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

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Oh, yeah. This is out.

    Some rules: rate Ascension 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 Destruction, by Drew Karpyshyn
    Legacy of the Fo
  2. YodaKenobi VIP

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2003
    star 6
  3. Jeff_Ferguson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2006
    star 4
    Here's a link to my jumbled rant of a review. In short, this book was a mess. Very little of it made sense; Golden seems to think that the Galactic Senate is a High School Student Council; Luke was written as a cold jackass; all of the buildup of Gavar and Lord Vol in the first sixty pages led to absolutely nothing; and the fleet battle at the end was laughably awful. Everything happened too quickly, chaotically, and consequently illogically.

  4. The_Forgotten_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2010
    star 4
    Golden has flashes of greatness, which she ruins with out of character moments and some extremely stupid dialogue. It almost seems at times that portions of the book are written by somebody else who had English as their second language and a serious misunderstanding about how some characters are supposed to act. But when she is good, she is good. I actually enjoyed the entire conspiracy plot, found the space battle exciting, the Sith takeover believable (through the use of lots of fridge logic and assumptions about what they have been doing the past two years), and felt that Abeloth was presented to be extremely horrifyingly and powerful. Plus, she used Markre Medjev. =D=

    If only Golden hadn't turned Ben into an abusive boyfriend...[face_sick]

  5. Nobody145 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 5
    About the only good thing I can say about Fate of the Jedi at this point is that there's only one more book left. Golden's writing is sometimes a bit odd, and while I don't mind her portrayal of Vestara on her own, like on Kesh during Omen, her romance with Ben is... not very interesting. It was bad in Allies, with them giggling to each other, and here its worse. Ben barging in on her writing her letters was kind of... abrupt, especially since father had just died, not to mention while he should be wary around her, that was kind of rough and then it leads to... her officially wanting to be a Jedi? That was quick. And while in Vortex and Conviction Luke was slightly starting to warm up to Vestara, since she had mostly sided with them against the Tribe (mostly for the sake of stopping Abeloth) here he's still coming down hard on her, and worse it seems like its not so much because she's a Sith but because she's a pretty girl getting close to his son, which just adds to the whole... teenage romance novel feel of those scenes.

    The book is long, and a lot of stuff happens, but when most of it is very silly plot developments, I can't call that a good thing. Its not as bad as Revelation during LotF was (which set a very low bar), but... well, its continuing the same ridiculous circus that FotJ has been, a series that started with Daala as Chief of State.

    First of all, there is way too much food in this book. Caf seems to be the most used word in the entire book, since for at least two thirds of the book, everyone is discussing things over some food. And the food is described in more detail than some of the characters. And just like Tenel Ka didn't play much of a role in Conviction despite being on the backcover, I'm mostly sure Boba Fett only appeared in one scene, discussing things with Daala (over a cup of caf of course). And its really that easy to take over the Remnant? Daala just gets together her fleet (now without overpowered superweapons), leans on a few Moffs and co-opts the Treen /Leceerson conspiracy and she's ready to take over the Empire? Of course, most of the politics in this book are pretty juvenile, which doesn't make for good reading.

    And while in most of the other books of this series the scenes with Luke's group weren't that bad compared to the Coruscant plot, here even Luke didn't get to do much (as I feared after Luke finally met up with the Jedi at the end of Conviction). It was nice that Jaina joined them, I was sick and tired of only seeing Luke, Ben and Vestara traveling together for four books by now, too bad it didn't amount to anything. They have no idea where Abeloth and Ship have vanished too, Vestara refuses to give up Kesh's location (even after she officially wants to be a Jedi), so they just start taking random trips to darkside planets? Talk about a shot in the dark. What's more, why did they have to have Luke Skywalker so close to the One Sith and still have no idea? Yeah, Korriban always feels evil, and I know Luke can't find the One Sith, but still, at least the Legacy comics didn't say Luke just never noticed the One Sith when he visited Korriban. Here? Ugh, talk about a waste of Luke's character. Sorta cool to see Dromund Kaas, except that it leads to a trap. And Luke finally makes it back to Coruscant, but with the coup and the elections for the next Chief of State (another farce), he basically absolves the Jedi Council for everything that's happened, then its back to normal. And I don't think much of his plan to lure the Tribe in by giving them Coruscant. While it was cool to finally see Luke traveling with a Jedi army, it really feels like they should've done this four books ago. But then everything in FotJ feels like it could've easily fit in six or even three books.

