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Lit EMPIRE & REBELLION: RAZOR'S EDGE by Martha Wells: The Official Discussion Thread (Spoilers Allowed)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Ordo N-11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2013
    star 3
    While true in Allegiance, in Choices of One he is shown as maturing and growing in the force. And is actually competent with both a blaster and a lightsaber, for once.
  2. TheJediBrah Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2013
    star 1
    Really? In Choices of One he does nothing competent whatsoever, and some random guy manages to walk up to him, grab his lightsaber and play keep away with it while Luke tries to get it back like a kid who's had his lunch stolen by some bullies.

    Meanwhile he just sits by and watches Mara Jade be all badass and unstoppable and is amazed at how good she is. I can't even remember anything Luke does in Choices of One that isn't a complete stuff-up.
    TKT and ChildOfWinds like this.
  3. Ordo N-11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2013
    star 3

    When his Lightsaber is stolen, it is in the middle of a big, crowded riot by a ring of professional pickpockets and troublemakers employed by Nuso Esva.

    He doesn't "watch Mara Jade be all unstoppable" at all. In fact, he kills many of the kidnappers, deflects most of their bolts, and saves Mara's life.
  4. TheJediBrah Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2013
    star 1
    I remember. I had a very hard time reading that scene. Facepalmed so hard at how pathetic Luke was written.

    I seem to recall that he deflected one bolt and (was very surprised when he did) and relied mostly on a large serving of luck to make it through that encounter.
  5. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5

    Don't all SW characters? ;)
    Julius Vernon and Ordo N-11 like this.
  6. TheJediBrah Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2013
    star 1
    Lol good point

    Anyway what I'm trying to say is he never flies X-wings during that time which I think should be his main job in the Alliance
  7. stung4ever Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2002
    star 3
    I couldn't find much "wrong" with the book, but I just couldn't get into it.

    The characters were fine, but the plot just left me underwhelmed.
  8. Ordo N-11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 28, 2013
    star 3

    True, more authors need to have him flying X-wings. However, he is also the Hero of the Alliance, and the only force sensitive they have, which is why he was brought to the negotiations. Well, actually he was brought so they could have someone to frame for the murder of the Governor..but that's a different story.
  9. JediMatteus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2008
    star 5
    still have not read a page of this. i gotta get to it
  10. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    I'm still waiting on my copy. It's en-route from Amazon US. It shipped on Sep 28 so hopefully I'll get it soon.
  11. Freelancer257 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2004
    star 1
    I thought the initial part of the book - the attack on the rebel ship and Leia's reaction to what her fellow Alderaanians have become - was promising. This could have developed into an exploration of how some people react in desperate times and whether the Alliance will just accept anyone into their ranks.

    But this is pretty much abandoned for a run-around on an asteroid. Leia's fight with the mining droid is pretty good, although it did remind me slightly of the low-gravity gladiatorial contest which Han and Chewie have to fight in the Marvel Star Wars series.

    There are several places where the plot suddenly lurches forward in a few paragraphs, as if the book has been edited down - for example, the ending is fairly abrupt.

    I also didn't really understand what the title refers to - what exactly is on a razor's edge?
    Last edited by Freelancer257, Oct 12, 2013
  12. blackmyron Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2005
    star 5
    Why, A BLADE RUNNER.

    ...the book is about Leia hunting Replicants, right?
    JackG, TKT, Grey1 and 2 others like this.
  13. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Games Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    Finally got mine Friday. It's next on my reading list.
    Last edited by LAJ_FETT, Oct 13, 2013
  14. Team Padme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    Totally forgot about this book! Need to read it soon!
    Force Smuggler likes this.
  15. themetresgained Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2013
    star 4
    Good points:
    • Leia's characterisation
    • The themes surrounding guilt, culpability and Alderaan
    • The fact that all of the powerful characters were female - unlike some others in this thread, I didn't actually notice that until it was pointed out. Funny, nobody seems to remark on it as being unusual when it's a sausage-fest
    • Action was interesting and well-written for the most part
    Bad points:
    • It really lost me towards the end, with the
      Show Spoiler
      battle in that smuggler hole thing. Too convoluted and confusing
    • The traitor was horrendously obvious
    • The Imperial forces were underused, though this is more to do with personal preference than an actual *mistake* as such
  16. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    Leia and Han were spot-on. The tension between them was realistic given the time frame and their mental focuses were perfect for their characters. The Alderaanians made me sad but again realistic. The end aas a little convoluted but I'd give the book a 9/10. I really enjoyed it- except it was too short!
  17. JediMara77 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    It was okay. I really wanted to like it more, what with Leia being the main protagonist and all. The characterizations were great. I liked that it wasn't a life or death/galactic apocalypse type plot. But I couldn't really get into it. I don't like Martha Wells' writing style at all.

