Lit Crucible by Troy Denning

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Manisphere, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Jedi_Master_Bumfluff Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2005
    star 1
    Might be nice is they have the big three go off into unknown regions, perhaps now that GL is no longer at the helm, they might tell a story of Luke investigating the Whills. As long as the story is NOT set in the known part of the galaxy and is as far away from the aftermath of Apocalypse as possible. Getting tired of multiple book story arcs not giving a reader a proper feeling of conclusion. And for goodness sake tie up whatever story threads you begin...In the same book!
    GrandMasterKatarn likes this.
  2. TheCouncilHistorian Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    I actually like Denning when he is in the middle of the story arc. Star By Star was pretty great. I remember really liking one of the middle books of his in FotJ (wasnt he the one to write that heartbreaking reporter scene?).

    But the man is incapable of writing an ending. How did FotJ end? Did it? No. It just stopped. 9 books over what, 3 years? And absolutely none of the main conflicts were resolved.

    What happened to Vestara? shrug.

    What about the Kesh? shrug

    What about Abeloth? shrug

    What about Fel's Imperials? shrug

    What are the jedi going to do? shrug

    I hate to be cynical, but this exact thing happened in LotF. Sure, Jacen died, but so many threads established throughout that massive series were simply dropped. Its like Denning just wants to keep writing and never provide any satisfactory conclusion to any plotline.

    So the obvious choice for a big three novel (Zahn) gets a pass. And we give it to Denning? Why?
  3. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    Denning's best works are Star By Star, Tempest and Inferno. Can't comment on his FOTJ books. Only read them once. I'll rectify that this summer with a massive read-through of DNT/LOTF/MF/FOTJ. Invincible was such a letdown. I was expecting something like The Unifying Force in scale and was let down. Invincible was good. I liked that it focused on Jaina, Jacen, Luke and the others but no mention of how the Confederation surrendered or whatever it is they did? There should be a tales of LOTF or Invincible to answer these questions. FOTJ did not help this plot point either. Denning doesn't really solve any plot points and leaves us with more questions. The Unifying Force answered many questions and gave us interesting plot points to to look forward to, until Denning threw them out in DNT. FOTJ was bad in execution. That did not need to be 9 books. Maybe 5 or 6. Keep the Daala arc, Actually use the Unification Summit, Have Luke and Ben exiled and learn more Force techniques and actually solve why Jacen fell, Han and Leia are intermediaries between both sides and possibly get thrown in to the slavery arc, no Lost Tribe of the Sith and make Abeloth truly terrifying or something and not have her get get defeated every book.
  4. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    Hmm... Then again, this hits a main problem in an ever continuing EU - there IS no ending. We know that Luke & co were off to Bakura only days after ROTJ and from there, they just kept going. And it seem like every time someone wants to make some more epic final, it ends by being overruled. CotJ's happy couple is broken apart in DS, Mara's vision in the end of VOTF didn't really come through, TUF is overwritten in DNT etc. Ok, of course there are a great number of books where you at get a satisfactory end to at least the storyline the book followed - but from certain points of view, it makes good sense to leave several plotlines open at the end of a story.
  5. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    Abeloth gets defeated in every book, just like Caedus before her? And people complain that the Seperatists lose too many episodes in TCW...
  6. TheCouncilHistorian Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    True. But if suddenly Lucasfilm pulled the rug out from Del Ray and abandoned the novels EUverse after say, The Last Command, or The Unifying Force. It would still be a satisfying conclusion. There might be some nitpicking, but as a whole, the major plot questions get resolved. Not so when Denning is tasked with an ending. It bums me out. I was really enjoying FotJ. Allston is always great. I liked Golden enough, and even Denning was doing some interesting things. But then nothing. Cut to black during a wedding. Nothing at all resolved.

    Troy Denning's The Unifying Force

    We see the Vong Battle Fleets jump into hyperspace, temporarily chased away by the GA's Killik allies. Shimmra, Onimi and co are still alive out there somewhere. Bleakness is the rule of the day. Everyone hates the Jedi Order. And by the Dark Nest all is forgotten.
  7. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    Thank God that did not happen with The Unifying Force! Because that would be what happened. There are still groups of Vong out there but not the whole fleet or ruling group. If they kept the storyline at a couple of months after TUF the authors could have wrapped up those rogue Vong Fleets, see more of the reconstruction of Coruscant that was miraculously done in DNT, see the Jedi Order on Ossus, see Jacen on the Hermitage, see Han and Leia traveling the galaxy helping people (maybe Han will get a protege) with help from the Noghri and Wookies , see the GA on Dennon, pirate attacks, see how the common people are recovering from the war etc
  8. Team Padme Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    I have a feeling this book won't be that good, Denning's book Tempest was boring and so far Inferno hasn't impressed me.
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  9. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    Can you explain a bit more or is it just not your cup of tea? I liked Tempest because the Corellians, Alema, Jacen were all someone. The blurb made it sound like 2-3 known groups were after Tenel Ka but Jacen was possibly after her too when she thought he was on her side. The Space battle at the end was great.
    I was annoyed at first when I saw Inferno was 206 pages or so. I loved when Luke and Jacen were in Jacen's office and Luke owned him both times. Ben's torture scene and then Luke vs. Jacen at the end was good as well. There was non-stop action.
  10. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Um, Apocalypse seems to have purposely left everything open ended so that the Sequel Trilogy has space. Unless you have a better explanation for why the plot took a huge step back from Legacy?

