The JC Lit Reviews Special: LEGACY OF THE FORCE: Inferno (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Aug 28, 2007.

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  1. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Troy Denning's second entry and the sixth book in the Legacy of the Force series, Inferno is the book where LOTF starts cooking. We're two-thirds of the way through and each author now has two of their three contributions in.

    Some rules: rate Inferno 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 ahead and review.;)


    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
  2. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Many of my thoughts have been given already in the spoiler thread, but I'll say that this is the book where the books of buildup -- which I've enjoyed -- really pay off, and the powder keg Sacrifice lit goes off. Denning knows how to portray Luke as human yet the Grand Master of the Jedi Order. A vitally present supporting cast, good background detail, and pure action make this book -- a fairly short one yet without feeling short -- lots of fun with a great Star Wars feel. I remain dubious of the new direction flowwalking is taking, once was more than enough with Jae Juun and Tarfang, but overall I'm very impressed with this book and the subtle touches Denning puts into his writing. The superbly intriguing addition of the Korriban Sith (not-so-coincidentally in the middle of the Claws of the Dragon arc of Legacy and just before the big flashback issue) is also a big plus. Overall, a very strong book with good characterization and solid plot.

    9.7/10
  3. Jinn_Soresom Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2007
    star 1
    This is my first book review, so bear with me here-if I do anything wrong, feel free to shout me down.

    Inferno is the sort of book that makes you sit back and go "Woah." This one book had more action than the rest of the series put together. Scratch that. It's not that there's more action, it's just that the action feels more relevant. More momentous.
    I liked Tarfang, but I felt that he was a little overdone. However, the sight of Wookiees being astonished by the Evil Death Ewok was pretty funny.
    When I read the spoilers, I thought "Han Solo's being arrested by...Wookiees?" I would have thought that the Wooks would have taken in the Solos and protected them without reservation, but the deeper look into Wookiee politics and society proved how shallow my understanding of the Wookiees are. They are not a homogenous society. Denning brought back Lowie, and Jacen's thoughts on his own actions were just amazing.
    I loved the visceral feel of the fights in this book-that's because they're fights, and not duels. I felt those hits when I read. This is the sort of book where Luke Skywalker tries to gouge someone's eye out, Darth Caedus shatters someone's knee, and Ben just goes nuts, stabbing a guy then cutting him almost in half to get the lightsaber out, then unleashing the Almighty Backstab (Thief fan...sorry) on Caedus.
    So...yeah. They mean it in this book and there's no holding back. Love it.

    Loved Luke, too. Inferno converted me from the "Let's Whack Luke!" camp into the "Have Luke Fry the Little Sithling!" camp. He was the galvanizing slap in the face that this series needed. He was powerful, he was decisive, he was mighty torqued off, and in the end, he made a decision that I feel was refreshingly...human. For once, here's a character who does the right thing without jumping through flaming hoops of distorted logic that end up leading him to a choice that is technically correct, but leaves us feeling dirty.
    Say what you will, but I agree with Luke's decision to spare Caedus. I haven't felt this much hope for the series since Allston had Ben go back for Kiara.
    I can't wait for Allston's take on Ben since the events of Sacrifice and Inferno.
    Do you realize that Jacen is going to be a Sith Lord for two whole books before it's common knowledge? I'm just sayin'...

    The GAG was pwned, and pwned hard in this book. I like that.

    Darth Caedus has come within a hair's breath of death...how many times in the last two books? Let's see...Mara (1), Lowbacca's Shadow Bomb (2) Ben's Lightsaber Assassination Attempt (3...though it's unknown if Lowie accidentally saved Jacen's life, the fact is that a Shadow bomb in the bridge is an instantly life-threatening.) Ben's Vibroblade Backstab (4) and almost getting blown up in the end of the space battle, escaping with a battered ship under the most marginal of circumstances. (5)
    Luckiest. Sith. Ever.

