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The JC Lit Reviews Special: THE CLONE WARS: GAMBIT: STEALTH (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Feb 25, 2010.

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  1. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    The Clone Wars: Gambit: Stealth is now available for all your Clone Wars needs!

    Some rules: rate Stealth 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 for it.;)

    Some previous review threads:

    [link=]Republic Commando: Hard Contact, by Karen Traviss[/link]
    [link=]Shatterpoint, by Matthew Stover[/link]
    [link=]The Cestus Deception, by Steven Barnes[/link]
    [link=]Medstar I: Battle Surgeons, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry[/link]
    [link=]Medstar II: Jedi Healer, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry[/link]
    [link=]Jedi Trial, by David Sherman and Dan Cragg[/link]
    [link=]Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, by Sean Stewart[/link]
    [link=]Labyrinth of Evil, by James Luceno[/link]
    [link=]Revenge of the Sith, by Matthew Stover[/link]
    [link=]Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno[/link]
    [link=]Galaxies: The Ruins of Dantooine, by Veronica Whitney-Robinson[/link]
    [link=]Tatooine Ghost, by Troy Denning[/link]
    [link=]Survivor's Quest, by Timothy Zahn[/link]
    [link=]Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream, by Aaron Allston[/link]
    [link=]Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand, by Aaron Allston[/link]
    [link=]Traitor, by Matthew Stover[/link]
    [link=]Destiny's Way, by Walter Jon Williams[/link]
    [link=]Force Heretic I: Remnant, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix[/link]
    [link=]Force Heretic II: Refugee, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix[/link]
    [link=]Force Heretic III: Reunion, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix[/link]
    [link=]The Final Prophecy, by Greg Keyes[/link]
    [link=]The Unifying Force, by James Luceno[/link]
    [link=]Dark Nest I: The Joiner King, by Troy Denning[/link]
    [link=]Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen, by Troy Denning[/link]
    [link=]Dark Nest III: The Swarm War, by Troy Denning[/link]
    [link=]Outbound Flight, by Timothy Zahn[/link]
    [link=]Republic Commando: Triple Zero, by Karen Traviss[/link]
    [link=]Legacy of the Force: Betrayal, by Aaron Allston[/link]
    [link=]Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines, by Karen Traviss[/link]
    [link=]Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, by Drew Karpyshyn[/link]
  2. Robimus

    Robimus Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 6, 2007

    As much as I enjoyed Wild Space, which was considerable, I actually think that Gambit:Stealth bested it in a great many ways. There is so many positive things I have to say about this book that I couldn?t decide where to start; so I decided the beginning would be best.

    I loved the opening with both the lead in to and the Battle of Kothlis being excellent on many different levels. From Anakin flying in the space battle, to Yularen?s subtle reads of Obi-Wan?s emotions and thoughts, to Ahsoka high jacking a STAP just like her Master did in the film. She?s a quick learner that one.

    Even minor characters like Lieutenant Avery and Fireball were handled with a skill that made them feel very important, very real.

    The excellent opening quarter of the novel then gives way to a quieter approach for the next section of the novel where we get to revisit Palpatine, Bail, Padme and Yoda for a little while. Karen Miller?s use of internal POV?s and emotions worked fairly well for me throughout the whole book and are never more prominate than in the second quarter of this book.

    I really enjoyed once again getting a peek within Anakin and Padme?s relationship, and even Anakin and Palpatine?s as well. The only part I didn?t enjoy was the Obi-Wan/Taria Damsin angle which felt a little over done and really almost unneeded in the grand scheme of the entire novel. Taria is clearly being set up as a character for later in the story but I think it would have been better if it was done in a different way.

    Obi-Wan just seems to have entirely too many girlfriends all of a sudden.:p

    Padme also gets used in a kinda awkward way as being the only authority available on Lanteeb. It felt too much like an excuse to give her something to do, some part in the story beyond hanging around. It?s minor but still felt incredibly forced.

    The much unfairly maligned dinner scene actually serves more as a reunion for the cast of Wild Space than anything else. It has some excellent internal views of Padme and Anakin trying to hide their relationship from Obi-Wan and I found their dialog to be very George Lucas like??not to say that is what dialog should strive to be but it did feel very much in synch with how the pair communicated in the films.