    I'm not mad I read it, but it's definitely not on my reread list.
    Gorefiend likes this.
  18. Reaper63 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 4
    Just finished the book. Not a bad story, a little predictable in places, but overall I enjoyed it. I would have liked more references to other EU but it stood alone. I think Luke was definitely wrong for the timeframe, too innocent for a rebel with 2 years behind him. But I am glad he was carrying a blaster. This is where ore-Jedi Zahn gets Luke wrong, only arming him with the Saber.


    [IMG]


    I know the guy second to last on the right has gotten a lot of crap for looking like a poor cosplay, but the costume actually is a variation on something seen in ROTJ. It's the trench coat Endor Commando, minus the coat, helmet and non cannot pants. The bandoleer was modified as well, but he even has the same blaster rifle.

    Half the commandos wore the same long sleeve t-shirt on Endor.
    themetresgained likes this.
  19. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Not sure what I would rate this but very enjoyable. No complaints.
  20. tal0nkarrde Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2005
    star 2
    I just finished reading Razor's Edge a couple of weeks ago and wrote a review. This is an excerpt that really sums up how I felt about it:
    "Despite the action that begins almost from the first page, Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge starts off slow. Despite wanting to know more about my favorite Star Wars characters and their adventures prior to The Empire Strikes Back, I found myself having difficulty getting into this book. Something seemed out of place and I couldn't put my finger on it exactly. I still can't..."

    For the rest of the review, check out http://www.g-pop.net/swrazorsedge.htm
    Gorefiend likes this.
  21. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1999
    star 6
  22. MistrX Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2006
    star 4
    I wanted to like this book, but never really found it engaging. It was nice to get a Leia-dominated story and her interplay with Han was one of the highlights, particularly as this story is closer to TESB than we usually see, but I was bored for much of it. Most of the new characters are so thinly drawn to almost feel unnecessary, and I had some trouble picturing the setup of that asteroid base and all of its twists and turns. Throwing in a second climax simply seemed like an attempt to draw the book out and give it enough story to actually be a novel, and funny enough I ended up liking the space action more than the asteroid. Though boring through the rock to get near the landing bays was kind of fun. I think I just wanted more. If it was going to be an exciting little adventure, make me care about it a little more. Add some nuance to these characters. But I didn't see it. Disappointing overall, though interestingly enough, the two blurbs for Honor Among Thieves and Lockdown give me hope.

    I actually liked that and if you really think about it, I don't think it's all that dominant, just more than we usually get in the Star Wars universe and probably what we should get if GFFA proportions are anywhere near what we have on Earth. I mean, think about it: the Rebels had two significant female characters, Leia and Sian, balanced vs. Han, Chewie, Luke, the droids, Kifar, Willard, much of the Gamble crew, etc. The Alderaanian pirates have two major female characters and one supporting: Metara, Terae, and the more minor... uh, Fera or something. Wook doesn't have her listed yet. Then you have Kelvan and a number of supporting male characters. Your main pirate villain was Veist, but it seemed like nearly every supporting character on that asteroid was male. Anakaret being a rogue smuggler ship captain isn't exactly an anomaly in this universe. And all of the Imps, or at least the single villain and his one supporting guy who got a line, were men. So, honestly, I think the only reason it seems "dominated" by ladies is for once we have a story where they're near equal representation, without throwing in a gimmick like a matriarchal society like the Hapans and Dathomiri. And what's nice is that I didn't really notice it. I just wish it had come with a better story.
    Gorefiend likes this.
  23. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    My review of the novel is going to be rather harsh on the EU as a whole but this brought into sharp-relief a lot of what I'd been feeling earlier about it.

    Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge

    http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/2014/05/star-wars-empire-and-rebellion-razors.html

    Princess Leia has not gotten a novel until now.

    This is something which should irritate me and does, but it comes with the realization the Expanded Universe is coming to an end anyway so I really shouldn't be overly concerned. Still, I just realized how marginalized Princess Leia Organa (later Solo) has been throughout the course of the Star Wars Expanded universe.

    At the risk of spoiling dozens of novels and retro-history, the storyline of Princess Leia after Return of the Jedi has her marry Han Solo and go on to become President of the Galaxy. Which, you'd think, would not be something that marginalizes you. Unfortunately, it is. Princess Leia was always doing something political and very rarely got to do much of the action which made her famous in the first movie.

