The JC Lit Reviews Special: FATE OF THE JEDI: ABYSS (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Aug 22, 2009.

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  1. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Sorry for the delay, but I've basically done nothing but consume the Atlas since Tuesday. You've got your chance to review Abyss now, though!

    Some rules: rate Abyss 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:

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

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 7

    Suspense, horror, mystery... this is the book we've been waiting for, what Star Wars EU needed right now. It was very enjoying to read, from start to finish! I would get so attached to one plotline and be disappointed when another came up, but then I would get immersed in that storyline too, it kept me reading to find out what happens next! Luke's storyline was definitely my favorite, though. This is his Odyssey, as someone else said. I think this is one of the first Star Wars book where, despite its medium length, I had to finish in two days, the text was just so dense and deep that I spent a lot of time thinking about it, wondering what something really meant.

    Abeloth, and the Mind Walkers in Sinkhole Station:

    Great new villain with Abeloth, and those bizzare Mind Walkers! I don't want to get too into Abeloth, but I think she is EXACLY the kind of villain that Star Wars needs right now, so creepy and mysterious. Luke Skywalker and Palpatine do not even seem to be in her league! [face_devil] These parts could have been badly written, but he wrote it very well, it was just right balancing the mystery with enough knowledge to send a chill up my spine! [face_worried] It was very fascinating, especially with all those hints about the Celestials and Killiks. I felt like a lot of plotlines and loose ends that have been scattered throughout Del Rey EU are finally starting to converge together. But the half-dead, smelly, bleeding bodies, floating around in the middle of Sinkhole Station... [face_sick]

    The Lost Tribe:

    I really started caring for Vestara, Rhea, Ahri, even Ship. I was even a little sad that two of them didn't survive the encounter with Luke. They are still so lost in this galaxy, though, it doesn't have a place for their kind anymore. They're going to have to change and adapt, or die out. I expect something important to come from Vestara.

    Luke Skywalker:

    Which reminds me, Luke was awesome! Totally in character, able to overcome a dozen Sith even in a very weakened state, a wise Jedi Master strong in the light, but a very human father. His relationship with Ben just keeps getting better. I liked the line where Ben realized no force in the galaxy could corrupt Luke Skywalker.

    Allana and Han:

    Han and Allana's relationship is very touching, how well Han knows his granddaughter and knows just how to comfort her and just when to tell her the truth. I like what they are doing with Allana's character too.

    Jag and Jaina:

    I'm relieved Jag and Jaina passed their first great test, they are finally mature adults in a mature relationship, putting each other first even when it's difficult, they finally proved to me that they are not just "in love" but adults ready for marriage. No more guessing here, it's finally going to happen. It will create challenges for them, but it wouldn't interesting or realistic if they didn't have any challenges to face! Han and Leia overreacted, I stand with Jaina and Jag on their "argument," which Allana seems to have helped defuse by the end, hopefully.

    The Media, Daala, the Horns, Tahiri, Moff Lecerson:

    I really liked how Jaina went on the "offensive" against Daala, using the media to help PR for the Jedi, for once. (It's despicable how they're treating Valin and Jysella, seeing Mirax's reaction, and reading about Corran when they were arguing in the Temple :( ). Tahiri's trial was actually a real laugh, which I wasn't expecting. Daala seemed a bit more sympathetic and genuine, but she is definitely obssesive. I wonder what Moff Lecerson is planning.

    "...and with strange aeons even death may die..."

