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

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac , Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Fate of the Jedi: Conviction is out, and everyone already knows what's going to happen thanks to the book jacket!

    Some rules: rate Conviction 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 Destruction, by Drew Karpyshy
  2. Point Given

    Point Given Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 12, 2006

    It was pretty meh worthy even though stuff happens, so I was going to give it a 5, but then I remembered the Jedi essentially did worse than Jacen Solo in removing a Chief of State from office, and that they installed an impulsive Jedi who is under investigation for killing her predecessor in its office. So I dropped the ranking some.

  3. The_Forgotten_Jedi

    The_Forgotten_Jedi Jedi Master star 4

    May 12, 2010

    -.5 for not including Barratk'l and her team in some way, and not even mentioning her. Bad continuity going on there.

    -1 for assorted other annoyances with plot and some of the pacing in the middle of the Nam Chorios plot.

    Still really enjoying this series, and Allston had some great humor in this one. Great characterization, Han and Leia actually did some more interesting stuff and arranged for good security on Allana, and having Izal Waz be the one to light Kenth's funeral pier was a nice touch, and the fact that they remembered that he had been Kenth's apprentice was very appreciated.
  4. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Soliloquist of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
    Conviction is being advertised as the beginning of a mini-trilogy that will conclude the FOTJ series, and it pretty nearly plays that part well. It continues all of the plots so far and also makes some big changes in those plots. At the same time it also has its own self-contained plot, namely the parts on Nam Chorios and even the bit on Klatooine, much like Backlash. Unlike some other books in the series, the Coruscant plotline was the strongest here, while I felt the Luke/Abeloth plot was lacking in bits.

    Although she is on the cover and the title suggests she will be a large part of the novel, Tahiri gets little page time until the latter half of the book. Yet when the trial finally ends and she's waiting for her fate in prison things get much more interesting since Daala has just been taken out of power and the two are kept in nearby cells. This provides some great opportunities for ironic humor and actual plot development for the two of them. Tahiri uses Daala's escape to her advantage and is free at last, yet I think her story is only beginning, as she has nowhere to go but up, so now I am more interested than ever in her story and where it will go. Same with Daala, as she is now able to do more scheming. Her last scene indicates she has a very specific place she wants to go. I'm wondering just what is up her sleeve. Anywho, these two characters were the most compelling in this novel. The coup scenes were very exciting and it's always good to see so many Jedi playing important parts. Not sure how I feel about this little triumvirate, especially with Saba as a third of it. I don't think it's setup for Legacy, more like a continuity nod. I'll bet that a single COS will be elected before the series is over, and this time it won't be someone as outrageous as Daala. Kenth's funeral was nicely done. It was nice to see his family there too. I liked Allana here. I think her experience on Dathomir has made her more cautious when dealing with the unknown. Even though she's just a kid, she's maturing in a realistic way, especially for someone in the company of the Solos. It was nice to see Tenel Ka, even though she felt slightly shoehorned into the plot just to justify her cover spot. It seems the Solos are most useful in this series when Allston writes them. That said, I liked their role in the negotiations on Klatooine. I'm surprised the Fountain of Ancients was never mentioned, but at least the sith activity on the planet in Allies was. Once again I am apathetic about the Jag and Jaina scenes. It's like Tahiri's trial, being dragged out in several books and will probably be quickly resolved in not of the next two books.

    It was cool to see some of the names and places from Planet of Twilight. I'm still not sure just what Abeloth wants to do, though. I guess she wants to absorb everyone in the galaxy. Either way, I think it's way too much of a coincidence that she keeps visiting places Luke has gone before. I know OOU it's because the authors want to use previously established force groups, yet 90% of them were encountered by Luke and/or Jacen. At least Callista seems to finally be at peace. I think it was great that she could touch the force in her dying moments. Now that she's out of the picture, though, I'm once again uncertain about the origin of the quote in the beginning of Outcast. It could still be about Callista, or it could be like the tassels and was forgotten/was a red herring. It also seems that Valin and Jysella may be free from Abby's grip as well. Ben didn't seem to get much character development, but Vestara did. She's very nearly on the same side as the Skywalkers, even if she doesn't know it yet.

    LOTF had a somewhat letdown of a finale, so I'm hoping that Ascension will steer events toward an exciting and fulfilling conclusion in Apocalypse. I think this will in fact be the case as unlike the books of LOTF the books of FOTJ each feel like a direct continuation of the last, so I have faith that the authors will end this series in a way that leaves most people smiling.