    The Lanteeb insertion plot which makes up the last half of the book is really where this book is at its best. It?s even so bold to end in something of a cliffhanger(almost unheard of in the post Bantam era).

    The way Anakin and Obi-Wan communicated and interacted with each other was really perfect, both in voice and mannerism.

    One thing I?ve really taken from Karen Miller?s novels is her ability to deliver excellent action scenes. You feel like your right there with the characters on the battlefield, right in the action. I felt everything the characters were feeling, from sights to sounds to smells. It?s a very immersive style of writing that I very much enjoy.

    Lok Durd is magnificently cruel, evil and frightening. He felt very much like the same character we saw in Defenders of Peace, but taken to a slightly darker level.

    Doctor Fhernan is a brilliant inclusion and her plight makes for an extremely interesting part of the story. Through her character as well as Obi-Wan and Anakin we get to see an incredible debate about humanity and attachment, about right and wrong. The point about the complexity of the situation really shines through. It shows not only the best and worst of the Jedi, but of humanity as well.

    Overall I simply loved this book. Little thoughts the like of Anakin revealing that his mother told him he?d be late for his own destiny or like Obi-Wan revealing how much he prefers the desert to rain and humidity end up as great little winks toward the films. Little inclusions like Kaliida Shoals and the events on Maridun tie in to the TV series in the same fashion while mentions like Coric and Leveler give a nod toward Karen Traviss?s contributions to the series.

    Stealth still had some small issues. I already mentioned Taria/Obi-Wan so I won?t return there. I als
  3. Manisphere

    Manisphere Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 25, 2007

    I'm embarrassed to say I haven't quite finished it quite yet but really, one review in a week and a day since release? I know more than Robimus has read this book. I never get why so many on discussion threads never give an actual review. I thought we all loved quantifying everything here. That is all until I give my number. :p
  4. Zebra3

    Zebra3 Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 28, 2004
    I really liked this book. I thought the interactions between Obi-Wan and Anakin were believable and natural. I liked how Obi-Wan tried to find out what was still troubling Anakin about Tatooine. It's obvious that the Damsin was set up as Obi-Wan's love interest (but it wasn't overdone, thankfully) and I'm not entirely sure I like that. However, I do like seeing more of his friends that aren't Anakin, Mace, Yoda, or some clones. And speaking of Damsin, I thought her interactions with Ashoka great! They played off each other well. Anakin and Padme shippers get some more angst :p which I always think is funny but it was actually quite sweet.

    Most everything on Lanteeb was good. Obi-Wan acting like a hick and Anakin getting pounded by some Magna-guards made me laugh :p

    And Lok Durd? What a random villan to bring back. He was something of a fool in the cartoon but Miller actually made him menacing. I always like me a good villan :D

    The only real complaints I have are:

    If Damsin is dying why exactly was she sent on such an important mission with Ashoka?


    The book seemed to drag on in places, particularly on Lanteeb. But not too much.

    All in all, I thought this book was very good. In fact, Karen Miller is becoming one of my favorite SW authors.

  5. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 18.2/2 = 9.10
  6. Manisphere

    Manisphere Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 25, 2007
    Okay, I just finished it and I'm off to bed. Yawning as I type I'll say I liked it. Then I disliked it. Then I liked it again. Then I disliked it for the much of the middle of the book. I started and continued to like it once things with the Lanteeb plot finally got going.

    There was a lot of dialogue in this book. Lots of talking. Discussing. Feeling. Discussing feelings. Reflecting, and reflection on all of the discussing. Miller does well capturing the characters. Though she doesn't capture them and then move on with the story at a frantic pace. She's not really an action writer. And that's what we're pretty used to when we read SW novels. Action or large complicated battle plans. This was kind of as if "Lifetime" did TCW.

