The JC Lit Reviews Special: CORUSCANT NIGHTS I: JEDI TWILIGHT (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Jun 25, 2008.

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  1. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The start to the new Coruscant Nights trilogy, Jedi Twilight promises to be an exciting Dark Times read!

    Some rules: rate Jedi Twilight on a scale of 1 to 10, supplementing your rating with a review, if you want to (It's not necessary but is highly encouraged). However, please do not rate or review the book until after you've read the whole thing. Thanks. :)

    Go for it.;)


    Some previous review threads:

    Republic Commando: Hard Contact, by Karen Traviss
    Shatterpoint, by Matthew Stover
    The Cestus Deception, by Steven Barnes
    Medstar I: Battle Surgeons, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry
    Medstar II: Jedi Healer, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry
    Jedi Trial, by David Sherman and Dan Cragg
    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, by Sean Stewart
    Labyrinth of Evil, by James Luceno
    Revenge of the Sith, by Matthew Stover
    Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno
    Galaxies: The Ruins of Dantooine, by Veronica Whitney-Robinson
    Tatooine Ghost, by Troy Denning
    Survivor's Quest, by Timothy Zahn
    Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream, by Aaron Allston
    Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand, by Aaron Allston
    Traitor, by Matthew Stover
    Destiny's Way, by Walter Jon Williams
    Force Heretic I: Remnant, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix
    Force Heretic II: Refugee, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix
    Force Heretic III: Reunion, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix
    The Final Prophecy, by Greg Keyes
    The Unifying Force, by James Luceno
    Dark Nest I: The Joiner King, by Troy Denning
    Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen, by Troy Denning
    Dark Nest III: The Swarm War, by Troy Denning
    Outbound Flight, by Timothy Zahn
    Republic Commando: Triple Zero, by Karen Traviss
    Legacy of the Force: Betrayal, by Aaron Allston
    Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines, by Karen Traviss
    Darth Bane: Path of D
  2. Darth_Monopoly Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2006
    star 2
    I'm going to give this a 10/10. If you even have a minor interest in Star Wars, do yourself a favor and read this book. Believe me, its worth it.

    First off, I'm going to give my minor gripes, which aren't enough to detract from my score.

    -The use of the phrase "private investigator" on the back cover is misleading, because this is found nowhere in the book, instead, Jax is a bounty hunter. Maybe later in the series, though....
    -The Yevetha. While I can believe that one or two might leave home over the course of the years, I find it hard to believe that Nick, someone who's only been off his planet for a few years, recognized one immediately.

    And then, the good:

    -The whole book. :D
    -The cast of characters is excellent, from Nick Rostu, Den Dhur, and I-5; to the Jedi Jax and Laranth; and even Kaird and Xizor; they were all portrayed excellently.
    -The suspense was very well done.
    -Many, many other things that you will have to read the book to find out. I know I'm going to read it again.

    The ugly, just for fun:

    -I'd have to say Nick's new injury coupled with his old. He's going to have a nice looking scar now.

    In closing, if you read Darth Maul or Medstar and even halfway enjoyed them, read this now. In fact, read this now no matter what. Its that good.
  3. AdmirableAckbar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 2
    I'd give this 8.5 out of ten. The plot is excellent, the characters are interesting, there's a few bits of humour, and it all comes together nicely at the end.

    There were a few downsides, though just little thing. Per the above poster, the appearance of a Yevetha kinda irked me, as well as casual mentions of rancors and Noghri. Not a big deal, but still...

    I also found that Lorn is infinitely more likable than Jax, and, overall, I think Shadow Hunter was more enjoyable. Too, the lack of private investigation was disappointing, because I was looking forward to the private investigator angle. Oh, and Stinger's continuity just got even more messed up. :(

    Overall, this was an excellent novel. Nice to see Even Piell doing something for the first time since Malastere, and one can never have enough Xizor.

    EDIT: on, and it had Ganks. Ganks!
  4. T-boy-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2006
    star 3
    10/10 excellent. I was just so glad I was reading about a group of non-film characters and wish we could have a group of interesting characters like this in the NJO era. Anyway I love Reaves's style and his characters are quite down to Earth and believable. the story is fast paced and there's a lot of mystery in the air-I will deffo have to get the next one!

    Also loved the use of characters like Xizor, Nick Rostu and Even Piell-all characters we haven't seen too much of. Looks like Typho will be in the next one and I hope the same happens with hims and perhaps some more lesser developed characters.