    I give Conviction an 8.7 out of 10.
  5. YodaKenobi

    YodaKenobi VIP star 6 VIP

    May 27, 2003
    Here's my [link=]TFN Staff Review.[/link]


    I was fairly disappointed in this one.
  6. GrandMasterKatarn

    GrandMasterKatarn Jedi Knight star 4

    Feb 8, 2008
    After the disasters that were Allies and Vortex, I would have thought Conviction would have changed the mood of the story. Well, it did nothing to change the mood, but it sure kriffed whatever plot may have existed since Backlash. I'd say this book shows why Allston does not belong in a main series like NJO, LotF, and FotJ. He is a mediocre writer whose talents have been wasted. He was much better working alongside Stackpole in the X-Wing series where he was a secondary author.

    That said, he did one helluva job with the mess Denning dumped on him in Vortex. Seha had great characterization, Allana was actually being used as a character, not being left behind like the authors did in the previous stories. Han and Leia just don't abandon her again. A lot happened in this novel that I was surprised from the beginning. Stuff just happens, and don't stop until towards the end of the book when Allston realized Golden and Denning have to do something in this story. That's a positive in my book and has redeemed Allston in my eyes.

    That said, there are weak points in the book. Tahiri's trial, for instance, was god-awful. It's not Allston's fault; he was just working with a crappy detail brought into play by Denning and fell into his lap in this book. Boba Fett coming out of nowhere to save Daala...crap. An assassination attempt by the Lost Tribe on Tenel Ka Djo.

    I like the fact that the slavery plot line continues, but am still miffed about the whole "let's drop Jacen's fall" thing. The characters felt like themselves after the 180 way they were portrayed in Vortex (Masters killing Masters). Allston realizes that characters can move from planet to planet and are not to be confined to a single place like he did in Outcast and Backlash.

    Corran feels like his old self again. Either Allston tossed out the horrible characterizations Denning and Golden did, or he just ignored them cos of how terrible those books are. Either way, Corran's back. Now, if we could just have Saba demoted back to Jedi Knight (where I feel she should have remained) and put Kyle, Kyp and Corran in charge of the Order, or strip Saba of her ability to use the Force and let Kyp, Corran, and Kyle take over the Order while Luke runs around playing "God" for a while longer.

    EDIT: A positive in my book for Luke freeing Callista from the wannabe-Darth Nihilus. The Nam Chorios thing was weak, but Allston did a better job with Luke, Ben, and Ves than Denning or Golden ever did. And nice to see Izal Waz after his last appearance in TUF. Glad someone remembered he was once Kenth's Apprentice.

    I felt like Allston did one helluva job and succeeded in this crap-@$$ed plot by Denning. Well done. All in all, 6/10
  7. Mechalich

    Mechalich Jedi Knight star 4

    Feb 2, 2010
    It became clear some books back that FotJ is essentially two series that are only loosely linked at best. This might change, but Conviction maintained this dynamic, so I feel it's almost necessary to give two separate reviews and then average them.

    The Luke/Ben/Vestara/Abeloth plotline remains the strength of the series, and has a number of strong moments. However, it was weaker than earlier entries in the series. Nam Chorios felt less interesting than some of the other exotic destinations and its unique fauna was not utilized to its full potential by any means. Likewise the Theran Listeners had the least important role of any of the Force Traditions featured so far. Additionally, I felt Allston's focus on Luke as a viewpoint character was somewhat limiting, since it downplayed the continued dynamic between Ben and Vestara, though this was not a huge issue. This plotline is suitably well written and has interesting events, challenges, and dynamics, though it ends rather inconclusively with Abeloth simply escaping, but presumably that will set up a storm toward the climax. All in all, I'd give this half a solid 6/10.

