Lit The JC Lit Reviews Special: RIPTIDE (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. killfire Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2001
    star 4
    9/10
    Very good plot. I would have loved some more clone interaction (and Mara's or Lumiya's clone surviving).
  2. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 149.3/17 = 8.78
  3. GrandMasterKatarn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2008
    star 4
    Kemp kept me interested from beginning to end. A short read, but brilliant. My only complain was that we never will have the opportunity to see Kyle Katarn vs Runner, basically a Kyle vs Kyle showdown. Oh, well. I was shocked that Jaden died at the end. Good twist, Paul, good twist. This really needs a sequel so we can see how Jaden deals with this revelation.

    10/10
  4. Darth_Gamek Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2009
    star 6
    8/10

    I don't remember too much about it, but I remembered enjoying it. The post-ROTJ era isn't an era I'm too big of a fan of, but this was one of the better stories. Plus, clones are awesome, even if they aren't the clone troopers. :p
  5. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 167.3/19 = 8.81
  6. KnightDawg Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2007
    star 4
    Wow...now that's how you keep a reader glued to a book. He even made the One Sith seem somewhat interesting for once (though he made them interesting in Crosscurrent as well). This book was short, but action packed. I absolutely cannot wait for the 3rd installment of this trilogy.

    9.8/10

  7. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 177.1/20 = 8.86
  8. Krusty_the_Clone Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2006
    star 4
  9. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 184.6/21 = 8.79
  10. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Riptide is good entertainment. You've got a solid, if simple, thriller with Jaden chasing down the clones and the clones trying to get to Mother and the Umbarans stalking them both. There's mystery and action and a good sidestory vibe. Unfortunately, Riptide never rises above being decent entertainment. The plot is thin, basically two groups of people after something very simple and without any frills, and a One Sith agent who isn't Force-sensitive but has pseudo-Forcey powers and is sent around to assassinate people and do stuff. In other words, it's Crosscurrent all over again but without the time travel. The one element of the plot that really elevates it, Jaden's Iteration and the desire to see what the hell the One Sith are up to exactly, is basically just a giant tease for a sequel. With such a basic plot, a lot falls on the characters to elevate it, and they just don't. Khedryn and Marr are pretty thin stock characters, the fringer freighter captain and the quiet, loyal sidekick, and Kemp doesn't really do anything to elevate them. Even becoming a Jedi trainee doesn't really do anything to change Marr or give him any kind of arc. And Jaden fails to have any real arc either, as the book begins with this off-kilter epiphany on his part where he basically decides he can't fall to the dark side anymore, and then he just goes off and chases people. Nyss, while sort of interesting and bearing a nice through-line with his loneliness, was still a fairly one-dimensional character and he wasn't really in the story much. The only character I was able to get interested or invested in at all was Soldier, who actually had an arc as he struggled with doubt and the need for a purpose, and who had the very relatable motivation of protecting the sweet little girl. I liked Soldier, but the other characters just didn't do much for me. I'm also not sure I dig Kemp's take on the Force, but there's little enough given that it's hard to tell.

    Overall, Riptide is a pretty standard adventure story, very simple and very linear. It has the advantage of being based on interesting and original concepts -- the clones, an ancient Rakatan intelligence, One Sith plots -- but it ultimately doesn't do much of anything with them to really elevate the book above its otherwise generic plot, structure, and characters. From a construction standpoint, its simple competence is an advance from Crosscurrent, with its time-travel muddle of irrelevantly-intersecting plotlines, but the character work takes a step backward. What the sequel really needs, to deliver on the potential of Jaden's larger arc, is a larger cast (and one preferably not as boringly white-male-human/pseudo-human), to really dig into the characters and give them some arcs, and a plot that reaches beyond this extremely simplistic people-go-to-a-place-on-the-edge-of-the-Unknown-Regions-and-find-something-and-a-One-Sith-assassin-follows-them formula. Riptide is enjoyable and an exciting enough read, but it never reaches beyond adequacy to true greatness. 8/10.
  11. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 192.6/22 = 8.75
  12. Boba Frett Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 1999
    star 4
    Other than being on the short side, I really enjoyed Riptide. It's really nice to see a Jedi Knight mentoring an apprentice, which is something that has been far too scarce in the overall Star Wars series. We need more stories like this in the current era.

