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"Darksaber," by Kevin J. Anderson [Bantam, 1995]

Discussion in 'Literature Review Forum' started by dp4m, Jun 10, 2003.


"Darksaber," by Kevin J. Anderson [Bantam, 1995]

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. Ultima_1

    Ultima_1 Jedi Knight star 5

    May 16, 2001
    I gave it an 8. I actually like Daala as a character, and as others said, its scope was pretty good. I agree that the ending was a bit shoddy and that there were some inconsistancies, but all in all, it was pretty good.
  2. DarthShona

    DarthShona Jedi Master star 5

    Jul 29, 2003
  3. Schph_Gochi

    Schph_Gochi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 17, 2002
    one word...

  4. TraxxasJedi

    TraxxasJedi Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jun 9, 2004

    I read this book twice, once resontly and once a few years ago. Thefirst time I read it I thought it was great. The second time it was just corny. I gave it a tree because of just being bleh.

    I will defend him though. Whats so wrong with being able to fling the imperial fleet far away? I mean it took the power of 20-30 jedi all channeled through one person.
  5. Darth_Digital

    Darth_Digital Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 29, 2001
    I'd give it a 6.

    I've never really been a fan of KJA. His Trek and X-files books apparently do the author better credit then his Star Wars jaunts.

    But hey, he's published. I'm not. (yet)

    Further to his defence, I've noted since his JA series, he followed the ground rules by Lucas publishing, gave PROPER acknowledgement to Tim Zahn's characters like Mara, Sesfen and Kardde, and presented a story that followed a logical path from the end of Tim Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy.

    I suppose that's just another example of why I've always been more critical of the author with Star Wars. Tim Zahn set a certain stage for EU with characters, background and plots that were well wove together.

    The JA trilogy rushed through re-caps, poor background plots and as someone already mentioned; the characters were too 'cardboard' pop-up from past works with their characters.

    As for Darksaber itself.

    Well, it certainly read faster. I believed in the 'potential' of the Darksaber more then the Death Star 3 or the Suncrusher weapon-

    Sorry, but that was just another problem I had with the entire concept of KJA to Tim Zahn.

    In ALL his Star Wars works, he fails to acknowledge who the true 'Heir to the Empire' was.

    In that I mean, Tim Zahn/Thrawn.

    All these super secret black ops in black holes as back ups for the Emperor and not known about by Thrawn.

    Sorry, but like Talon Karrde; Thrawn's an information gatherer. He's have obtain these little toys like DS3 and the Suncrusher LONG before this Dala did.

    For that matter, Thrawn would have got Dala LONG before Heir to the Empire came out.

    (Yes, I realize he created them after the fact, but the point is that some of the appeal of HTTE was that Thrawn had limited resources like ships and troops.

    KJA just conjours them up like so much 'spawning' in a video game.

    It contridicts back story and common sense.

    The Darksaber works better in this, as its a hap-hazard project thrown together by a different organization such as the Hutt criminal organization.

    Admiral Dala was the weakest alternative to a villian such as Thrawn I've ever seen.

    Captain- Er, Vice Admiral Pealleon would NEVER leave his position on the Chimera. I apprecaite KJA wanting to throw the dude into the story. (one of the reasons I kept reading) But it just came across as a shameless plug.

    And it was with LOTS of dark humor when Dala willingly stepped down, whining that she kept loosing StarDestroyers and hands total command back to the 'apparently' promoted Vice-Admiral Pealleon.

    What? Did Zahn dig up some dirt on this dude, or was he catering to the majority? ;)

    On the positive note, KJA made history: He killed off a character from the movies, ie: General Madine.

    Granted its no Chewie killed by a moon-

    Of course that's just as pathetic...