    Anyways, I liked the space battles, though I do believe that Allston writes them better. I'd also like to read more space battles in this era from Michael Stackpole, but if wishes were fishes, than the Mon Cal would be on top...and they're not, no matter what Niathal says. :p It was nice to see Gavin again too.
    Jaina threw down and kicked some butt. 'Nuff said.
    Alas for poor Kam and Tionne...I know that the loss of her husband will hurt her far more than the loss of her limbs ever could. *Looks to the sky* Rock on, you magnificent Bruce Willis-looking bastard. Rock on.
    Reading about Darth Caedus's reactions to others was...interesting. I liked how he could sense the battle-meld and wistfully look back on a time when he was part of it. He seemed to genuinely regret what he was doing...though not enough to stop. Even the GAG seemed stunned and repulsed by his Gratuitous Dar-oh, never mind. It was nice to read Denning's characters alluding to events in Traviss's books and characters. Keep it up.
    Oh, and before I forget, about Flow-walking-Denning's mocking me. I can tell. I know, I just know that
  4. starlit_goddess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2007
    star 1
    I loved it. I think this was the most exciting Star Wars book I've ever read. I almost always normally end up skipping a few pages of a boring fleet battle or something with a minor character I don't care about. This book, every second I was hooked.

    So, the high points:

    Jacen. In the last book, he just wasn't really hitting it home as the Big Bad of the series, but he's really stepped it up. I actually can buy him as a creepy and valid villian.

    Tahiri. I love her getting more screen time. Her just always wanting that much more time with Anakin is heartbreaking. I like her, so I hope she realizes Jacen is a bad egg and doesn't end up dead at the end of this series, but ah, I have a feeling the death count just isn't high enough yet.

    Ben. Love him. He's 40% assassain, 30% Jedi, 20% teenager, and 10% confused.

    Luke. Whoever complains about Luke in this book is straight up crazy. I loved his scare tactics with Jacen, and even though I was disappointed that he didn't mess him up juuuust a little bit more, it's to be expected when there are still three books left. Like I said...his reaction to Mara's death was sad, but realistic. He was MIA for the first several chapters or so, but by the end, he was ready to do what he had to.

    Han and Leia. I loved their lines at the end about doing what they had to. Their story is probably the most boring in this series, but I did like the Leia/Tahiri interaction and how they've really just had a slow falling out with Jacen, and then, bam. Also, the part with them and the Wookiees, while not doing much to advance the plot, was pretty funny.

    Alema. Not a favorite character of mine, but she made me laugh in the book, her POV was great. I have a feeling she's another one that won't see the end of it, though.

    Jaina. She didn't have much, but I like what she did have. Also, based off this book, it seems to be heading towards J/J based on the fact Jag had waaay more page time than Zekk and most of it was with Jaina.

    Tenel Ka. Her chances of survival are dubious, but no one can say she's another Padmé--I was so proud of her when she told Jacen that he didn't get her fleet.

    10/10 :D
  5. Master_Skywalker20 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 16, 2006
    star 1
    8.5

    I have mixed emotions about this book and all of it has to do with Caedus.

    I feel like in this book there are 2 sides to him. One of the sides is just flat out ruthless and evil and the other is the self sacrificing guy that is just trying to help out the galaxy. A guy that hates what he is doing, but realizes the sacrifice is necessary. I think that the authors need to pick one of these guys, instead of having every chapter be something different. For example, instead of Caedus desiring to have have friends and family he just needs to only love the Dark Side. Its like we have the grey Jedi Jacen Solo and the evil Darth Caedus and they are still fighting each other. One just wants a normal galaxy for everyone and peace and justice and the other is a crazied power freak. One regrets torturing Ben and the other mocks Jaina in a fight. One loves Jaina, the other tries to kill her. It seems like he has alot of internal conflict still.

    Its amazing, that even after all the evil done by Caedus you just end up feeling for him. At the end when he was so emotional that Tenel Ka had came to save him and he gets betrayed, I just felt for him. It was just so sad. I think that as much as Jacen has betrayed his friends and family, they have betrayed him. They hate him, yet they will not listen to him. They would refuse to understand his views. Luke betrayed Jacen. Jacen took it out on the Wookies. I dont know. I am just speechless. It was so sad, So much happened in this book. At the beginning its all calm and nice at the end its hell. You know that Jacens tactics are wrong, yet the authors write him in the sense that he is ok and he is doing everything for the right reasons.

