed 2 to come out. Last note, If you are a Star Wars fan then you should definitely get this book. If you're not a fan...well I think you should pick it up and give it a shot anyways.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kragon
  • 01-06-18

Mostly Combat / Lacks Content

The majority of the book is two long combats mainly because the author repeats the same combat from different perspectives. At first this was enjoyable but it got old. Also coming from reading the Thrawn books I felt the tactics were lacking and boring. Mostly I wanted the combat to end so we could get on with the plot. The characters unlike Bane, Thrawn, Plagueis, Cardas, etc did not have much depth and I could not get invested in them nor did I care if any of them had lived or died. I started this series because it was the prequal to Darth Raven which was mentioned in the Darth Bane series, which I absolutely loved and could not put down. But sadly I was disappointed. I do not recommend this book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-08-10

A great Star Wars experience

I highly recommend this fantastic audio production.
It features an engaging story and great characters. The audio production itself is impressive.
Marc Thompson does a tremendous job and the sound effects and music provide great support.
I hope a sequel is on its way. In the meantime I will be looking for other Star Wars titles read by Marc Thompson.
I'd like to thank the author, the narrator and the whole audible team for this great experience.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • K Michael
  • 08-04-16

Not exactly a masterpiece

The narration was by far the best part of this story. Marc Thompson made an otherwise lazily constructed novel into a passable listen. The character build was decent it the entire structure seemed lazy and poorly written leading to a mix of confusion and boredom.

I just can't fully fall into any story that tells the same events over and over from the point of view of everyone involved! Pick a character and write your story convincingly enough to keep your audience attracted. Example: Chapter5 - event occurs and we hear one story representing everyone involved. Chapter 6 - 6 people go off in separate directions to fulfill the plan. We hear the timeline of events from character 1. Chapter 7: we hear the same timeline again from point of view of character 2. Then AGAIN from point of view of character 3. Then AGAIN from character 4. Chapter 7 - we AGAIN hear the SAME timeline from point of view of character 5 then character 6!!!! At this point I'm just exhausted and can't follow anymore! Then all parties get back together and plan for the next encounter that we have to hear about 15 times!!!!! I'm tiring myself just trying to write this!

Anyways, the narration is incredible as always, and their were a few interesting characters. Unfortunately, IMHO, the story structure was exhausting and at times confusing and the plot really wasn't worth the struggle to listen. I would suggest passing on this and saving your $16 and 13 hours!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 30-09-10

Slow but better than a book

I bought a book and couldn't read it so slow it was. Then I bought audio-book and already on chapter 11. This is definitely one of the slow ones and I bet I wouldn't ever finish it by just reading the book. There is a lot of characters in this book and everyone is going after this sindzia. And the author gives a bit of story and biography of every character. I think that its a bit boring-slow for me because book has so many characters and only few of them stand out - Jedi, his companion and the Sith.

Its a great audible book and I am glad its unabridged. But there are so many character that narrator fails to differentiate some of them sometimes. Marc Thompson is definitely doing great job, but I'd rather prefer a woman voicing over female characters.

Because the story is pretty slow I give this 4 stars. Other than that everything is great. All the background sounds, blaster fire and lightsaber sounds are all great and fitting. And Dramatization is pretty good as well. Marc's "thousands voices" really does a great job here differentiating male characters, but as I've said already I wish there was a woman behind female characters.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeremy
  • 05-10-10

Marc Thompson does it again!

Descent story line. I agree with other reviewers that it starts out slow and picks up toward the end. Marc Thompson does an awesome job of bringing the story to life with multiple voices and the effects are just enough. If you've listened to Mr. Thompson's other readings of the Fate of the Jedi and Legacy of the Force series' it will take a little getting used to the slight reuse of the voices from other characters in those series. Overall, an excellent experience and a good use of a credit.

6 people found this helpful