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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Alphabet Squadron, written by Alexander Freed, read by Saskia Maarleveld. 

On the verge of victory in a brutal war, five New Republic pilots transform from hunted to hunters in this epic Star Wars adventure. 

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.

©2019 Alexander Freed (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Alphabet Squadron

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

Good introduction story, too slow for me

This is a good story for those who loved series like X-Wing Rogue Squadron, however I wasn't able to get interested in the characters as we already have seen these type of individuals and situations in other stories like Lost Stars or even Finn as a defector who doesn't really know if he wants to join the fight in Force Awakens. I will read the rest of the series but because I am a Star Wars fan and i want to know more about the state of the galaxy after Return of the Jedi, but not because I am interested in these characters' fate. Bringing Hera Syndulla and mentioning Jun Erso was exciting but it felt to me that their names were used just to "entice" the reader or make the story feel more "Star Wars connected", but really Syndulla's character could have been any other general from the New Republic and the story would have been the same. Truly not my favourite book, but I have acquaintances who loved it as they enjoy pilot stories better than I do. Give it a try and judge by yourself.

1 person found this helpful

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Action, spycraft and X-Wings

This was a fun read with was another unique point of view. Following the events of Return of The Jedi, it follows Imperial deserters.

Getting to see that transition from Galactic Empire to the New Republic was done so well. But, of course, there were also many more ambiguities, chaos and lack of control of crime. But, seeing that this is the reality of any new power structure in our real world, I found it to be written in a very realistic way.
The narrative doesn't follow people we already know; it follows regular people trying to figure out life in a new regime. There are no Jedi, but Luke seems to be known of, and I'm sure there must be a lot of gossip about the young man who blew up DS1 and 'killed' the Emperor. I guess no one in the wider galaxy would have known it was Vader.

Getting Herra made this book so much more enjoyable. I love her so much, so seeing her reminisce about the Ghost was SO good.

Having read Alexander Freed's other Star Wars novel Twilight Company which is very similar in format, I was worried I wouldn't love this; however, I really liked it from the get-go.

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A good voice for romantic story's not space combat

so hard to follow and get into this story. accents and voices kept changing and made it hard to tell who was talking. Saskia has a nice voice just not for a combat Syfy..

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Hopefully the second one is better.

It feels like a poorly written heist story. You hear how and why every character ends up together and they make it painfully obvious that every single one of them has an agenda but refuses to say what anyone's motives really are.
They list Hera in the blurb as if she is one of the main characters but it's a tertiary role.

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One of the best Star Wars books I've read.

The performance and voices were done really well and the story was interesting and relevant.

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Perfect voice acting/narrating.

I really enjoyed this story. Excellent narrating too. Really believable voices. I got lost in it.

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Loved it

Now one of my favourite pieces of star wars media, legends or Canon. Writing is vivid and full of life, I adore the narration

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Good but it took a while

Great characters and story, just not the gripping/exciting Star Wars Starfighter pilot drama you’d hope for like you’d expect from an Aaron Alston X-Wing novel or Claudia Gray’s amazing Lost Stars

Excellent representation which we need to keep getting more of,m

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  • HappyCamper
  • 26-06-2019

Outstanding

The characters and the back story draw you in... True Star Wars. Thank You Alexander Freed for bringing this to life and Saskia for delivering it with Passion...

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jon
  • 06-05-2020

Eh.

It was okay, the old xwing series was more satisfying, but its not a bad start.. I just hope the sequel book is more engaging.

narrator makes me sleepy.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jordan Nash
  • 06-12-2019

A unique tale

Alphabet Squadron is a great listen, breaking away from some of the norms of the franchise this book delivers a great story on the whole.

