Lit The JC Lit Reviews Special: REPUBLIC COMMANDO: HARD CONTACT (spoilers)

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

  1. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

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

    As usual, please rate HARD CONTACT 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 HARD CONTACT 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
    MedStar II: Jedi Healer
    Jedi Trial
    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
    Anyone read it yet? I know some of you have. . .
  3. ATimson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2003
    star 4
    I only just got my copy today. Give me three hours. :)
  4. sido-diuus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2003
    star 1
    9 out of 10.
    Pretty good book with very interesting characters. I liked the fact that the bad guy was a Mandalorian. My favorite clone was definitely Fi. He reminded me a lot of Wes Janson. This wasn't your typical Star Wars novel though. Very different but in a good way. The only major complaint I have is that I got a headache from reading the whole thing in a couple of hours.
  5. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    Just got mine, but I got Jedi Trial first, and I'm getting to that one first. Give me a week.
  6. DVader316 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2000
    star 7
  7. ATimson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2003
    star 4
    In a rather ironic moment, Hard Contact is so far the Clone Wars novel that best exemplifies the common conception of the Wars--but it doesn't have the logo on the cover. As befits a novel based on a first-person shooter, Karen Traviss's Hard Contact is not a novel about sitting around and talking, as others have been. Much as MedStar was "a day in the strife" for the non-combatants in the war, Hard Contact does the same for another neglected group: the clones themselves. (Perhaps this is why the earlier novels have seemed peripheral, plotwise: for all their seeming importance, the Jedi don't seem to do much in the war.)

    Hard Contact is a showcase for Traviss's abilities. Her worldbuilding talents were used to create the environment of Qiilura, with its new flora and fauna that play a non-trivial role in the story. The background of the commandoes--of the clones in general--is also essentially produced from whole cloth, and manages to be distinctly, though not overtly, Imperial. She also managed to create distinct characters among the commandoes--and provide justification for it, something not really seen before. None of the four come across as cardboard. Another point worth mentioning is the sense of humor--Traviss doesn't go overboard with it, but the clones offer us some of the best quips since the Wraiths.

    The same can be said of the other characters, as well. Unlike other recent novels, the "villain" is a complex character in his own right, as are the other antagonists. Traviss does a good job of showing the breadth of the Separatist movement. Some of the minor characters (read: the two-scene cannon fodder) are a bit flat, but there's really not much opportunity to avoid that, either. :p

    All in all, Hard Contact is an excellent read, being what many were expecting from the Clone Wars. Don't be fooled by the ties to a video game; Hard Contact is the best SW novel since Shatterpoint (and perhaps earlier, depending on what you're looking for). We're lucky to have Karen Traviss writing Star Wars.

    Overall rating: 10.
  8. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 2 votes: 19/2 = 9.5
  9. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    9.75, docked 0.25 for shoddy continuity work by LFL (not Karen's fault ;)).

    So 9.5 in total.

    A very well-executed squad-based military SW novel. Great characterizations all around.
  10. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 3 votes: 28.5/3 = 9.5
  11. masterskywalker Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2001
    star 5
    9.5 out of ten.

    Longer review TBA.
  12. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Chalk up yet another 9.5.

    I'm too tired to write a full, thoughtful review, but here're the quick thoughts.

    I was worried when I picked this book up that I'd overhyped it in my mind. I'd only read one other book by Karen, and while I'd liked it quite a bit, I was wondering if perhaps I wasn't looking forward to RC a bit too much. I needn't have worried.

    I think I mentioned in my review of the first MedStar that one of the things I liked about it was the Wraith Squadron vibe from the assortment of eclectic, non-movie characters. Similarly, I get a great X-Wing feeling in RC, not only with the non-movie, imperfect characters, but also the whole military side, the impossible mission, impossible odds stuff.

    The action and introspection were well-balanced; the violent scenes in CITY OF PEARL I thought were some of the weaker scenes in the novel, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much better and more clearly the violence was handled here. The book was a quick read, but a lot more thoughtful than any other Clone War novel so far besides maybe Shatterpoint. The portrayal of the Clones themselves is far superior to that in Cestus Deception.