    As for the actual mind walking passages, especially THE chapter, I'm not going to even try to go into detail here, though I'm sure many others will in their reviews! :D It just felt like we were waiting for this chapter since the NJO, and they were enigmatic about it enough that it didn't come acr
  3. tjace Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2008
    star 4
    I went into this book with low expectations, because I was tired of the dark and foreboding trend that Denning tends to have in his novels. However, I was pleasantly surprised, especially by all the metaphysical stuff introduced. Sinkhole Station reminded me a lot like Peragus in KOTOR2 (as a creepy ghost ship/station). The Mind Walking was really interesting, especially the Lake of Apparitions. The Lake itself seems to me to be more of a place where spirits can come and converse with Mind Walkers and then return to the Netherworld than a permanent destination after death. It was great to see Anakin and his interaction with Luke and Ben, especially his advice to not let the order rely on any single Jedi, as I feel that ties in with Luke's exile. I also loved Mara's visit to her husband and son, and she contributes my favorite line in the book: "It's not about the legacy you leave, it's about the life you live." I feel that that is a good basic answer to many who doubt Luke because of continuing problems in his time or those who praise Jacen because of his method of bringing peace. And then there's Jacen himself, the reason the Skywalkers are on this trip. He seems to be unrepentant and fully acknowledging his damnation, which frankly I'm relieved by. His exchange with Luke about the Throne of Balance is also intriguing, although I expect he was lying just as much as Luke was there. Abeloth was introduced well, and for the first time in a while I'm actually worried about a bad guy. Vestara also seems to be maturing well as a Sith. I'm also proud of Jaina for sticking up for Jag(and him for trying to get along with the Jedi afterwards), because if their marriage is going to work, it needs to have a strong basis of trust. Mirax knocking out that security guard was pure win.
    Abyss wasn't a perfect novel, and it did have some things I didn't like. The Horn family continues to be marginalized without so much as a subplot; if something of this magnitude happened to the SkySolo clan there would be an entire 9-book series set aside just for their situation. I'm also disappointed that Kenth Hamner continues to retreat from his strong character in Outcast. However it was a good book overall, and it convinced me of one very important thing:


  4. Xicer Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2008
    star 4
    Heh, perfect timing, I just finished this book a few hours ago.

    First lemme just say that I haven't been too excited by FotJ so far. With the somewhat dissappointing turn the EU has taken after the NJO and particularly the let-down that was LotF, I wasn't expecting much from FotJ. Outcast was a good book, but nothing special. Omen was pretty "meh", and made me ambivalent about the future of FotJ.

    Abyss has changed all that.

    I started reading this book last night, and only stopped because it was about 6:00 in the morning and I was exhausted. I continued reading in the afternoon and just recently finished the book. Needless to say I was hook. Was it a short book? Looking at the page count alone it's surprising short, but man is this book dense.

    So let's start with the Coruscant plot. Some interesting things happened here, firstly two more Jedi have fallen ill and not surprisingly they were Yaqeel and Barv, Valin and Jysella's two best friends. We go through the typical tension between the Jedi and GA over custody of the infected Jedi, but the most interesting part about the whole scene was when the two apprentices "resigned" from the Order which was a blow to Daala's bid for control over the Order. We get to see some tension between Jaina and her parents after Jag refused to inform them about the Mandos Daala has hired. I thought Han and Leia acted a bit OOC in this whole scene and I'm amazed at how angry they remain at Jaina even towards the end of the book. We also see Tahiri's arraignment and some interesting dialogue between Daala and Jag. And then we get to storage facility scene, which was probably my favorite part of the Coruscant arc. The Jedi finally use the media against Daala and the GA we even see some payback from the Horns. Lastly, Han and Allana's little adventure in the Falcon was great fun, and Allana for once had a real role in the novel. But anyway, the Coruscant scenes were easily the weakest parts of the book, let's get to the real meat...

    Let's talk about the Lost Tribe. Vestara, Rhea and other members of the Lost Tribe are lured by Ship to an unknown planet in the Maw, where they are haunted by a "dark tendril of nothingness." As the Tribe members split up into teams to look for Ship, they slowly get picked off one by one by, simply put, killer plants. Vestara comments on how strange it is that the plants on this planet eat the animals rather than the other way around, and she realizes that there is something very wrong with this place. So they end up in a cave looking for Master Xal, who is trying to usurp authority during the entire mission, and...well it gets weird. We encounter Abeloth, who appears as a woman of considerable beauty who has the power to keep the plants at bay. But Abeloth is not at all what she seems, and she is definitely the most frightening part of this book. The part that really brought chills down my spine was after Vestara saves Rhea from the reed monster, and she sees Abeloth for what she--it--really is. Denning does an amazing job of creating this atmosphere of eerieness when Abeloth slowly comes closer to her and the others of the Lost Tribe, who are not at all aware of Abeloth's true form. Abeloth's grotesque, bizarre figure lingers with Vestara the entire time as the Lost Tribe leads Abeloth back to their transport.