    The Coruscant plotline (which includes the slavery and Tahiri subplots seeing as they don't matter to what Luke is doing) remains a tragicomedy of epic proportions in Star Wars writing. All the problems of previous books, mostly stemming from attempting to hold a high stakes political, legal, and ideological drama without ever producing the foundation work necessary to sustain one or presenting any sort of reasonable moral clarity to encourage empathy with either side of the struggle (compounded by poor characterization and the decision to link Daala to a plotline with any complexity whatsoever), continue. Some of them actually get worse, most obviously Tahiri's escape which is more or less an admission that the series wasted hundreds of pages on a trial that could not be reasonably resolved from either an in-universe or out-of-universe perspective. the writing also truly sags in this plotline, and one can feel that Allston's heart just isn't in it. Combat sequences feel flat, tension never builds properly, and the only moment of real suspense is whether or not they're going to blow up Tenel Ka (C-3PO could have concievably survived being blown up, so it was possible that the Queen Mother might have gone down). Still, this potline has a few modest redeeming graces. Seha Dorvald is becoming an actual character, and Javon Thewles is the first interesting new face in who knows how long. Treen and Lecersen continue to get the better of the Jedi, which at least means the possibility that the chickens will come home to roost for actions that Luke outright labeled a 'disaster' in future books. For those bits, I'll give it a 2/10.

    A little math yields 4/10 for the whole text, 1 lower than I gave Vortex.
  8. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 34.2/6 = 5.70
  9. Manisphere

    Manisphere Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 25, 2007
    What to say that hasn't or isn't going to be said? Everything in Conviction was kind of interesting in and of itself. When crammed into this soap opera it felt scattered and very difficult to invest in until the latter half. But Allston does have some nice moments.

    I sure hated the coup sequences though. 'Specially since I knew the Jedi would succeed. And I thought Sabba was a "wartime" grandmaster? Now she's in the "Triumvirate"? I just wasn't digging it. The Luke, Ben and Verstara plot was fine. A little dry.

    I could go on but...

  10. marmkid

    marmkid Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 29, 2001
    I give it a 5 out of 10

    I thought the whole thing was just eh

    Nothing strinkingly bad though, which is a nice plus

    Allana having such a major thing happen was ok, though she is falling into the female force user stereotype of just ignoring everyone around her when she has something on her mind. Next she will use the dark side with no repercussions at all because she is ?feisty? like Leia and Jaina. That said, it was actually nicely done this time, and she felt like she actually had a purpose in the story, rather than just eating ice cream with her grandparents.
    I still feel she is way too young to have any active meaningful part in the overall story (at least for my interests), so I am hoping she is just the pawn they all end up fighting over when he identity becomes widely known by Abeloth, rather than her actually having a hand in anything. I don?t particularly want to read about 9 year old Jedi heroes

    I don?t really get the whole Tahiri plot line, or the purpose of it. Is she going to be involved in anything at all? Or is she the Boba Fett plot line from LotF all over again? Her piggybacking onto the escape of Daala was fun. I really could care less that she can now walk around with her shoes off again though, that got old when she was 12.

    I kind of read the whole book way too fast as I have tended to do with FotJ so far, but I felt it was really just a filler book all around. I knew Luke wasn?t going to defeat Abeloth, so that part kind of left me a little dry.

    I am really confused with the whole Planet of Twilight connection. Is that really such a big book that we need to devote something new to tie back into it? And while I think the exotic force sect tie ins work with the overall idea of FotJ and Abeloth, I don?t really have much interest in Book 7 of a 9 book series to have to learn all about this force sect which wont have much play in the conclusion of the series. Feels way too much like filler stuff.

    Callista being free is great I guess. I would have been fine with her being absorbed by Abeloth and that was it, but this works also. I didn?t particularly care for her character ever, so I wasn?t too worried about it. I do like that Luke seemed to have been able to really free someone from Abeloth?s absorption, which could come into play nicely in the future 2 books.

    I don?t get why they spoiled so much on the cover text, but whatever.

    I think the whole Jedi Temple stuff is a bit confused from the ending of the last book to this one, though admittedly, that could be just my skim-reading the whole thing. Wasn?t there supposed to be a giant Jedi force breaking out to help Luke at the end of the last book? Now it seems they are all hanging out at the temple still, besides Jaina.

    Maybe a 2nd read will help

    It kind of feels like they are phoning it in though

    The best part of the book to me was the very end with Abeloth reaching out to the Sith about their ?mutual? enemy
    And then the preview of the next book, where we see the Sith Council meeting over what to do with Abeloth?s offer
    Those 2 things got me excited about the series again, much more so than anything in the book this time
  11. Jedi Vince

    Jedi Vince Jedi Youngling star 3

    Aug 2, 1999
    Aaron Allston, in my opinion, isn't far from becoming a great writer: His construction is sound, his dialogue gets better with each outing, his characterization is serviceable, and he utilizes literary devices like theme and imagery well enough.