  6. Koohii

    Koohii Jedi Master star 5

    May 30, 2003
    Kevin J. Anderson cannot write a novel. The Best he can accomplish is a paragraph or two describing a scene or setting. He might be OK for comic books, but not for novels.
    Someone needs to point this out to him, and to his publishers.
  7. One_Winged_Angel_VII

    One_Winged_Angel_VII Jedi Youngling

    Dec 27, 2004
    I voted 1, but in retrospect I'd upgrade that to a 3. The utter mangling of Gilad Pellaeon is enough reason to hate this thing; superweapons is another. I am sick to death of superweapons. What were they thinking when they came up with ideas for what seems like (even though it's not) the majority of EU novels? "Let's do something really scary." "How about blowing up a planet?" "Did that already. Scarier." "Blowing up a star? Oh, and we could make the weapon indestructible!" "Great! Do you have any other ideas?" "Ummm...blow up a planet?" "Try and make that more interesting." "I've got it! Have the Hutts blow up a planet! Oh, and we could kill Crix Madine in the process. (Never mind that Madine was far too cool to kill off anyway, and who ever heard of a General going on a mission knowing it was unlikely that all, or even any, of the troops would survive? You don't send the bloody head of Intelligence on a mission anyone could handle.)" Another thing: I just don't care for Anderson's style; I don't find it humourous, I find it so simplistic I don't know whether to have a breakdown or simply set the book on fire. And I agree with MCP: Would Han Solo, of all people, ever say, "Daala, you're such a pain," or "*groan*Oh no, not another superweapon!"
  8. DaRonin

    DaRonin Jedi Master star 1

    Jan 3, 2005

    Hated it.

    Okay, right off the bat, in the first few pages this novel already gets stupid. As much as I liked the insight into the culture of the sandpeople, WHY would luke and han be travelling with them, instead of.... say I dunno, maybe landing at jabbas doorstep, or taking a landspeeder from one of the towns to jabba's palace? There was just no point or reason for luke and han to be risking themselves in that way, other then for luke to show off, and for anderson to get us in the heads of the Sandpeople. The latter was amusing, but the way it was done could have been done so much better. In tales from the cantinia, "Maps of Peace" got us into the heads of the tuskan Raiders more effectively, and by a plot device that was original, and interesting.

    and the refferrences to past novels really drags this book down. I knew what they were talking about, Ive read tales of the jedi (dark lords of the sith is my favorite EU graphic novel) but if you edited out all the referring to past occurances, and backtracking prior crossed territory and the book would only be half as long, and still considerably uninteresting.

    Another poster alreadmy mentioned callista's piloting a tie fighter without a flight suit, then there's the factor of her running around the launch bays of a super star destroyer, sabotaging tie bombers without any security systems or patrols finding her.

    And again, callista = worst girlfriend ever. I mean, how could luke love this woman? Its the legs right? the love interest from truce at bakura was far more an ideal girlfriend, and she hated the jedi.

    Once again, Death star #967-1111 reporting for active duty SIR! You know youve brought up the same plot device one too many times when future authors use the gratuitous use of Death star building as a joke in future novels and interviews.

    It was nice of anderson to mention the prior setup of mara as a love interest for luke, but then do dis it in his own way, was awful. Luke and mara really made a great pair, and the reasons were always staring the readers right dead in the eye. Could anyone possibly tell me what was it luke saw in callista, he was wounded and feverish when he first met her, maybe that was it. The delierium that made him think she would make a decent interest.

    Then there was the writing of the Imperial forces. "Oh dear mercy, Palleon and daala have teamed up. How will the republic handle this tag team of diabolical imperial commanders?" very well thank you very much seeing as how Palleon was written as thrawns former cheerleader, he didnt really do much of anything except draw fans of Zahns trilogy into possibly borrowin this book from the library. And Daala had all the subtlety of a baseball bat to the skull. The other commanders were just stupid and sterotypical. on second thought, they were beyond sterotypical. One was fat and stupid, the other rail thin and stupid, another having a collection of fancy medals and stupid, "yes hi, Im blatant plot device #98456. What idiotic sterotype shall I be portraying today"? And what was up with Daala's horrid sense of humor? It seems anderson was attempting to ape Zahns humor with the wordplay, But knight hammer is just plain bad. whereas Zahns wordplay, such as wild Kardde, HaB Camber, Umwanna bayer, ect. was subtle, and cheesy enough to elicit a chuckle or too. Nice try anderson, but the joke bombed.

