The JC Lit Reviews Special: FORCE HERETIC III: REUNION (REUNION spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Mastadge, Jun 25, 2003.

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  1. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Since it appears that at least a couple of you have gotten the book already, and Caine is still MIA, here goes.

    The drill:

    Rate REUNION on a scale from 1 to 10. Please don't rate the book until after you've finished it. Thank you.

    Also, please supplement your rating of REUNION with a few words (or a lot, as you see fit).

    Links to previous review threads, in case you missed 'em:

    Shatterpoint
    Tatooine Ghost
    Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
    Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
    Traitor
    Destiny's Way
    Force Heretic I: Remnant
    Force Heretic II: Refugee
  2. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Damn it, I need to get to reading Reunion.

    -Evan
  3. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7
    Aha, I knew it all along---Mastadage was really Caine all along!
  4. J_K_DART Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    My word, is it nearly July ALREADY? Not long till my birthday! *wonders if he can con his parents into buying him FH3 as a b-day present*

    I look forward to seeing some reviews! ;)
  5. masterskywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2001
    star 5
    Up,

    Come on man! We're dying from a lack of spoilers!
  6. Errant_Venture Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2002
    star 6
    Caine is slacking. I hope he's all right.
  7. JacenSoloJediMaster Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 1
    Need.... Spoilers.... Badly!!!!!!
  8. JacenSoloJediMaster Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 1
    Dose anyone have this book yet ?[face_plain]
  9. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Well, the book is officially released today (well, tomorrow's today already on the other side of the Atlantic. . .), so the reviews should start coming in shortly.

    Where are those people who got it last week?
  10. J_K_DART Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    *watches and waits with as much patience as he can possibly muster*

    Btw, where's Caine..? Is he alright..?
  11. --LadyVader-- Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2003
    star 1
    I just got it this morning. I had to have the employee go into the back and get it out of the shipping boxes since it wasn't on the shelves yet.

    I'm around page 30 right now and will be going on a big reading binge (with hardly any posting) to finish this up. I've really been liking this trilogy so far.
  12. Bratty Jedi Master Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 2
    I'll rate it an 8.


    Overall, I thought the main story lines of the trilogy concluded satisfactorily, which is a key thing that I look for in the last book of a set. My biggest complaints with Reunion would have to be Droma as head of the Ryn network (way too predictable) and the conclusion of the Tahiri/Riina conflict. I really don't like the way the latter was resolved, and am hoping for something more on this front from the next book.

    Bratty
  13. masterskywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2001
    star 5
    8.5/10

    It was a good way to end the trilogy. I was sort of bummed with the trilogy overall because not much happened. But it's getting everything set up and in place for the big show down, and believe me, it's going to be BIG. It had some great action, some great character interaction, and I'm happy the way they've resolved Tahiri's crisis. She's a much better character now I think.

    It loses -.5 for Jacen being a whiny annoying punk who doesn't give a damn about the galaxy, or how many people die, because he's STILL wrapped up by his stupid moral posings. Luke makes Jacen look like a chump in this book, and I'm SO glad he does. Luke comes across as the living Jedi dream (He's diplomatic, conserned for life, forgiving but still strong in his morals, and prepared to fight evil in all its forms), and acts as the TEACHER to ZS, quite an honor!
  14. J_K_DART Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Well, guys, the dazed Dart has it - and here's a review!

    FORCE HERETIC 3

    Plotline: Not especially unpredictable, although Pellaeon versus Vorrik 2: the rematch was a surprise (although apparently it'd be better entitled Pellaeon versus Vorrik Round 27...) In terms of plotline, FH3 ties everything up quite nicely. We finally meet Zonama Sekot (although we don't see the shipbuilding like in RP, presumably that turns up in TFP). The Imperials and the GFFA spontaneously work together to defend a relay station to the Unknown Regions. Through this relay station, Leia and Han's communication plot becomes nicely semi-tied-in with the quest for ZS. It's nice to see some loose ends tied up (e.g. Pellaeon's plans for that old heap, the Right to Ruin, or as I noticed in FH1, the fact Luke actually knew what was going on with Tahiri, which is confirmed).

    Pacing: This book's weak point. Several scenes at the beginning of the book seemed to drag. In addition, no sooner did you get into one scene, than we flipped back to another part of the Galaxy for a seemingly-interminable period of time.