    I was a bit iffy with the Yevetha issue too, but then I'm quite unfamliar with them as I've only just started Shield of Lies (about 3 years after I read Before the Storm)

    After the train wreck that was LOTF, I'm glad we can still get quality like this for the EU.
  5. Jedimarine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 5
    What about Coruscant?

    Does it actually play a part in the fabric of the story...or is it just "where".

    Is it inventive...do they stick with traditional landmarks, characteristics for the world?

    This was my primary excitement about this series...and so far I've heard nothing on this area.

    Does Coruscant shine in this book?
  6. Charlii Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2005
    star 3
    Well, Reaves & Perry always deliver, regardless if the co-operate or go solo.

    I love these little bands of heroes that they create for us. Believable characters with lots of different insights into life and the situations they're put through.

    Some descriptions felt a bit off, such as the much-debated Yevetha issue and also the that the city was repeatedly described as having buildings hundreds of meters high instead of kilometers. This might have more to to with the fact that the author seems to have forgotten how the metric system works altogether, for a human male 1.50m is slightly below average? (or whatever the exact quote was) That's short, nothing else!

    Anyway, the storytelling is superb, and I'm really looking forward to the next part!


    9/10

  7. Fettster Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 7, 2003
    star 3
    I've only read the first few chapters, and it seems Reaves has thus far chosen to stick with the underworld he explored in Shadow Hunter.
  8. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 5
    Please take discussion to the discussion thread - if you have questions, ask them there. Keep this for the reviews, and uncluttered, please.
  9. TIEPilot051999 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2002
    star 7
    Finished reading the book on Tuesday, and found it to be the first Star Wars book I've read since Unifying Force (way back in 2003) that I can honestly say I enjoyed. Good cast, strong plot and plenty of enjoyable moments (my particularly favorite bit was was the scene between Xizor and the other two BS guys near the start where the bird guy, I forgot his name, figuratively...well, you know.)

    That said, I have to give it only a 9/10, and knock it down a point for providing (even more) evidence that LucasBooks stance on canon is slipping, for providing a background character in the form of a Yevetha, a full generation or so before their species was ever encountered.
  10. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Great, fun book. I really enjoy Reaves's writing, and I'm convinced he's better on his own than with Perry. While I was let down by some of my hopes -- it wasn't that noirish, Jax wasn't a PI, and in fact was kind of an ass and not a character I really got into -- for what it was, the book was excellent. Nick wasn't as fun as he was in Shatterpoint, but he was still great. I-Five was an absolute riot. Den went in interesting directions. The Jedi Paladin was totally random, but such an awesome idea that I've so longed to see (a Jedi who uses only guns, and damn well). The Elomin was a little one-note, but worth it for the portrayal of the sheer gut-wrenching terror that is working for a Sith Lord, and seems like he's going interesting places. Kaird was kind of random in MedStar, but he really fit in here, and I like the building Black Sun intrigue plotline involving Xizor. I hope to see that continue. And Vader was . . . awesome. Inside his head in Death Star was disappointing, but the POVs of others around him in that book were fantastic reflections of his utter fantastic uberness. That carries over here, with the POVs showing Vader's complete badassery but no POVs of him himself to break the spell. The plot moves briskly, even if the MacGuffin is kind of silly. What I really love is that this book is tying together the PT and building a secondary cast. The PT, unlike the OT and post-OT eras, lacks a supporting cast. It's the major film stars, a handful of Jedi, and no other supporting cast. And Jedi don't count as supporting cast because dammit, Star Wars isn't just about Jedi. I want my Han and Lando. However, the PT hasn't developed such a thing, mostly because Reaves and Luceno are the only authors to have written novels in it twice. Luceno doesn't really build casts -- he uses what he already has -- and Reaves has built a recurring cast of second-string characters who have absolutely nothing to do with the mains. In this book, Reaves brings in cross-creator characters and is weaving a genuine supporting cast together. They're not quite supporting anyone else yet, but they're tying things together and creating a prominent pool of characters to tap. I approve.

    The main drawback was continuity. Casual drops of Yevetha and Noghri are silly, and anachronisms like the Lancer-class frigate show up oddly. It's truly strange. However, that only minorly impacts the overall story, which is really shaping up. I can't wait for the next installment.

    9.2/10
  11. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 55.7/6 = 9.28
  12. Fettster Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 7, 2003
    star 3
    10/10, and glady. Can't wait for the next one.
  13. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    10/10, with the caveat that a score of ten indicates a excellent Star Wars novel and not a perfect work of literature.