    Also, what side is the Force on. When he became a Sith Lord, the force shifting like it was a good thing and there are also many signs of Jacen taking the right path. I dont really think that the Force takes sides. What do other people think? I think it just wants peace and justice and will help anyone that desires that.

    I do not see this series ending good for Jacen. It looks he will pretty much have to die, which is sad that they took a great character and changed him 100% and then killed him all in a 9 book series. Its so sad. I just felt for everyone in this book. Especially Han and Leia. There last son gone. Overall this series is really bumming me out. I think its interesting and everything, but there is just no way it can end happy.
  6. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    I'm mixed. I'm still not clear where the whole temporal mechanics thing leaves us with Star Wars (which is actually a bigger deal for me than most other things), moving it further and further away from Space Opera to more hard Sci-Fi. And I'm less than convinced with Ben's methods for getting close to Jacen.

    On the other hand, Luke, Han and Leia are always good via Denning.

    I'd say probably a 9.5, less 1.5 points for mucking with possible time travel for a final rating of 8/10.

    I'd subtract more points for the round-table interview but that's not REALLY a part of the book. :p
  7. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Member Since:
    May 28, 2003
    star 6
    8/10

    Overall, it was a great book. It is always nice to read Denning after Traviss due to his ability to really capture the feel of the Big Three. That is not a dig at Traviss, but merely a opinion that few write in Han, Luke, or Leia's heads better than Denning.

    Flow walking is to me the only truly horrible part of the book. I echo the opinions of others, like dp4m, who point out that time travel and other things of that nature bring too much "hard sci-fi" to the space opera that is Star Wars. I understand why Denning likes using it, but I cannot ever really be confortable with it. If Flow walking was a larger part of the book, my score definately would of dropped another point or two.

    That aside, the book was fast and fun. Seeing the Masters of the NJO is always a treat. By my own count, we get at least a brief cameo by Cilghal, Kyp, Kyle, Kenth, Saba, Kam, Tionne, and of course Luke. Sadly Kam is killed, though nobly in defense of the students he had committed his life to training. I would of liked the scence to have a bit more gravitas, especially since few remember that Kam is one of the first people Luke encounter before the establishment of the Jedi Academy on Yavin Four.

    Undoubtedly my favorite part of the book revolved around the growing distruct of Jacen within the Galactic Alliance. The military and other moderate members are begining to see him for what he is- a tyrant and someone who needs to be removed. Darklighter, Bwua'tu, Rabato, Limpan, and all the other military leaders have my support. And I still have a hunch Niathal may jump ship too.

    Tenel Ka impressed the crap out of me. Her devotion to the Alliance over Jacen is finally seen. She is no weak willed, dew eyed lover to Caedus. She is a strong, independent woman who is a accomplished Jedi Knight and ruler of a GA memberstate. I love her response to the Bothan Admiral Babo when his seems confused that she would fire on Jacen and yet still not join the Confederation.

    "In no way do we share or condone the Confederation's recent agression, and the Galactic Alliance retains our full support."

    Then the kicker- "Colonel Solo is not the Alliance."

    Thank the Force there are many within the Alliance who would agree with her. That line more than anything gives me hope that the Alliance itself will turn on Jacen.

    Omas was handling extremely well, despite the fact I am sad to see him leave. For al his flaws, he loved the GA and genuinly worked himself nearly to death to keep it together. His final sacrifice, though a failure in that it did not kill Jacen as he wished, put a nice noble tone to his death.

    In all, many great things are set up for the end of the series. I am eager to see what happens next.

    --Adm. Nick
  8. EwokStromboli Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2004
    star 3
    What's the standard for when a round-robin interview is tucked into the back of a book? I guess that doesn't happen very often, but does it count for/against the book itself? Whatever. I didn't like the interview very much, for reasons I see that others have discussed in the main book discussion thread. I'll leave it be.