    It's a much better novel than Wild Space though. Much better. Miller overuses of the word barve to an insane degree but I quite liked the Ahsoka stuff. I also liked Dr. Fhernan. It's nice to see that not everyone in the Star Wars universe is made of the stuff of Anakin, Obi-Wan & Yoda or pure silly evil like Dooku or Sidious. Some are more human. And that's actually where the books strengths lie. In the characters. Not the piddley bio-weapon plot. One weird thing though. I imagined the Obi-Wan/Anakin plot with Ewan and Hayden but the Ahsoka stuff was still a cartoon. So it was sort of mixed media in my head.o_O

    I'm grading it same as Crosscurrent. And, sure. I'll probably pick up the next one.

  7. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 25.5/3 = 8.50
  8. jedimasterED

    jedimasterED Moderator Emeritus star 4 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 10, 1999
    You know how some teachers say "You start with an A and it's yours to mess up"? Well, that's how I'm going to do this review. The book starts with a 10 for being a Star Wars book.

    Handling of the Force (-0.25)
    Me? I'm a Force-phile. Strange new Force talents? Cool! Obscure Force-using groups? Awesome! Having a slippery (or wrong-handed) grasp on how the Force works? Lame. I just found Ms. Miller's "Force blur", "burning in their blood", "needing to refuel", "mind trick them" use of the Force a tad wonky. Not really "wrong" per se, just a bit askew.

    A Little Less Conversation... (-0.5)
    As has been said above, there's a lot of talking, thinking, thinking about talking, feelings, thinking about feelings, talking about feelings, etc. I'm fine with it to a point. If it just weren't so strongly juxtaposed with the enjoyable action scenes at the beginning of the book (I nearly forgot about Kothlis by the end of it all!).

    Obi-Wan's Other, Other Girlfriend (-0.5)
    Really?! Why must everyone give this guy a love interest of their own making?! Talk about "[link=]Secrets of the Jedi[/link]"! Cerasi. Siri Tachi. Satine Kryze. Now Taria Damsin. And this one's terminal! Sheesh!

    Stang, You Kriffing Barve, Watch Your Language! (-0.5)
    Look, I'm all for giving readers a gritty, "lived-in" experience, but does everyone in the GFFA swear like a Galactic Marine now? See, I don't have a problem with cursing. It's just that these characters don't cuss in any of their other representations.

    A Tale of Too Many Stories (-0.25)
    As I said, somewhere around Ahsoka and Taria's mission to save the old lady, I remembered that there was a battle at the beginning of the book. It was just so disconnected from the rest of the story that it seemed separate. Ahsoka and Anakin's (somewhat overstated) concern for Rex and Coric (are they Siamese twins now?) is (resolved, yes, but) oddly washed away in the Lanteeb story. And, then there's the political piece to the Lanteeb mission and its implications within the larger political story of the Clone Wars. Then there's Ahsoka and Taria, Bail and Padmé, Bail and Obi-Wan, Bail and Yoda, Taria and Obi-Wan, Anakin and Padmé, Durd and Fhernan, Fhernan and Obi-Wan, Fhernan and Anakin... it wears me out how many irons are in this book's fire.

    Frag Grenades (-0.25)
    I think pretty much every fourth line was a fragmented continuation of the sentence before it. Like, three per page. Annoying me every time. Got really old. Just sayin'.

    Don't get me wrong; there were a lot of things I enjoyed about the book. Yet another major biological weapon being developed didn't really bother me. Durd being sprung was handled well. The action was good. This book just had a few things here and there that rubbed me the wrong way. Thus...

  9. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 33.25/4 = 8.31
  10. pronker

    pronker Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    A review of half a story, okay I'll give it a try:

    Damsin came across well enough, certainly competent and a good Jedi for Ahsoka to know: whether she Passes On or not, the friendship is something that Ahsoka needs, as she is inundated by warriors and this Jedi is benched. Damsin's friendship with Obi-Wan, many years past their romance, may be intended to illustrate just how a Jedi does the 'not celibate but no attachments' thing. I'm assuming more details of their relationship will come up in part deux.;)

    The horror of a bioweapon could stand some more exposition, as circumstances from Ohma D'un and Blue Shadow Virus show graphically just what the Separatists will do for their cause. Ohma D'un was even mentioned as a step up in brutality, as I recall, and was a shock for the Republic forces. I was all right with the general theme for the book(s). The action at Kothlis, especially the Ahsoka-STAP circus stunt, terrific.

