The JC Lit Reviews Special: MEDSTAR II: JEDI HEALER (spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Mastadge, Sep 24, 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 HEALER 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 HEALER with a few words (or a lot, as you see fit).

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

    Shatterpoint
    The Cestus Deception
    MedStar I: Battle Surgeons
    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. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    It's officially out today. Anyone read it yet?
  3. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    I'm getting mine today.
  4. masterskywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2001
    star 5
    Groovy! I'll go and pick it up today.
  5. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    Just got my copy. I'll probably finish it this week.
  6. dark_jedi666 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    Well I guess I will be the first to rate the book, dont have time for a review.

    9 out of 10.

    I thought this book was even better than Battle Surgeons, and I liked that book immensely.
  7. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 28, 2003
    star 6
    I give it a 7. The book was a little slow, but the character development was outstanding. It made me feel like I literally was watching a SW version of M*A*S*H.

    --Adm. Nick
  8. masterskywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2001
    star 5
    My money is on the female nurse being the spy, dames are posion. ;)
  9. ATimson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2003
    star 4
    Mine showed up today, but unlike last time, I'm not going to be able to rush through it; I've got an ARC of Crossing the Line to read first. ^_^
  10. masterskywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2001
    star 5
    6/10

    Well, I was wrong about Tolk, but I knew fairly quickly into book two that she wasn't the spy. Like they said in Minority Report, it was an evidence orgy, and that NEVER happens. :p

    The main problem with this book is its inspiration, MASH. MASH worked great as a television series, but books are not television. This book was essentially a rehash of everything that was in the previous book. Jos' philsophical meanderings, the Sullistan's cynicism, I5's dower ponderings, Bariss' doubts, there was literally nothing new. There was even less action here than the last book, which meant that the book had very long, LONG dry sections. It wasn't entertaining after a while, it just drug on and on. The ENTIRE Black Sun subplot was utterly pointless and the whole thing should have been scrapped for narative flow.

    Tolk also really SHOULD have been the Spy. The Clone Wars are supposed to be dark, really dark. What better way to show how devastating this war is than to show the main character's lover is a bitter Confederate spy? The whole brother against brother issue could have been brought up again which would have been much more emotionally powerful. Basically, I'm all about kicking the crap out of our heroes. Why? Because it works. [face_mischief]

    There were a few highlights that kept it from being drug further down.

    Really, the most interesting revelation of the book wasn't who the spy was, but rather why he became one. The Republic was apparently testing the superlaser component of the new Death Star. The ramifications of this are staggering. Palpatine is briliantly manipulating both sides into making his ultimate weapon.

    The whole, "force drug" thing was interesting but again, it was just a repeated loop of Barris' doubts from the LAST book. Plus this was already covered in the Jedi Quest books.

    The character interactions were written well enough to keep me going, but I kept waiting for a climax that never came. Ironically, the true climax was in the last book, the death of Phow Ji. The "massive attack" which was supposed to kill everyone at the base took up literally five pages. I think these two books could have been edited and combined and nothing really could have been lost.

    Okay, the MASH style character experiment is over with mixed results. Can we get back to the kriffing war now, please? :p [face_mischief]

    And yes, for a preemptive defense, I KNOW these books were never intended to be action oriented. But they're supposed to be called Star Wars for a reason. There should have at least been character action, but that never came.
  11. rogue_wookiee Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 6
    I enjoyed Battle Surgeons. It was well written. Had a few action scenes to keep me from getting bored. And had some cool characters. Unfortunatly Jedi Healer isn't as good.

    The spy. I was pretty sure when I began reading this book that Klo would be the spy and not Tolk because Jos went through to much in the last book.

    The characters. I knew this book had it coming when the 2 best characters from Medstar I died in it. Bleyd and Phow Ji were great characters and are sorely missed. Barris gets hooked on bota. (Just what teenagers need to read about. A Jedi who is hooked on drugs.) I5 remembers. Even though he doesn't mention Maul. And the Jos and the clones thing that was really cool in BS was gone. The new characters aren't interesting enough to fill the void.

    The action went straight downhill. There was almost no combat at all.