There are a few moments that Weill leave you with more questions than answers but in general, I'd definitely recommend this book to any Star Wars fan, new or old

2 people found this helpful

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  • G Morrison
  • 19-11-2019

Character driven Star Wars, it's new and it's good

I struggled to get into it, it had been sitting in my library for a few months and I was stuck between my lack of interest and my promise never to get another audiobook before finishing the last one. I'm glad I did though, the VA is fantastic and the story really does pick up, I ended up properly invested in the characters and I felt like I was sharing in their victories and their losses. The added sound effects are amazing too, and definitely add to the story - including the radio static, which changes depending on the character and situation. All in all, I regret not listening properly the first time and I'm glad I could rewind and start again and give the book a fair shot! I look forward to seeing where Alphabet Squadron go next, and how the characters continue to develop

1 person found this helpful

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  • Luke W.
  • 05-09-2019

Masterfully written Star Wars tale

Alphabet Squadron may not involve many recognisable characters, but like the Aftermath trilogy it has established a group of new characters that I can't wait to see more of. Many will find this story reminiscent of the old X-Wing books, and that's a good thing for sure. This book has probably the best written space battles I have experienced, the tension and action perfectly portrayed. The voice acting and narration was excellent too, though some of the voices were rather similar. That said, Maarleveld's narration was absolutely captivating. I cannot wait to see where this story goes.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Shaw
  • 27-08-2021

Star to finish.

If you like post Endor new republic stories, characters with enough depth to provoke the imagination, Star Wars hidden easter eggs and tie ins then get this book!

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  • MR W G McGUIGAN
  • 11-05-2021

Loved it

Great story just what I was expecting onto book 2 now to find out what happens

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  • tony ellis
  • 22-02-2021

Good storyline, boring narration

The storyline is one of the many in the canon filling the space between episodes 6 and 7, this one taking not long after Return of the Jedi in which a former imperial pilot struggles emotionally in her new role in the new republic. Storyline wise: pretty good, you get to empathise with the main character Quell who still doesn't see the former empire as wholly evil. Narration wise I thought was very boring and flat, even the voice effects dont add anything. I'd buy the book.

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  • Mr M Marriott
  • 03-01-2021

First audible I've listened to

This has been my first audible book. It has been a strange experience for me, not having the "book" and has taken awhile to get used to.
Ms Maarleveld's performance has been a delight, the characterisation top notch. I look forward to the next in the series.
I

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-12-2020

Interesting Premise, Terrible finale product

In theory, this book seems like it would be great. Its got a very defined focus, You're introduced to the characters quickly enough and you kind of get an idea of where the story is headed, what its about.

The positives here are many: The characters are pretty likable, the performance is good given what the narrator is given (Will come back to this later),the effects are great as they are with most Star Wars books and you can fall into the Star Wars universe. Having Hera Syndulla was interesting to get an idea to what she's been up to since the end of Rebels (And so did the Squadrons videogame) and the addition of Quell's imperial mentor was interesting to show us more about the regular people who fought for the Empire.

On the flip side, to put it simply, this story is a mess. Despite being likable the author makes the characters needlessly complicated. everyone seems to have some kind of hidden agenda within the min cast, some story threads are teased, and possibly picked up on in the second book. One of the biggest ones is Hera taking on a mentor role to the main character and using her connection to the Jedi (Rebels Fans you still with me?) to try and accomplish this. Despite the characters being good and complex enough to be interesting in other media, they're not the strongest cast for this book series. Some seem to be made for you to hate them. For example: Caern Adan, Cass na Caddic, Nath Tensent was a mixed bag. The story for the book also fell quite flat, with some elements being promising. The pacing was also a mess due to the length of the chapters and Sub-chapters. Many ended up being an hour or more in length, however the issue could have been avoided if there were more chapters devoted to what these had tried to do. The Narrator, while skilled, could only do so much with such a messy, flat, ultimately less than compelling plot within the story itself, but huge credit for trying as she carried this as much as possible. The villain/antagonist was pretty weak and bland. I never once viewed her as a threat to anyone, and her only defining character trait was the nickname she was given and that she hated it.

Overall, I don't recommend this, If you really want to know the story I might recommend buying a paperback/hardback edition. I don't normally like it when books are abridged, but I think this book would have been a perfect example of when to do it. I don't mind when books are long, prefer it even, but I don't think I agree with a lot of Alexander Freed's choices. They held what could have been a pretty good book back a great deal. The writing was ultimately ok, but I think this is more an exercise in tedium and sadly could never bring myself to finish it. Things could be better in book 2 as the antagonist/villain will have more of a personal connection to the protagonist.

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