Lit Is Troy Denning's Abyss any good?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Team Padme, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Team Padme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    Just wondering. I finished reading Outcast 24 hours ago and loved it! Now reading Omen and I'm almost eighty pages in. I'm not the biggest Denning fan out there but how is Abyss? I loathed Tempest & Inferno but is the third FOTJ book any good?
  2. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    Well Denning's books are 10000x better than anything else in LOTF/FOTJ series so if you liked those you'd be crazy not to like his.

    And Abyss is no exception
  3. Zorkel567 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2010
    star 3
    IMO, Outcast, Omen, Abyss, Allies, Vortex, and Ascension were all good to really good, while Backlash, Conviction, and Apocalypse were all poor to really bad.

    As for Abyss specifically, it introduced some interesting concepts and introduced an interesing idea for a villian who was built up and seemingly changed direction mid story at the last minute to match with TCW. Abyss was really good other than for later tamperings with some of its elements.
  4. Team Padme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    I heard Ascension was horrible.
  5. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    ABYSS is the best FOTJ book.
  6. Jeff_Ferguson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2006
    star 4
    Abyss is the best FOTJ book in the same way that a guillotine is a more pleasant way to die than that laser thing from Goldfinger.

    Two thirds of the book are good and set up what had the potential to be a unique an interesting plotline before the next six books completely squandered it. If you like Abyss, it will be a hollow victory. Sorry.
    my kind of scum likes this.
  7. Heat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Ah, man, it's been a while... Yeah, Abyss was good. There's so much going on in FOTJ - you might not like everything but you should still have some things to like.
  8. Dr. Steve Brule Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 4
    You can save a lot of time by just assuming the answer to any question in this format

    Is Troy Denning's _________ any good?

    is "no"
  9. Team Padme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    lol.
  10. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    Wellm Star by Star was fanstastic and Tatooine Ghost was actually a decent biook. It's just when you give him the reins of the Post-Rotj, he goes off the deep end and down the rabbit hole. Personally, I found his LotF contributions to be the worst elements of that series (though Invincible had a few points in its favor, IIRC... but Inferno was one of the few SW novels that I seriously loathed even on the first reading).
  11. Team Padme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    I couldn't even read Inferno. It had so much potential. The fire on Kashyyyk was wasted and just so short. Defiantly a let down after how good Exile & Sacrifice were.

    Was Dark Nest just as bad?
  12. Jeff_Ferguson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2006
    star 4
    Beard?
  13. Dr. Steve Brule Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 4
    I actually hate Star by Star. I don't understand the love of it at all. I guess it's the fact that so many big events happen in it...but so many of those are events are clearly being driven by out-of-universe directives rather than in-universe logic. The whole voxyn queen, and the decision to send a bunch of kids to kill it, is the best example. And even outside of the levels of violence in it, the fact that Denning uses his mass-murder of the YJKers as evidence of how much he loves them...uh, yeah, sure.
    GrandMasterKatarn likes this.
  14. Sniper_Wolf Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2002
    star 4
    Abyss is a strong entry by Denning. Omen gives the reader the exposition on the Lost Tribe so Denning can introduce the series' heavy. The preresquite Jedi goes nuts scene is well done. Warv's attempt to maintain a façade during his initial pod person revelation is a nice spin on the recurring Force psychosis. The Luke/Ben road trip is the stand-out again. Bravo again, Mr. Denning.

    @ Team Padme,

    Dark Nest is an unjustly maligned trilogy. I hated the series immensely when I originally read the novels, and this was one of my favorite groupings when I reread most of the EU over the past year. Denning is able to bring an interesting spin to the psychological devestation post-New Jedi Order. The Killiks are windowdressing, a mcguffing required for the standard turbolaser vaporization to fill in the for actual dynamics via the various dark nests, rather the literal or figurative, ie the Skywalker-Solo clan (I stole this from a superior poster to myself who has sadly passed beyond the rim).
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  15. Jeff_Ferguson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2006
    star 4
    The fact that there had to be a prerequisite Jedi goes nuts scene at all is very telling of how little of the series they had planned out at that point and how much time the authors had to kill while they waited for their halfway-point story conference. Instead of doing anything to develop the Jedi-go-mad storyline, they had every author take a crack at writing the exact same thing (Allston got to do it twice!). Jedi goes mad and goes on a rampage on Coruscant, gets subdued. Han, Leia, Jaina, and Jag meander around doing nothing. For four straight books. Seriously, if you're going to plan a nine-book series, then give us a nine-book series. Don't develop a rough idea of a single plot thread and then give us a short story spread out over four (hardcover) books that's designed to do nothing but kill time until you meet again and actually figure out where it's going to go.

    But wait! Even after second meeting, the time-killing continued! It took Tahiri three books to find a lawyer, and then her storyline in the following book was limited to a single witness's testimony at her trial. A single witness! Remember when Tycho's trial was over and done with in a single book? Those were the days...