    The Ben and Luke parts were simply the best parts of the book. Denning wrote the three arcs in such a way that each arc was given enough time to develop without interruption, while leaving a sense of wanting more each time the arcs switch. Ben and Luke get to the Maw and start exploring a miniature Centerpoint Station, later referred to as Sinkhole Station. These first few scenes reminded me a lot of the Teljkarn Vagabon plot in the BFC and was very mysterious throughout. The whole thing was very...eerie...especially once Luke and Ben encountered the Mind Walkers. As if things weren't bizarre already the Mind Walkers show Luke how to transcend his natural form...and enter a realm of...well I'm not quite sure. A lot of people have been saying tha
  5. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Abyss is better than Denning's last entry; he shows some self-control, and at least half the plot is intriguing and generally well-written. However, it does suffer from the typical Denning pitfalls. The Coruscant plotline in particular is ridden with them, and it's just atrocious. The ripping on characters to make the author's points is as bad as anything Traviss has ever done -- lol Mandoz suck, lol Jag sux, lol Kenth sux. Kenth is, what, a power-playing egomaniac now? Yeah, because no good person can honestly believe that the Jedi should obey the law. The characterization is uniformly terrible, and Denning engages in his usual weakness of making the characters he likes morally questionable, idiotic jackasses without seeming to be at all aware of it. I think Denning is the only person who has ever made me dislike Han Solo. Seriously, that's an accomplishment of historic proportions. I love Han. He's almost impossible to screw up. I enjoy him no matter what. He's my favorite character in the films by leaps and bounds. Yet he's such a stupid, pigheaded, arrogant jackass here that I just didn't enjoy his portrayal. Denning's characterization is just uniformly unappealing to me here.

    This is an endless problem with the Coruscant plotline. People are dumb and unlikable. Everyone's kind of a jerk. Most of them are stupid, to facilitate a stupid plot. In the middle of watching a prisoner, two Jedi apprentices just up and decide to get the hell out of Dodge because they're scared of what's happening to the Order? Oh, what a wonderful bunch of Jedi Luke has created. What brave defenders of the galaxy. There are a billion ways to make Jedi resigning from the Order over differences with the leadership or worry over its direction interesting. Having them run away at complete random in the middle of their important duties is not it.

    Han and Leia and the Jedi hate Jag, because he didn't tell them Daala was working on hiring Mandalorians. But also, the Jedi are totally not worried about Mandalorians at all, except how many they'll have to kill (cuz Mandos suck lolz). But it's so vital that Jag disrupt negotiations with the GA so that they can be told about the hiring of something they all agree really isn't a threat. Plus, it's not like they don't already know Daala's hiring bounty hunters in general to be her enforcers. It's not like Jag heard that Daala was hiring them to storm the Temple, or start assassinating Jedi. The whole thing is just contrived and stupid, and the characters come off as incredibly stupid to be angry about it.

    Then the Mandalorians start spying on the Jedi. Han and Leia detect this, and the Mandos decide that the best way to not cause an incident isn't to disappear into the massive snarls of traffic we're told are in the area and get out ahead of the Jedi . . . it's to send two people to do that while the other Mandalorians attack the Jedi. Yeah, that'll really cover them well. That won't raise any questions about who was hiring Mandos to spy on/attack Jedi or give credibility to Jedi accusations that the Mandos were supplied with top-secret spy tech by the Chief of State in an act of treason.