    6.5/10

    As for Inferno itself, I find it a bit choppy at times, a bit mechanical at others, and enjoyable for the remainder. I mean, it's a Star Wars novel; it is what it is, and I don't go in expecting high artistry. But a few things were problematic to me:

    The first problem is that I think we need to see the director's cut, so to speak -- or at least I hope so, because I hope strange editing decisions are why some substantial chunks of this book are missing. To wit:

    * Ben implores Jacen to "end it." Jacen replies, on the contrary, we have "just begun." End scene. Two or three scene breaks, and we're back. And Ben is stapped in the Embrace of Pain. Tell me I missed something here, please. (I read most of this book late at night; I might have missed something.) How Ben get there? Did Ben trip and fall into it? Was Ben so incapacited that Jacen just carried him over or simply gestured him there with the Force? Did Jacen trick Ben with promises of candy? What?

    I know an author can't dwell on every detail, but the sequence of events seems incomplete. I know an author can't waste time to explain every object or prop in a book, but for that matter, how'd Jacen get his hands on this device? Did he call GAG Acquisitions or CDW-G and dial up a spare Embrace of Pain? I know we're supposed to believe that Jacen has some remaining, hidden Vong connections given the past appearance of the World Brain, but simply putting a spare Embrace of Pain on a GAG Star Destroyer, without any explanation, strains credulity from my perspective.

    * More importantly -- and someone please correct me if I skipped a passage or a page here -- Luke is dead, everyone believes Luke is dead, Han's sad, Leia's really sad, Tenel Ka's really, really sad (though for other reasons), Luke is dead. Can you believe it?! Luke's dead! (Well, we don't believe it, but that's because it's a paperback.)

    Climax hits, falling action begins, and . . . hey, Luke's alive. Just conversin', you know, adding here and there that Jacen might've been using some Force persuasion and all that. What, no reunion scene? No reflection of Leia's astonishment and astounding relief?

    This struck me as the cheapest Luke's-in-peril plot point since The New Rebellion.

    * Super-duper Flow-walking, as opposed to garden-variety Flow-walking. What's with this?

    Anyway, Denning did many good things in this book. Most significantly, he pushed the action and the broader story forward after fits-and-starts and occasional digressions into Mandalorian industrialization and men's fashions (and socio-economics and military-industrial complexes). Without his metal-butted mentor, Jacen is more pragmatically evil than pragmatically conflicted (though still a bit conflicted, or at least sorrowful, at times); Ben has, after some hesitation, begun to think for himself; and Luke has, well, I'm not really sure what Luke is doing at the moment, precisely, but at least he's well out of his bathrobe now. This book, not Sacrifice, is the pivot point of the series.

    And, by all means, if you're going to have a Posturing Pet Character (PPC), you might as well have your PPC waltz into a Sith stronghold and come out all the more PPC. That section was pretty cool, and a nice little taste into the Legacy era (I guess).

    Nevertheless, although I read most of this book in two sittings (the late Sunday night read really killed my Monday workday), Denning tends to do some things that break me away from the page. One of those is a spontaneous combustion of bickering. This reached its peak in the Dark Nest Trilogy, which one several occasions featured tense conversations that quickly escalated to immature shouting matches, usually just outside the frame
  9. Kidan TFN EU Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2003
    star 5
    My review is up on the main site here: http://www.theforce.net/books/reviews/r_inferno.asp

    I had to give it a 4.5/10
  10. Queengodess Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2000
    star 4
    Just a short review -

    So far, this is the best of the LOTF series. I actually had problems putting the book down every now and then and that has not happened with a SW novel for a very, very long time. It's great to see the Jedi take some action - and to see Luke portayed as the Grand Master he is - and not just sit around and contemplate (and this from the Swedish girl who always considered Jedi to be little more than hypocritical butchers) their own platitudes. And it's wonderful to see people finally, FINALLY, starting to understand just how far Jacen has fallen. Go Tenel Ka! Go Luke! Go Han and Leia!