    CHARACTERS

    Luke
    One of the two stars of the ZS plotline (Jacen, obviously, being the other). When FH1 was produced, I said that I felt Williams and Dix could easily produce top-quality Luke if they chose to. Well, they chose to. Some of the Luke scenes in here are the most memorable in the entire NJO. No, he doesn't get any action, but he is without a doubt the leader. Yes, it's obvious the quest for ZS was Jacen's idea, but it is Luke who is in charge - as we see when the Jade Shadow lands on ZS, and Jacen is actually told to stay inside while Luke and Mara meet with (what they think is) the Magister. Two Luke scenes stand out above all the rest; the first, is the scene where Luke talks with Jabitha about Anakin Skywalker. Oh, I could envision that scene! The second was the conversation between Luke and ZS in the form of Anakin Skywalker. Both these scenes were incredibly powerful and well-written, and presented Luke well. He offers advice on the Force to a planet! Only Luke Skywalker LOL! As with FH1, there *will* be complaints about the lack of Luke action we see, although I would point out, when Sekot's testing begins, Luke takes the forefront; Saba refers to Luke as being the first to react when the roof caves in (I actually like the way Saba calls him the Jedi Master, as though Luke is the definition of the title). Luke is the first to realise Sekot is testing them, and is in-character throughout (imo).

    MARA
    Well, at the start we finally see why Mara was on-board and piloting; she's not a pilot, she's a *navigator*, the two skills seemingly being quite different (as we see at the start). However, Mara seems quite superfluous to a lot of this, and spends the book perpetually losing her temper and being a bad diplomat who needs to be calmed down by her husband. I have to admit, I sadly wished the navigator had stayed behind with her ship.

    JACEN
    An excellent characterisation. Probably going to be the least-sympathised with on these boards, in light of his response to whether or not he wants Sekot to help with the war-effort (thankfully Sekot put the same question to Luke, and accepts Luke's point-of-view, not Jacen's). Jacen is said, by Sekot, to love Danni. He is well-written (as we'd expect, given the two previous FH books) and is actually a little slow at times. Sekot believes there will be a tie between itself and Jacen, which is interestingly put.

    HAN
    As in the previous FH books, Han seems a little hen-pecked; but he is well-written this time, and is vital to the plotline, particularly with his stunning piloting skills.

    LEIA
    Hen-pecks Han a bit, but again is quite well-written (hey, Han and Leia get to play an important role without the kids hanging over their shoulders!)

    JAINA
    Isn't too important to this novel. Sure, she helps out Tahiri (arguably) and does a little fighting, but that's about it really. It was nice to see a Solo kid take the back stage for a change, alt
  15. J_K_DART Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Hmm, interesting - so far, ratings are 8, 8.5, and 9... ;)
  16. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 3 reviews: 25.5/3 = 8.5/10
  17. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 9, 2000
    star 6
    Great Big Smelly Spoiler Review...

    D
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    A
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    S
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    !

    I enjoyed this one rather more than Shane and Sean's two previous attempts... they seem to finally be getting more of a handle on the characters and continuity of the GFFA. Either that or someone at LFL's been reading the criticisms here and at the wretched hive of scum, villainy and off-topic posting that is RASSM...

    But - how do I rate this? What does 'one' or 'ten' mean on this scale, anyway? And what are we rating here - the novellists' effort (8.1/10), the plot and pacing (5.4/10) or the continuity (6.8/10, largely because they finally included the ISD Relentless and gave some numbers for the Vong fleet - even if Pellaeon basically pasted them with two ISDs and no support ships)...?

    That said, I still had a whole heap of quibbles - but they didn't actively annoy me as much as previously...

    Anyway, Jacen and Luke (supported by Mara, a generaly unconscious Danni Quee, and several other characters - notably Artoo - who get even less dialogue or characterization...) find Zonama Sekot and try to talk it into joining the war, while Han, Leia, Droma, Jag and Pellaeon defend a remote relay base against the Yuuzhan Vong, Threepio, having been slumped in the cargo bay switched off for the first chunk of the novel, get to do some translating, and Jaina delves into the schitzophrenic darkness of Tahiri's mind.

    I think you can guess what happens...

    Stuff that annoyed me was various. Mara's characterization is improving, but she seems permanently one-note tetchy - not the Mara of Tim Zahn and Kathy Tyers. The rest of the characters are just unremarkable, except for Tahiri's new personality, which seems to consist of her having no psychology and speaking in cod-archaic dialogue...

    As to Coruscant... where are the survivors? Were they just all killed off-camera after the Jedi gave them that uplifting pep-talk in Rebel Stand? And why are the Yuuzhan Vong modifying metal buildings?

    The relay station - connecting the GFFA with the Unknown Regions - was an utterly useless McGuffin. Not only does the depiction of hypercomm technology here probably have continuity problems, but there was no real reason for the Vong to attack it in the way they did, and quite apart from anything else, I have a hard time believing that Pellaeon contacted Fel through a NR military comms system in Dark Tide:Ruin... :p

    It could have been a monitoring base, a secret prison, or something else more inherrently interesting without changing the relevant thread of the plot - which was about the best part of the book - and at the
    same time improving the credibility...

    Oh, and that reminds me. The new excuse for why the Unknown Regions are unknown is that the GFFA is in the course of a billions-of-years-long collision with a Dark Matter galaxy that's fouling up hyperspace...

    ...?!