    The strength of Zahns Thrawn trilogy, and Veitch's work on Tales of the Jedi, was that we for once we had bad guys that were to be feared. Thrawn, Palleon, C'both, Feedon Nadd, Ulic, Setal and Alleema, Exar Kun were all forces to be reckoned with in thier own way. Yet Durga, Daala, and the other villans in this series were just laughable. And the Darksaber blows itself up, yah there's a good 400 pages worth of tension being flushed down the toilet. Only thing more anticlimactic and wasteful of the paper its printed on then the darksaber being so shoddy that it blows itself up, is the Death of Ulic in Redemption. I mean really, say what you wi
  9. Darth_Mimic

    Darth_Mimic Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 30, 2003
    I believe that Darksaber is the worst Star Wars book I have read. Period. There has been alot of discussion on what is poor in the novel. I'd like to add the death of Crix Madine in here. And the utter stupidity of trying to build a superweapon with a group of idiots.

    The only thing I can remember about this book that i liked was the reason Leia had to negotiate with the Hutts.
  10. Chaotic_Serenity

    Chaotic_Serenity Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 10, 2004
    I give it a 6. Bear with me, it's been awhile since I read the book, so I'm working on instincts since I recall not wanting to read it again...

    I've never liked KJA's work. I just...don't. His prose feels mediocre at best, and I find alot of his OCs, especially his villains, not very interesting. The superweapon was repetitive and its conclusion wasn't very well executed.

    I think my biggest gripe with this novel is actually Callista, though. I rather liked her character in COTJ, and I felt she really came off poorly in this novel for no good reason. This is a woman who gave her life to protect a galaxy from the , why is she acting so selfish and immature? I'd like to see an explanation as to why she has been stripped of her Force abilities and why she can only touch one side of the Force. All right, so we assume switching bodies did why is she able to still touch part of it? It's nothing ever seen in the movies, and with the DE series showing body transfers can be done, I'm at a lost as to why Callista was so completely stripped of her abilities. To be quite honest, it feels more like a bad plot device more than anything else. By the end of it, I had a decided dislike of the Callista/Luke pairing. (Unlike other people, it's not because of the hints of Mara/Luke from early on. I don't think Mara and Luke have to marry right off the bat, and I'm kinda glad they had relationships prior to it since, y'know, that's *realistic* and they had plenty of severe personal issues to work out, but Callista's character was made out to be so awful here that I was glad to see her gone by the end of the trilogy.)

    Like with the JAT, there were some really great ideas in here, there just wasn't enough space or work put into them to make them really come off well. For that, it gets a six, but the execution was awful.
  11. Mandalorian_Merc

    Mandalorian_Merc Jedi Youngling

    Nov 23, 2004
    I didn't like KJA's Academy trilogy, and I was reluctant to pick up this one... And I was right. After reading Darksaber I'm even more convinced of the author's ineptitude.

    The book (like JA trilogy) is too fast paced, there is no character development and the plot is extremely predictable and full of cliches. I mean, for crying out loud, ANOTHER superweapon?? Pleeeaase... I thought he'd already hit rock bottom with the SUN CRUSHER...
    And oh, Daala's not dead after all. She was the most ridiculous SW villain ever to begin with, so why can't she just die? (I'm not being sexist here...=)

    Luke and Callista's relationship was portraied poorly and it didn't seem believable.

    Another thing that really bothered me was how the Jedi students on Yavin 4 were just WAY to powerful. Ok, ok, a focal point of dark side energy and all, but still..
    I mean, they've had Jedi training for what, a year or something, and there they are throwing a star destroyer fleet out of the system with the force...Maybe if it had been Yoda, Mace Windu and Palpatine working together I MAY have bought it.

    However, there are positive things in the book as well. They are few, but they are there.
    Firstly, the humour. I like how he includes the humorous side of the GFFA in his books...if only the humour was backed up by a decent story. Such as it is, his novels feel more like PARODY of our beloved universe.

