The JC Lit Reviews Special: JEDI TRIAL (spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Mastadge, Oct 19, 2004.

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  1. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Here we go again!

    As usual, please rate JEDI TRIAL 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 JEDI TRIAL with a few words (or a lot, as you see fit).

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

    Republic Commando: Hard Contact
    Shatterpoint
    The Cestus Deception
    MedStar I: Battle Surgeons
    MedStar II: Jedi Healer
    Galaxies: The Ruins of Dantooine
    Tatooine Ghost
    Survivor's Quest
    Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
    Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
    Traitor
    Destiny's Way
    Force Heretic I: Remnant
    Force Heretic II: Refugee
    Force Heretic III: Reunion
    The Final Prophecy
    The Unifying Force
  2. ATimson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2003
    star 4
    My thoughts on Jedi Trial are mixed. The authors have created an interesting plot and backstories for characters. This time, the plot has a sence of importance to the war lacking from earlier entries. There's no obvious storyline continuity violations. They managed to portray Anakin without any out-of-place omnious foreshadowing. The book, overall, is fast-paced, if not quite gripping enough to be termed a "page-turner."

    At the same time, the story is bogged down in places by the style, where things are unnecessarily explained and professional soldiers come across as immature. The characters, especially those new to the story, are little better than archetypes. Some (notably Neeja Halcyon and the battle droids) are inconsistent with their earlier appearances. There's too much name-dropping, be it inappropriate (the starfighter Azure Angel) or simply illogical (Jawa). There's a relatively major technology continuity violation whose sole purpose is to allow a pseudodeath (thankfully revealed in the next chapter). And Stephen D. Anderson still hasn't relearned how to avoid an overly busy cover.

    Unfortunately these quibbles, while mostly minor, are constant and thus detract from the work as a whole. It doesn't help that the book is short, either--it appears to clock in at perhaps two-thirds the length of the earlier hardcover Clone Wars offerings. What could've been the best entry is reduced to simply middling.

    Overall rating: 7.
  3. masterskywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2001
    star 5
    Er, how is name dropping a problem? It happens in nearly every SW story.
  4. ATimson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2003
    star 4
    Name-dropping as a general concept I can live with. And I can even deal with references to stuff in RL. I do, however, think that references by characters to stuff they shouldn't know about (or using concepts from the movies inappropriately--how do we have a Republic-trained doctor from Tatooine?) is a valid complaint.
  5. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    So, anyone else read it yet?
  6. President_Sharky Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 2004
    star 4
    I'm on page 200, I'll be done by the week's end.
  7. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    I just finished it in one sitting. First time ever with a SW book.

    The main characters were wonderfully characterized. I loved the secondary characters, also. I felt that they jumped off the page. They were vibrant, funny and endearing. I love Grudo, and Slayke is also cool. Even Pors Tonith is a different villian, and having him as a banking clan member that isn't sniveling or one of the many Dark Jedi?...is very refreshing.

    There are interesting ironies in the book like Anakin's devotion to the Rodian soldier, and the matronly hostage. Especially considering that he later serves an alienless Empire. The relationship with him and Neeja also, as Neeja reminded me very much of Qui-Gon. Qui-Gon even makes an "appearance" alá AOTC.

    And for once, thanks to all that is holy...wonderful, sane, down-to-earth characterization of the Clone Wars HERO that Obi-Wan spoke of and Luke saw beneath the armour. The war has wizened him and made him more mature. He and Obi-Wan share some nice words at the beginning. What little, tiny dark-side forshadowing there was didn't come off as bratty, evil, or even cliché. It was done very well. These writers got Anakin Skywalker better than anything I've ever read. And I've read a lot. ;)

    And let me just say...romantics will love it with a few of the characters. There were a few references to Padmé, also referred to as "my wife", "his wife", etc. And Anakin and Neeja have a lot in common. ;)

    I was very skeptical about the battles and ground skirmishes (being a girl and all), but they SUCK YOU IN. It is very gritty and realistic in some places, but very well-written. You can tell these guys know their stuff. They take us from Anakin the Padawan/Jedi to the beginnings of Anakin the military strategist that was over the fleets of the Empire for twenty years. Something that has been SORELY missing in EU depictions of him. He learns to be a strategist and commander, but true to his character (even as Vader) - wants to be in the action with his troops/pilots.

    I've never teared up about a SW book (except TUF) and this one did it to me several times. The realistic feeling of Anakin and Neeja writing their wives a letter before the battle and leaving their personal things with the captain to return if they died... The book also deals with the Clones and their mortality/humanity very well. I got vaklempt at one of the M*A*S*H-like scenes dealing with clones. :_| Great stuff.




    And after reading, as close as Anakin and Neeja become (extremely close), I still think it could be made to fit that Anakin is Desertwind... ;) [face_mischief]

    9.75 out of 10 - the only reason it doesn't get the .25 is that it was too short. ;)


  8. masterskywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2001
    star 5
    "And for once, thanks to all that is holy...wonderful, sane, down-to-earth characterization of the Clone Wars HERO that Obi-Wan spoke of and Luke saw beneath the armour. The war has wizened him and made him more mature. He and Obi-Wan share some nice words at the beginning. What little, tiny dark-side forshadowing there was didn't come off as bratty, evil, or even cliché. It was done very well. These writers got Anakin Skywalker better than anything I've ever read. And I've read a lot."

    Wow, that means a lot coming from a fellow Anakin fan. ;) I was really looking forward to this book anyway, and now I'm just plain psyched. :D

    Tommorow, yes precious... [face_mischief]
  9. SlackJawedJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2004
    star 4
    Okay... two question for you folk who've read the thing...