    Of course there were problems as well. Flow-walking? Okay, this is going too far. Tahiri being an idiot - where did this come from? And why the bloody hell does Luke and Ben just leave Jacen in the end? Not saying that they should have killed them, because I don't hold with that kind of stuff, but taking him prisoner? Gah.

    Looking forward to the next one... 7/10
  11. jedimaster203 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 1999
    star 4
    9.8/10

    Purely because of how hard Luke PWNT
  12. EmperorsBlackBones Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Luke holding Jacen into his chair with the force while he tells him off is by itself worthy of giving this book a 9.8! It's been a long time since I've read a Star Wars book this action-packed and exciting. I really got into the plot, and felt the emotions of the characters, like when Jacen is torturing Ben in the Embrace of Pain. And the introduction of the Sith on Korriban....wow. What kind of role could they play in the future of the series? All in all, Inferno has made me really excited about Fury and the rest of the series!

    9.8/10
  13. Rebelnuts2 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2003
    9/10 for Inferno.

    Sacrifice now seems like the slow climb to the top of the rollercoaster and Inferno has hurtled us down it. Absolutely loved this book! Good to see Luke flexing his muscles and Tenel Ka not being anybody's fool; especially Jacen's. The book marches along at a dizzying pace and is action packed.

    I with hold top marks in anticipation of even better books to follow and a few quibbles:

    1) Flow walking seems very in fashion. Yoda said through the Force they could see the future and the past - I didn't know this meant that they could go strolling around in it like a time traveller but is there any chance this flow walking is going to have some real relevance in the future? Like maybe Tahiri will flow walk back to Mara's murder and see who the real culprit is?

    2) Not enough Jaina. Her parts felt a little bit tacked on - as if she is not integral to the story. Being Jacen's twin you would have thought there would have been more page time devoted to this. It seems that they had grown apart a long time before Legacy of the Force even began. Perhaps there is more to come.

    3) Really missing a bit of Luke and Leia interaction. Guess this can't be helped whilst she's avoiding arrest 24/7.

    This has really whetted my apetite for Fury - can I wait for the UK release or will I have to order from the US again? I need to meditate on that - and then go and read Inferno again.
  14. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 100.6/12 = 8.38
  15. Lord-DarthMerrick Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2003
    star 2
    I give it 9/10

    If only troy denning could write all the legacy books[face_dancing]
  16. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    I'll go with a 9.2.

    I really dug this one, and it's easily the best of the series so far, IMO. Denning's books always have abnormally fantastic pacing, which make them quick reads, but with all the action going on (and his excellent ability to portray incredibly intense and gritty duels/brawls), it's the appropriate approahc and a good change of pace from Sacrifice (whose first half was somewhat slowgoing but eventually coalesced into a fast-paced conlusion, so this feels like the proper continuation).

    Luke was incredible in the book- his "sit boy" scene with Jacen was the highlight (to quote Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back- "Don't **** with the Jedi Master."), and their duel was solid, but I can't get over the decision to not finish him off- I know it's necessary for the series, but it feels a bit artifical...however, with Luke seemingly pondering that very thing in the excerpt for the next book, I'm not going to hold it against this book quite as much as I would have otherwise.

    Only major critique (beyond flowalking qualms) would be that the Jaina/academy subplot really wasn't all that necessary, and I didn't actually realize Kam was killed until I saw it mentioned in this thread (I remember him being described has having taken a few hits, but it didn't seem fatal, especially compared to the more horrific nature of Tionne's injuries)- they really should have had something from is POV or something prior to that, or of Tionne afterwards (as she's now in the same place as Luke is, to a degree).
  17. Furyan_Jedi_13 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2007
    star 3
    If only troy denning could write all the legacy books

    Hell, I'd be cool with that.

