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"Dark Journey," by Elaine Cunningham [Del Ray, 2002]

Discussion in 'Literature Review Forum' started by Errant_Venture, Apr 10, 2005.


"Dark Journey," by Elaine Cunningham [Del Ray, 2002]

Poll closed Mar 25, 2012.
  1. 10 (Excellent)

  2. 9

  3. 8

  4. 7

  5. 6 (Average)

  6. 5 (Average)

  7. 4

  8. 3

  9. 2

  10. 1 (Poor)

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  1. Dark Lady Mara

    Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 19, 1999
    Welll... although I really dislike the characterization of women who struggle with any type of emotional turmoil as "PMS-ey," since if I may be completely honest it seems a little sexist to me, I will admit I can sort of understand your sentiment here. I had difficulty sympathizing with Jaina, and Cunningham definitely is a fangirl. ;) Almost every female EU character has been accused of being a Mary Sue at one point or another, when portrayed by one author or another, but I think Dark Journey displayed some of the worst Mary Sue characterizations of the saga. Both Jaina and Tenel Ka are portrayed in rather bizarre ways. I think there may have been single sentences in the book in which both the jaw-dropping beauty of the girls and their superhuman, rippling muscles were referenced at the same time. ;) Some of it was a little much for me. This was not my favorite NJO book.
  2. RealTalk

    RealTalk Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 5, 2005
    I gave it a 5. Im a big Kyp fan, so i probly should of liked it a lot more than i did, but it was just weird. It seemed like they skipped big parts, some of what they did was pretty confusing and i just thought it was poorly written. The whole dark side thing barely made sense, and it really just seemed like she was in a bad mood, rather than actually evil, i dunno it should of been a lot better then it was.

    Ill definitly skip this one if i ever make my way through the NJO again.

    I did like Kyp mentioning rebuilding the Jedi Council, i had been waiting for that to happen :)
  3. DarthSanctimonious

    DarthSanctimonious Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 18, 2006
    This book managed to make me loathe Jaina even more than I already did, which is really quite an accomplishment. The half-arsedness of her little jaunt with the Dark Side has already been mentioned several times, so I won't go into that again.

    What annoyed me most about Jaina was that she spent about 80% of her grief on the fact that Jacen got captured rather than, say, the dead guy in the back of the ship or anything trivial like that. Pfft.

    I also think the "Ta'a Chume has an eeevvviiilll and manipulative plan" routine has been done to death. I found the Hapan intrigue to be cliched, obnoxious, and implausible.

    Then there's the funeral debacle. What little was there was one of the rare well-written sections of the book, but is more than three pages really too much to ask? All they'd have to do is replace a couple of the pages devoted to the rainy miasma storming in the personal raincloud of Jaina's dark and rainy depressed soul.

    These problems were compounded by the fact that everything was smothered in adjectives.

    Kyp and Jagged were at least portrayed reasonable well, and there was that great line about Thrawn's ideas "not including stupidity". Unfortunately, it seemed like the characters were only entertaining when they were insulting each other.

    Three out of ten.
  4. JainaRox

    JainaRox Jedi Youngling star 1

    Nov 23, 2006
    Thios was one of my favorite New Jedi Order books!!!
  5. PerfectCell

    PerfectCell Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 3, 2005

    I really didn't care for Cunningam's writing style, none of the battle scenes were compelling to me in the least. The Vong were portrayed as being far too incompetent next to Cunningham's absurd version of Super Jaina. And that would be my main problem with the book, I have no problem with characters beefing up, but all of a sudden Jaina is an unstoppable machine outsmarting and beating everyone, it was really quite preposterous.
  6. Kemper

    Kemper Jedi Youngling

    Apr 19, 2007
    I liked it but not much happened. I easily could have skipped this one I THINK? Jaina isn't very interesting and if that is the dark, give me a break. It was a kinder gentler dark side. I don't really remember much from the book other than whining. I like the Hapes, Chiss and Kyp so I give it a 7.
  7. Jaina_Solo_Stickster