    Anakin and Bail and Obi-Wan and Padme's dinner and attendant tensions, my. It sounded like a Power Breakfast for Corporate America, but at dinnertime instead: lots of chatter interspersed with serious subjects.

    Anakin and Obi-Wan's ongoing relationship as it evolves to a more adult give-and-take dynamic gave me a particular high, as it's portraying Anakin's coming to terms with not being in sync with the rest of the Jedi viewpoint; the terms will be reset in ROTS, but for the moment he's dealing by standing up to the Jedi in the form of Obi-Wan with a 'confrontational, adult stare'. I did smile at Obi-Wan just shutting up and realizing that he was not going to Negotiate his way out of disagreement. That's quite a breakthrough on his part.

    Overall, 9.5 out of 10.

    A partial score, but that's it for now. How are the scores handled, book by book, I guess? Otherwise something like NJO would be waiting for years to conclude.
  11. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 7, 2002
    This book was a fast read for me, and surprisingly one of the few SW books as of here lately that made me look forward to going back to it to see what happens. It's gotten some complaints for too much discussion, juxtaposition, etc. I actually thought it made the book more cohesive, and kept my attention better. When it's 100% action, with hardly any discussion or character building, I find myself skimming. I can honestly say I didn't skim at all.

    Like most here, I'll start with the most positive stuff and go to the more negative:

    Karen Miller's handling of Anakin and Obi-Wan is the best I've seen out there, and I've read them all. Don't get me wrong, Luceno did a great job in Labyrinth, Traviss handled them pretty well, but Miller seems to really get both characters, which is something rare, to me, anyway. She's doing a good job of showing us the friendship that George swore was there, without making them mushy or their parting unbelievable. They get irritated with each other, they argue, etc. But there no over-the-topness here. She also did a good job of planting the seeds of the inevitable betrayal, and unbelievably, you can see both sides.

    It was also nice to see a good Yoda, without all the judgmental Jedi stuff, like so many authors rely on to tell the Anakin/Obi-Wan/Jedi story. It was nice reading them all being mature, and not so overtly condescending as Jedi or in Anakin's case, so transparently "going bad". Jude Watson could take a page out of Karen's book, IMO.

    I liked the dinner scene and felt it moved the story along without the cliched meeting after a meeting, or sending a hologram, or secret meeting in a bar-type stuff. Yes, people in the galaxy far, far away ate. And sometimes they even laughed during war. It made the characters more human and believable and still got the message across that Bail is starting to distrust Palpatine. It also further showed us the friendship that we were told about in ANH.

    I felt the story was divided into three parts due to the way the story unfolded although it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, just a lot of stuff in one book, but that's fine. I liked the amount of Ahsoka we got, because I feel that sometimes she's too prevalent in these books. This one had just about the right amount.

    I didn't like Anakin and Padme's scenes, they felt a little off. A lot of it had to do with fact that we didn't see them alone and I'm a shipper and of course I'd want to. :p

    I felt some of the grammar, sentence structure was a little jarring, simply because I'm not used to a lot of sentence fragments, although I'm seeing them more often in novels. To me, it just didn't read right.

    All in all, a great book and I'm really looking forward to the next one!!

    8.0 out of 10.

  12. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 50.75/6 = 8.46
  13. CeiranHarmony

    CeiranHarmony Jedi Master star 5

    May 10, 2004
    I can't understand how one can like this book. Her first book was much better, and there I loved the scenes that completed AOTC. The journey with Bail and Obi was a bit drawn out and out of character but all in all her first book was great. Not so this one.

    I liked the beginning with the republic loosing battles and retreating, with the separatists nice new tricks. Yet a large part in the middle of the book was very very slow for me. I couldn't continue reading for some time. It just didn't drag me in. She has many good points in her story, yet she repeats them and that feels too forced on characters and readers. Thus I disliked parts of the book while there still were many awesome scenes and good characterisations in between. I am somewhat torn how to judge this book.