    BTW, my copy of Inferno STILL hasn't arrived! Lousy international postal service!
  18. Jinn_Soresom Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2007
    star 1
    P.S. If Luke says "Don't Kriff with the Jedi Master, son," in Invincible, it would just about make my year.
    ...
    Please?
  19. Darth_Naxon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2004
    star 1
    I would give this book a 9.6. The pacing was incredible, and you were really able to get inside the characters minds. I find myself hating Caedus quite a bit, but when his old Jacen personality comes back out, you can't help but feel bad. The part where Lowbacca shadow bombs the Anakin Solo and where Jacen reaches out to him is sad. Tenel Ka finally wises up and disowns Jacen, saying her love is that for someone who's already passed on. Han and Leia consider him dead like they do Anakin, and even approve of a Bothan assassination squad going after him.
    Besides those moments, the action in this novel was great. We had Caedus vs Luke, Caedus vs Ben, Leia vs Tahiri, Leia vs Tarfang (I had to laugh when the Wookiee guard kicked him), and of course all the action at the Ossus Jedi Temple. I found myself hating Salle Serpa, but I just wish they would have told what happened to him. Did he die? Survive? Luke seriously kicked *** in this book, he showed why he is the Grand Master. Even Jaina realizes that Luke probably hasn't even shown a quarter of his potential. I love the scene where Luke breaks Jacen's meditation chair and Jacen can't move, he just sits there legs sprawled out in front of him.
    I also cant help but find myself liking Alema Rar, her craziness just makes me like her, and I almost want her to survive this series (doubtful though). This would have to be my favorite book of the series, as this is the only one I've written a review for. So congratulations for a great book Mr. Denning, and I can't wait 'til Fury comes out!


    9.6/10
  20. YodaKenobi VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    After Sacrifice and some of the spoilers I saw for this book, I was pretty nervous about it. I'm happy to say that Inferno surpassed my expectations and is even better than Tempest.

    The cover: Luke's head and hands look too big for his body :p And like Revelation, the background looks like bad photoshopping, though I do like the concept and the fire.

    I also had to laugh at the dedication for this book. You know you've written a lot of books when you've gotten to the point where you're dedicating them to your neighbor [face_laugh] Bravo Troy =D=

    Okay, now let's get down to the actual book:



    What Worked: I finished this on Tuesday and I'm still a bit stunned at how good it was. Firstly, on pure writing mechanics, Denning is possibly the best EU author we have. The writing itself is always beautiful, the words flow together well, and he only seems to be improving. In LotF, we've seen him actually tightening up his style, cutting out all of the fat in Inferno. When I saw that the book was only 289 pages (well, 297 when you count the prologue), I was hoping that was the reason? some of the best books in the NJO fall short of, or around, 300 pages for the very same reason. In Inferno, we jump from one important scene to another, always pushing the plot forward without filler, and explaining scenes that might have been included by other authors in a few sentences of quick "how" and "why" from the last scene.

    I love this. It makes for a very fast and exciting read, and it feels more like Star Wars.

    And this book is certainly exciting. The first half of this series seems a bit stagnant, especially in retrospect, but here, things are really happening. The conflict between the Alliance and the Confederacy is at a tipping point, with one bad move spelling victory or defeat for Jacen's new empire. And the Jedi? they've finally had enough. Jacen sinks to new lows and Luke finally confronts him =P~ I don't think anyone can accuse this book of being dull.

    The action in Inferno is terrific. Space battles have never been Denning's strength, but they are always beautifully described, and I think he's outdone himself here. The dog fighting sequence between Jaina, Jacen, and Luke near the book's climax is probably the best one of its kind in the EU, capturing the intensity of a lightsaber duel with all the emotion involved, and painting some very vivid images. And Luke's duel with Caedus was almost as satisfying as just having Luke make a fool out of him in his meditation chamber. Finally, someone kicked his ass.

    And that's another thing that was nice about this book. As bad as things seem, as dark as it's become, this is the first in the series where the good guys win, and Darth Caedus loses. After 5 books of him seemingly getting away with everything, the artist formerly known as Jacen Solo gets at least some of what is coming to him.

    Watching Jacen's descent is both painful and intriguing. Maybe even fun [face_mischief] I couldn't help but grin when he said, "Finish it? Ben, we're just getting started." It reminds me so much of the Emperor talking to Luke Skywalker on the Second Death Star [face_devil]

    The Caedus scenes were fantastic. Jacen has become paranoid and at least on the verge of total insanity. I was glad to see the Embrace of Pain coming into play, and a room full of YV torture devices. It ties in to what happened to him in the NJO so well.