    1. Is there anyone esle whom that bald woman on the cover might be besides Ventress?

    and

    2. Assuming Ventress shows up, there's no lightsabre duel shananigns, are there?

    EDIT: Hmph. Probably should have put this in the order thread. Oh well.
  10. Master_OB1_Kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 1
    Dang it how r yall reading this already. I didnt know it was out already. Im a part of a book club and it says it ships Oct 26th, so i guess i'll be getting it soon.
  11. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 2 reviews: 16.75/2 = 8.38
  12. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Now that the review embargo date is over... ;)

    I give it a 9/10.

    It's a solid, military-SF book done in the SW universe. You get Anakin dealing both with being a hero and a general as well as still coping with the death of his mother (twice now) and his keeping secrets from the Jedi Council.

    Plus the decision to Knight him.
    Plus Qui-Gon speaking to him.
  13. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    Give me a couple days, and I'll finish this, if I don't tonight.
  14. ATimson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2003
    star 4
    Now that the review embargo date is over...

    Ah. That'd explain how you get copies, then....
  15. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Ah. That'd explain how you get copies, then....

    Nope. ;)

    I just choose to honor the embargo as to not have my source dry up...
  16. ATimson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2003
    star 4
    Ah. Never mind, then. :)

    (I wish I had sources....)
  17. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 28, 2003
    star 6
    It was a better than previous Clone Wars books, but I felt that it was lacking in certain areas.

    The plot was good, but I felt that the dialouge was a little stale and predictable. I was pleased with the battles, and seeing Palpatine and his adviosrs was quite fun.

    I give it a 6.

    --Adm. Nick

  18. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 4 reviews: 31.75/4 = 7.94
  19. NJOfan215 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 5
    I'm having a hard time deciding what score i want to give this book. I enjoyed it, but it struck me as being a bit off. I though anakin was a little off. I really enjoyed all of the original characters. I thought it was very cool that qui-gon made an appearence. I guess it deserves an 8.
  20. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 5 reviews: 39.75/5 = 7.95
  21. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    My review:


    Summary: The world of Praesitlyn, a vital communications center for the Republic, is attacked by the droid armies of the Confederation and taken over as a first strike against the core worlds and Coruscant. Together rogue force called the Freedom?s Sons and Daughters, Jedi Padawan Anakin Skywalker and Jedi Master Nejaa Halcyon are sent with a sizable force of Clone Troopers to free the planet.

    What Worked: This is what the Clone Wars should be. If you wanted action, you?ve got it. If you wanted some fleet action, you?ll see it. References to Padme? Yep. To sum it up simply, where the first book was about the limits of the Force, the second about deception in war, this one is about war. Written by two well respected Military and Military Science Fiction writers, David Sherman and Dan Cragg, both Vietnam Veterans, the action and tactics are about as realistic as it gets. Like in Shatterpoint, war isn?t pretty, but unlike Shatterpoint, it doesn?t dwell on the affects of war. It focuses on the combat and everything that goes on with it, such as the action, logistics, maintenance, medical, and tactics. Along the way, the military action is fused with a strong sense for tactics and accuracy. We see mass Clone formations, space battles special operations and reconnaissance. The action that comes out of this is top-notch, realistic and exciting. It was difficult to put the book down for entire sections, and the book was a very quick read because of it.
    The choice of characters is interesting as well. In Cestus, we see Obi-Wan, but no Anakin, and in this one, we see Anakin, but no Obi-Wan. We?re also treated with a series of characters that were featured in the short-lived Holonet News site, (www.holonetnews.com) , such as Shayla Paige-Tarkin, Captain Zozridor Slayke and Nejaa Halcyon, who is known to EU fans as the ancestor of fan favorite Corran Horn.
    One of the book?s strongest points is the connections to some of the other books, movies and comics that take place in the Clone Wars and beyond, for some of these characters that are mentioned have connections to the Imperial and New Republic eras, as well as several ship types, like the Carrack-Class Cruiser, Cloud Car and Speeder Bike. Some of the other characters mentioned are familiar as well, suck as Sly Moore, Qui-Gon Jinn, Isard and Valin Halcyon.
    Anakin and Nejaa are two characters that work well together. They have some similarities, such as being fond of action and are both married secretly, something that hadn?t occurred to me until I read the book. The distinction of Master and Apprentice is not present, at least from what I could tell. Instead, they interact together as if on the same level or as close friends. It?s almost ironic that Anakin would find such a person that?s not his master.
    Padme is mentioned for the first time, as Anakin writes a couple letters to her, and while she is not in the novel, we can see Anakin?s deep bond towards her. This is probably what moves him to tell Nejaa about his marriage after finding out Nejaa?s similar position.
    To top it all off, we?re treated to another outstanding cover by Steven Anderson.

    What didn?t work: While this book is outstanding in many ways, there are several minor flaws that I found. First, the dialog in some areas is not that great, almost like something you?d expect out of the Vietnam or 70s era shows or books. It seems a little childish at times between military characters, but it?s mainly limited to just a couple. Odie- I would have named this female character with something that doesn?t remind me of Garfield. Clone Commandos and ARC Troopers- They?re two different types of soldiers, but this book uses the term ARC and Commando interchangeably, which means that there are both on the planet or they?ve gone to the Advance Recon Commando. It?s a little annoying though, to not know if it?s ARCs or regular commandos. Finally, there doesn?t seem to be much correlation between books. The Medstar Duology went to great lengths to establish a medical aspect to the military operations, but
  22. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 6 reviews: 49.25/6 = 8.21
  23. masterskywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2001
    star 5
  24. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 7 reviews: 58.75/7 = 8.39
  25. NJOfan215 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 5
    jedi trilobyte - have you been watching jeremiah.

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