    I'll just copy paste from the discussion thread, since my post was sort of a review there anyway:

    'Just finished. I loved it--the prose was clear and sweet, and the book as a whole was well-written. My biggest problem with it was the "translation" of real world sayings into SWsified ones, but I didn't mind other terrestrial things like cloudcutters for skyscrapers. I found the notion of epic poetry being written about Jedi heroes of the TOTJ period to be fascinating, and I enjoyed the classicization of the Temple--what with tesselated floors and all that.

    I liked the Black Sun scenes, surprisingly, and the glimpses of Coruscant high society through the lens of the lower levels was fascinating. I also enjoyed the Imperial background--the references to the Palace and Imperialization were nice. The Empire just makes anything in Star Wars far more flavorful.

    Vader was wonderful. Reaves has him perfectly--he's no clunking brute, but a delicately nuanced mastermind who plays with wheels within wheels. I enjoyed how he was described as "unfailingly polite" and that his voice was "silken yet menacing," "velvety baritone," or "cultured as always." Seeing him use "if you please" was great--Reaves rightly captures the elegant enunciation Vader uses in ESB, which was always his best portrayal '

    Ultimately, it's exactly what I'd wanted with EU--take the grander sweep of a familiar area but fill in the gaps with other stories with all that familiar background. Vader's role was perfect--he was the main antagonist but did not dominate the story at all. Familiar characters are fine when they're used like that. This is the same model that X-wing and MedStar used, and I think it's the most successful in the EU.
  14. PadmeA_Panties Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2003
    star 4
    Finished it just the other day while at the beach. In total; I would give it a 8... naw, an 8.5/10. Its a decent novel. Fast-paced and probably the quickest of any Bantam/Del Rey SW novel I've read.

    Interesting note: The paladin Jedi; only uses blasters. That would be akin to a Paladin (in fantasy lore) only using bows.

    Minor gripes:

    * Yevetha
    * Piell just being a plotpoint
    * Nick Rostu basically just being a plotpoint (hoping Streets of Shadow changes that)
    * Jedi Paladin group - Just HOW MANY JEDI survived Order 66? And how many off-shoot "not strict Jedi but are still Jedi" are going to survive since they decided to back-out of the Clone Wars at the last moment
    * Why aren't the Jedi the concern of Vader anymore? They would seem to me that they should still be due to his anger if nothing more, and that being the basis of his character to a degree (as Vader)
    * Every new Jedi introduced as some key-tie-in to Anakin/Vader
    * Rhinan - interesting character, thrown away basically by the end. I would have liked to have seen him only doing that post-book 1 (middle of book 2/end of book 2)
    * Coruscant... being well; quasi-Coruscanti but not 100% Coruscanti
    ----- I know Reaves/Luceno/Perry know Coruscant better than anyone else; but for some reason, and I think its mainly due to the title, Coruscant here just didn't mesh quite well with me.

    Overall gripe of this timeframe:

    * No slow gradual move from Palpatine to Emperor Palpatine
    * No Slow gradual move from Republic to Empire. He declares it. Boom, everything changes.
    * No slow gradual change of Anakin as Lord Vader to Lord Vader as Darth Vader in a suit. Like one of the reviewers up above said; Vader plotting wheels within wheels is how he should be..... why? Anakin in the PT seems unable to do much plotting stuff. He was all action, action, action, very little thinking - that was one of the many weaknesses of his. But instantly when he becomes Vader, he becomes a plotting character ala Palpatine, Xizor, or Fey'la.

    .....just my opinions.

  15. PadmeA_Panties Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2003
    star 4
    One last minor grip: sucrease - nearly every character is sucrease every other page!
  16. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    2 suggestions that may help your difficulties:

    - Vader is indeed different to Anakin and this is how that difference is most clearly expressed.

    - The Emperor already had the blocks of Empire in place, all that was missing was the name. This was the other puropse of the Clone Wars: To induct the galaxy into an Imperial mindset.

    Now onto the book itself....

    Read this today, like all of Reaves' work it's a fast paced action story that is highly entertaining. It's also an excellent example of how immense darkness can sit alongside highly active, likeable and engaging heroes that are set in opposition to it no matter how low their chances.

    The various linkages to other pieces and eras of the EU was well-done too and quite seamlessly, they just appeared as part of the plot. Vader was a complete bastard in this, but an elegant one. It's notable that Vader tends to be polite only insofar as those around him defer completely to his lead.