    I liked the scened with Bevel Lemelisk and Luke's return to Hoth, which was exciting as well as the scenes on Khomm.

  12. Megara_Lemelisk

    Megara_Lemelisk Jedi Youngling star 1

    Mar 12, 2005
    I liked the book a lot. The parts that I really loved though was the parts with Bevel Lemelisk. I gave the book a 10 despite the parts that I really could not stand was any parts that dealt with Callista. Though it was the same with all of the books that mentioned her. Lemelisk was a great character to introduce into the novel. His attitude towards Durga and that whiny Sulamar was very entertaining. His intelligent and witty remarks were a great couter balance to Callista's whining and complaining.
  13. Carnor_Jaxson

    Carnor_Jaxson Jedi Youngling

    Jun 24, 2005
    A pity about the Darksaber project.
    But it was nice to to some more of the Hutts for a change.
    Daala really kicked some warlord behind at Toss Beacon.

    MOFF-JANGO Jedi Youngling

    Jul 23, 2005
    I liked it when they killed the other warlords and these battles between the imperial warlords. The return to Hoth was cool too. But C'mon a superweapon! I 've got enough of all these. Durga was cool too and these stories of Palps cruelties. But the Callista story Sucked. And the battle of Javin was terrible, i hated it. It could have been a fantastic book, but the ending was just weak and boring. I give it a 6.9. lol
  15. DurronFan

    DurronFan Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 25, 2005

    It had Kyp Durron, so it had to be good! jk

    It was alright except for two minor flaws:

    1. Isn't this idea of building a superweapon that is a threat to the universe getting a little old by now?

    2. The way that the Darksaber was destroyed was, I'm trying to be as polite as possible here... STUPID! I don't want give anything away but the ending was just disappointing. The ending of "Darksaber" was almost as lame as the ending of "War of the Worlds". ok that's pushing it already.

    The good thing about this book was that two good guys died (at least 2, can't remeber for sure, I haven't read the book for ages). Call me sadistic if you want, but in the SW universe none of the good guys ever seem to die so this book was a refresing change. Then again this all changes with the NJO books.
  16. Aiden_Sanic

    Aiden_Sanic Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jun 25, 2005
    I gave, and still give this book a 10, possibly an 11.

    Kevin J. Anderson is an author that can keep a book extremley interesting from point A to point B. I really loved the idea of the darksaber and thought it was funny to name it in contrast to a LIGHTsaber.

    I loved Admiral Daala's character; she is a wonderfully scheming woman. ( Need I remind you of her murder scene?) I'm glad she didn't die in this novel so she might be able to come back one of these days.

    I liked the KNIGHT HAMMER and the whole concept of bringing the imperial fleet back together. Shows you that the Empire could still work together, even thought it was short-lived. And I don't know about you, but I liked Calista, even though she couldn't use the force which was sad.

    I don't understand why people don't like his work. I LOVE his writing work, hell he's the reason why I started to read the EU. He can make insanley interesting characters, and can kill them insanley well to.

    This is a defininte must read.
  17. Suspen-Dead

    Suspen-Dead Jedi Knight star 2

    Sep 12, 2005
    Sriously, what the hell is everyone's problem with this book? I mean, it's certainly better than "Planet Of Twilight." At leats this holds the attention.
  18. crashdown

    crashdown Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 6, 2003

    For me, Darksaber was an average read. It had some fun and exciting points, and some good background stories. But it seemed like Kevin Anderson was resurrecting old characters and story lines to make a weak sequel to his very good Jedi Academy trilogy. The villains also seemed weak. I never really saw the Hutts as a real threat, even with their superweapon. They seemed more like an unorganized joke. And I could never took the Empire seriously under the command of Admiral Dalla - she was never really a great villain in the Jedi Academy trilogy, in the trilogy everything seemed to go wrong for her, which continued in this book. And lastly, I got very sick of hearing about how Callista couldn't use the force, and how depressed she and Luke were about her losing her force abilities. About a third of the book was dedicated to hearing over and over again of how Callista lost her powers, how Luke and her could never be together until she got them back, and how depressed they all were........SAPPY !!