    One minor gripe was that the "mother" thing wasn't all that fleshed out. I think it would have been interesting if it had called to Abeloth, perhaps, but it was a bit on the brief side.

    Overall, it was a good read.

    8.5/10.
  13. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 201.1/23 = 8.74
  14. MistrX Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2006
    star 4
    Decent book, if not necessarily spectacular in any specific ways. About on par with Kemp's effort in Crosscurrent, entertaining enough, but not especially deep or groundbreaking. It wrapped up the clone thread left dangling in Crosscurrent rather unexpectedly and, IMO, in an interesting way. In many ways, the ultimate reveal of the book reminded me a lot of Abyss, with the heroes traveling to a remote location and visiting a mysterious, ancient, alien station only to encounter a powerful, malevolent being. When "Mother" made her first appearance, I actually thought that Abeloth might be making an earlier timeline appearance. What I like about the truth of Mother is it seems to follow some of the ideas hinted at in the Spectre of the Past/Vision of the Future duology, when the dangers and horrors of the Unknown Regions were being foreshadowed. It's nice to get an example of a 40 ABY+ story that presents a real danger without having the entire galaxy/Galactic Alliance at stake.

    The continuing development of our trio shown in the last book took something of a backseat this time around. It seems that after introducing Khedryn, Marr, and fleshing out Jaden in the first book, they have less growth in this story, with their actions more about resolving their current mission than learning from the journey. The most development goes to Marr, who begins his Jedi training and seems to be going on the typical early apprentice path until the end when he has a major moment that helps save Jaden's life. I'm sure his ultimate choice will come into play if Kemp writes a followup.

    What I was surprised to see is the development the Force clones get this time around. Honestly, it seems to be their book most of all, particularly caretaker and Jaden-clone Soldier. Angry, indifferent, determined, ignorant, and in the end understanding and noble, Soldier's journey is fascinating to follow and we get to see a Jedi's inherent nature affected by the horrible environment and life the clones have had to lead. For me, the clones' journey is the highlight of the book.

    In a similar manner to Kell in the last book, once again Jaden and co. have to deal with a secondary villain in Umbaran and walking-ysalamiri-like-powered Ness. Unlike Kell, though, Ness seems better integrated into the story, making a more meaningful impact on the plot and seeming much more of a threat to the Force-wielding characters. In the end, the Iteration subplot may have simply been a device for Marr to make the difficult choice at the end and perhaps set up future stories, but Ness' presence had me guessing up until the end.

    After reading this and Red Harvest back to back, I think I'm past the physically brutal authors for a while. Kemp really does not hold back from describing his poor characters' injuries. If the "Ugly" category still existed in TFN's book reviews, I don't even know where they'd begin.

    7.25/10
  15. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 208.35/24 = 8.68
  16. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I just finished this today. I will go with 7 out of 10. SPOILERS:

    I think perhaps I would liked to have seen Mother survive and go out into the universe. It would have been like Avatar in reverse where the god-planet-mind downloads into a body.

    I honestly got sick of the word "meds". We need meds! You need meds! Meds! Meds mentioned 10 times on page followed by meds 5 times on the next page. Meds. Meds. More meds. Yeah, I get it, hey need meds.

    Note: the author lives approx 30 minutes from me.
  17. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 215.35/25 = 8.61
  18. Bib Fartuna Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 4
    Apologies to the Grubbster, but I had to put his book down after about a third of the way through (Scourge).

    I started reading Riptide, and I couldn't put it down. A really fun read, some great references to EU continuity, and great characterization. I agree with other people who state that the story of Jaden Korr (should it now be Jaaden Korr?!?) is incomplete, and this seems like the 2nd part of an unfinished trilogy - I hope we get some resolution to some of the plot points introduced in both of these novels.

    8.75 out 10

    PS: Have gone back to Scourge, and I have started to like it a lot better.
  19. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 224.1/26 = 8.62
  20. DarthStymi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 10, 2002
    star 3
    Kemp is one of the best things to happen to the SW lit. in a long time. Really enjoyed both books.

    9/10.
  21. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 233.1/27 = 8.63
  22. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Been a while but I recall this book simply going of the rails with what it dares to do and it is a great fun ride, still sad we have not gotten #3.

    8 of 10
  23. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 241.1/28 = 8.61