    The Tragedy of Jacen Solo was finished by FotJ. Which is the story DNT onwards has been telling.

    The aftermath and other elements? Being dealt with one by one by the rest of the story. Which is better than the main thrust of the plot being finished but the detail being left out, as it was in Invincible.
    kataja likes this.
  11. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    Agreed. In fact, those ending would work even better IF the rug was pulled away :p

    I understand what you mean... [face_thinking] I had it the same way, liking FOTJ, except that I wasn't so bothered by the lack of ending. But IMO, something happened already in Ascension - it was too stuffed with places where to go, none of them filling much more than some pages. And Apocalypse was similarly torn. I still suspect the Disney puchase being somehow behind....
    Last edited by kataja, Dec 16, 2012
  12. Grey1 Host: 181st Imperial Discussion Group

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    Nov 21, 2000
    star 4
    If I may chime in, I actually remember Tempest being pretty dull after the first two books having had some sense of urgency, or action, even if I wasn't thrilled by the way the plot was going. But books 4 and 5 were pretty dull, too, only the end of Sacrifice was a nice read again. Inferno was better in that it had more action. It didn't drag out the plot like everything up to Sacrifice did (who will be the sacrifice? when will the Jedi notice? what is all this stuff actually about?), mostly because having Caedus as an all-out bad guy was a pretty fresh idea in comparison. Still, as much movement as the book has, it's the wrong kind of movement. Luke "owning Jacen" really sums up how this is stuff that is made for people who love the expression "owning". No insult intended, but it's kind of mainstream cool, not cool cool. Why would Luke put Caedus in his place right away? Fan service. Stupid NJO bleeding heart Jacen WHO DIDN'T SAVE LEIA RIGHT AWAY!?!?! bleeds for real. That stupid sucker. And Luke is the second coming. Cool, huh huh. The other part you mention - Ben's torture is just gratuitious "somebody is suffering, so this is deep" nonsense and completely wrecks the importance of Traitor's torture scenes (but maybe that was the intended idea - to bring Jacen down from "there was some enlightenment in the ordeal" to "he's mental, you know") by using the Embrace of Pain pretty offhand. The duel? Luke could end the story right there and doesn't do so because Ben might get the wrong idea about killing evil people. In other words, you could have ended the series right here if you didn't invent some kind of morality issue that's the wrong way round. Save the universe first, then send your son to a trauma psychologist, which would have been a better idea right after his mother's death instead of continuing letting him be war minister with Fascists-R-Us. But making Luke superstrong for Lulz and then prolonging the story of the pathetic villain for pretty much made-up reasons is no worse than downplaying Jaina by making Caedus top her in her area of expertise (piloting) and Leia applying rage as a problem solver. I could go on.
    Havac, Manisphere and RC-1991 like this.
  13. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    Tempest was pretty good to me. I Didn't really care for Alema coming back at first but liked that after a while. The whole split the Skywalker/Solo family was pretty stupid. Exile was pretty good as well. Had a lot of funny moments. Sacrifice had some good political intrigue even if Jacen just used a droid to assume power. Mara's death was handled poorly.
    I hated Jacen in the beginning of NJO and detested his decision to join Lumiya in Betrayal. So I was wanting to see him get thrashed by Luke. If he was to be a good villain he needed to go toe-to-toe with Luke. He didn't. I liked the back and forth between Jacen and Ben, not the torture itself.
    Luke has faced the Dark Side itself before twice at least (I'm referring to ROTJ and DE). He knew how bad it could mess with someone's life and if it messed with Ben he would never forgive himself. They wouldn't end it there since 3 more books would give them more money.
    They should have given Jaina better development or not wussified her character. I do agree that's bad sending someone to kill their twin but it gave someone from the next generation a chance to shine.
  14. Team Padme Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    I just found Tempest really boring and dull, nothing interesting happened to me. I did LOVE the scenes with Allana though, especially when she attacked Aurra Sing. Other then that nothing interesting really happened.