    But on the good side, the book developed many of our favorite characters, and expanded on their pasts and relationships. All-in-all, I recommend this books for its background info.
  19. Warsie

    Warsie Jedi Youngling star 2

    Oct 23, 2005
    Yes, this book is good. The problems, however are the 8km SSD. Maybe the Imp fleets could be larger, and the sabotage of the SSD was bad.

    It also explains why Palpatine devoted so much resources to killing the Jedi
  20. boady22

    boady22 Jedi Master star 2

    Mar 24, 2003
    I see this book is getting alright ratings......

    Was it the same one I read?

    I gave it a 2, and I only rated it that high simply because Anderson managed to waste about a week of my life as I reluctantly fumbled through it. Its only use was putting me to sleep at night in which it bored me to the point that this was no problem. Now it serves as a shim leveling out a work bench in my garage.

    Its not worthy enough to take up space in my garbage can better yet my book case. At least now I am getting something back from it.

    Simply put the book was a very dissapointing extension to the Jedi Academy Series which was tolerable.

    You've been clucked
  21. SithGirl132

    SithGirl132 Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 6, 2005
    Darksaber wasn't all that bad. (Or at least I liked it!) Some of it was a little weird. A Hutt superweapon was kind of funny. I figured taht Hutts wouldn't try for galactic domination, they are normally crimelords. In general, I thought that Darksaber was a good book. But I want to know who ever thought of Callista's FOrce-blindness.
  22. MsLanna

    MsLanna Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 8, 2005
    *leaves weapons and heavy artillery outside*
    Well, this is rather difficult for me. I'm a happy KJA basher, actually. So when I read the book and wound up actually thinking it was okay, I was pretty distressed. But I'm always open to the suggestion, that authors improve over time.

    Yes, I liked the book. It was a nice read, nothing above average (voted 5) but I was not wishing to beat in skulls and the like this time. Maybe I have just an automated overread on the retelling bits by now, though I do remember some. I still don't like to get a summary of a characters life when he appears.

    I liked Dorsk81 a lot and was rather sad, when he died in the end. But it was important somwhow, because it showed you cannot use the force in such an über way, without sacrifice. There is always a price....

    What I didn't like was the 'typical' KJA end, wher huge problems dissolve into happy nothingness with almost no effoert and loads of luck. And that things didn't come together in the end with a bang. (Sorry I'm an addict to those endings) But at least the plotlines did interwine more now.

    And Callista. Man, she IS incompetent. this is the second time she should have exploded in a ship, but did she manage? *sigh* Somehow i like her a lot better, when she's about to die. But by now I don't believe it will ever happen. *resigned sigh*

    All in all it's a book easy to read, nothing to send you into fits one way, ot the other.
    I was pleasantly surprised.

    Happy KJA bashing end.
  23. SithGirl132

    SithGirl132 Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 6, 2005
    It is amazing. Everyone seems to think taht this book is either really good or really bad!
    I will admit that Darksaber is one of the first Star Wars books I read.
    I have always like Daala. It's really nice to see a female Imperial officer. She does seem to have tactical sense, but of course, the Empire will never be allowed to win (too much). So of course Daala has to be really unlucky. :rolleyes: The scene where she kills the warlords is shows that she does want the Empire back together and is a lot smarter than those "stupid idiots."
    Callista is annoying. Luckily, Luke married Mara instead.
  24. EwokStromboli

    EwokStromboli Jedi Youngling star 3

    Aug 4, 2004
    There's ridiculous. There's insipid. There's insulting to one's intelligence.

    And then there's Darksaber.
  25. Obese_1_Ka-Blooey

    Obese_1_Ka-Blooey Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jan 7, 2006
    this book wasn't that good mainly because callista annoys the heck outa me. but other than that(it was a big factor) it was okay. i gave it a 6.
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