    The Lost Tribe were also mostly a disappointment. When I read the Ascension preview where the Tribe's higher-ups were calmly debating about whether to ally with Abeloth or not, I thought that was a good preview. But then the whole celebration on Kesh dragged on for... what, thirty pages? It
  6. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2007
    star 5
    Time to bring the average up a little.

    I did like it. It did seem rushed, but there's a lot of good here.

  7. jedimaster203 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 1999
    star 4
    It would have been good if Golden would have taken the time to tell the story, instead of manically moving around and forcefully progressing the story.

    That said, it had many good moments. Jag Fel got a Crowning Moment of Awesome by whooping up on Daala.

    7/10 (points added because the audiobook was well done)
  8. Manisphere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2007
    star 5
    Ascension does start out fairly well. Nearly the first third of the book is entertaining if not a little predictable. But it's okay. There is quite a bit of Lost Tribe stuff. And we're centering on Luke and company as they stalk Abeloth...more. But at least it's action.

    Then we get to Coruscant. Things deteriorate from there. Not only did I find detail of the political machinations from earlier books boring but I eventually found it just plain confusing. Characters in this book not only deviate from the characters we've known, they often deviate from common sense. The fiendish hand wringing political villains were a chore and ultimately pointless. As for the Big 3 and Ben? Golden doesn't nail characters like some authors can. She does an approximation or bad clone of characters we know are smarter than she's telling us they are.

    Golden throws plenty of sub-plots at us in the nearly 400 pages. She THROWS them at us. Ascension actually has a lot of events and many plots. It has that going for it. But there isn't enough time to draw out many of the events properly. And ultimately it's just not satisfying anyway. Ascension doesn't quite feel very Star Warsy. A lot of Golden's dialogue falls flat. Jokes feel out of place and often plain babyish (*Cough*Squibs). Moments feel truncated. The timing is off. Both Omen and Allies satisfied me much more and I wasn't thrilled with either of those.

  9. Kuag Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2009
    star 2
    I found Ascension to be a good read and a general improvement on Conviction which was, in my opinion, the worst book of FOTJ. Golden has some issues with the editing again (TIE Defender/Destroyer, Interdictor/Interceptor, Jacen being Ben's uncle, etc.), but I largely blame that on poor oversight by the editing team and lay little fault at the feet of Golden for honest mistakes in a universe she's just now getting accustomed to writing in.

    I rather enjoyed the chaotic events of the novel, particularly Abeloth melting Tahv and presenting Grand Lord Vol's head to Workan like she just brought home a bag of groceries. For the first time since Abyss, Abeloth was the nightmarish Lovecraftian horror that we've all been expecting.

    The conspiracies were intricate and plentiful in this book, but they were executed fantastically and I give Golden great credit for tying everything together in a way that made sense. I didn't find the multiple conspiracies to be too taxing on the mind and the nice little thing was that they all advanced the plot, answered some previously unanswered questions, and explained a great deal of the characters' prior actions. Kudos to Golden there!

    That stated, I did find the characterization of Luke to be a bit off--particularly in his decision to go hunt the Lost Tribe on random Sith Worlds. That could have used some elaboration or a parallel storyline showing Gavar Khai's point of view in stringing the Jedi along.

    Golden's characterizations of Jaina and Vestara were spot on. In fact, I enjoyed Jaina Solo's character more in this novel than in any since the conclusion to the New Jedi Order series.

    The big failing of Ascension is that it tries to do too much in too little time. It pulls it off adequately, but not spectacularly. I enjoyed the read and believe that things have been set up nicely for the finale. Furthermore, my opinion of Golden is that she is a talented writer in many ways, but needs a little more polish in the Star Wars Universe.

    Overall I give Ascension a 7.0.
    darth fluffy likes this.
  10. Kalphite Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2009
    star 2
    As others have already stated, too much happened in this book too quickly. It's very disappointing because there are several FotJ books where almost nothing at all happens (Backlash, Conviction...) -- would it have taken too much planning to make them all more balanced? Having so many Chief of States was...well...embarassing.

    It's even more disappointing because there were large things shoved into this book that didn't really even advance the plot-line (see Luke amassing hundreds of Jedi, ready for battle, and then....nothing? They just run away and that's it? WTF really?)