    To me what really holds him back is his prose, which is so passive and fat that it bogs down the entire effort. If I had another problem with Allston, it's that he seems very self aware, and his humor is at times overbearing.

    Those squabbles haven't prevented me from greatly enjoying his last three efforts, which I see as vast improvements over his early work. I think he's really comfortable in the universe, and really feels the rhythms and beats that go with Star Wars ? almost as well as the Clone Wars TV show. Perhaps the show has influenced other storytellers in George Lucas's sandbox ? and that's good.

    I anticipated Conviction, and I wasn't disappointed. The series has been a little formulaic, but I like the hook. At best, there's been a genuine sense of exploration and danger, and Conviction advanced the story enough to make it really enjoyable to me.

  12. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 28, 2006
    I think Allston is an excellent writer, and because of that I really enjoyed the book on that level. It did give me a decent Star Wars fix.

    The problem, and this effects my rating of the book, is the entire plot of Fate of the Jedi itself. There are so many problems in it's conception, and execution necessitated by having to stretch it for 9 books that it becomes distracting and negatively impacts all the entries. Between Daala, the continued use of Abeloth after her being defeated multiple times, and the boring Lost Tribe(only interesting in JJM's novellas) and the continued stupidity of the Jedi Council who shouldn't be bickering idiots anymore.

    For that I think I can only give it a 5. And if the next couple are as well written and enjoyable from that level, it's unlikely they will get anything other than a 5.

  13. Kalphite

    Kalphite Jedi Youngling star 2

    Sep 4, 2009
    Overall, I feel Allston is, by far, the best author writing this series. Unfortunately, aside from the opener, he was given some of the most boring books to write (almost nothing happens in this book...nor in Backlash).

    That being said, this is the same author from the great Wraith Squadron novels, some good NJO novels...and the author who wrote the two best LotF books (and admittedly the only 2 LotF novels I liked) - Betrayal and Fury. He didn't disappoint in this book -- I just wish the powers that be on the creative writing staff would give him some of the more important books to write...the thought of Denning writing another conclusion scares the hell out of me...

    So this book -- essentially it boils down to the same plot as the previous novels: Luke chases Abeloth to a planet where he's been before, where a female from his past makes an appearance, there's a fight, and it ends in a stalemate. Oh, and Han/Leia/Allana have a random adventure that ultimately serves no purpose but to slightly advance Allana's characterization.

    Three things of actual consequence happen in this book:
    1) Callista is freed -- we no longer have to put up with Luke dealing with fighting his ex-girlfriends...I hope...that went on for far too long
    2) Tahiri was convicted, and escaped prison (predictable...pathetically and depressingly predictable). Honestly, did anybody actually think there would be an intelligent courtroom discussion/outcome from all of this?
    3) Daala is ousted, three leaders appointed to temporarily lead Republic, one of them a Jedi (wait...doesn't this seem familiar somehow? Hmm...)

    The Bad
    -These books don't mesh well together...there is very poor continuity...this book especially seemed out of place. That being said, the different characterization, etc, was out of place in a GOOD way. I felt that the characters were acting like they should be...despite the fact that they haven't been acting this way the previous 6 novels.
    -Poor, rehashed, cookie-cutter plot with Abeloth/Luke

    The Good

    -This book was...entertaining. I enjoyed reading it. In terms of overall enjoyment, arguably by 2nd favorite book of this series...though that's not saying a lot. If Allston could write all 9 novels, FotJ could've been an epic series.

  14. AlyxDinas

    AlyxDinas Jedi Knight star 4

    Jul 12, 2010
    It is amazing that a book which does so much to change the dynamic of the series by ending certain fatiguing plot lines and opening different avenues, thus freeing the series from its laborious pacing, was a much of a disappointment. I will grant that much of this has to do with being forced to follow Vortex and the terrible means by which that book set up this one but not even what genuine good there is to be found within this book can contend with its issues and the fundamental problems of the series.

    And make no mistake, there is good to be found here. The Luke/Ben/Vestara storyline continues to be the series' highlight and although Nam Chorios and the Theran Listeners are not quite as interesting as some of what has come before, the dynamic between the characters still makes the story relatively interesting. The Klatooine/Han/Leia/Allan plotline works alright here too. For the first time in a while, Leia felt useful and I did like Querdan Dei. If anything, though, my favorite aspect of the book was Seha Dorvald and Javon Thewles. Seeing newer characters that are actually interesting was a very good thing indeed.