    Jaina_Solo_Stickster Jedi Youngling

    Jun 16, 2007
    Jaina's one of my favourite character (obviously), so I liked this book a lot. I give it an 8.5 or a 9
  8. Dark Lady Mara

    Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 19, 1999
    I like Jaina too, and I think that might actually be some of why I couldn't much get into this book. I didn't think the way she was portrayed here was very flattering, and I found it hard to get into the story or understand why she was reacting the way she was. I know people react to grief in unpredictable ways sometimes, but Jaina's path was just.... weird.

    The only good thing about it was the implied Kyp/Jaina interactions that would be going on after the end of the book. ;)
  9. Raoul_Duke

    Raoul_Duke Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jun 19, 2007
    I really liked this book, so much so that its one that I've read at least a couple dozen times. I really, really liked this book, it definitely in my top 20 SW books.
  10. KissMeImARebel

    KissMeImARebel Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 25, 2003
    Didn't like this one. For a Jaina-centered story that could have fleshed out her character and made her likable, I found her as uninteresting as ever. Her relationship with Kyp had potential, but their dark-side-angsty connection felt hollow. Why Jag was interested in Jaina was beyond me: the only personality she seemed to exhibit around him was to act like a jerk. And something is wrong when I find the court intrigue to be more entertaining than Jaina and her plot against the Vong.

    Two good things:
    1) Cunningham introduced a few personalities of Kyp's (Latest) Dozen, before vaping them all, for once making their deaths have some impact.
    2) Tenel Ka - TK was spot on, and also the only character who seemed able to stand up to Jaina and try to help her friend.

    I give it a 3.
  11. Owners-Inc

    Owners-Inc Jedi Youngling

    Nov 4, 2007

    A lot of the time I think the characterization of the characters is left out. We enjoyed some really good bits in 'Star by Star' (which happens to be my fave SW book). Unfortunately, when Denning introduced Jaina;s anger in SbS, I really thought that she was gonna become seriously dark. I agree that the author reduced going to the dark side to little more than a violent PMS session. I found that obviously disappointing. On the other hand, the Jag/Zekk/Kyp/Jaina scenes did show us a little bit more into their characters than we usually would see.

    But my BIGGEST problem with this book was that eulogy that Anakin got wasn't even close to the speech Leia gave at the end of the Battle of Corsucant. In fact, I don't think she even said anything. Han tried, but it didn't really leave an impression of the type of Jedi Anakin had become. I was really disappointed with that cos Anakin was a great character so see him be sent off in such a banal way ruined the funeral.
  12. MistrX

    MistrX Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 20, 2006
    While reading this book, I really couldn't shake the feeling that it felt more like a 300-page epilogue to Star By Star than a story in and of itself. Kind of like the filler episode that follows the week after the big, milestone episode of a TV show. Maybe that's just unfortunate timing seeing as any story that followed that book probably would feel that it came up a little short.

    I also believed that the potential with Jaina's dabbling with the dark side that had been set up in SbS was reached. Seeing as that was the main plot of the book, it brought the overall quality down a bit.

    That said, the book does have its merits. It's good to see the return of Jag Fel and getting to see Kyp's perspective after so many books of other characters giving their disapproval of his methods is nice as well. It's also a fun walk down memory lane with the return to Hapes and more time spent with Ta'a Chume, Isolder, and ailing Teneniel. It's also interesting to see the YV perspective on Jaina as we see with Harrar and the warmaster's son. My favorite scenes, though, were the Kyp/Jaina ones. Him taking her as his apprentice for a while opens some intriguing possibilities.

    Overall, an okay book but little spectacular that sets it apart. 7/10
  13. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2004
    A very good SW book. Not the best I've read, but probably in the top dozen or so. :p
  14. MistrX

    MistrX Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 20, 2006
    Doh! Should be "was not reached."
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