    Then there was the positively disturbing things...like the blood and gore scene of an alien getting tortured and mutiliated. Is that really necessary for a main-stream Star Wars novel? I could appreciate something like that in Deathtroopers...but a Star Wars story to advance the story of the big 3??

    Jag's 'death' was predictable and off. Nobody reading this novel was fooled by that, though I really wish he would have died. It was like Luke 'dying' in Inferno -- not a soul believed that when they read it either. If authors are looking to provide 'shock' value to their novels by having main characters appear to have died, the least they could do is build up to it and try to make it somewhat believable -- or better yet, have it carry over to a subsequent novel to leave it hanging.

    Maybe I'm being too harsh, there was a lot of good in this novel. I, for one, enjoyed the Vestara scenes. And I'm thrilled with the way it ended - Natua's demise was delightfully evil...I'm really looking forward to a fight there between her and Ben -- though probably wishful thinking on my part. The lost tribe scenes were also very entertaining.

  11. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    My qualm with the Fate of the Jedi in general is that- well- nothing happens.

    Not that there's no action; but nothing is ever resolved. Here we are, 8 books in of a 9 book series, and the only semblance of resolution with ANY of the major plot lines was removing Daala from office- but she's still causing trouble! Abeloth is still a problem; the Sith are still a problem. And as a result, each book has been sloppy and unorganized, and this one was the worst of all.

    We spent pages upon pages dealing with the Treen/Lecersen/& co. conspiracy, only to have that end entirely anticlimactically (I guess that's one thing resolved though, to be fair)- but not until we have over-the-top graphic torture descriptions in the mix?!

    Characterization was awkward, especially in the cases of Vestara's suddenly out of character change of heart, trauma of the day aside, and Luke's 'I'm trying to be sneaky and trick everyone into doing what I want.'

    Pacing was horrible; the way in which the plots were separated was silly, as though Golden feels that we can't follow them all if she intermingles them. I understand the way she devoted the first five or six chapters to Kesh, but after that? It was chapters upon chapters of Luke/Ben/Vestara/Jaina- and then chapters of Han/Leia/Allana- and then the entirety of the Jag/Daala plot line before a cursory glance at the conclusions for the Jedi and for Leia and Wynn Dorvan. Consequently, we were left with several cliffhangers, but we've practically forgotten about where Jag and Daala left off by the time we're done being appropriately horrified at what's happened on Coruscant, or is happening with the Jedi.

    The best- the chapters devoted to Jag, with the reappearances of some unexpected figures/forces from earlier series. We saw a level of intrigue there that has been lacking from his story since this series began.
    Even in that though, an element of ridiculous- the way in which he's caught completely off-guard by Lecersen's 'surprise'? Come on. HE'S BEEN EAVESDROPPING ON THEIR CONVERSATION.

    The worst- the period of time in which Vestara thinks she can be all cutesy- "I want to see everything!" It's entirely unbelievable, as evidenced several chapters later with her character's conclusion at the end of the book.

    Overall, I'd give this one a 5/10.
  12. jedimasterkenobi02 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2006
    As I was reading this book I was see the way that it models the prequels. Ves is the Anakin of the series, she is given the choice between attachment and the right thing to do and chooses the attachment to Ben. She chooses the sith answer and the dark side over the light. Ben is the Obi Wan of the series. He wants to see someone he loves to turn from their darkness and embrace the light, but in the end, he is going to be forced to kill them for the greater good (That is my prediction).

    I thought that this was the best book of the series so far. It has so much to offer. All of the politics was actually interesting. Jag and Daala were really good and the use of Tahiri was nice to see; she has had so little to do, I am hoping that she will be used more. In all, I thought that this book used all the set up well, except as has already been mentioned the "Jacen going bad" answers. Luke setting a trap that could really backfire was huge; what a risky move, bold and one I cannot wait to see play out. Also it was cool to see Luke but the enemy on his turf without the enemy even thinking about the implications. Hoping that the last book is a little longer to give time for everything to be set up well for the future. With there not being any more long series coming up, there does seem like there needs to be a good base for the rest of the books to build off of.

  13. VongPoop Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2011

    It was filled with typos. In the interview Golden did on facebook she admitted (and laughed!) that sometimes her first draft hits the stands. This had to be a first or early draft. Del Rey apparently doesn't care if it charges $29 for a first draft.

