Alphabet Squadron: Shadow Fall
Adult Novel

Alphabet Squadron: Shadow Fall

Alexander Freed

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Our Synopsis

No Spoilers

Following the success of his entry novel Alphabet Squadron, Alexander Freed is back and better than ever with the much-anticipated sequel, Shadow Fall. Set shortly after the victorious (albeit costly) battle at Pandem Nai, Yrica Quell's ragtag Alphabet Squadron continues their task of finding and eliminating the elite Imperial 204th Fighter Wing, better know as Shadow Wing.

Working under the supervision of New Republic Intelligence Agent Caern Adan and General Hera Syndulla, Quell is faced with the challenge of managing her ill-fitting group of pilots while at the same time protecting a secret that could cause irreparable damage to not only Alphabet Squadron, but to the entire New Republic. Meanwhile, a familiar face with a new name has returned to Shadow Wing, and his mission is quite clear: revenge. Check out the second installment in this action packed trilogy!

Publisher's Summary

Possible Spoilers

The second installment of the Alphabet Squadron trilogy

Alphabet Squadron's hunt for the deadliest TIE fighters in the galaxy continues in this Star Wars adventure!

News of the New Republic's victory still reverberates through the galaxy. In its wake, the capital ships of the newly legitimized galactic government journey to the farthest stars, seeking out and crushing the remnants of imperial tyranny. But some old ghosts are harder to banish than others. And none are more dangerous than Shadow Wing.

Yrica Quell's ragtag Alphabet Squadron still leads the search for Shadow Wing, but they're no closer to their goal—and the pressure to find their quarry before it's too late has begun to shake them apart. Determined to finish the fight once and for all, Quell works with New Republic Intelligence's contentious Caern Adan and the legendary General Hera Syndulla to prepare the riskiest gambit of her starfighting career—a trap for Shadow Wing that could finish the chase once and for all.

But in the darkness, their enemy has evolved. Soran Keize, last of the Imperial aces, has stepped into the power vacuum at the head of Shadow Wing, reinvigorating the faltering unit in their hour of need. Once adrift in the aftershocks of the war, Keize has found meaning again, leading the lost soldiers of his unit through to safety. The only thing standing in his way? The most mismatched squadron in the New Republic Navy, led by his former mentee: the traitor Yrica Quell.

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Our Review

Alphabet Squadron: Shadow Fall



Very Good


Freed capitalizes on the foundation built in Alphabet Squadron by crafting a truly rich and consequential follow up that explores characters and themes in ways rarely seen in the Star Wars universe.







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Staff Comments

- Charles Hanckel

Shadow Fall presents a darker middle chapter in the saga of Alphabet Squadron in spectacular fashion as our heroes are forced to reckon with even darker corners of their own minds and histories. Freed's writing shines yet again in this character-centric novel that will have you screaming for the final installment the second you read the last line.

- Eric Eilersen

Shadow Fall does a great job of expanding on the characters that we grew to love in Alphabet Squadron and serves as a fleshed-out continuation of the squad’s mission to take down Shadow Wing. This sequel is a bit more dense than its predecessor, but that’s because it’s packed with so much story development. Expect some surprising twists and turns as you’re taken on this exciting thrill ride!

- Heather Goldman

Alexander Freed is back with the second installment of the Alphabet Squadron series, and he hasn’t missed a step. He continues to balance character development with a mastery of technical and military narrative in a way that reminds me of the best military fiction writers of a few decades ago. He accurately portrays the sense of being in a prolonged campaign, with a daily grind punctuated by pitched engagements. At the same time, he continues to plumb the mindsets, motivations, and relationships of his characters in an artful way. He succeeds in making Soren Keize one of the most interesting Imperials I’ve encountered, and Yrica Quell’s arc – and how her arc intertwines with those of her comrades – is masterful.

- Karl Sander

The second book in a trilogy is always under pressure to build on the foundation of its predecessor, and Shadow Fall took what Alphabet Squadron set up for it and absolutely nailed its task. Characters were emotional and conflicted. Battles were intense and serious. Backstories were sprinkled in at just the right moments and in perfect amounts. My only complaint is that we have to wait for Book 3 to find out what happens next.

- Meg Dowell

- Stacey White

- Corey Helton

For veteran Star Wars readers, I would say that being truly floored and caught of guard by a new book is a rare occurrence. That is not necessarily indicative of the quality of these stories, but rather it speaks to the fact that so many plot points and character arcs have already been done. I can confidently say, however, that Alexander Freed has broken that mold. Much like an expert pilot in a dogfight, Freed maneuvered this story from start to finish, making it jink every time I expected it to juke. Through two books, this Alphabet Squadron series has managed to avoid the pitfall of relying simply on the mythos of Star Wars lore, but instead should be considered an outstanding literary accomplished in its own right. Shadow Fall is a fascinating exploration of the humanity that lives close to each and every one of us, simply set in a galaxy far, far away.

- Andrew Bell

If you’re looking for a Star Wars book to really sink your teeth into, this is it. Freed writes dense stories full of complexity with huge payoffs for his spectacularly-developed characters. Shadow Fall follows up on the foundation laid in its predecessor by adding layers to the characters, massive twists, and creative worldbuilding. It has a great balance of gravitas and the fun that you expect from a Star Wars book all about starfighter pilots. I’ve really come to love most of these characters and can’t wait for the trilogy’s conclusion! The density of Fred’s writing style is a real challenge, but is rewarding in having a hefty Star Wars book to dive into with the kind of focus this book requires—and deserves. It’s definitely worth your time and I can almost guarantee that you’ll want to read it more than once.

- Jared Mayes

Keeping in tune with Alexander Freed's Alphabet Squadron, Shadow Fall was another heavily detailed starfighter novel that I hear is a welcome from the X-Wing series fans. Just like in the first book, Shadow Fall took some time getting used to Freed's writing style. There are many times I had to stop reading, compose myself, and continue on before getting visibly upset by the amount of detail laid out in this novel. I can appreciate the dedication to this style of writing but it takes away from the scene, the plot, the character interactions, and the overall story when I have to decipher the inner workings of an underground tunnel system or how a mining site has various winding canyons that open up into different estuaries. I, however, did like how this book centered on one system for the battles rather than jumping from system to system like in Alphabet Squadron. That did help me to keep the scope of the novel in tune while reading and I am a big fan of Freed leaving us hanging at the very end of the book. The build up of Wyl's character, the mentor style that Nath plays for Wyl, the demons Chass faces throughout the story, and Quell's battle with her past were all necessary developments that built off the foundation of Alphabet Squadron and hopefully climax into a stunner of a finale in the third book.

- Wes Jenkins

- Nathan Emery

- Trevor Davey

Community Reviews

Technical Specs

Del Rey
Release Date:
June 23, 2020
Page Count:
Issues Collected:
Carol Monda


Alphabet Squadron: Shadow Fall
June 23, 2020
Alphabet Squadron: Shadow Fall
Alphabet Squadron: Shadow Fall
June 23, 2020; Del Rey; Kindle
June 25, 2020; Century; UK hardcover[
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