    Looking at the above, it seems that there's actually plenty of good things about this book but not even all this can outweigh the albatross around the series' neck that is the Jedi and Coruscant plotlines. With what continues to be some of the worst writing and plotting ever in the EU, this aspect of the book (and the series) is so bad, so poorly constructed, and so terribly damning for all characters involved that it really is beyond expression. And the funny thing too is that I get the general sense that the writers feel that they've made it all make sense. This culminates in Allston's incredibly weak handling of the resolution of the Daala/Jedi conflict, which is a tangled mess of pointless and ultimately vapid plot justifications that it becomes (along with the debacle that was Vortex) downright insulting to the reader. And not even the relative worth of all the aforementioned strengths can make up for so much garbage.

  15. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 70.3/12 = 5.86
  16. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 7, 2002
    Although Conviction started out slow, it picked up it's pace towards the middle. When I got past the insipidly out of character Jedi, I felt much better about the book through the Luke/Ben/Vestara plot. But then again, I've never had TOO much trouble with the Luke/Ben/Vestara plot, even in the horrible Vortex. So right from the beginning it was better than it's predecessor...but that's not saying much.

    I did like Allston's Leia/Han/Allan piece much better and for once the characters didn't make me want to fling the book at the wall. Alas, the Jedi still do.

    The funeral of Jedi Master Kenth Hamner was so bad that it felt like Aaron just wanted to get it over with, and I don't blame him. He was tossed that rotting piece of plot line from Vortex and I'd want to get it out of the way, too. But Kenth didn't deserve to go out the way he went out, so the least these guys could have done is give him a decent funeral. "Ho hum. So. Master Hamner's dead. Did anyone want to go out for a bite afterwards?" Yep. Just that lame. I don't even like the Jedi of this period anymore and hope they all go out in stellar fashion. Maybe saving the galaxy from a rabid Nexu or something. Is there a way we can get them all in one place and hold them until maybe some errant Mando drops a bomb on them or something? Oh, wait. We've got them sitting around, all we need is the Mando. I can't wait to see what becomes of Saba in the last book. My bet's on saving the galaxy in a self-sacrifice of epic proportions, or being crowned the new COS. Neither would surprise me. At least Luke had the decency to be ashamed of them for their solution to the political problem.

    The Tahiri plot has officially fell flat. No one knows what to do with her anymore. Ten bucks says we just never hear from her again. Or she dies. Either one would be tragic as she also deserves more.

    I did love Javon and Seha. I am afraid to like them too much, though. New characters never last in this series. But some very engaging character, still. Aaron did a good job of making them more interesting than our tried and true heroes.

    Jaina and Jag fans should be happy. Yeah, they got three pages, but still they smooched. Or something. I find myself not even caring anymore. Still, when Allston does them, he does them well.

    All in all, a pretty meh book. I don't feel like it's Allston's fault, though. Still too many loose ends and bad characterizations for me to give it a truly good score, but it was good enough.

    I give it a 6/10.

  17. Nobody145

    Nobody145 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Feb 9, 2007
    Seven books in and each one just keeps getting worse, and Allston has written such great works in the past, but I've mostly given up by now. I'll talk about the good first since that's a short list.

    As usual the Luke, Ben and Vestara storyline was the strongest part of the book. It was cool when Luke pulled Abeloth's energy out of that girl, and then nice to see Luke pick up a new technique while he was on Nam Chorios, although I sorta wish Luke could've asked about how Jacen was when he was there. Luke was in a rush, still trying to track down Abeloth as soon as possible, but way back in book 2 it seemed like getting a timeline of Jacen's mental state during his journey could turn out to be useful. Nope, Jacen's been mostly forgotten by now. It was very cool to see Luke free Callista from Abeloth so that she could rest in peace finally. I still wish Callista had just remained in limbo rather than brought back just so we could find out she was dead, but still. That really seemed to hurt Abeloth, although while its nice Luke freed Callista, I expected she would've been freed when they finally beat Abeloth (hopefully they don't just lock her back up). And I was pleasantly

    I'm glad Ben wasn't that annoying in this book, personally I find Ben a bit too snarky in the other FotJ Allston books, which gets really annoying after a while. But then here, unlike the Dathomir side-trip in Backlash, things have gotten really dangerous and the Luke/Ben/Vestara plot is progressing steadily, unlike the rest of the novel.