    Some examples of idiocy in the book:

    Boba Fett actually jokes about being a good guy. Is this a children's novel?

    Luke is out of character. He tells Ben that Sith can't be redeemed. What the heck was he doing on the second Death Star then?

    Ben has the personality of Jimmy Neutron.

    Luke, Ben, and Vestara go to Dromund Kass looking for Sith and as soon as they find them, Ben turns on Vestara as if she sold them out. But you were looking for Sith! This is just one example of multiple, multiple plot holes.

    There is a mention of "Xizor salad." (Next up: Pizza the Hutt.)

    On a single page, Christie Golden has a Lecersen drinking gold wine while looking at an alien with golden eyes and gold pupils. Later the said alien is revealed to have golden blood. There are also three other references to gold wine.

    These are just some examples of the horrible plot, horrible characters, and horrible prose. Christie should earn no gold.

    The only good scene was when Jania comforts Vestara after Vestara kills her father.

  14. GrandMasterKatarn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2008
    star 4
    Farce or Fate (for some of you) of the Jedi 8: Ascension by Christie Golden is riddled with typos and out of character moments. The title and synopsis promise a lot (like they do for the rest of the series) and fall completely off the scale (like the rest of the series) and into one of the nine Corellian hells. First, I'd like to say that she did dedicate this atrocity to both Aaron and Troy, plus Leland and Pablo, thereby dragging their names into this osik-filled book. And I feel sorry for them.

    It picks up (supposedly, but then, so did Revelation) right where Conviction left off. The first thing I notice is that the Lost Tribe of the Sith (really? Now that they're found they can't call themselves the Sith Tribe of Kesh?) think they have the balls to rule the galaxy. I admit it, I laughed. Where did they get such an overinflated ego(s) that they think they can kick the Jedi's shebs? It's preposterous and had me checking the book a few times to see if it was part of the same osik series I'd been reading since Outcast. Yes, it is and that's just sad. Sad in a way that made me chuck this book across the floor of Barnes and Noble today (that's where I read it).

    With everyone hyping the Vol vs. Abeloth fight, I expected better, and got nothing at all but a sense of boredom. And what does Abeloth do to Vol and the Sith afterward you ask. Why, she melts the City of Glass (now on 50% sale at Borders). It was at this that I thought "Surely the Sith will rise up and destroy her." But alas, they bend over and take it without lube. And then...OMG! Who in the Nine Corellian Hells does she think she is? Queen of the Universe? Not a chance. She may be able to sway the galaxy against the Jedi and turn the Sith and citizens to her side, but Abeloth must be insane if she thinks she can just snap her fingers and take over (which is exactly what happens at the end of the book).

    Wait, wait, wait. When did Dorvan become Chief of State, let alone Co-Chief of State? Wasn't he Chief of Staff in Conviction? Apparently, Golden can't read or she's an idiot to think that that's what happened in Conviction. What happened Golden? Did Aaron tell you and you had a brain fart? Or did you suddenly get Alzheimer's Disease? Or was it a McGuffin? Speaking of McGuffin's, I thought it was nice to see Tycho and Gavin in a book. Oh, and she mentioned Carlist Rieekan, so +50 points for that, -50 because he just stood there and said nothing. He doesn't even come up again in the novel. It's too bad that they were used as they all felt/acted out of character. Wait...Lecersen was behind Freedom Flight? ... Just shoot me now.

    +50 points for using Markre Medjev. -50 for him not doing anything useful (like the rest of the Luke/Ben/Ves acts in this farce of a series). Dromund (okay, she says Dromand) Kaas, Ziost, and Korriban. I'm familiar with these places. I'm not familiar with Krayiss II, Khar Delba, and Upekzer. I've never heard of them, and searching the wook, didn't see them mentioned except for this book. So that tells me something about the new McGuffins, I'm sorry, planets. It tells me nothing. And why the heck is Jacen being referred to as Ben's uncle? Well, more power to the Marakin shippers, though I wish someone would've caught that mistake.