    Overall the book is well written and the dialouge is good. Perry and Reaves are good authors. It's too bad this book lacked to much of the good stuff. I was really disappointed with this book. A 4 out of 10. Worst Clone Wars book yet.
  12. Csillan_girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 6, 2003
    star 5
    So if I got that right, Klo Merit was the spy, and became one because Palpatine was involved in destroying his homeworld??

    Wow. That is exactly the theory I posted here a while ago. Amazing.

    here
  13. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Hmm. I give this one a 6.5. I didn't find it nearly as satisfying as MedStar I. I thought it came together too easily, too quickly . . . through almost the whole novel, I kept waiting for the thing to actually start, and then the payoff wasn't worth the wait. The characters were still fine, particularly Den and I5, but the Jedi Trial bit was somewhat disappointing, the bota thing was kind of disappointing . . . eh. It was a fun, fast read, but it's missing something that the first one had. Still better than Cestus Deception, it's a good bit worse than MedStar I.
  14. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 5 reviews: 32.5/5 = 6.5
  15. King_of_Red_Lions Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2003
    star 3
    I said this in another thread, but I'll say it again here: The biggest complaint I have with Jedi Healer (and Battle Surgeons) is the sci-fi equivalency of earth vernacular tossed around throughout. References to The Wizard Of Oz, People magazine and Bob Hope made me a little queasy; it was too cute. Also in the 'too cute' category: a wookiee pulls a droid's arm out of its socket after losing a dejarik game.

    But there were some good moments that were in direct contrast to all the cuteness: a main character spends 90% of the book off-his-rocker drunk. I got a kick out of the reporter spending most of his time at the cantina and the rest of his time sobering up or getting laid. We need more anti-heroes like this in Star Wars. If only Barriss had become physically dependent on the bota, we would have had a real gem on our hands. Imagine the direction they could have taken the story by running with a drug addicted Jedi: She could have been caught stealing needles in the OT, gone through detox under the care of Jos, attended counseling sessions with Klo Merit, found a kindred spirit in Den Dhur, the possibilities were endless. Screw Star Wars:M.A.S.H., lets do Star Wars:Trainspotting!

    Another non-cute aspect I respected is the way the authors tackled curse words. Rather than using lame phrases like 'Blaster Bolts' or 'Sithspawn' they created exotic words like 'mopaq' and 'kark(ing).' The consistent context in which these words are used easily allows us to discern the four-letter word they represent. Also, kudos to the authors for using an extensive vocabulary. Besides all the medical terms, words like anodyne, ectomorph, discombobulate, chilblains, vertiginous and sobriquet had me going to the dictionary while reading a Star Wars book for the first time since The Approaching Storm.

    Jedi Healer was a quick, easy read; the plot moved smoothly from Jos to the spy to Barriss to the reporter to Kaird, etc. Reaves and Perry juggled multiple story lines well. However, the resolution to a few of the story lines were weak. The spy went out like a punk considering the amount of suspense built up over 600 pages. The authors pulled a cheap trick by having the Force simply give Barriss a revelation that gasp! the explosions were not accidents! and gasp! there is a spy among us! And then she immediately ruled out everyone at the rimsoo except those close to her and then simply went to that hand full of people and Force-probed each of their minds for hints of malice. Come on, man, at least give me some good investigative work or a suspenseful moment of catching the spy red-handed. I'm no Timothy Zahn fan, but he would never resort to such a cheap resolution.

    Another weak resolution was the action that took place 'off-screen' concerning Jos and Tolk's relationship. The authors spent a large amount of pages on the break-up, Jos contemplating suicide over it, the good-intentioned but meddling family member and the added pressure of the eckster/enster situation. And after all of this relationship angst and suspense, the big reconciliation occurred off-screen with a throw-away line akin to 'oh yeah, we got back together.' The authors missed a great opportunity here for a very sappy, emotional moment.

    I was dissatisfied with Kaird's resolution as well. He escaped, discovered a bomb on his ship, jettisoned it, vowed vengeance on his betrayers and then left. Unless we see more of him in the future (which is highly unlikely), his story was wasted. After building him up to be a devious, intelligent bad guy, he was outsmarted by a couple of wanna-bes. I was rooting for him to pay off Black Sun and retire to his home world. They could have at least had him captured or killed. They didn't have a problem killing off intriguing characters in the last book (Phow Ji and Admiral Bleyd).