    And while we're on that subject, it's nice to see us getting more information on the Vergere/Lumiya relationship and the "plan" that was in play even should the Dark Lady die. Glad to see it was the tie-in to Legacy most of us were hoping for, and I really enjoyed seeing Korriban and the Valley of the Dark Lords in a post-RotJ EU novel.

    But this book is really about Luke, Ben, and Caedus? and what a great conflict there is between the three of them. Every scene seemed memorable and very well-thought out. For the first time I'm actually enjoying what
  21. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    =D=

    Genius. That made my day. [face_laugh]
  22. Nobody145 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2007
    star 4
    I'd give Inferno a 9/10. Best book of the series so far, in my opinion, and has actually gotten me excited about the LotF series since... well, ever, considering the plot of Betrayal was guessed out long before it was released, and I was already disappointed then.

    Luke's still greiving, but he's finally acting, and he's probably done more in this book than he's done in the last five books. Not to mention beating Cadeus not just once, but twice (though the second time was a bit closer, but Luke definitely still won).

    I also like Ben's personality a lot more now. He's still somewhat ruthless, but he's no longer loyal to Jacen, and without that idiotic loyalty to Jacen, he's a lot more willing to think for himself. Just too bad that it had to take Mara's death to turn him into this.

    The Jedi seceding from the GA was another highlight. They've been mostly neutral on everything Cadeus has done so far (interring people, taking over the GA, etc.), but now they're in direct opposition. Although a lot of the Masters are still a bit too... subservient to Luke, but given Luke's stature and his grief, they can't really be blamed, and once Luke finds out about what's been going on, he's back in action.

    Also, Cadeus is an absolute creep and evil now, but given that he's assumed a Darth title, that's how it should be. He even hsa a torture room full of Yuuzhan Vong torture stuff, and that's pretty evil.

    Han and Leia are back in the picture, which is nice, though I still miss Lando. Even Jaina has some scenes, though perhaps not enough.

    The book was a bit short, and nothing's really finished, but it is part of a series, so I don't really think that's a bad thing. And I'm kind of disgusted at what Tahiri's become, but she's never really been all that rigth in the head since the Yuuzhan Vong War, anyway, and without Anakin around, she's a bit player at best. Although I still find Alema Rar very annoying, but I just chalk that as part of the basic flaws of this series. Don't really care for the Korriban Sith, but at least Alema didn't just float around and be annoying like she's been since she was reintroduced.

    My favorite LotF book at the moment, and probably will remain my favorite LotF. Now, if only Luke could've finished this whole conflict, but oh well, three books to go. And I liked that he prioritized saving Ben's soul as more important than taking someone's life, that's a Jedi decision.
  23. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 147.4/17 = 8.67
  24. Commander5052 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2005
    star 4
    I'd give it a 8/10.

    I don't have the time to write a full review, so here are some points that struck me.

    *I was impressed at how Denning managed to show Jacen's evolution to a Sith Lord (having Jacen think of himself as Caedus was a nice touch), especially by having him bombard the crap out of Kashyyyk, and his conversation with Tenel Ka at the end of the book.

    *The Big Three's characterizations were spot-on, as per usual with Denning.

    *So Juun and Tarfang are back. It was good to see the killer fuzzball again, but Juun got very annoying very fast.

    *Bwua'tu is back as well. At least he got some screentime in this novel, instead of constant references to his tactical prowess and how he thinks of everything, etc.

    *The death of Cal Omas was for me one of the most mind-blowing scenes of the book, and elevated my opinion of Denning a few notches.

    *The return of the bugslut, though inevitable, wasn't actually as grating as I thought it would be. The byplay between her and the meditation sphere was actually somewhat amusing.

    *Major Serpa is one kriffed-up man. How that man managed to maintain a military career is beyond me.

    *Kam Solusar is dead, and Tionne is short a limb or two. That somewhat sucks.