    +50 points for referencing Gav and Jori Daragon and the Great Hyperspace War, but take those points away as we recap something we already know, as do the Jedi and Sith. Oh, and -100 points for saying Jacen's fall was inevitable. No, it wasn't inevitable. If Troy and those who blindly followed his lead after DNT and helped develop this craptastic plot actually read Traitor and The Unifying Force, they would know that Jacen's fall couldn't have happened. And then we get a horrible recapping of the last two books, so take away another 10 points.

    And now we're on Korriban. Um, okay...and Luke...can't...feel...the One Sith? REALLY? HE'S RIGHT THERE! IN THEIR TEMPLE AND NO MENTION FOR ANYTHING TO EVEN HINT AT THEM? Shenanigans! Is anyone really fooled by Abeloth's disguise as Roki Kem? I'm not. -10,000 points f
  15. Abalore Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2001
    star 1
    That's incredibly immature and rude. It invalidates the rest of your "review" in my eyes.
  16. xoubara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2003
    star 2
    What really invalidates his review are the unsults against the authors.

    Not nice, kid.
  17. EmpressJainaSoloFel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2009
    star 2
    No, he's right. Christy Golden, in making a public comment that she usually submits her first draft, insulted the entire fandom. What quality author doesn't go over their first draft? Please reference the Christy Golden chat on FB, here's the direct quote: "Sometimes things are so tight my first draft is really what hits shelves...fortunately this year I celebrate 40 books and 20 years in the business!" She does not care enough to submit a quality product, and you're upset that she's getting called out on it? A tight first draft is NOT one that is riddled with spelling/grammar errors. No first draft is so tight that it does not need reviewing.

    And why does she think that slapping a girl is normal for a 16 year old boy? And why did the editors not comment on the ramifications of a scene that is identical to the first time my friend's ex husband hit her? That relationship, btw, ended with her in the emergency room with a broken back at his hands. She was 7 months pregnant at the time, and the baby did not survive the beating. The scene is disturbing, more disturbing is that people liked it. NO man worth anything would EVER treat a woman the way Ben treated Vestara in that scene. Her argument that "it won't happen again" doesn't hold any weight, because that's what all abusive partners always say. They promise it never does, but since they got away with it once, it KEEPS HAPPENING. If the scene had been revisited, and consequences laid out, I would have less of an issue with it. For those wondering, the quote is (again) from her FB interview on Star Wars Books: "I think it's important to remember that Ben and Vestara, despite their unusual upbringings, are also sixteen. Ben was very, very hurt by what he perceived as Vestara's betrayal, and well...acted like a sixteen year old boy. :) It's a mistake I don't think he'll ever make again...can't wait to see how Troy is going to handle things!" Also: "I'm a little puzzled by the concern people seem to be having with Ben and Vestara...I think I answered that a bit earlier. He isn't perfect. Being a Jedi isn't about being perfect and never doing something you might regret later." Christy, anyone who has seen an abusive relationship in action could tell you the problems with that scene. You're not listening because you don't WANT to listen to any concerns about your writing. The concerns had been laid out multiple times. Why not address them directly instead of saying that they puzzle you?

    In response to someone pointing out that she got the name of a spacecraft wrong, her response was, " I try hard to make sure I get all the technology right, but I think you all may know the finer details of fighters better than I do. :D" If she is going to write in the Star Wars universe, it is her JOB to understand the elements of it she CHOOSES to use in her books. The fact that she didn't do her homework is troubling, but to brush it off as a "you know more than I do" scenario is infuriating. It tells me, much like her comments on the first draft, that she does not care about submitting a quality product. Not only does she not care, but DelRey has a hefty price tag on these books. DelRey SHOULD care. And given the number of errors that have made it into print, it's obvious they don't. When a publishing house and an author tell me that they expect me to shell out my hard-earned money for a mediocre to poor product, why shouldn't I feel insulted? The attitude that Star Wars sells on its own, and a quality product isn't necessary, is a slap in the face to all who have been buying these books. I might not be so angry if the editors had done their job, and made sure tha
  18. CT-867-5309 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    This is a reviews thread for posting your review only.

    Click here for the Ascension discussion thread.
  19. KnightDawg Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2007
    star 4
    FotJ just keeps getting better and better. I caught myself saying, "No!" when I turned the last page and realized that was it until "Apocalypse". April needs to hurry!!!!


  20. colojedi7 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2007
    star 1
    I really liked this book. However, a couple of things brought down the score for me.