    6 out of 10 from me, because it was not a bad book, but not the best either. Sorry..
  14. colojedi7

    colojedi7 Jedi Knight star 1

    Mar 13, 2007
    I really liked Miller's characterizations of Anakin, Bail, Ahsoka even Yoda. But I just don't like her Obi-Wan. He seems to like to argue too much, with any and everyone. Also, she doesn't give him much empathy. I don't see Obi-Wan that way. He was portrayed as very compassionate and caring in AOTC and I just don't see it here. Otherwise the book is good.

  15. BobaKareu

    BobaKareu Jedi Knight star 3

    Feb 24, 2005
    I loathed Wild Space, but surprisingly loved Stealth.

    A solid 8/10.

    A slight aside, though... what were they thinking in not adding a "To Be Continued!" or even any mention that the book would be wrapped up in Siege? It's not even on the timeline...
  16. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 72.75/9 = 8.08
  17. Queengodess

    Queengodess Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 18, 2000
    I absolutely loved Wild Space, though the parts with Bail and Obi-Wan on the evil, evil Sith planet dragged a little. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Stealth. I blame my own hyped expectations. Oh, and Havac.

    Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed the book and found it a far better installment in the Star Wars saga than most of what's published in the franchise. I personally love that there's a not a whole lot of fighting going on, because battle scenes bore me to tears (I enjoy it on the big screen, but on pages? Not so much). I love that it takes place during the Clone Wars, because I really like this era, with its tangled politics. I love how Karen casually drops little interesting tidbits of information - Anakin being late for his own destiny has been mentioned several times already, and it is a really great line. While I might not exactly love the prose, I certainly like it - it's quick and easy to read, which allows for a sense of speed and action, even when not much is happening. I generally like fractured sentences (though on occassion it is overused, as are certain words).

    Here's the rub, though. The focus on character is what sells these books for me, and I think Karen is a great and necessary addition to the numbers of Star Wars authors because she brings this like no one else. But if you focus heavily on character, it becomes all the more apparent and annoying when one or two of them seem a little off.

    For maybe the first time ever, I'm going to disagree with rhonderoo - this is not the best depiction of Obi-Wan and Anakin as the Team. As far as I'm concerned, Luceno and Stover do a much better job in Labyrinth and Revenge. Anakin is mostly spot-on, though I the depiction of his memories of and reactions to slavery a little... inconsistent with what we have seen before in the EU. While it obviosly must leave some scars, and while we know that Anakin is resentful of slavers (very apparent in Jedi Quest for instance, though I'm personally not very impressed with Watson's way of writing Anakin), this seems to be on a whole different scale. The kid we encounter in TPM is not cowed or particularly terrefied, and when Anakin returns to Tatooine in AOTC he seems rather indifferent to Watto. I'm not saying his past as a slave should mean nothing, because it really, really should, but somehow it seemed to me that in this novel the fact that he was a born a slave is the root of all of his problems. *shrughs* Maybe it is just me. As I said, mostly Anakin is perfectly written.

    Obi-Wan, however, is not. He's not terribly written, not by any means, but he seems a bit off, and particularly in his relationship with Anakin. Someone noted that Karen is writing ROTS Anakin and AOTC Obi-Wan. I agree - and I don't approve. This seems such a step backwards for Obi-Wan, and for his and Anakin's relationship, when compared to Wild Space. Sure, there is and should be tension between Obi-Wan and Anakin, but in Stealth, there is tension all the time. Does Obi-Wan really have to worry about everything Anakin does? Where is the trust in that? Not to mention, it makes it very hard to understand why Obi-Wan even likes Anakin. Relationships where you always have to tread carefully not to upset the other are usually extremely taxing, and not at all equal in the way it seems Karen would have us think the post-AOTC friendship between Obi-Wan and Anakin. We know, of course, that there is very good reasons for Obi-Wan to worry about Anakin, and this sets up the latter's eventual betrayal - and Obi-Wan's reaction to it - very well. But when writing about the Team, it is not only important to do that. Equally, or even more important, at least from where I am standing, is to set up the eventual reconciliation at the end of ROTJ. To me, this just doesn't do it. It might for others. And, since it's just the first installment of two, it might be unfair to complain about this just now. There might be a point to it. I am ever hopeful.