    Speaking of Daala, it's rather nice to see her portrayed here as an unapologetic petty tinpot dictator willing to go to any length to bend the law and abuse power to pursue her goals . . . except it makes no sense why there's not Senate uproar against the fact that she is transparently a petty, tinpot dictator subverting and politicizing the judicial system, keeping secret prisons, and pursuing vendettas in Nixonian fashion. It's at least acknowledged that the Jedi have some powerful allies in the Senate, which is a start, but come on. How is Daala pushing through stuff like appointing an obvious incompetent the head of a special Jedi Court? Even if she has lots of support, why is there no effective political opposition to her whatsoever? Sure, maybe she's popular -- but Obama was pretty popular when he got in office, and that doesn't mean he can do whatever he want and the Republicans are
  6. Manisphere Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2007
    star 5
    Hmm. Interesting that you gave Omen a higher rating than Abyss, Havac.[face_thinking]
  7. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 33.58/4 = 8.40
  8. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    To be honest, I'm not sure which I like better. They both had such different kinds of terrible that I'm not sure which is actually worse. Had I not gone with the average, I probably would have settled on something in the 6 range, roughly around Omen. But the Coruscant sections are so overwhelmingly terrible, and Denning's authorial weaknesses also observable enough in the Maw sections, that I'd also be tempted to just give the whole thing a four. Omen was terribly written in terms of prose and construction, but otherwise wasn't bad. It was a harmless kind of bad. Abyss has flashes of greatness, but it's also genuinely bad, make-me-want-to-punch-someone bad, for long stretches. And that always galls me a lot more than the sort of harmless, just-ineptly-constructed badness of Omen or Jedi Trial. So I guess, yeah, the score is probably about right, though Abyss is lest uniformly bad than Omen.
  9. Manisphere Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2007
    star 5
    Yeah, it's time to amp up the Force Crazy plot. Let's either make some headway with the thing or something. Cilghal coming out of her lab every few chapters for 3 books to say she's working on it has become quite tiresome. I'm hoping that some writer takes it upon himself or herself to write Corran Horn some material. He says nothing. He sulks. He follows the rules. Come on. Corran Horn used to rock our world. What happened??

    Han, Leia and Allana: This is also getting pretty old quick. It's that everyone is getting older fast. What do Han and Leia hope to accomplish with the non-education Allana is getting. She has no friends her age. She's learning nothing about the Force. But she's having fun and I guess that counts.

    The Luke and Ben Mind Drinkers Plot had me. I loved it. True, Denning can't quite write about the ethereal unknown, the out of body, those quasi-spiritual realms like Matt Stover can but once we got passed the breathing exercises and passed the Veil I was enthralled. This plot MADE the book for me. I drank it up like a Dark Force Nexus. The surreality of it all.

    And The Lost Tribe of the Sith and Vestara are growing on me. I love this dizzy, ornate, arcane, self defeating group. What I like most is that they aren't really being set up as true match for Luke's Order but with the help of the newest and most fascinating little Force Demon, Abeloth, they might be more of a threat than we can know.

    Could have been much worse. Could have been a bit better.

  10. xx_Anakin_xx Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    I too entered the series with extremely low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't pulling my hair out. Abyss is the best of the three so far. I agree that some of the characterizations seem petty - but on the other hand, I grew weary of the blantant mischaracterizations in LOTF and I don't feel this series, and this book in particular, has been anywhere near as bad. However, that doesn't mean they were perfect; I agree with an above Poster (AP) that Tahiri was a bit too smug - actually I find the whole Jedi "come back to us" deal a bit eyebrow lifting. Only because she has been through so much and she is in need of help, not being a Jedi at the moment, imo. By help, I mean a very grand amount of de-brain washing. I do dig that the Jedi are at least making an attempt with her, despite her ventures into the dark side (considering nobody even bothered to send Jacen a note) - but they seem to take a very light view of trauma for some reason. As an AP mentioned, I too find it hard to relate to Leia - but I have for so long now, I am adopting her behavior as a foregone conclusion, which is kind of sad because I don't really like her portrayal. I also do not like Leia and Han's behavior when it comes to their family - it is just weird - and I'm not talking about the Jedi stuff so much as the interpersonal stuff. Luke was great, Ben was fine and I wasn't too upset with Kenth's characterization - I too found it off the mark, which brings Luke's judgment into question - but on the other hand, it may have been just what Luke wanted for the time being.