    Vestara is also getting a nice amount of character development, especially since she's essentially cut ties with the Tribe. She's still not a Jedi, but she's working mostly well with Luke and Ben and her romance with Ben is progressing at a steady pace, its not too fast, fortunately. And I thought she had a point about how Luke using her to lure the Tribe in wasn't that much better than her blowing up a tsil crystal as a distraction.

    I don't remember Planet of Twilight that well, but I think most of the details fit with the original book, so that was nice, even if the plot was recycled (Abeloth takes over local Force sect, takes over the leader as a new host, then she flees again). But as the authors sometimes ignore whatever is inconvenient (like most of Daala's history), nice to see some old continuity used well.

    Everything else was incredibly stupid. I thought Caedus taking over the galactic government with the help of a legal droid was stupid. Then they came up with this, with the Jedi coup. They just march on Daala's office and that's it? Its a sad day that the Jedi have to arrest the Chief of State, and they do just before the conspirators expose themselves, talk about inconvenient timing.

    And I hope this isn't the first Triumvirate that leads to the GA Triumvirate in Legacy as... well, its not a very good example. Two members are treasonous, corrupt GA officials and Saba... well, she's not really looking that good either. And just like that they're in charge? Ugh, so stupid. And its kind of disturbing that Lecerson is at first thrown off by Bwua'tu's replacement- that she, a GA Admiral, has the bad taste to mock Bwua'tu's near assassination whereas the Imperial Moff at least respected Bwua'tu? What are they doing to the GA? By now I'm glad they changed the name from New Republic to GA, considering how badly the GA has been portrayed for the last two series (from incompetent to villainous).

    Nice to see Seha again, and if anyone else used her she could make a great recurring minor Jedi. Javon was also a nice new addition- a GA officer who is actually nice and competent, although he was fired.

    Daala... well, she's finally out of office, after being Chief of State for nine books too long (Invincible, MF, and seven FotJ books). None of the Coruscant storylines really made sense, but just glad to have her out of office. Dorvan... still not too sure about him. He finally gets around to writing a letter of resignation, but considering Saba's probably too busy to pay attention to politics
  18. ImpKnight

    ImpKnight Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 16, 2008
    97% boring.

  19. darthcaedus1138

    darthcaedus1138 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 13, 2007

    Don't know how this compares to the other reviews I've given to books in FotJ, but I did like this one. The beginning of the Nam Chorios part was a little bit boring/confusing, but I got over that. The end of this one is a bit too much like the end of Vortex for me personally, though the Callista thing was good.
  20. Kuag

    Kuag Jedi Knight star 2

    Dec 11, 2009
    Conviction was a great installment to the series. Characterization was spot on. The plot was well-paced. Events transpired. New characters were fleshed out (welcome to the world of three-dimensional characterization, Javon Thewles and Seha Dorvald!). Continuity remained seamless from Vortex (with the exception of the Blaudu Sextus revolts).

    I honestly have great admiration for Aaron Allston as both an author and a person. He has a unique ability to not only craft good stories, but he's an exceptional talent at well-timed humor. Luke and Ben's interaction was magnificent yet again. I think most people agree that their dynamic has been the strongest portion of FOTJ. Allston has a penchant for really crafting the respect and love of Luke and Ben's father-son relationship. At times, their banter reminds me a great deal of my relationship with my father. That's the hallmark of a good storyteller.

    The Nam Chorios setting was well done. Allston managed to turn that strange world from a less-than-stellar corner of the EU into a well conceived setting that now seems to fit the SW universe a little better than it did before. Kudos to Allston for fleshing out and smoothing out the planet of twilight.

    The Klatooine development at the end of the novel was a nice change of pace and a great role for Leia's unique skills. It was also nice to see Leia carve up a Sith!

    The Coruscant plot line had dramatic developments, but I thought that the Jedi-led coup d'etat was ill-conceived on the part of the Masters. In a way, this has only proven Daala's hardliners correct. The Sith took control. Now the Jedi have taken control. Democracy has been undermined by both in a span of just four years. What the frell is going on?

    While I didn't like the Jedi coup, Saba as one of the Triumvirs, and the lack of follow up on Jacen's journey to visit with the Theran Listeners, I did think Conviction was second only to Abyss in this series. Overall, Conviction was a boost to the series and not a setback. Here's hoping Ascension can keep the momentum going.