    Gah. Thinking about FOTJ legitimately makes me angry. It's not just that it was terrible, it's that it was insultingly so. That the planning team was willing to churn out this lazy, half-planned, repetitive, time-killing, mess of a series and charge us hardcover prices for every installment is criminal. Just criminal.
  16. Nobody145 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 4
    Thinking about FotJ makes me depressed as either this is the extent of their talents, or... this is really what they (whoever planned the series) considers a good story. Recycle cracy Jedi, cryptic hints (such as various crazy young Jedi using abilities only Jacen had shown before), having Daala as Chief of State... its like they took every wrong lesson from the NJO and LotF. Killing off Luke's old girlfriends also was recycled often.

    Back when Abyss came out, I would have rated it as 6, or a 7 or even 8 if I was being generous. And it was an improvement on Outcast (but then short of Revelation its near impossible to do worse than Daala kicking Luke Skywalker off Coruscant for dereliction of duty).

    Now, Abyss is still one of FotJ's relative high points, in that I'd rate it a 6, while the rest of FotJ I'd rate at best at a 2 or 3. Abyss seemed to start turning things around, with Luke and Ben fighting the Lost Tribe instead of just visiting random Force tribes, the Jedi pushing back against Daala... but after that, not really much new developments until... Conviction? And even then it was still of the really irritatingly stupid variety (Jedi coup! Jedi spice cartel! Yeah, they actually used those words in that sequence in an official novel). Glad I never bought any of those hardcovers, it would have just been a waste of money and paper and material.
    Jeff_Ferguson likes this.
  17. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    If you like Outcast and Omen, the chance is pretty good you'll like Abyss too. I found it the weakest of Dennings FOTJ contributions, but that didn't stop me from reading it with great pleasure. In general, I think FOTJ is a series of great books, though the plots have several weaknesses if you start to think of them too much. But the Luke/Ben story pulled at least me though nine books without problem. Backlash stops the story for a moment - but I liked the self-contained story it told, so I liked that too. Convicion is my fav, closely followed by Allies and Vortex, while Ascension seems odd somehow, the pacing (which is pretty relaxed all though FOTJ) suddenly upping tenfold. It's the only book that didn't work, I think, but I still suspect it has to do some change of plan the author trio got from above. Time will tell if that's correct or not. Anyway, Apocalypse wraps much of it up pretty neatly, not really ending that much, but not forgetting that much either. All in all a series with several problems but defnitely one that has learned form earlier mistakes. And I liked the tempo of it, the lighter feeling and the dwelling on the many of the characters.
  18. Team Padme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    OK so I read it and finished it. Disliked it. I was let down and found the Ben and Luke subplots SO boring.
  19. Zorkel567 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2010
    star 3
    Tat seems to be the general consesus, yes, but IMO, it was one of the better ones. Of course, my opinion may be a bit biased as I was and am a big Ben/Vestara shipper, so that book made my day.
  20. SkywalkerSquadron Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2013
    star 4
    I thought the entire FOTJ series was awesome.
  21. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    Denning is far to attached to the O3 and far too unwilling to break out of "the mold" or take risks.

    Protagonists are always suppose to be 100% right , Antagonists 100% wrong, and every conflict affirms the protagonists belief rather than challange them.

    In the Dark Nest Trilogy it is not so bad, but it is endemic to LOTF and is still heavy in FOTJ. I understand that is how star wars was originaly written, but that is a stagnant setting ill fitted for literature.

    It would be like the Avengers or X-men today and doing a story in the formula of a Silverage or Goldenage comic, It just doesn't age well, the lack of veresimilitude too egregious to ignore.
    Last edited by Likewater, Feb 2, 2013
  22. Darth_Zandalor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 2009
    star 4
    Another book in which he takes potshots at other authors and turns each Jedi into Superman while indulging in gratuitous violence? Yeah, it's like every other Denning novel.
  23. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    ?

    Everything Denning writes seem to be pushing the heroes into gray territory, begging the reader to question the morality of their actions... as well as showing how the villains justify themselves, in their point of view
  24. Darth_Zandalor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 2009
    star 4
    Everything he writes is cynical beyond all reason, he has a hate on for Karen Traviss and the two got into a pissing match during LOTF, constantly contradicting each other's statements so that the other wouldn't annihilate their respective pet characters. He also managed to write pedophilia into Star Wars, which I will never forgive him for, and he had to destroy Tahiri's character to do it.
    GrandMasterKatarn and Zeta1127 like this.
  25. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    If that is so, how come the O3 never are made to deal with the consequences of their actions?
    Especially Han and Leia, Luke never for once even considers that his Exile in FOTJ is deserved, that the Galactic Federation is over dependent on them, or using them as blunt force weapons. There is no suggestion that Jedi should keep out of civil wars a Jedi "prime directive" so jedi aren’t seen as an imperialist wet works ops, like the Amestris State Alchemists. None of this is even brought up for consideration.

    Luke is 100% right about Vestara, he is 100%right about the sith, he is 100% right about Jacen being corrupted by the Retcon sith vergere, despite his post vergere decade of exemplary jedi service.

    Luke never is truly challenged Physically, Philosophically, Morally, because by word of Denning he is always right. Not unlike Matt Fractions Cyclops during his X-men run.