    The adventure and storyline were great, otherwise. I have never been a Jaina fan, and her portrayal continues to drive that wedge between me and her character deeper throughout, so I don't blame Denning for her portions causing me to roll my eyes - they always do. What gets me is that I feel like she is supposed to be likeable - and it seems as if she is to many, but everything about her just turns my heart to stone. Nonetheless, Denning made the action involving her and Jag interesting enough and I liked his characterization of Jag - I was unpersuaded by the negative view that could be taken. Luke/Ben/Sith and the Jacen hunt storyline was the best and most ingrossing. Loved these portions a lot. I dig the new characters - although once more I was tremendously upset at the Ahri on a platter rendering - why do we need the lowdown on characters that are going to be slaughtered in a short sentence? Vestara I love to hate, but this whole portion of the book was the best. I really like that they are dealing with many of the loose ends and odd ball notions from LOTF.

    Basically, Denning kept me reading from beginning to end and actually forcing myself to put it down and make it last for 3 days of enjoyable reading. I like where I think the series is going - although I am still wary as the last two series both sent me for a loop. I enjoyed this much more than I did either Outcast or Omen - but those were early books that I don't feel really got to deal with the meat and bones as this one did, so it is not a very fair comparison. I reviewed this in the Abyss thread already, in a more detailled manner, as this thread didn't exist, so I won't repeat more.

    Overall, I'd give it a 9/10. It was entertaining, engrossing, fun to read, and didn't leave me too incredulous. Plus, I still have all the hair I started with. [face_dancing]
  11. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 7
  12. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 50.38/6 = 8.40
  13. CeiranHarmony Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 5
    posted my review in the other topic... though rating is 7 of 10...
  14. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    A real page-turner- I don't think I've ever finished reading a SW novel so quickly. The Luke and Ben stuff was great- Sinkhole Station was a grabbing tease and the Mind Walkers are a downright disturbingly creepy combination of Sirens, the Damned/Dead and an opium den.

    The Coruscant politics and such were really good- the resignation effects on Daala's plans, Jaina's plan on using the media against Daala (and the really emotional scenes and disturbing revelations/reactions there with Mirax and the kids) and a pretty sweet shoot-out with Mandos culminating in a disturbing new Force power and an awesome use of Raynar.

    I was also immensely pleased to see the media presented at least a little more positively after Golden's distractingly negative (and repeated) portrayal of them in Omen, introducing some respected journalists/newscasters, etc and not making them out to be outright slime despised by heroic characters (which, in turn, reflected poorly upon the heroes in Omen).

    The only thing that felt off here was the Han/Leia/Jag thing (even though Denning does present logical and incredibly plausible justifications for it) and Kenth's characterization as giving in too much to Daala, which feels off from the last two books.

    On the plus-side, despite being Book 3, it stands alone pretty decently, all things considered. The book also avoids the narrow-focus in scope that almost ruined Invincible, and fits among Dennings' numerously awesome contributions to the SW saga much better than Invincible as well.

    Also extra points for finally giving Jaina a memorable quote (the assassin droids/Sith lords/warmasters" one, and an awesome Jag scene (how he handled Atar in regards to the limo, driver, etc).

    I just wish they'd give Denning a chance to do an entire trilogy by himself again- only this time one that wouldn't have to compromise it's resolution to function as a setup to a megaseries like LOTF (the only major shortcoming of the otherwise spectacular and kick-ass Dark Nest Trilogy).

  15. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 67.08/8 = 8.39
  16. Jeff_Ferguson Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2006
    star 4
    I'm very at odds right now. Not about how I felt about Abyss --- but about how I rate books in general. Looking back at recent reviews, I know that Omen and Death Star don't quite deserve the 8.3 and 8.0 I gave them respectively... and Revelation probably doesn't deserve the seven, either. ;) It was weird... I was going to give Omen lower than an eight, but I was like "Nahhhh it was probably better than Death Star." Sooooooo I think from now on I'm going to discard my old ranking system (but it wasn't really a system at all!) and just like... rate Abyss based on how it was.

