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Avg. Rating: 3
this book couldve been half as long had all the nonsense been cut out.theres a lot of politics and ceremonies and the like.i think the author was going for drama,but it came out more like over-detailed and uneventful.there are just certain things people have come to expect from anything star wars.like a light saber battle,a super weopon,the sith,ise of the main characteres in meaningful and interesting events.this book lacks all these qualities.you will,however,have to trudge through it if you are reading the series.now i will give you the low down.the good guys,for some reason,are looking for a living planet instead of fighting the vong.anakan solo is still dead.which still makes me mad.landos super cool droids arent around and niether is the coolest sith since darth vadar in lord nyax.heck,even han solo ,luke skywalker and thier families dont see much action.luke spends the book in a library.oh thats so cool.[ugh].all the real cool stuff happens in like the last 70 pages.there is a assassination attempt on someone important.so the other jedis,not in danger,gave to twart the attempt.i feel so sorry for poor old tahiri.shes not only hopeless about the future but severely depressed and now gas an alternate persona.my heart really goes out to her.nom-anor is hiding beneath coruscant trying to get the shamed ones to revolt.the good guys do find a planet full of droids powered by souls.a terrorist assassanation attempt gets an ok air battle towards the end.jacen solo spends most of his time in the library also.ho-hum.but danni expresses her true feelings for him.lastly,theres the living planet.it is said to ne inhabited by insects.theres dense oxygen.every 3 years a fire god burns up its surface.a prophetess from there is said to have created the force.the planet can jump through hyperspace also.thats all they find out in over 400 pages.they never did find the planet either.
Three-sided storyline that I found rather enjoyable
I read the other reviews and I wonder if I read the same book that they did. I genuinely enjoyed the complexity of the book. Perhaps for the Star Wars fan who enjoys duels and battles, this book isn't for you. However, I enjoyed the political complexities present in the book on all three sides of the storyline.
In one, Luke continues on his mission to find Zonama Sekot and hope that it can make the difference in turning the war around. Contrary to one review, the conflict at the end is a huge benefit in their effort to get access to Chiss space, but I will not spoil how. Also, I believe that there is a very good reason that we don't have the map, that is because the Chiss are very secretive and even though Luke, Jacen and the others are looking at records, I am doubtful the Chiss are actually letting them look at star charts showing exact locations. Remember, many were VERY skeptical of their arrival and mission. Not providing us the map makes it more realistic for us in following the story.
The second side is the continuing mission led by Leia and Han to bring the distant regions of the galazy back into the fold. They are taken to Bakaura on the edge of the far reaches of the galaxy, bordering on Ssi-Ruuk space and the Unknown Regions. The political turnabouts in this theater are complex and telling. I agree with one reviewer that the whole ruse was completely predictable, but the subtle mechanisms are intreging as is the climax to the incident.
The third theater is on the planet formally known as Courscant, now the headquarters of the Yuuzhan Vong in the galaxy. Nom Anor is trying to lead a cult based on the Jeedi to being about his revenge on the leadership of the Vong. This is the least interesting of the three, but has some long term potential. Anor is trying to take advantage of the fact that the Shamed Ones have been put down for so long and that they have a desire for something more. This is, of course, a theme seen throughout the world at different stages of history. However, this isn't as well developed as the other two theaters of the book, but hopefully will be in book three.
If you are only into battles and lightsabre fights, this book isn't for you. However, if you are into a more in depth look at various facets of the ongoing galactic war along with the political intrige implicit in it, enjoy!
2.5/5, An improvement, but not enough...
To say the first "Force Heretic" novel was a monumental dissapointment that made me want to rip my eyes out, would be a minor understatement. Which made it all the more surprising to find that I actually enjoyed this second book in the Williams-Dix composition for the New Jedi Order series.
In all honesty, it appears as though one of the writers (I can't tell which) wrote the first book, and the other one wrote this one, so different did I find the styles. Gone were the plaguing problems of incoherent sentences and paragraphs, stuttering storylines and lack of involvement in the characters. As well, I found most of the intrigue laced in this book to actually work. Previously, I staunchly believed mystery and Star Wars don't mix - they didn't in Episode II, on film, they definitely won't on paper - but at least in the case of Bakura, with so much back-stabbing and betrayal going on at once (even the Yuuzhan Vong get in on it) I was genuinely pulled into the book. The whole plot on Csilla seemed like an afterthought however, and the conflict that occured there seemed a little too mainpulative and coincidental. It would've been much easier for Jacen, Luke and Co. to learn Zenoma Sekot's location without an overly done powergrab. Just my opinion. The plot with Nom Anor as Yu'shaa, the Prophet, also worked well, and helped advance the Yuuzhan Vong side of things with surprising clarity.
Of course, the book still wasn't that great.
The lack of chapters will bug me forever, I'm sorry, it probably sounds petty, but it just doesn't work for me. Call it a stylistic choice if you want, I hate it. The characters were absolutely stupid on occassion (even if I feel Dix and Williams did an ok job of molding them this time), a good case of which is with Jaina. She has ample opportunity several times to free herself from Harris (the Vice-President) and his cronie's grasp, yet waits until possibly the worst time to do so, after two backup character's unneccessarily die. I mean, she only has to fight two guys, and at one point one of them is knocked out of the equation and Jaina isn't even bound by cuffs (as she is when she eventually does break free) and yet she still doesn't act, instead choosing to allow another person to die. Horrible plot-manipulation, flat out. Time and time again, I saw character's make hideously foolish choices that no Star Wars hero or heroine would truly make, just to make the plot advance. It came off as downright lazy to me. That being said, I still enjoyed the plot - go figure.
All in all, this novel was a definite improvement on the previous Williams-Dix endeavor, but still failed in far too many aspects to be worthy of joining the likes of Traitor, Star by Star, or any of Aaron Allston's or Michael Stackpole's novels. 2.5/5 stars.
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