    Yoda, however, was written very well. I like Ka
  18. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 78.75/10 = 7.88
  19. MistrX

    MistrX Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 20, 2006
    For me, this was a book of extremes. There were the moments I loved, and then there were parts I couldn't stand and sometimes the story would jump between them a bit. When all was said and done, the story structure actually reminded me somewhat of an episode of the show. We started with a big action piece which brought forth some elements that resonated throughout the story, we have some quieter scenes with both some exposition and character pieces, then that, of course, led us to what one might consider the main plot, at least if one reads the back cover of the book. For the most part I thought this was done well, but I began to loathe it when it seemed like the story began to drag. Between the opening battle at Kothlis and all of the fallout from that and build-in to Lanteeb, things really slowed and for a while it still worked. To an extent, I love scenes such as the ones we get on Coruscant, where we see our characters interacting, giving their thoughts and ideas to one another, establishing relationships that give a deeper insight into the movies. It just went on too long, IMO, and having it at page 200 when Anakin and Obi-Wan are finally going to Lanteeb seemed like just a bit too much buildup for my tastes.

    That said, the second half of the book was amazing, especially the events on Lanteeb. I considered the Obi-Wan/Anakin intereaction to be on part of LoE's, even if I didn't really feel that it ever surpassed it. More and more we're getting these stories that show why it was Obi-Wan considered Anakin to be a good friend, something that had to be a little more muted in the films, particularly AOTC. Here we do see Anakin and Obi-Wan butting heads, but the entire time I think one can sense the underlying bond and respect that the two men have for each other. We?re also seeing in action here what the prologue to Stover?s Revenge of the Sith novel, with the team of Skywalker and Kenobi taking on the impossible and bringing it to the enemy. I think that?s really showcased in the final scene of the book, where Anakin and Obi-Wan barely escape that ambush in a wonderfully exciting way. I enjoyed their portrayals here immensely.

    Speaking of Obi-Wan, Karen really likes putting that guy through the paces, doesn?t she? He gets beat down hard in Wild Space and now he?s with Anakin getting some rather ugly descriptions of his physical health as he and Anakin take on this impossible mission.

    Of course, there's far more to the second half than just the adventures of Anakin and Obi-Wan on Lanteeb. Lok Durd makes his return and boy is he sinister. Durd?s portrayal here is brutal, really pushing him into Complete Monster territory, as if testing a weapon that destroys all organic life on the defenseless Lurmen hadn?t already done that. Where it was tempered on the show by making him more comical (it is a childrens? cartoon after all) here we see him going all out, in all of his sadistic and ruthless form. It?s hard to imagine Mr. Sulu being so evil.

    Fhernan gives an interesting perspective in this war and allows us to see both sides of a Jedi?s duty. I?m sure Anakin?s perspective about her is what many imagined for a Jedi when before the EU really went into the Jedi?s past. And yet, Obi-Wan brings the larger picture as well, the one seen in war and fiction many times before. Their argument settled around her makes one think as they read the book and wonder just how far they should be going to win. Pragmatism and compassion and how the Jedi address them. It?s good stuff.

    Fhernan?s attitude also gives us a realistic look on how the war and situations in this often violent universe may affect the more average person, the people who don?t have the resolve of our heroes. It?s a difficult choice and difficult to see this woman, so battered by her captors and held at gunpoint having to decide among these horrible options.

    As far as our other new major character is concerned, Taria Damsin, I liked her a lot. She?s not one of his Great Loves, but just g
  20. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 86/11 = 7.82
  21. Plaristes