    I wrote a lot about it [link=]in two posts here[/link] --- the Coruscant plotline was kind of meh, but didn't drag the book down as much as Havac would like you to think. :p But the Mind-walking stuff was so, so, so good, and the Lost Tribe plot was excellent. Much more interesting than the obligatory backstory of Omen.

    Without going into the detail I did in the discussion thread, I'll say this about the Mind-walking stuff, and the Luke & Ben plotline in general:


    So good.

    So, so excellently good.

    Magnificent. Terrific. Wonderful. ... Astral.

    Denning for chief of state.

    But yeah, the Coruscant plotline hasn't advanced at all in three books. So...

    9 out of 10 sounds good. I'll probably have a different number for it every day for the next week. Oh man, I'm so indecisive and flip floppy.
  17. Bringbacknom Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2006
    star 1
    It's very tempting to rate Abyss highly due to its impact on my continuity-obssessed side. We had a brilliant Raynar Thul return, decent sync with the previous installments (sincerely doubt Tyrr/Wynn Dorvan/the Unit would have transferred as such in the first third of the terribly-planned LOTF) and of course the return of the dead ones (Anakin's cameo tore me up and Jacen's performance shocked me in a good way)

    On the other hand, the same old repetition of the Coruscant plotline, the now-tedious-edging towards interesting Imperial Remnant politics, the too-late inclusion of the Mandos and Daala's obscene actions are growing frustrating. Fortunately, we are now at the end of the first third, and I'm sure the middle trilogy will change gear.

    These contrasting strengths/weaknesses of the book dump me on middle ground. Abyss has made me intrigued to follow FOTJ avidly, rather than just out of ingrained fan-interest. Abeloth and the Lost Sith were fascinating (having Luke wounded only to reveal that it was deliberate is typical of Denning's excellent approach to the Grand Master), though everything needs to come together.

    What could have made Abyss better was if the Jedi Order had begun disintegrating beyond two new apprentices leaving. If they'd had Corran and Kyp resign or something and get pursued by Daala, it could make for a fantastic fourth subplot. Also, to strengthen the Jedi Order in crisis subplot, they could have had a Master killed and for Luke to be shocked upon encountering him in the Underworld. A few obvious missed opportunities, perhaps.

    I'm going to go with 7.6/10, because I've had a few days to cool down from my post-Star Wars high. I was fascinated and drawn in, but Abyss has some of the same weaknesses Omen did; while Denning managed to acheive lift-off with the series, I think we've been delayed long enough and elements of the plot are still dragging.

    I could have a whole day's discussion of other recently-deceased Force-sensitives Luke could have met or passed over though. Flint? Lumiya? Alema?

  18. JediMasterNicolas Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2005
    star 3
    I talked about what I liked about this book in the official thread (and caught some flack for it, haha) but to sum my feelings up...great book. Best of the series so far, and if they keep this up then I'll be a happy camper through 2011.

    I'll be the first in this thread to take the plunge and give Abyss a 10 out of 10.
  19. NJOfan215 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 5
    I really like the Luke/Ben and Han/Leia parts. I especialy liked Han's characterisation. I liked the fight scenes.

    My problem with this book is that is streches the boundries of the known star wars universe a bit too much for my taste.

  20. BennyM Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 2007
    star 1
    I enjoyed the book.

  21. sonnymyson Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2004
    star 3
    The main thing I dislike about the portrayal of Kyp Durron in FOTJ is how they are keeping him scruffy. It's a plot. Golden, Denning and Allston are all in on it. Hey they don't dare make snide remarks about Katarn's personal hygeine!

    But in this one, he's the one on his feet during the council meeting, making sure Kenth Hamner's self-importance is under rein in the face of Han and Leia's necessary interruption. He continues to stand up for non-Jedi and non-Force users as people too.

    Granted, how Durron is treated is a very unbalanced way to judge a book overall, but enough of you will be doing that rational stuff.[face_peace]

    And I must agree that the Tribe definitely strike me as One Sith Lite as well. I was actually glad to see them gobbled down by Abeloth ftmp. And equally glad to see the Mandos fall despite their superior gadgetology.