    1. I really felt a disconnect with Vestara's sudden change of heart at the end. It feels like she became a different person. After her diary letters (which I loved), I felt she became a 3-dimensional character that had depth. Then her sudden shift back to dark-side Sith made her seem like every other Sith yelling muaahh, I will kill you Jedi!:rolleyes:

    2. The political intrigues and governmental takeovers were just too quick and not believable even for Sith. It was too hard to follow the various intrigues and who was with which group and stabbing who in the back.:(

    3. Also, the torture scene was not necessary. I read Star Wars for escape not gratuitous violence.[face_sick]

    I give this book 8 out of 10.
  21. ImpKnight Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2008
    star 3
    Pros: This book is thicker than Omen.

    Cons: The book.

  22. KnightDawg Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2007
    star 4
  23. Manisphere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2007
    star 5
  24. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 83.1/16 = 5.19
  25. Darth_Lex Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2002
    star 4
    Ascension is such a terrible book, I hardly know where to start. So I?ll just stick to one main problem: the bad story design.

    We?ve been told that authors have to turn in an outline for their Star Wars novels, usually followed later by a more detailed summary. Based on the published book, I started to reverse-engineer what that summary might have looked like ? but it was just too painful. I find it hard to believe that Christie Golden turned in an outline or a detailed summary for Ascension, because I can?t imagine how even an outline could have gotten a green light.

    So rather than break down the whole thing, let?s just consider a few parts of the book and imagine what the summary might have looked like.

    The first five chapters focus exclusively on the Lost Tribe of the Sith and their planet Kesh. The opening chapters expand upon the Sith civilization through the POV of Gavar Khai and Grand Lord Vol, before and during a masquerade the Sith host for Abeloth. Then Vol and Abeloth fight a mental Force-battle, and Abeloth wipes out many of the Sith in retaliation. Vol and some Sith escape; Gavar and other Sith give their allegiance to Abeloth.

    The city of Tahv is destroyed in Ch. 4, Gavar is killed by Vestara in Ch. 18, and Vol is killed by Abeloth in Ch. 36. So what, exactly, was the point of spending the extended page-time at the beginning?

    The main plot for Luke and the Jedi in the middle of the book is to hunt for Abeloth and the Sith. They do not try to locate the current Sith world of Kesh, even though Ship is known to have been there as recently as several months earlier, Abeloth is known to have an interest in bending the Sith to her will, and the Jedi already have gathered considerable evidence about the general vicinity of Kesh?s location by analyzing the pattern of the Sith?s pirate raids that built their flotilla of warships. Instead they search on ancient Sith worlds on the theory that Ship may have taken itself and Abeloth there to recuperate, even though they have no actual evidence to support that theory. First they go to Korriban, where nothing occurs except a wink to the reader that Luke didn?t discover the Legacy comics? One Sith right beneath his nose. Second they go to Dromund Kaas, where Gavar Khai and other Lost Tribe Sith are conveniently waiting to ambush them. Third they go to Upekzar, where a trap laid by Abeloth is conveniently waiting to ambush them.

    This is a classic example of the author deciding how the plot should go and forcing the story to fit that decision, rather than having the plot proceed organically from actions the characters? motivations and knowledge would lead them to make.

    Vestara refuses to reveal the location of Kesh, because she still has loyalty to her people. She then kills her father, who has switched loyalty to Abeloth. Traumatized, she tells Ben she wants to become a Jedi. The very next time her moral compass is tested, she sacrifices the innocent Natua Wan to save Ben?s life.

    So after six books of Vestara as a Sith, what was the point of writing two hundred pages where she claims she wants to be a Jedi, before twisting her right back to the Sith mindset again? Just to gutpunch the readers who are invested in her romance with Ben?

    The Imperial politics plotline proceeds like this: Getelles dupes Jag, by pretending to be an ally then shooting him with a stunbolt. Jag outfoxes Daala, by pretending to be dead then revealing he isn?t. Getelles dupes Daala, by pretending to be her ally then switching sides. Lecersen outfoxes Jag, by nuking his command ship with baradium missiles. Daala outfoxes Jag, by blasting apart the moon and using the Interdictor to pull the pieces into a barricade.

    Plot twists are one thing. A plotline consisting entirely of twists is stupid.

    There are plenty more examples of the nonsense in this book. Other reviews have catalogued many of them. It?s not worth the time to reiterate them. And I haven?