    Plaristes Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 2, 2007
    I finally finished this book, but it took me a couple weeks. Ugh. I'll start with what I liked. The stuff about Kothlis was cool. I liked the actions sequences there. I also liked the intrigue set up with the Separatist computer virus. I hope that's followed up in the sequel. Strangely, I liked the scenes with Ahsoka. I've never liked that character (check out my signature), but her scenes in this book worked, especially the trip to Corellia. That pretty much exhausts what I liked, which is a shame, since I really liked Wild Space.
    Others have mentioned a lot of what I didn't like. Way too much use of "barve." The Padme/Anakin dialogue/thought sequences are cringe inducing, but I have to admit that they're pretty much like what appears in AotC/RotS, so I blame Lucas, not Miller, for that.
    I did not like the interaction between Obi-Wan and Anakin. During the Clone Wars, they're supposed to be brothers, but I didn't see any of that here.
    I didn't care at all for the captured scientist. Miller did nothing to make me sympathize with her or care at all for her fate. She's just a weak coward and I found myself hoping Durd would finally kill her so that plot point could be dropped and the Jedi could just leave Lanteeb.
    My main complaint though was that once Anakin and Obi-Wan got to Lanteeb, the book dragged terribly. I didn't care for any of the characters involved, not even Anakin and Obi-Wan because of their bickering. The whole stealthy operation angle felt forced to me (this seemed much more like a job for special forces like Omega or Delta Squad than two Jedi who aren't trained for this kind of op). I don't mind lots of dialogue (like I said, I liked Wild Space), but there was too much here, or at least, it was about stuff I didn't care for (more of that Jedi bickering). And do we really need so much long, drawn out description of how much it hurts to crawl around in air ducts when you're tired and thirsty?
    Basically, this book was a big disappointment after Wild Space.

    Edit: Oops, I forgot to add that the whole idea of Lanteeb being this great mystery that's so hard to find info on is ridiculous. One call to the Nulls and they'd have found everything you could ever want to know about the planet and even about the two vaccines ordered from the Kaminoans.
  22. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 90/12 = 7.50
  23. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    I've never struggled to get through a Star Wars book as much as I have Miller's two entries. There are flashes of greatness, but it's 99% dull prose, awful dialogue (it sounds like someone trying to imitate Traviss and not pulling it off, so doubly bad), indifferent plotting, lousy continuity (Would it be so hard to look up the name of Bail's aide from in ROTS and use Sheltay Retrac? Apparently it would, because we get Bail relying on a different close female aide), and unbearably overdone angsting. The book spends a lot of time on the characters and their characterization, which is good, yet it never feels like we get more than superficially and one-dimensionally into their heads. Bail and Obi-Wan spending two pages bitching back and forth like an old married couple over whether or not Obi-Wan looks tired and needs to get more rest isn't exactly compelling writing or a great character moment.

    I said about Wild Space that it held potential, but it needed its problems worked out. Well, every single problem from Wild Space is back. The hurt/comfort melodrama, the lousy dialogue, the grating and unsatisfying character interaction, the offness of the characterizations, the taking half the book before the plot actually starts. But now there's even more. We've got Obi-Wan's old lover, with her angstily tragic terminal disease, her uniquely colored hair and eyes, her delightfully unconventional, peppy, Manic Pixie Dream Girl (thanks, A.V. Club!) mannerisms, her role-model best-friendsiness with Ahsoka . . . seriously, can't this crap stay on Why must this be inflicted on the canon? It's suffered enough already.

    I'm also kind of bothered by the fact that the entire role of the women in the story is basically to sit and worry about their men in danger. The plot is thoroughly dull, utterly generic, and painfully slow-moving, and it revolves around a really obnoxious mistake -- a "bioweapon" that's made of . . . minerals. You know what that makes it? Not a bioweapon. A chemical weapon. Please stop calling it a bioweapon, obnoxious angsty scientist woman. Your entire role in the story is to know better than that.

    There's the skeleton of a good novel here, occasionally emerging in flashes of character insight or interesting moments, but it's so buried under utter dreck that it's almost impossible to appreciate. 3/10, and the points only come because when it flashes those moments of good, they're really good. The other 99% of the novel is painfully bad.
  24. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Average score: 93/13 = 7.15
  25. Stymi

    Stymi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 10, 2002
    I liked this one a great deal better than Wild Space. That being said, I did not like Wild Space very much.

    I thought it was, however, a much tighter and more suspenseful story. And I did enjoy the character interactions. I think that's where Karen Miller excels.

    But, again, some aspects where really drawn out and redundant--although not as bad as the Wild Space extended stay on Zigoola.

    But I must say, I am looking forward to how the story will continue and conclude in the sequel.

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