© 2004 Karen Traviss
A few weekends ago I finished Star Wars: Republic Commando, a particularly fun first-person shooter set during the Clone Wars, placing the character as the lead of "Delta Squad", a band of elite soldiers tasked with the Clone Wars' toughest assignments. I enjoyed the game immensely for its humor and style, and decided when I found that book series had been written to tie into the game that I'd like to read part of it. That's what brought me to Hard Contact, a straightforward military science fiction story about the misson of four Clone Commandos. They are not, alas, the four Commandos I became familar with in the game, being a different squad of troops.
The commandos are tasked with eliminating a planetary despot who controls a biogenetic agent targeting the Republic's clone army, the potential of which earned that despot a place in the Confederacy of Independent Systems' hierarchy. Succeeding in destroying his labs and freeing the planet from his rule will earn the Republic a new planet: failure might well see the annihilation of the entire Grand Army. The four soldiers are seperated when infiltrating the planet, and the Jedi master with whom they expected to join forces with was killed: they are left only with his woefully inexperienced and somewhat disgraced Padawan, who is on the verge of being expelled from the Jedi Order for her ineptitude. The squad must rally together against great difficulty to accomplish their goal.
Books that are purely combat rarely resonate with me and given that I didn't see the characters I had hoped to see, this wasn't an exception. I generally enjoyed the book, and understand the series' appeal to other readers. I understand Delta Squad is in other books of the series: I may like those better if I'm able to gain access to them.