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

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Jun 5, 2007.

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  1. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The latest book in the Legacy of the Force series, brought to you with spoilers allowed. The halfway point of the series and Karen Traviss's second contribution to the series, it's been anticipated as the book where Jacen makes his sacrifice and takes his Sith name.

    Some rules: rate Sacrifice 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
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/literature/b1
  2. StarNeptune Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2004
    star 1
    10/10

    This book = Instant win.
  3. DVader316 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2000
    star 7
    Finished it a few days ago and I must say that I absolutely loved this book. Even though Mara's death was foreseen fairly early in the book it was still a shock when it actually happened. Dont get me wrong, Im not a fan of hers, but I was saddened when she died, if only for Luke and Ben. And Traviss did do a very good job with her in what would be her final appearance in an SW novel, making her sympathetic and humanizing her (in my eyes, at least).

    Speaking of which, the same can be said of Fett after this book, although Im still not exactly sure how I feel about that just yet. Personally I felt that there was a bit too much of a Mando love fest from the author in this book; I found those scenes more of a distractant from the real action more than really be interested in what was actually going on with Fett's fractured family on Mandalore.

    With that said, though, I loved the book, and I love how Sacrifice changes the rules of the GFFA yet again, but most specifically for the Skywalker / Solo clan. In many ways, this book reminded me of SbS, and is arguably the darker of the two novels, although its debatable which book is the more important in referrence to the EU as a whole (time will tell as far as that goes).

    9 / 10
  4. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    Bought and finished it today.

    I thoroughly enjoyed it. Fantastic stuff all in all.

    The only thing I really didn't like was the cropping up of words such as "twerp", "prat" and "jerk", since they don't sound at all "Star Wars" and would pull me out of the universe each time.

    8/10
  5. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 27/3 = 9.0
  6. whiskers Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    8/10. A solid book. A good and enjoyable read with some very good moments in it.
  7. saber_death Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2005
    star 4
    i loved this book. while there were a few things i'd have done differently, such as a little more Han/Leia and little less Mandos, the overall storyline was great, and very well written. IMO Jacen is finally becoming a worthy villan both personally and politcally; the Jedi all acted in character, from Kyle's joke about Fett to Luke dominating Lumiya; Ben got some good development; and Mara got a great final starring role.

    overall, a great book that makes me look forward to Inferno and the rest of the LOTF series.

    10/10
  8. Kaje Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2005
    star 4
    The only one that bugged me was "nutter."

    Anyway, I finished this book yesterday, and wow. I was firmly in the Kill Luke camp, and though I still think that might have been the better way to go, I feel I can get behind the Kill Mara decision. I wanted Luke out of the way so that the younger generation could take the stage, and I get the feeling that the death of Mara and Luke's somewhat unjustified (in Jedi terms) cold-blooded killing of Lumiya may cause Luke to take a backseat from now on, or at least once the present stuation has ended. Jaina has finally decided to stop kriffing around with her two boytoys and get down to the business of being the Sword of the Jedi. Ben knows Jacen's becoming a Sith - let's hope he tells Luke about it real freakin quick. Thank the Force he's finally out of his Jacen-worshipping stage.

    I was disappointed that Lumiya died, though I'm glad we finally got some real confirmation that she was doing all of this for Jacen and the Sith cause, rather than out of hatred and revenge against Luke. Makes her such an interesting character, and one of my favorite Sith Lords (alongside Bane and Krayt). Mostly I'm disappointed that we almost certainly won't be getting a Lumiya cover.

    I was impressed by the way Jacen and Niathal took over the Alliance, though I wish the seeds of it (Jacen's initial amendment) had been planted in an earlier book. As it is, it seemed to come up a bit too fast.

    I like the Boba/Mirta/Mandalore stuff. I like that the devastated Mandalorian society is making a small comeback. And I love the new fighter. Bes'uliik = wonderful.