    Overall Score: 9/10
  21. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 98.8/17 = 5.81
  22. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 6, 2007
    This novel completely alters the flow, such as it was, of large portions of this series. The only thing which remains intact is the Luke arc, which at this point has become very repetitive.

    Fate of the Jedi, in concept, has been presented as a political/legal thriller in a galaxy far, far away. Yeah, some of the politics are far fetched and some of the law is a bit goofy, but at its heart thats whats been driving the story. From Daala, to Luke, to Abeloth controlling Jedi, to the Jedi themselves, its all been driven by the politics of Coruscant.

    The problem with the abrupt change of pace is that it throws everything that came before it out the window. It makes Daala's idealistic view right. The Jedi do think they are above the law. The Jedi don't care what the legitimate government thinks. The Jedi see themselves as elitists who have the power to do whatever they wish because they have mystical powers that allows them to push their will on those who don't agree with their views.

    In short the Jedi, and their close friends, now bully those who don't share there views. They overthrow governments(Both the Empire and Alliance are now ruled by Jedi appointees) and just generally don't take no for an answer.

    To me this is the worst possible turn this series could have set for itself. The Jedi couldn't out smart Daala, couldn't beat her politically or legally even though the means existed to do both. I really wanted to see the Jedi beat Daala at her own game. I thought that would make a great story line, one where the Jedi work with others to achieve a common ground. Instead it turned into the Jedi showing how powerful they are, regardless of the consequences.

    What did I like in this book? I did enjoy elements of the Klatooine plot line, though some it it greatly failed as well. Dei was cool, then he died. R2 making fun of C-3PO about the bomb he got impregnated with was fun as well. It was the best page in the whole book.

    The Luke/Ben/Vestara arc was repetitive and at this point has become boring. Shifting Valin and Jysella back to crazy only to have them flip back to non crazy at the end was pointless. The Lost Sith are toothless - their entire fleet is no match for a few Jedi Starfighters, just like they were no match for the Hutt Fleet previously.

    If Luke had a Corporate Sector ship and a few Headhunters the carnage he could raise would be considerable, yet we're made to believe an entire fleet of Sith don't have the ability to even inflict a casualty.

    It's kinda a trend though in this series. The Mandalorians attack the Jedi Temple, the Jedi lose no one. The Jedi attack the Lost Sith last book, and lose no one. Now the Jedi engage the Sith Fleet, such as it is, and lose no one.

    At least the Mandalorians shot that Jedi kid in cold blood.........

    I was also very bothered by the way that Leia and the Jedi used Kenth Hamner's name after his death to trick and decieve Daala and the rest of the government. It's bad enough that the Jedi killed him, but to then use his name and pretend he's still alive......that just struck me as really dishonorable.

    But then that is what the Jedi do now. They lie, cheat, steal and murder people. It's acceptable to the narrative becasue they are the good guys, unfortunalty that doesn't make it acceptable to me.

  23. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 100.3/18 = 5.57
  24. jedimasterED

    jedimasterED Moderator Emeritus star 4 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 10, 1999
    I enjoyed the book. And, because I think some are unfairly scoring the book down due to their feelings about the series as a whole, I'm going to unfairly give it a 10 out of 10. :p
  25. Lane_Winree

    Lane_Winree Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 30, 2006
    For the first time since who knows when, characterization felt right. For the first time in Force knows how long, the book was fun. After the disaster that was Vortex, this Conviction leaves me hopeful for the post NJO EU.

    This book is never going to get a fair shake from TFN Lit, either because expectations are so unrealistic or people are unwilling to look at it in a vacuum. What I can say is that this is probably the best primary canon novel since the NJO ended, harkening back to the Bantam Spectra era and most importantly, touching on the tone of the films to remind us that, yes, we're still in the Star Wars universe. It wasn't overly gritty and dark, something that has plagued EU novels since Troy Denning became the de-facto project lead. It was an adventure, and we've been lacking those for far too long.

    Allston seemed to realize that the Coruscant plots were terrible, so he handled much of that awfulness off-page and spared us from having to deal with it explicitly. He remembered the Luke, Han, and Leia that existed in the films and drew from those characterizations.

    Most importantly, Allston wrote a novel that was genuinely enjoyable to read, one that actually got me to smile. It seems like many have forgotten how important that is, simply being able to enjoy a Star Wars novel. It's because of that I think Conviction is the best novel of this series, and the best of the Denning era, which is why I give Conviction the highest grade I've assigned any novel since Dark Nest, a 9.5/10