    Mind Walk? That is merely Starwarsese for astral travel imo. All the spankin'new Force abilities the 'crazies' are coming up with are nearly too many to catalogue, but they surely will be a big help in expanding portrayal of how the Force is accessed by beings.

    I disagree that various plotlines are moving along too slowly. I was able to read all 3 books one after the other and they are working as a whole. Golden kept her bit going just fine, which was a relief, and Denning and Allston sound like themselves.

    7 out of 10, and looking forward to the new location--- Dathomir!
  22. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 116.83/14 = 8.35
  23. Nobody145 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 5
    Hm... I was wondering where this thread was, since its usually out a day or so after the official release date (no offense meant to Havac, I know he was busy, especially with how awesome the Atlas is), but maybe the extra time is good too, since its given me more time to think about what score to give this book. I was tempted to give this book an 8, but now... hm... oh well, might as well sum up my thoughts for the book.

    The Good- Well, Luke's journey got a lot more interesting in this book, heck, more probably happened with Luke and Ben in this book than in the last two books combined. While there are still plenty of mysteries, and there's still not really any kind of important clue, or at least, nothing that's definite.

    AT least they sorta addressed why Ben hasn't gone crazy like the rest of the young Jedi, due to him withdrawing into the Force when he was a baby, but he almost did, though he at least resisted when he did start going crazy.

    And then there's Luke's journey beyond shadows. This was far more interesting than learning how to do a few tricks like Luke did with the Baran Do or the Aing-Tii. Instead, he actually seemed to go somewhere, and boy, was it an interesting journey. Temptations, which Luke resisted (although not sure I like hearing that Jacen wasn't even interested while Luke was tempted... then again, its not like Luke's "guides" were all that trustworthy). And then, wow, talk about old ghosts. Anakin had been dead for over a decade, and unlike that droid Anakin from Betrayal, which was really creepy, this was the real thing. He was still nice, heroic and still loved Tahiri... although his advice to Luke was a bit... not out of character, but its kind of pathetic that after Anakin died, the future of the New Jedi Order just ground to a halt. Luke said he has high hopes for Ben, but Ben's not really doing with the Order (its not like he actually went to any Jedi Academy for any decent length of time), and well, in NJO we saw them trying to do something with Jacen as a leader and hero... which was pretty much wasted by LotF.

    And very nice to see Mara again, especially with both Luke and Ben seeing her at once. This is how Revelation's Force ghost visit should've gone, instead of Mara trying to teach Ben basic investigative technique or something like that! Although considering how bad Revelation was, maybe it was better that book neglected giving any closure on that storyline. I also liked that Mara acknowledged her actions, and that it didn't say she went to Force heaven or hell. She's reflecting, but at least its not hell. While I'm sad she's not as peaceful as Anakin Solo was, at least it acknowledges how she died. On these boards, we had been arguing about her death, so at least nice to see it reflected in universe how she did just revert back to assasin to try and take out Jacen, and she told Ben not to follow Jacen's example (although she said Jacen brought peace to the galaxy... which seems inaccurate, to say the least, but its not like details like that matter to the authors).

    And then there's Jacen... I like that it showed that he's still evil, he's not repentant, or anything. Heck, he's almost smug, with the occasional flash of yellow eyes in his damnation. At least it gave Ben some closure over his really twisted relationship with Jacen. Ben's not healed, but its some closure. Although it really seems like they're trying to quietly slip in quite a few retcons about Jacen and his reasons for turning evil... which means they're probably just going to rewrite or ignore half the POV chapters of LotF. LotF sucked, but still, with this kind of attitude towards canon, especially books most of the same authors had just written less than five years ago... I don't like it. Its a different attitude than his "make the galaxy safe forever under his rule!" personality in LotF, but it'll probably just be part of the retcons.

    Still though, it was nice to visit some sorely missed family, and while we have no clear idea what they are, mysterious is fine, as Luke confi
  24. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 124.83/15 = 8.32
  25. Darthrevan4ever Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2008
    star 6
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