    *Luke tries to kill Jacen a year or so too late. The fight that ensues was pretty sweet, though.

    *Ben tries to kill Jacen, but only winds up eliminating Twizzl. At least we can thank him for the removal of one of the most nnoying names in the Star Wars galaxy (seriously, people: Twizzl?[face_plain] )

    *I agree entirely with dp4m's opinion of the interview.

    *Fury excerpt was somewhat interesting. I'm surprised Allston of all people brought back the Omwati, considering that Qui Xux seemed (for a time) like she was going to oust Iella Wessiri.

    That's all I can think of at any rate.
  25. Corusca_One Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2005
    star 3
    One of the best entries into the LotF series so far. Personally I still prefer Exile, however thats just me. Inferno is certainly the most action packed novel we've seen in LotF, and it moves at a cracking pace, perhaps in part due to it being one of the shorter LotF books at only 280 pages. While I wouldn't say it hits the 'excellent' mark on ever level, for me it is certainly one of the most consistantly exciting and above average books so far.

    -Luke: Along with Han and Leia (who we trust Denning to write well by now) Luke has probably the best characterisation in this book. As mentioned he is both human (suffering and grieving after Mara's death and Lumiya's deception) and the ultimate Jedi (Pinning Jacen to his chair, active, yet never acting rashly or without thinking of the consequences).

    It was certainly a highlight of the book to read Luke written so well after a lot of dodgy characterisation and inaction on his part, particularly his interactions with Jacen/Caedus. As to the decision he makes regarding his wayward nephew, I found it understandable, his reasoning makes sense especially considering his and Ben's state of mind at the time, it did not (to me) feel like a blatent way of keeping Caedus in the story.

    However I do think that some credit has to go to Traviss for pushing Luke down this route in Sacrifice - one of many set ups that Inferno deals with.

    -Ben: I was very pleased to see Ben written well in this book, especially after how he was portrayed in Tempest. This builds excellently on the groundwork set down by Allston and Traviss in the previous two novels, he has been trained to kill people, to lie and deceive. Yet, as Lumiya saw, I feel Ben has not been twisted enough by Jacen, there is a core of good in him that I cannot see breaking.

    Interestingly it is Mara who seems to have been largely responsible for keeping Ben from falling to far, not merely her death and the fact he has linked it to Jacen, but he also frequently thinks back to her advice and such. I think this is a great twist and hopefully will be the final redemption of Mara's past - the former Assasin helps her son escape a similar life.

    -Jaina, Jag & Zekk: An interesting aside for these three, Tempest reintroduced Jag and featured some great interaction between Jaina and Zekk, and Inferno continues to build on these characters subtley making what was once a mere shipper concern something more important. It now feels like its building towards a situation where the IWoD is feasible among other things.

    I can still see Zekk being killed, which saddens me as he has recieved some excellent (and long overdue) characterisation in this series. I'm a big fan of Jag as well, a non-force user, connected to the Solo-Walker clan, playing a largish role in the series, and generally well written. Kam's death could have had more page time though, Denning dosn't even tell us if Tionne survives her injuries if i remember correctly?

    -Jacen, Tenel Ka, Tahriri & Flowalking: Ah Jacen, or should we call you Caedus? No its Jacen at the moment? Oops sorry Mr Caedus. He really is all over the place, but intentionally, Alema is right (first time for everything?) he needs guidance, whether its Sith or someone else depends on who you want to see win i suppose. There are moments when he is brilliantly evil, evil in such a "but its the right thing to do" way that it can be genuinly chilling. Like a cultist, or zealot who is absolutley certain their beliefs are right and that their actions are neccesary, regardless in the cost in lives or who they sacrifice.

    While he succesfully converts a new ally in Tahiri, he also loses another one of his most trusted friends; in fact his secret lover - Tenel Ka. Despite the signs showing that Tenel was going to be Padme reborn (against all previous characterisation), its good to see her finally break Jacen's hold on her. What a way to end a relationship as well, you could almost feel sorry for Jacen... almost. Denning wrote her well in Inferno, a former Warrior turned queen, a Jedi and a mother.
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