Under the direction of the Emperor and Darth Vader, an army of highly trained, single-minded stormtroopers quashes dissent and destroys resistance.
But on worlds like Sullust, Coyerti, Haidoral Prime, and untold others, rebel forces fight in the trenches, determined to maintain hope against the unrelenting Imperial war machine...
Following the destruction of the first Death Star, the Rebellion began a large-scale military campaign against the Empire in the Mid-Rim. Months later, the soldiers of the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry, better known as Twilight Company, have been fighting at the front of the rearguard action as the Rebellion desperately retreats and abandons all the gains they made. On Haidoral Prime, First Sergeant Namir Hazram and his squad encounter Governor Everi Chalis, an efficiency expert who was disgraced following the Death Star's destruction. Offering her knowledge of the Empire's supply lines and infrastructure in exchange for a pardon, the men and women of Twilight Company must decide if they can trust the information Chalis is offering and use it to strike a major blow against the heart of the Empire's war machine.
This novel contains examples of the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Twilight Company contains several, including sniper Brand, the slightly psychotic Twitch, and eventually Roach.
- Almighty Janitor: Chalis is a fairly high-ranking Imperial bureaucrat, but she's still just another cog in the machine. She's so indistinguishable from anyone else that the Imperials essentially didn't care that she defected. However, she's such a logistics expert that she and Twilight Company are able to plan a complex Batman Gambit against the Empire.
- Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: The Mid Rim Offensive is this in the beginning of the book. Framed as the Rebellion taking advantage of the Empire being in disarray after the Death Star blows up, they take a significant portion of the Mid Rim before the Empire regroups and starts pushing them back. The narration says that orders went from advancing, to holding position, to retreating.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Gadren is easily the nicest member of the Company, he regularly charges into Imperial lines and tosses Stormtroopers around with his bare hands. Chief Medic Von Geiz is also one of the nicer members of the Company, and Namir is taken aback when he suggest assassinating an Imperial officer instead of attacking the base he is at.
- The Big Guy: Gadren, again, as a Besalisk (the same species as Dex from Episode II, and Pong Krell from The Clone Wars).
- Break the Badass
- The Cameo: Namir meets a Corellian freighter captain during his stay on Hoth that is heavily implied to be Han Solo. Leia Organa also makes an appearance, though she never speaks to Namir.
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: This is the dynamic between Howl and Hazram.
- Cold Sniper: Brand, though she does have a soft spot for Namir and the rest of the squad.
- Continuity Nod:
- Covers Always Lie: The cover depicts Twilight Company fighting at the Battle of Hoth. In the novel, only four members of Twilight are present, with Howl being the only one from the cover.
- The Cynic: Hazran Namir is so jaded by a lifetime of war for a variety of causes on his homeworld that he doesn't care about the Rebellion's mission to restore the Old Republic, instead just thinking it's a power grab by politicians that were too slow to try and grab power for themselves without even knowing about everything Palpatine did to establish the Empire.
- Darkest Hour: On Sullust at the end, Twilight Company is surrounded and it looks like they're going to die, with no avenues of escape or any help coming. Turns out, however, that they win anyway thanks to Chalis, good tactics, and the people of the city below them finally rising up against the Empire.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: More than a couple dozen members of Twilight Company are named and given some personality. Add in several recurring non-Twilight Company rebels and two Imperial PO Vs with their own casts and there are a lot of characters to keep track of.
- Mauve Shirt: There are quite a few secondary members of Twilight Company who get a bit of focus. Some live and some die, including Sairgon, Ajax, and Maediyu.
- Mood Whiplash: This book is radically different in tone to the vast majority of other stories in the Star Wars universe.
- Mysterious Past: Captain Micha "Howl" Evon. The only person in the company who knows his history is Lieutenant Sairgon, and he refuses to talk about it. The rest of the company often speculate about what Howl did before he became a rebel.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Prelate Verge, the young member of the Imperial Ruling Council dispatched to hunt down Everi Chalis. He worships Palpatine and has some very odd ideas about how to instill loyalty and show dedication to the Empire, which includes torturing subordinates who fail in even the most minor ways as a way to redeem them of their momentary "treason".
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Twilight Company, who holds short recruiting drives on every world they fight on to make up the losses they take.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Everi Chalis was sent to Haidoral Prime to be its governor for her role in the Death Star's destruction.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: When Hazram first joins the Rebellion, he is surprised that the Rebels actually believe they are fighting for the freedom of people across the galaxy. Hazram is further stunned when he meets Howl and learns that he even believes that, having thought that Howl was manipulating them like so many other leaders Hazram had fought for.
- Suicide Mission: The attack on Kuat that Chalis believed would deal a decisive blow to the Empire most likely would have turned out to be this, regardless of Chalis's thoughts of it. Twilight Company was exhausted, continually taking losses, and with only them against one of the Empire's greatest fortresses, regardless of how much from it had been peeled off to guard other planets, most likely would have gotten them all killed.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Everi Chalis is a logistical genius that was the protege of one of the Empire's Ruling Council members, claiming that she was sent to Haidoral Prime for her role in the destruction of the Death Star. Come Hoth, when she comes face-to-face with Darth Vader himself, she is prepared to Face Death with Dignity...only for Vader to not even care who she is, instead demanding to know where Luke Skywalker is. This turns out to be a rather big blow to her ego, though she doesn't really let it show.
- Woman Scorned: Namir start to think that the Kuat mission is in truth a complicated revenge scheme by Chalis to get back at the Empire for never appreciating her hard work enough and for sending Verge to kill her instead of someone more important.