    I'm liking Darth Caedus. I'd say he has the makings of a pretty good Sith, though unfortunately he probably only has four more books to prove it. I'm really hoping that after LOTF, we get another nine-book series about Jacen's Alliance versus the Jedi, Mandos, Imperial Remnant, and Confederate Remnant.

    I'm not good at grading, but I'll go with my gut and say... 8.5/10. Yeah, that sounds about right.
  9. rhonderoo Former Head Admin

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2002
    star 9
    This book was excellent when it comes to characterization and brought us the best Luke we've seen in a long time, with TUF the only thing coming close. Her Mara was likewise characterized extremely well.

    I didn't mind the Mandos, although sometimes I found myself impatient for the juicier parts of the Skywalker storyline, but towards the end it really paid off. Had it been me, I don't think I would have brought back Boba's wife, but there could be a reason farther down the line, so...meh. I can live with it.

    I love the way Karen takes inside Jacen's psychosis and shows us how demented he really is, like when he's trying to explain to a dying Mara that she should be proud.

    A solid 9/10.
  10. LeeKenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2002
    star 6

    "Look, Jabba, next time you want to talk to me, come see me yourself. Don't send one of these twerps." - Han Solo. Star Wars Episode IV, A New Hope.
  11. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 62.5/7 = 8.93
  12. DVader316 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2000
    star 7

    Im hoping that we get another series featuring Caedus v. The Galaxy, too. Ive got the feeling that this initial 9-book series is a test run to see how the fans react to further books in this vein down the line (one can hope, anyway).
  13. dark_jedi666 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    I am very pleased. I was afraid that Karen Traviss was going to let us down, and that it would hurt the series as a whole. Let me say I was wrong. The book was very well written. There wasn't much I did not like about the book. In fact the only thing I felt was wrong was the lack of Leia/Han.

    From beginning to end this novel kept me into it. Seeing Jacen finally make his full turn to Sith was well done. The death scene of Mara, while not as well done as either Chewie, or Anakin IMO, was still well written. But what I like most is how Ben is finally starting to see how Jacen really is, even though he is blaming it on Lumiya. I wonder what is going to happen when Ben figures out it was Jacen who killed his Mom.

    Let's see how Inferno is handled, but this book gives me a lot of hope for the rest of the series.

    My rating, 9 out of 10.
  14. Kaje Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2005
    star 4
    I thought the other books in the series had too much Han and Leia, so I found their absence here to be a refreshing change of pace.
  15. Stackpole_The_Hobbit Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    You'll get your Han and Leia in the next book to be sure; Denning LOVES writing them :p

    I of course loved it, especially the Mando'ade and the scenes on Manda'yaim. I actually enjoyed galactic economics lessons and how it ties in with politics for once :p

    I want a Bes'uliik!

    I'm gonna give it 9.5/10 I think.
  16. fuzzyjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2006
    star 1
    I was so let down with this book. I have loved all the books leading up to it in this series, but, to me, it just didnt do it for me. I felt like there were long streches of prose that had little to do with the story line. I was also so mad at how the deaths were handled.

    6/10
  17. chiss_man Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2002
    star 6
    Good characterization of Luke and Mara, which made the end all the more tragic. Despite what some might say about them, I actually enjoyed the Mandalorian portions of the book, and didn't think they distracted from the main push. Some very minor issues aside, a great read all around. 9/10
  18. King_of_Red_Lions Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2003
    star 3
    Great book.

    I'm not a huge fan of Traviss and her glorification of Mandos, but she did a fairly good job with this book. After the prologue.

    Fitting farewell for Mara. I was surprised to see Lumiya also bite it.

    I enjoyed the Boba Fett parts but he seems like a different character. He's a leader now, not a loner. And I have to suspend disbelief every time I'm reminded he's running around with his grown grandaughter. Seriously, folks are getting around good for their age. And one time he mused about having 30 good years left. And I thought Pellaeon was a dinosaur. Seeds were planted that he'll go after Jacen but I really hope he's not the one that brings him down.

