Death Troopers (Star Wars) - Joe Schreiber “Well, we’re on a Star Destroyer being chased by the living dead”
The Purge is an Imperial prison barge. When it makes an unexpected stop near a ghost Star Destroyer, Captain of the Guard, Jareth Sartoris, is sent aboard to find spare parts. Instead, their party is split up, and only half returns. But once back on the ship, a virus spreads quickly, much more quickly than Zahara Cody, medical officer can treat. Can the survivors—Sartoris, Cody, two orphaned boys, Kale and Trig Longo, and two mysterious high security prisoners—survive?

NOTE: Based on unabridged audiobook and novel.

I Liked:
This is the first Star Wars horror novel. Other novels have dabbled in horror archetypes and tropes, but this one feels more like a horror novel than a straight-up Star Wars novel. And I liked it. We got the first hint that Star Wars could accept other genres with the noir-esque Coruscant Nights Trilogy. Unfortunately, with the CN trilogy, they held back and didn’t push it as far as I feel they could have. Death Troopers is pure horror. We have the spooky set up, the ominous abandoned Star Destroyer, the splitting of the boarding party, the infection, the immuned, the heroic sacrifice, and good old fashioned zombie shambling. Oh, and lots and lots of blood, gore, and nasty deaths.
The original characters were very interesting. I found myself really interested in Kale and Trig Longo. I thought I might not (they were teenagers, their father was a stereotypical smuggler, who was arrested wrongly by the Empire, etc.), but both were sensible, level-headed, and age-appropriate (no superpowered Solo or Skywalker kids here!). Jareth Sartoris was a bit of a stereotypical “bad guy”, but I liked him anyway. His backstory made me feel sorry for him, and I liked how he handled the situation and his "redemption" of sorts. Lastly, Zahara Cody was amazing. Completely a woman I could throw my support behind: smart, capable, independent woman. She could handle a blaster, but didn’t feel like a man. One of my new favorite characters.
POSSIBLE SPOILER:
Han and Chewbacca appear halfway through the novel. Based on many reviewers comments, I was afraid that their inclusion would lessen the story for me. And while I did know they would survive and would have preferred Schreiber using a more unknown pair of scoundrels from Crispin’s or Daley’s works, I still thought it was cool to see them. Han acted very in character, one of the best portrayals I've seen in EU, and Chewbacca actually gets a point of view that is very well-done and insightful (why didn't more authors try to write his pov??). And seeing Chewbacca react to the Wookiee child…there are some definite emotions there.
END OF SPOILER
The story is very stereotypical. The prison barge stops for some reason near an infected ghost Star Destroyer. Scariness ensues. But since this plot hasn’t appeared in Star Wars before and I've not read a ton of horror books, I actually liked it. It was creepy, the characters acted appropriately (even if it meant stumbling into the horror clichés), and it moved very well.

I Didn’t Like:
As with most zombie novels, this is extremely gruesome (though not as gruesome as some!). There were many, many times where I wanted to vomit, the descriptions were so bloody and gory. So if you are sensitive of stomach, be ware. Also, do NOT read while eating.
As I said in the spoiler, the inclusion of a pair of familiar faces diffuses a lot of the suspense of the novel. Also, it is pretty obvious who lives and who dies (I wanted to roll my eyes at the escape, at who “miraculously” appears in the shuttle). And the Dramatis Personae has one character that pretty much "dies" within the first 100 pages, so it seems odd to even include him on the list. And, as we see so often, all but one of the Dramatis Personae (not including surprise characters) is human.
While this book (I thought) balanced the Star Wars and the horror genres, some might feel the Star Wars is too muted. When reading, I would come across a particular Star Wars reference and be like, “Oh, yeah, this is Star Wars.”

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Zahara uses “Karking” in place of the f-bomb. Don’t know if this is the first incident, but someone does use the term “bloody” for cursing.
One character eyes the attractive Zahara.
Lots. One character has a dream and digs into his stomach. Zahara does an impromptu stomach surgery on a character, who remains conscious for most of it. Trig has to climb a mountain of body parts. Zombie feedings. Blasterfire. Heck, we even have a psuedo-dogfight.

Overall:
I liked it…a lot. I was thoroughly entertained, the characters were interesting, the action held my attention, the story moved along quickly (sometimes almost too quickly). I had a few issues, but on the whole, I welcome the inclusion of horror into Star Wars. Perhaps Star Wars will start opening its borders to other genres…