Discussion in 'Literature' started by cdgodin, Apr 17, 2015.
Is there a JC lit Review thread for this book yet or is this thread acting as one?
Here you go
Sadface. I loved Chalis.
Missa ab iPhona mea est.
Finally got this as a Christmas present, so far I've read 100 pages and I'd give it an 8/10 based on what I've read so far. The thing I'm enjoying most about this novel so far is that 90% the characters and planets are new. I'm already waiting for the announcement of Battlefront: 501st
Received this for Christmas!
Bought it with my gift card money! Going dig into it soon.
Got this one for Christmas. Have to say I'm impressed. Very good book, just behind A New Dawn and better than Tarkin. Really liked all the members of Twilight Squad (Especialy Garden and Brand.). The defector, Chalis was absolutely fantastic and a treat to read about and I loved the Imperials, seeing an old school law and order fleet officer play off of the fanatical new order Prelate was something that isn't seen much and was very interesting to look at.
It's fair to say this one book did more than some entire series!
Nor have there been many tales that focus on the aftermath of Hoth. Talking of Hoth, this actually managed to find an angle to that battle that was actually new!
Another aspect that was very well-done - and you can see evidence of some very smart coordination across the books, comics and cartoon here - is the use of Vader. A little goes a very long way. Used in the right way and depicted properly, it can work very well indeed. Here, like elsewhere in the new material, Vader is an indestructible enemy far beyond all those around him, casually performing impossible acts with ease. Fortunately, for Namir, Vader was obsessed over Skywalker!
For all that everyone's praising her, I can't say I'm a fan of Chalis - though I really like the link to Vidian.
Death, death and more death - the book certainly deals it out to Rebel and Imperial alike, yet it does in a way that feels fair to the reader. There's no emotional manipulation of the reader here, no long passages or focus on character X, then killing them off, there's no foreshadowing of any kind - death simply... happens. Random, haphazard, harsh, cruel - all fit how death comes to numerous characters but it works brilliantly. I think part of the success lies in the book's honesty to the reader from the start - the message: Don't get too close or invest emotionally too much in anyone, they could be offed. Yet the book also makes you care enough about the characters too.. That's quite the accomplishment.
Prelate Verge - what an immensely sadistic little bastard. Great creation.
Finally - and this will sound controversial - I don't think there should be a sequel to this. For all that the brilliance of this screams for a sequel, what would a sequel do that this book hasn't? What new story is there to be told? I could easily read more stories of Namir and Twilight Company, but they need to be of equal or even greater quality as this one and that I'm sceptical of.
Was Chalis supposed to be a self serving arrogant b**** or was that just how I read her?
I'm assuming there will be at least one sequel to this, since there's a name attributed to the Battlefront title (like with the X-Wing series), but I agree - there doesn't need to be a sequel. Additional books in the NEU can cover from the end, if need be, and also fill in any gaps. But if there will be sequels, they definitely have to be of the same caliber, and therefore written by Freed. If it'll be a series of multiple books like X-Wing, getting two authors who balance each other (like Allston & Stackpole) is a requirement.
A little of A, a little of B:
How dare you speak of one of His Imperial Majesty's advisors that way? She was marvelous! My favorite character in the story.
Also, was it me or did Roach fancy Namir?
I never got that. Even though they are actually about the same physical age, it always felt like there was too much of an emotional age gap there. There were some Namir / Brand moments that made me wonder about the exact nature of their relationship though.
Yeah, Roach's relationship with Namir seemed, if anything, like an uncle/niece thing or at most puppy love on her part. On the other hand, I got definite vibes that Namir and Brand had feelings that they both refused to admit.
I finally finished this. The first sixty odd pages nearly killed me, but after the sabacc game, I really connected with the characters.
Namir, Roach, Howl, Challis, the Prelat.
When Challis handed over the keys to the High Command and they made mention of plans in terms of years, and short years at that, my eyes nearly bulged from my head, as there had never been a sense of a plan in the past, just 'surviving'. To have a plan, in hindsight obvious if the Rebels had managed the effort and organisation to invade the Mid Rim, was incredible, even if the Battle of Hoth undid it all. I had never felt like Hoth was a blow to the Rebels but in this it felt like the death of the Alliance. Very well done.
For Chalis to suggest an assault on Kuat, though, I nearly had a fit again. Incredible idea. When we hit Sullust I already had the sense we wouldn't make it to Kuat, but it was an incredible try.
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I hope this turns into a series. Just make a bunch of paperbacks instead of high profile hardcover releases.
I'M ALL UP FOR THAT.
To be fair though, I'm always up for PB over HC.
I got this book the day it came out, and I've only just finished reading it.
That long lead time is partly due to a busy lifestyle with little spare time for reading, but it's also because I couldn't connect with the book, not with its characters or the events happening within.
This is incredibly frustrating. It's a really good book. I think it's the best new canon book so far. The character work is excellent. There are no cardboard cutouts here. Its main character, Namir, undergoes subtle, but ultimately pivotal transformations. The characters' interactions are similar: simple on the surface, with more hiding beneath. Entire conversations occur through reading words left unsaid.
It's a tightly-plotted, well-executed book. There are no wasted scenes, there are no wasted moments. Everything is important. Everything builds, events coalesce to ratchet up the tension, until Namir has to make a choice. All of those tiny moments of transformation come to the fore. The ending has weight, and it is (mostly) earned.
I knew all of that, reading the book. I could see it on the page. But I saw it analytically, not emotionally: here is the scaffolding of the plot, here are Namir's flaws, here is the block he will trip over and here is the knowledge he needs to make the right decision in the end.
For all that, the book never hooked me. I was open to that hook; I waited for it. I started looking for it partway through, because I knew I was reading an excellent book and I wanted to love it. But it never happened. The emotional connection and I passed each other like ships in the night.
Was it because I read the book in chunks, and not in one long session? Maybe, but I've read books like that before and loved them. To add to that, I had one or two weekends where I sat down with the intent to read this book for hours and I simply couldn't. I wasn't invested. I couldn't manage more than an hour at a time. Was it because of the book itself? I don't know. I don't think Freed's writing has a lot of punch, to be sure, but the emotional arcs of the book are so subtle that I'm not sure a more aggressive style would work. I do think his writing was too sterile in the battle scenes, despite more than a few worthy turns of phrase. Whatever it is though, without an emotional connection to this book or its characters, the book came across as sterile; beautiful without a spark of life.
In the end, I think there were just a lot of things that went wrong in this particular pairing of book and reader. When it comes down to it, while I think this is the better book, I enjoyed Aftermath more despite its flaws (or maybe even because of some of its flaws). I feel weird even writing that, but it's true. I think maybe I'll give this book a few months to rest and come back to it with as fresh a memory as I can. I really want to love this book. I don't yet, but who knows what the future holds.
Aphra, I agree to an extent. It was definitely a great book, but it took way too long for me to form emotional investments. I liked Brand better than Namir for a stretch, honestly. But you've definitely got a point.
Aphra, Revanfan -- CHALIS.
Chalis is who you emotionally invest in.
I'd have happily invested in Chalis! She was a well-designed, well-portrayed character with a complex role. But alas! I was unable to invest my emotional capital in the Bank of B:TC, no matter which character fund I tried.
I think it's because you were looking for a fixed rate whereas the variable interest option would've worked better for you.
Missa ab iPhona mea est.
To be honest, investment in any strand of BTC is high-risk.
What would the surviving characters have done after the end of the war?