    I didn't miss Han and Leia that much.

    Good to see Kyle Katarn given some healthy lines.

    This was the hump book and I'm excited about the ride down the hill.

    7/10.



  19. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 103.0/13 = 7.92
  20. crazythorn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2007
    star 1
    I put the final track of RotS on repeat, reread Mara's death and the aftermath, and cried harder than I have in months. Mara resonated with Zahn's Mara (or, at least, with Mara from the Allegiance reading I did to gear up for this book) beautifully; her time with Ben was absolutely touching; her last note to Luke was beautiful. The minimalist way KT handled Luke and Ben's reactions to her dying was beautifully appropriate, too. Jacen gave me shivers (well, okay, sometimes they were "wtf" shivers, but lots of shivers), and Lumiya... I've been indifferent to her through the series. But I loved her in this book. She was sharp and clever and brave and stuck to her duty, and wow, do I regret that she kicked it. Same for Ben, but at least he lived. The "main storyline" (non-Mandos) was perfect.

    A point off for the Mandos. Not for them being there -- I had nothing against them, and am quite fond of Mirta -- but because I can't see how their being there has anything to do with anything else in the series.

    9/10.
  21. Carnage04 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2005
    star 5


    I would like to state for the record that I have bashed Karen Traviss in the past and I don't really care for the Mando stuff at all. After one go around with the first three books, I favored the third...but in the second go around I realized I was wrong and I really rather enjoy Traviss. After seeing Mara's character get tossed around into several different characterizations, I felt that this book brought her back to what I think Mara should be like. She was written fantastic. She also did a great job with Ben, although I think he has been one of the best written characters throughout the series. Some of his parts with Mara were quite touching, and seeing the horrors of war (His friend getting himself killed to cover for his assassination job....Jacen talking with Lumiya) and how they affect such a young Jedi were also quite sad. After delving into Bloodlines a second time, I really started to appreciate the Boba Fett/Mando parts but I almost felt as if the Fett aspect of this book was a little less exciting and simply what was expected....with the Sintas part being tossed in so that there would be some element of surprise. Still, I did find some of the cultural parts interesting. At times there are Stereotypes in Star Wars (Peaceful Ithorians, Greedy Hutts, Freedom loving Corellians) and we really don't have any insight into the "Why". That makes me appreciate the delving into Mando culture a little more.

    I thought the Lumiya scenes were all well done.....those with the Sith Ship, Alema, her chasing Jacen, her realization about Tenel Ka, her fighting Mara, her last fight with Luke.....all well done. The Niathal, Jacen, Omas triangle was done very well as was the Omas/Dur Gejjen deal. (I was not sad to see Dur Gejjen go...mostly because I have a problem with pronouncing his name and by extension...remembering how to type it.) Of course, she also handled Jacen pretty well too and took the first step towards making Jaina - his twin sister - the character that she should be.

    With all the Signs pointing to Mara Jade as the Sacrifice, I had mentioned in many threads that it made no sense. Jacen didn't love Mara. That isn't a Sacrifice. The Sacrifice had to be something more philosophical. The lead up to the book had a lot of people clambering for a big name to die. Traviss did a fantastic job of satisfying both sides of the coin. Blood was spilled, but the actually killing of Mara wasn't the sacrifice...it was sacrificing the bond between Jacen and Ben. Excellent. For me, Jacen's ACTUAL turn was the moment he realized that this would probably in fact make Ben angry...and if he was angry he may yet become a great Sith.

    My only real complaints about the book were the lack of any real progression of the, you know, huge civil war that is raging in the galaxy. The only time that aspect came into play was the Omas/Gejjen talks. Other than that, we heard little about it. The Luke/Lumiya fight seemed VERY rushed. I was confused when they went from flying to dueling...although the idea behind the confrontation (To make Luke think Lumiya was the one who killed Mara) was good. My last complaint was that Luke was written a little bit too edgy....before Mara's death. The entire book took him away from his usual serene and calm self and had him getting a little "Jacked up". This really isn't Luke Skywalker at this time.

