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Alphabet Squadron (Star Wars)

Written by: Alexander Freed
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 13 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The first novel in a new trilogy starring veteran New Republic pilots!

On the verge of victory in a brutal war, five New Republic pilots transform from hunted to hunters in this epic Star Wars adventure. Set after Return of the Jedi, Alphabet Squadron follows a unique team, each flying a different class of starfighter as they struggle to end their war once and for all.

The emperor is dead. His final weapon has been destroyed. The Imperial Army is in disarray. In the aftermath, Yrica Quell is just one of thousands of defectors from her former cause living in a deserters' shantytown - until she is selected to join Alphabet Squadron.

Cobbled together from an eclectic assortment of pilots and starfighters, the five members of Alphabet are tasked by New Republic General Hera Syndulla herself. Like Yrica, each is a talented pilot struggling to find their place in a changing galaxy. Their mission: to track down and destroy the mysterious Shadow Wing, a lethal force of TIE fighters exacting bloody, reckless vengeance in the twilight of their reign.

The newly formed unit embodies the heart and soul of the Rebellion: ragtag, resourceful, scrappy, and emboldened by their most audacious victory in decades. But going from underdog rebels to celebrated heroes isn't as easy as it seems, and their inner demons threaten them as much as their enemies among the stars. The wayward warriors of Alphabet Squad will have to learn to fly together if they want to protect the new era of peace they’ve fought so hard to achieve. 

Part of a Marvel and Del Rey crossover event, Alphabet Squadron is the counterpart to Marvel’s TIE Fighter miniseries, which follows the exploits of Shadow Wing as they scheme to thwart the New Republic. 

©2019 Alexander Freed (P)2019 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Imperial Defection Story that makes sense

loved it so much! voice acting was superb and the story itself was great! favourite star wars novel to date!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Matt Cilvik
  • 2019-06-12

It's not Rogue Squadron

Being a die-hard fan of the Rogue and Wraith Squadron series of books from the EU, I was super excited for this release.

The premise was slightly baffling, but I needed to read this book.

However, I just couldn't get into it. There are far too many characters, too many storylines to place these unfamiliar names, and the book seems so jumbled.

The narrator does a fantastic job throughout the book, but it's still very lacking. I listened for the lore, for the back story that would flush out the overall Star Wars arc... But it wasn't there.

23 of 30 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • aaron w marshall
  • 2019-06-12

Worse than Aftermath and that's saying something

I tried, i really tried. I just could not get interested in the characters or the storyline. I am a die-hard star wars geek and this just had me puzzled. Right from the start it didn't sound like a Star Wars story. Of course it was lacking all the fan service and main characters we've come to know and love but the writer seemed to have trouble telling a real Star Wars story.

Give me Wookie lore and space battles right away and i'll forgive the endless internal dialogue of a main character whose name still escapes me. If I have to ask myself "who?" every time a character is mentioned, you've lost me. There are no reference points; it felt like a movie jammed into a book. At least in the movie i would visually recognize the character and feel like "ok, i have to root for her."

For me the reader was also very distracting. I couldn't figure out which was a male and which was a female character. Marc Thompson would have given this book a bit of a bump but I can see why he passed on the story.

Overall it wasn't as bad as The Crystal Star but still worse than Aftermath Book 1 which this reader just barely made it through without throwing the book out a window.

Would not recommend, I had high hopes but they were sadly not met.

29 of 39 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Austin
  • 2019-07-13

Great book, great production.

Great book! Loved the story and action. I particularly liked the music chosen for it, I thought it worked well!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robbie
  • 2019-07-11

Great story, great narration

But man, that non-John Williams background music is rough at times. The simpler bits are fine, but a lot of the time the originally music sounds cheaply made, and it distracts from the narration.

Aside from that, I’m in love with these characters. Freed has proven to be one of the best Star Wars writers, and Maarleveld is fantastic as always. Can’t wait for the sequel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wolfsigma
  • 2019-07-08

Nearly to "X-wing" quality... which is high praise

TLDR- A great story with good action and proper Star Wars lore... except in some tiny details.

I highly enjoyed this book. As is common for Star Wars books, there is a higher level of production to this audio book than others. But unlike other Star Wars books, Alphabet Squadron is not over produced.

The performance by the reader is highly enjoyable. She manages to bring unique voices to each character, with the help of well written characters, in a universe known for its quality characters.

The author also writes a compelling and clear story. The action is often but not overwhelming. And Alexander Freed has a pretty on point understanding of the Star Wars universe. That gets extra points from me since that is an easy task. I read quite a few Star Wars novels that read like books from another dimension.

My only complaints are minor and slightly spoilery. So...

MINOR SPOILERS::: For people who finished the Story.

The A-wings in this story never once use concussion missiles or their cononic swivel blasters. And it's even more weird since all the other alliance fighters use the weapons they have.

I may not be fully up on the newest stuff but Nebulon B frigates could carry 24 Tie fighters. I don't think that means it can carry 12 A-wings and 12 B-wings.

Also... I feel in my heart that even if it's a squadron of Tie aces, 2 squadrons of Alliance fighters and a combat frigate could wipe the floor with a Imperial Quasar carrier and its 48 Ties.

Lastly, towards the end some characters start getting plot armor. It's not unpleasant and I accept why... but previous pilots died as you might expect so the sudden lack of death is a titch jarring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-06-17

Now Even the Audiobooks are Lackluster

Business first. Great sound FX. Weak story. Oddly placed LGBTQ moments. Was done much better with Sinjir in the Aftermath series. Unable to relate to these characters. They are a far cry from Luke or Wedge’s Rogues.

Personal opinion, second. I have been a diehard Star Wars audiobook for years. However, the poor storytelling and mismanagement of the new canon is becoming apparent her as well. This is the last audiobook I buy without listening to it from a friend first. If no one buys it. Neither will I.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joey
  • 2019-06-12

A great first entry into this post-RotJ trilogy

The premise of Alphabet Squadron is simple. The burgeoning New Republic needs a special task force and assembles an unlikely group of pilots, each flying a differing model of starfighter (hence the name), and assigns them with a tough mission... to track down and eliminate the deadly Shadow Wing TIE fighter squadron of the Empire.
Alexander Freed writes military sci-fi well, and Alphabet Squadron was no exception. The space battles are described wonderfully, and the book immerses the reader in the military world of Star Wars. The characters fall into some common tropes for military characters, but Freed manages to make them interesting and stand out. I was happy to have two aliens on the team too. The story is engaging, and the ending is very unexpected and will leave you ready for book 2. The story drags in some parts, which isn't surprising given this was supposed to be a standalone novel but was extended into a trilogy however this extra focus helps flesh out the story Freed is carving and expands on his characters as well as Shadow Wing more.
Overall I recommend this for Star Wars fans, especially if you want more post-RotJ content or like the military aspect of the franchise.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kenn
  • 2019-07-17

ok

Story was overall a decent story. The problem I had was the character voices all sounded alike. There was very little to no voice range difference between Male and Female. Found it difficult to listen to

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • cpmedic
  • 2019-07-08

Hard to follow.

Story was all over the place. You have to listen to the book twice to understand the story line. Readers tone outs you to sleep.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Panzershrek
  • 2019-07-07

Narator had trouble keeping characters apart

It seemed as if the narrator had not read the book prior to the performance as it took them until part 2 to be able to distinctly differentiate inflection between characters making it difficult to discern between characters in the beginning.