    As for Inferno, well I'm only like 120 something pages in, so maybe I'll like it when I continue it and get up to the Battle of Kashyyyk.
  15. TheCouncilHistorian Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Ascension had this nice scene where Vestara comes to the light, decides that being happy is its own reward, falls in love. Its great. Very Star Wars-y. But by the end of the book, she is irredeemably evil again. Going along with the post NJO nobody gets redeemed ever rule. So what was the point of all of that? We get 8 books of "will she or wont she" to get nothing. The character rides off into the evil sunset, basking in her wickedness. At least give us some payoff.

    Even Jacen, with all the hindsight of being an immortal force spirit, its still a giant bastard. Denning even introduces the idea of hell into star wars, with Jacen saying he is experiencing "damnation". How sweet. The most disturbing idea in human history (eternal suffering for the damned) is now canon in my favorite fictional universe.

    This is part of the problem with the post-NJO storylines. They are too dark, too depressing. Apocalypse even ends with Luke seeing the galaxy tipping into darkness.

    Maybe this also explains why the best SW authors (Zahn, Luceno, Stover) have all been relegated to side stories. Why bother playing in such a dreary sandbox?

    Sorry if this is a bit of a rant...
  16. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Oh, please do. That post made for very entertaining reading!
  17. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    Jacen should have been kept alive at the end of LOTF. Use all nine books to make Jacen believably evil and have him severely injure Luke. Then have some standalone books for some time in EU then come with another series where Jaina confronts Jacen or if far enough into the future have Allana do it.
    The NJO was dark but there was hope of better days. Tahiri and Raynar were the only ones redeemed. That is one of the key principles of the movies but have been lacking in the EU. Jacen should have lived and dealt with the consequences of his actions. Maybe have him stripped of the Force. How ironic would that be? There is no chance for the Big 3 to ride off into the sunset.
  18. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    You might get away with an open-ended finale on that scale with a trilogy, but 9 books? No, don't believe that would be accepted.
  19. TheCouncilHistorian Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    After playing kotor II I was sure that that was what they would do. Strip Jacen of all connection to the force. It would have been so appropriate for the character. Instead they killed him. Yippy.
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  20. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    Before Invincible came out I knew that Jacen would be killed. I figured that it was obvious what would happen. I would have been surprised if he had lived. For someone who debated the use of him using the Force, then giving it up, then using it, then learning about other Force powers then losing it for good would have been a good plot point for him.
  21. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    He's not incapable of writing an ending, he obviously does that on purpose to continue the larger story and leave plot threads for future stories.

    Whether you like that or not, is another matter entirely. I can see how it can be annoying, though I have no problem with it personally.
    kataja likes this.
  22. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    Exactly! all it dealt with was the main jedi characters, but the fact that there was a galactic war that had no real resolution . . .
    Coruscant was stil pretty vong-formed in DNT. it's LOTF where coruscant is suddenly back to the way it was.
    Last edited by FatSmel, Dec 16, 2012
  23. Kyris Cavisek Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2012
    star 4
    Star by Star was a great book. Yet in the middle of a long running series, Denning infused clarity on a single mission by young Jedi. Added enough red shirts, killed off a major character along with a bunch of minor ones, and we were given a Hail Mary/Black Hawk Down of books. This was the brilliance of the book.

    My biggest wish IF they do another long running series. Make it 3-6 BIG PILLAR BOOKS, Much Like Vector Prime, Balance Point, Star by Star, Destiny's Way, and The Unifying Force are the MAJOR Books, but little books like Dark Tide and Enemy Lines focus on characters like Ganner Rhysode, Corran Horn, and the Wraith Squadron.

    This would be perfect
    Book 1: Introduce Characters Introduce Villain, Set the Stakes, BY KEMP
    Miniseries 1: Horn/Antilles family fight villian BY ALSTON
    Book 2: Galactic Goings on Focus on Skywalkers/Solos BY DENNING
    Miniseries 2: Jaina/Jag fight villian BY GOLDEN
    Book 3: The ESB of Books... Make it dark... Kill somebody good
    Miniseries 3: Zekk/Zel/Hapes join fight BY CUNNINGHAM
    Book 4: Give a little hope BY MATTHEW STOVER OR DENNING
    Miniseries 5: SOMETHING BY SOMEONE NEW...
    Book 5: Final Victory BY KEMP OR LUCENO

    Throw JJM in there somewhere... VOILA

    Make the Big 5 hardback, make the miniseries paperback
    instantdeath and Force Smuggler like this.
  24. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    Sounds perfect to me. Maybe have a comic series telling another story as well
  25. Force Smuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 5
    The war is still not resolved even with 12+ books later or whatever it is. I call for a Tales of LOTF book to solve this problem.
    I couldn't remember about the regression of the Vong-Forming.