    So, all in all? It's a solid 9.
  17. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 93.2/10 = 9.32
  18. PadmeA_Panties Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2003
    star 4
    Not to go off in a tangent, and I will leave it at this so as not to clutter up this review thread:

    But... shouldn't there be some form of gradual change to go from Point A (Anakin) to Point B (Vader)?
  19. Daniel-K Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2004
    star 3
    That's more of a criticism on ROTS then Coruscant Nights - Lucas was the one who had Anakin become Vader in the span of a few minutes
  20. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Take it to the discussion thread.
  21. Sniper_Wolf Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2002
    star 4
    Don't have time for a review right now, but I'll give it a 9/10. Reaves is consistently the most underrated of the Del Rey writers, and what he shows overcomes any writing faults on his part.
  22. iolo_the_bard Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2005
    star 1
    I'll keep my review short and sweet.

    I enjoyed reading this novel, much as I enjoyed the MedStar books and the X-Wing books. I love seeing what non-Jedi-Council members are doing throughout the galaxy, its gets a bit old to always hear about the same core group of characters. I like how Reeves has created a little sub-group of characters that a weaved throughout the PT novels, it gives a sense of cohesion to the era.

    I found the characters to be well-developed, with the exception of Vader's aide, but I think that lack of development is a character development all of its own. I'm glad to finally see the droids-as-people argument presented in this book. With all the exposure we have to C-3PO, R2-D2, I-5YQ, and M-3PO, its hard to remember that the majority of the galaxy views droids as walking toasters.

    The only issues I had with this book were the aforementioned Yeevetha, and the lack of Jedi-Private-Investigating.

    All in all, I give this book an 8.5/10. A good read, solid, something I'll definitely revisit, but not the pinnacle of Star Wars literature.
  23. colojedi7 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2007
    star 1
    I loved this book. I am really looking forward to the others in this series. I loved the I-5 parts the best (just love a droid trying to be human aka Data in Star Trek), but I also loved how Vader was the Vader I remember from OT. I also thoght it interesting to introduce a new cult of Jedi called the paladin. I am sure they did this so more Jedi will be shown to have survived O66 and can then play a part in the story. Overall I rate this book a 9.5/10.
  24. Deckard_Lah Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 20, 2007
    8.72/10

    -First Reaves book I've read. I guess now I have to go read some of his other other books so I can understand some more of the backstory going on, not that the book was hard to follow though.
    -Pavan was kind of a jerk throughout the book, but he kinda warms up near the end. I look forward to his continuing arc.
    -Nick sure has learned a lot about the galaxy since recently leaving his birth planet. Still, he's a good character. Has the whole good luck/ bad luck thing going for him.
    -Laranth didn't do a whole lot except shot her guns, which is a cool and all, but I hope she gets more development.
    -Kaird has potenial to be a interesting character. I hope he's in the upcoming books too.
    -IMO, some POVs from Vader and Xizor could have been cool.
    -I like Den as comic relief. But he also has some serious growth potential as a dramatic character.
    -I-5YQ stole the book for me. A self aware droid....very cool! I've been hoping for something like this since reading a conversation about life and death between C-3PO and YVH-1( I think) in the NJO. Looking forward to reading more about him.

    All in all, a good, quick read.
  25. Rogue_Follower Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2003
    star 6
    9.5/10

    This is the first new Star Wars novel I've bought in, well, years. Both because I expected it to be good and because I support the idea of the series: I want more books like this in the future.

    I was not disappointed. Reaves is one of the better Star Wars authors out there at the moment, though he does have his weaknesses. The writing was good and the story was interesting. I also liked his continuity references and the technical information he tossed around (anyone want to calculate whether 800 joules/second is an appropriate power output for a repulsorlift engine? ;) ) Vader was very well-written, in my opinion, and it was very good to see the "Mastermind Vader" at work in this era. I also enjoyed the Black Sun parts of the novel, and look forward to seeing them continued.

    I have but a few issues:
    • Yevetha and Noghri.

    • Laranth didn't get a whole lot of development and didn't do too much except provide covering fire. She was kinda unnecessary, at least at this point. We'll see where Reaves takes her in the future.

    • Deflecting blaster bolts with blaster bolts. (o_O)

    • Certain "Starwarsized" Earth phrases. Some worked, some didn't. Example: "pyrowall" falls into the latter category.


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