    I thought all the other story lines were wrapped up very well. Some great things could be done with the I-Five and Den Dhur partnership. I was satisfied with Barriss' facedown with the Dark Side and ascension to Jedi Knight.

    On a side note: Is Barr
  16. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    I liked this one better than the first Medstar. The slower pace throughout most of the novel didn't bother me at all, quite the opposite in fact. I loved seeing the day to day aspects of the medical camp, which included a lot of medical babble and even more scenes of characters relieving stress by excessively drinking. Some scenes like Den contemplating how to get I-Five drunk and the unexpected snow were a bit surreal, but not out of place at all and added a unique spin to the war atmosphere. The unveiling of the spy was a bit anti-climactic, but nonetheless I loved the reason why he turned against the Republic and in turn the final confrontation with Jos.

    Basically, Medstar II was a quick, enjoyable read that introduced characters that actually interested me, and at the same time was able to hammer across the point that war, even in the GFFA, sucks. 9/10
  17. Dingo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2001
    star 5
    Not a bad book, but nothing great either. The slow pace would not have been a problem if it didn't end up rehashing most of the same things that had occurred in Battle Surgeons. The characterisations did advance, but not to a great deal above what was already set.

    The end revelation of the spy was a bit of a let-down, both in terms of it being Merit, and the way in which it occurred in the novel. It was fairly anti-climatic considering the build-up from the small spy expositions, and overall the revelation lacked any real power.

    I wish that Perry and Reeves had been able to continue with the momentum that had developed in Battle Surgeons.

    6/10
  18. Jort Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 2, 2004
    star 4
    So you people all think this was a dissappointing ending?
  19. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Some great things could be done with the I-Five and Den Dhur partnership.

    I'm betting we see some of them in Coruscant Nights. . .
  20. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 8 reviews: 52.5/8 = 6.56
  21. rogue_wookiee Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 6
    So you people all think this was a dissappointing ending?

    The ending wasn't so dissapointing but the book got draggy sometimes. We didn't even get any good surgeries. The first book sucked you in with the first line about blood geysering and you kept reading. This one is easy to put down and go do something else.
  22. SlackJawedJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2004
    star 4
    I honestly don't know what to think.

    To say that this book was anti-climatic would be fairly accurate. To say that it was boring would be inaccurate. I think my main beef with this book was that it didn't expand much upon the first. I seems almost uneccesary. Yes, Barris got her Knighthood, the spy was unmasked, and most little plot threads came to something of a conclusion, but several of the plot threads seem to be just a set up for some to-be-released tale. And I hate it when that happens. I like my stories totally self contained, dammit!

    Also, the new characters aren't that interesting, mainly because pretty much no time is spent developing them. They shift the plot along when necessary, or provide a sounding board for the main charcters, but they could never stand on their own two feet (at least as they are).

    However, the surviving characters from the first book are in fine form, and they each go through their little problems (or big problems) in a well characterized manner. Thought there are no actual battles in the book, at no times does the war seem like a simple backdrop. It's very real, and very pervasive, driving just about every character actions.

    Which leads me to this: there are NO action scenes in this book. Not one. There's the final push at the end, and the confrontation with the spy, but the emphasis is not on what the character is doing during these scenes, but what they are thinking. So, er... sorry action fans. You guys will feel totally gyped if you can't appreciate a decent character story. Which is what this is. A decent character story.

    At least, unlike the first book, the most of the plot threads actually came together at the end (except, most notably, for Kaird's... his story started seperate, and remained seperate. I find it hard to justify it's inclusion in the novel, beyond, as I said earlier, as a set up for a potential future story. So, er, I just going to have to label it as pretty contrived.)

    If you liked the first, chances are you enjoy this conclusion. If you didn't... you hate this with a passion.

    6.5/10
  23. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 9 reviews: 59/9 = 6.56
  24. neeldawg66 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2002
    star 8
    I thought it was a fun, quick read that could be improved in a few areas, such as not having everything tied up so quickly in the end. I enjoyed it overall, though. 8/10
  25. NJOfan215 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 5
    The book was paced poorly in my opinion, but i did like the character development. I really think jos progressed nicely. The bad part was that i feel that he over shadowed barris. In general the that wouldn't be bad except the book is supposed to be about her. I did really like I5 and Den.

    6.9
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