    It seems wrong that one of the finer Clone Wars novels will probably sell fewer copies thanks to the fact that it's marketed as a video-game tie-in with no movie characters.

    I may elaborate later but right now I've got to go to bed, So I'll just say that this is by far the best Star Wars novel I've read since Shatterpoint.
  13. Master_OB1_Kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 1
    Ok i will be getting this book soon.
  14. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 5 reviews: 47.5/5 = 9.5
  15. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7
    It's only a gun, Dp4m, only a gun! :p

    Hmm, must get this book. Paperbacks are rare like reflections off a Barabellian iris. Must update the Aust search thread!
  16. chiss_man Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2002
    star 6
    Continuity errors...with a gun?!

    :p
  17. young_zev Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 1999
    star 3
    I went off and read both issues of the EG to Weapons, and they don't say anything about the era of the shatter gun. Nothing. I researched the internet, too. Nothing.

    The only source I could find was the WOTC, which doesn't SAY anything about the era. What it has is a logo representing an era--- hardly a canonical argument.

    And let me add, skimming through the other entries, I saw NO LOGOS for Old Republic-era weaponry. Seems like an oversight, and casts doubt in my mind as to the exact significance of that era logo.

    I think it's a reference logo, not a mandate. In other words, "This weapon has only heretofore *appeared* in the NJO era," rather than "This weapon can only EXIST in the NJO era."

    And now I have descended into the depths of canonical nonsense. I hope you're happy, dpM4.

    -sob-

  18. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    And let me add, skimming through the other entries, I saw NO LOGOS for Old Republic-era weaponry. Seems like an oversight, and casts doubt in my mind as to the exact significance of that era logo.

    It's "Rise of the Empire" era; and they're quite there.
  19. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Anyone else finish the book yet?
  20. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 4
    I wasn't even going to bother with this one since it was a video game tie in, but with the praise it's gotten here I may have to.
  21. sidious618 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2003
    star 6
    I haven't finished it but I recommend it and I've not liked many of the Clone Wars books so far, so this is high praise.
  22. jedimasterDEAD Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    My alter ego (jedimasterED) finished last night and here's what he had to say:

    "Karen did a great job!

    While she did bring in new information about the Mandalorians that will take some working through, what she also did was create interesting characters, write well-paced action, and make me care about the outcome of the story.

    Yeah, there were a few little nuisances here and there, but for the most part, RC:HC was the best Clone Wars novel I've read next to Shatterpoint, and I've read them all (actually working through Jedi Trial right now, and it pales in comparison).

    I give it a 9 just because a 10 really has to know my socks off and I don't feel like working with decimals or fractions today.

    A SPECIAL NOTE TO THE AUTHOR:
    Karen,

    You are a great addition to the Saga and I hope you get more chances to write in the GFFA. I genuinely desire to read about the further adventures of Etain, Darman, and the rest. Well done!"
  23. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    I wasn't even going to bother with this one since it was a video game tie in, but with the praise it's gotten here I may have to.

    I heartily recommend you doing so! :)
  24. Pellaeon-Firke Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
    Exceptional. The CW project keeps on going, and the 4 released PPBs are all quite good.

    It's well written, in a style that I like. The epigrams (quotes at beginning of the chapters), add to the flavor, and we get inside the head of a clone. The plot flowed well, the characters were interesting and well developed, and we continue to see some of the lines blur between the good guys and bad guys. The book seemed well researched, and just like MedStar II, I was scared that one of the characters was going to die. DR and Karen Traviss did their job well on this one.

    Bravo, Ms. Traviss. Your first book in a GFFA was nothing short of fantastic, and I'm looking forward to the post-NJO series, which should prove to be quite good.

    My rating: It would have been a 10, but it loses .1 for being short and gains .05 for being a paperback.

    9.95/10
  25. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Counting 7 reviews: 66.45/7 = 9.49