    This is no clearer than in the Leia's treatment as a Jedi Knight--or more precisely, her complete inability to become one. As the Daughter of Skywalker, Luke's twin no less, Princess Leia possesses the same godlike potential as her male relatives but never gets handled as a Jedi of note. Yes, she eventually is knighted in The Corellian Trilogy but it's a GED-equivalent where Luke says, "Yeah, you're never going to be as awesome as me but I'm going to give you the pity gold star and a red lightsaber for trying."

    No, seriously, the scene is where Luke says Leia is a Jedi Knight but not one like him who completed his training the proper way. This from a man who studied for three weeks on a swamp world with a muppet. You're telling me Leia couldn't find three weeks to study to be a Jedi Knight in the entire history of her flying around the Falcon to and from the Outer Rim territories? I'm calling nerf poodoo on that.

    The only time Princess Leia was treated as a Jedi Knight in the history of the Star Wars Expanded Universe was in Dark Empire--where she still doesn't get the opportunity to kick Emperor Palpatine's ass but certainly HELPS. I can't put this down entirely to sexism, we have the characters of Mara Jade and Jaina Solo after all, but it seemed the writers coudn't imagine more than one butt-kicking female in the series at a time.

    One of the big missed opportunities was in the fall of Jacen Solo, itself a giant clusterkark, but one conspicuously lacking in Princess Leia attempting to redeem or put down her wayward child. A lightsaber duel was even foreshadowed between them but do we get the steel of a woman who survived her planet's destruction and willing to do the things Luke can't? No, it falls to Jaina Solo to stop her brother--which, bluntly, just confuses me because she's always been more of a pilot than a duelist.

    So, after all this time, what is the first Leia novel about?

    Not that much.

    Yeah, that's the most disappointing aspect of this novel. We have a novel by an author who understands diversity--there's a bunch of Earth ethnicities, women in prominent roles, and even aliens across this book--but who puts our plucky princess in a story which isn't all that interesting. Leia finds some expatriate Alderaanian survivors have turned pirate and decides to recruit them for the Alliance. That's it. Nevermind the odd question as to why they have an Alderaanian patrol vessel they're using for piracy when the planet had no weapons--it's a serviceable enough B-plot. The problem is it's the A-plot.

    Actually, the only plot.

    Leia's marginalization occurred over time and was invisible to fans for the most part because our heroine was still doing stuff. She was never inactive. Even during the Black Fleet Crisis where she's the POTR (President of the Republic), she made inspiring speeches. So it's not like she was shuffled offstage. It's just that Leia stuff was never allowed to be as cool as the Luke and Han stuff. The couple of major villains she destroyed were a Hutt Dark Jedi (don't ask) and Kueller, a Darth Vader wannabe she cheap-shotted. Here, for me, the plot just seems to be not BIG enough for Star Wars.

    The story is entertaining enough but even in a story about the Heroes of Yavin versus pirates, everything seems a little too down-to-Earth. In the words of Casablanca (paraphrased), "The problem of a bunch of Alderaanian survivors don't matter a hill of beans in this Galactic Civil War." Even the villain is surprisingly sedate for someone who has their own gladiator arena of DOOM. It feels more like the build-up to a novel or a B-plot than an independent work. It doesn't even get that much into Leia's head.

    Still, I can't be too hard on this novel. The novel brings into sharp relief that we've desperately needed greater diversity in the "casting" of Star Wars novels as well as Leia-centric fiction. It's well-written and I can't say I disliked any of the characters. I just wish Martha Wells had been more ambitious in the scope of her storytelling. I'd love for her to write one of the hardbacks and give us a really epic sort of Star Wars adventure. I think she'd do an excellent job. She also has a good grasp of not only Leia but Han Solo. The one in this novel is not quite sure why he's sticking with the Rebellion after A New Hope but is pretty sure it has to do with the galaxy's feistiest princess.

    I give this novel a 7 out of 10.
  24. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    I just want to emphasize to everyone how good this was and that they should be reading it. Seriously. Best OT adventure in years and years. I'm kind of surprised that everyone has pretty much just ignored it or just kind of dismissed it as more of the same even after reading it. It's not revolutionary, but it's way better than, like, 90% of the EU produced in the last five years.
  25. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 6
    I've seen the paperback around several times, and wanted to pick it up, but I've either not had my wallet with me at the time or had to buy something else instead. Hopefully I can snap it up soon. I've heard mostly good about it, so I'm looking forward to it.