    Overall, a very satisfying read. For all of those that are Mando/Traviss haters I recommend reading Bloodlines and Sacrifice one more time with a very open mind. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

    9/10
  22. YodaKenobi VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    This isn't just one of the worst Star Wars books ever, it's actually one of the worst books I've ever read. A big step down from Denning and Allston's efforts in this series.

    What Worked: The first thing you notice about Sacrifice is the cover, and it's gorgeous. The best cover of the series and one of the best that's ever adorned a Star Wars book. Mara looks great, heroic, with a beautiful Coruscant cityscape in the background and the orange sunset? a fitting last picture for such an amazing character. I was a little disappointed that it seems like they darkened the image from the one that was released back in February, and Mara seems a bit fuzzed, but that's a minor quibble. Still a great image.

    I really liked Admiral Niathal in this book. In Bloodlines she came off as a typical Star Wars villain politician, but we really got a glimpse of some complexity here. She's ambitious but genuinely trying to do the right thing? she's just oriented towards goals that also serve her ambitions.

    I think my favorite parts of Sacrifice were the fights though. The duels between Mara and Lumiya, and Mara and Jacen, were really inventive and well-described. I always appreciate it when an author takes the time to make the action in these books exciting, and Traviss did a good job of it this time around.

    There were also some memorable quotes and I liked the emphasis on the Sith tassels again.



    What Didn't Work: This novel is probably the ultimate example of, "Don't judge a book by its cover." It is so bad it's ridiculous. The characterizations are atrocious, the plot is illogical, it's largely boring, and there is a general sense of sloppiness that runs through it from beginning to end.

    Traviss' writing style is often like reading a newspaper. It's so mind-numbingly boring I fell asleep for two hours after reading the first 8 pages. There were some improvements in this book as far as descriptions though? curiously, they were mostly in the Mandalorian sections. One of the best descriptions is the cantina Mirta and Boba go to. Compare it to the vita juice bar Kyp and Mara are in :p

    The introspection is like reading a children?s book. Traviss not only tells us what the characters think and feel, she tells us how we're supposed to think and feel about it. This sort of handholding narrative-manipulation is a really poor way to go about writing. Books are supposed to be a passive medium. This is a probably a place where reading books would help construct a more enjoyable story.

    It's almost as if the writer wasn't paying attention to what she put down on the page from one sentence to the other. You see this in little things, like in the second chapter when Boba acknowledges his failures as a father and husband, and then thinks about how he's excelled at everything but being Mandalore, or in the final duel with Lumiya when this is said:



    He jumped out of the cockpit and waited for her to leave the safety of her vessel, standing with his lightsaber in both hands.


    And then 10 lines down:

    Luke drew his lightsaber and temporary comfort flooded him.


    There are things like this all the way through the novel, leaving one to wonder if anyone read it through first. This isn't contained to these little flubs though. There are some massive continuity issues in this book as well. At one point, Mara actually journeys to Hesperidium to have a duel with Lumiya. The only problem is the Yuuzhan Vong destroyed Hesperidium in Traitor? not just made it unlivable like Ithor, but actually pummeled it into dust and it was used to make a ring around Coruscant. This is akin to Mara and Leia stopping for tea on Alderaan with Qui-Gon Jinn.