    Now IMHO, there are several things wrong with this. It's a direct introduction of science-theory into what should be space fantasy - one of several pieces of abruptly 'hard-ish' science peppered through the
    book - there are moments where starfighters seem to be wanting to fly like StarFuries. It leans too heavily on the silly 'they're all over on that side of the Galaxy' view of the Unknown Regions that I dearly
    hope Zahn just ignores in his duology. And most importantly of all, it's totally unneccessary. Take a look at the borders of any rl superpower from Rome to the USA by way of Han China. They stop at places like rivers - which without their influence would serve as arteries, not borders; mountain ranges and deserts - which make slightly more sense, but are still transected by some of the world's most economically important trade-routes and pipelines; and totally arbitrary lines on the map. They stop, in short, at places which are defined only by the central authority's need for retrenchment as part of a propaga
  18. Jedikuvamoch Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2002
    star 1
    What is this trilogy that was mentioned in the above review coming out after The Unifying Force has been released?
  19. J_K_DART Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    2005 lol, so there's plenty of time to save up 8-}
  20. Bratty Jedi Master Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 2
    It is a post-NJO paperback trilgoy by Troy Denning that is coming out in 2005 (March, July, and October, IIRC). So far it is the only news we have of anything post-NJO.

    Bratty
  21. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    TmcE -- Do you have a final rating to go with that review?
  22. masterskywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2001
    star 5
    Remember, in Traitor the Vong decided to use the remaining 900 Billion survivors on Coruscant as a weapon. They sent them out in those sphere ships rememeber?
  23. Thyrsan4Blood Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2002
    star 3
    THINGS I LIKED

    ? Saba finally getting gritty with her Barabel ways. If it wasn't for that meddling Jacen, she woulda been a total badass! [face_devil]

    ? Tahiri's transformation. Her scene where she joins with Riina is good one. This is great development for Tahiri. But again is another missed mark in the great search for meaning behind the death of Anakin Solo.

    ? Han and Droma are like a married couple, or at least old buddies from college. Leia was so jealous!

    ? Nom Anor gets royally screwed twice. Oh that Shimmra, oh he's quite good at what he does. I like Nom Anor, but I definitely don't want to see him having an easy time.

    ? Anakin Skywalker's appearance. I wish Luke would have found out more about his father from Zonama Sekot though.

    THINGS I DISLIKED

    ? Tahiri with shoes! :mad: Come on now!

    ? R2 is in the book for a single scene. Tekli is barely in the book as well.

    ? Speaking of short appearances, why was Mara Jade even in the book? Other than her navigation at the beginning, there was really no need for her at all in the story line once they arrived on Zonama Sekot. I still can't understand why people can like Mara Jade and dislike Jaina Solo.

    ? Maybe it was because I put the book down after Part 3 and went to bed, but I just was disinterested with the story in Part 4. I think the "Crisis at Esfandia" was a bit overblown. The whole thing with their ground mission and Tahiri needing to prove herself to me was excess. I would have preferred to see the book end with Tahiri "unproven." I belief there was some suspense in the Zonama Sekot-thread in Part 4, but there seemed to be little in the Esfandia-thread. And I understand the trilogies title, but did we really need to see another "heretical" group forming on Zonama Sekot? Really?

    ? "Hello my name is Jaina Solo, and I killed the most feared warrior the galaxy has seen since Darth Vader with a severe handicap, but for 3 books now I seem like any normal person."

    ? Jag Fel? I like how his character is developing, but I think it's a bit too fast. He spent an entire lifetime among the Chiss, which practically makes him a Chiss, just the new albino version. And there is still some conflict, but only some conflict between his Chiss upbringing and his new Alliance standing. I would just expect such a change to be more drawn out, but I guess considering the shortness of the remaining books, that is not an option.

    GRADE

    Because of Tahiri's waring shoes, I can't see how anyone can give this book higher than an 8.5. Yeah, it's that important to me! I know she's supposed to be a new person and all, but that doesn't mean she gives up what she is! Riina never wore shoes! All I gotta say, is they better come off by TFP.

    8.0.

    OVERALL

    I think this book did well through the first 3 parts, but then the final part dragged on a bit too long and was not very suspenseful. So through the first 300 or so pages I couldn't put it down. But I kinda struggled to get thru the last 100. I was motivated by what they were going to set up for TFP rather than how they were gonna wrap up this particular story.

    REMAINING QUESTIONS?

    What's with the Widowmaker? In the Epilogue, it mentions it at Esfandia. But how did it get there from the Mobus system? Where is it actually? If it had traveled from Mobus to Esfandia, wouldn't Captain Yage have informed Leia/Han & Co. about Luke/Jacen's mission on Zonama Sekot?
  24. Thyrsan4Blood Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2002
    star 3
  25. Ph0enix Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 4
    8.5/10

    It's pretty good (Still not as good as Traitor in my opinion though). I wish they would have showcased more of Zonama Sekot's technology.

    oh and....

    SEKOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    can't wait to see more of him.
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