    Another maddening mistake is that the conclusion of Tempest seems to have been completely forgotten. In it, Luke yanked Ben out of GAG and made him come home to keep him safe from Lumiya and Jacen and in Exile Ben ran away? when he comes back in Sacrifice, Mara and Luke magically act as if it's okay for Ben to be in GAG
  23. LucasBuiltMeHotRod Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2002
    star 2
    2/10

    I reeeally did not like this one! I thought the Mando stuff was very distracting and their depth (while respected) was overkill. -1

    I thought Mara being the sacrifice was a wimpy decision on the writers' part. -1

    It made sooo much sense for it to be Allana in so many ways! -1

    The "moral of the theoretical sacrifice" explanation was salt in the wound. -1

    Lumiya's death robbed me of the intensity of what she would do when Jacen's family was out of the bag. -1

    And her reaction was a huuuuge disappointment to me. -1

    Lack of Han kills me, as Ive found his character to be the most fun in the series thus far. -1

    The boneheaded Jedi Council still clueless. And the whole "Lumiya is among GAG. Jacen's acting dark. Nope! No connection, Im stumped!" routine is starting to just feel flat out insulting to the characters and the readers! -1

    AND NO LANDOOOO!!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

    I did like Luke's method of killing Lumiya though +1

    And the narrative of Ben disappearing in the Force was well written. +1
  24. jagsredlady Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2002
    star 4
    I agree 100% with YodaKenobi?s post.

    It was a complete waste of my time. I was very disappointed.

    It took me a lot longer to get through Sacrifice than it normally takes for me to read a SW book. I had to keep putting the book down in disgust every so often at the mischaracterizations. The Jaina part (covered by YK above) really annoyed me as a Jaina fan.

    There's also that little scene with Leia and Mara, where the author shows Leia to be completely unsympathetic as a character. Shrewd-politician Leia, who was the leader of the rebellion, is uncharacteristically clueless about everything, and seems more interested in the huge plate of dessert in front of her which Karen goes to great lengths to describe. :p

    The book also put me to sleep a few times. :p The writer didn't engage me as a reader, it wasn't a page-turner for me as it apparently was for some. No mystery, no suspense, it's all laid out for you.

    This book is all ?tell? and no ?show?. I prefer to process what I am reading for myself, I don't like having my hand held and being spoonfed everything.

    Repeated throughout you?ll see two paragraphs followed by a sarcastic sentence in first person POV. But the first person POV character lacks a distinct voice. Lumiya sounds like Mara and Mara sounds like Lumiya.

    Another thing that was annoying to me was the way Mara kept referring derisively to Lumiya as cyborg. Isn?t Luke part cyborg as well?

    As far as the much-touted Prologue is concerned, it didn't feel right. It read like fanfic to me, a bad one at that. :p

    "She tried to kill my kid. For that, sweetheart, you're going to have to answer to me. I'm coming for you, and soon.

    I think I can get some sleep now. I feel more relaxed already."

    Um...yeah...


    1/10

  25. LifeFORCE Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2002
    YodaKenobi:

    Heh. For a novel you really didn't like, you sure took the time to pick it apart ? and quite thoroughly, too.

    For that, I applaud you because, frankly, I *missed* at least half of what you pointed out when I read "Sacrifice." Aside from the characterization problems you shine a light on, the biggest error would have to be the blown-up moon being back in one piece as if nothing ever happened. I'm still trying to figure out why I missed this stuff, and all I can chalk it up to is the fact that I read so many books, work a fulltime job and partake in other non-reading interests that I *forgot* about events that transpired in older books, particularly the NJO series. Perhaps some authors and editors suffer from the same thing? (Although, in their case, it isn't an excuse since they're being paid to do a proper job ... no, I don't expect perfection, but 95 percent good isn't asking too much, is it?)

    I only have one bit of disagreement WRT your criticisms, and it centers on Jacen's manipulation of the political process: Namely, have you ever studied the legislative process at the state and national levels? I ask because it's quite common for seemingly "innocent" legislation to be slipped into much larger bills and get by unnoticed (or very little noticed) into law. At which point, of course, there's an uproar when it begins to affect people's lives. They generate nice "outrage" stories, as we call them in the biz.

    WRT "Sacrifice," I'll give it a 6/10 rating. I can't give it worse, since I missed a lot of what you pointed out, and so it wouldn't be fair of me to do that. So, in the end, the score represents what I genuinely thought of the novel prior to reading this thread.

    LIfeFORCE
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