"Traitor," by Matthew Woodring Stover [Del Ray, 2002]

Discussion in 'Literature Review Forum' started by Errant_Venture, Apr 10, 2005.

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"Traitor" by Matthew Woodring Stover [Del Ray, 2002]

Poll closed Mar 25, 2012.
10 (Excellent) 106 vote(s) 69.7%
9 16 vote(s) 10.5%
8 5 vote(s) 3.3%
7 4 vote(s) 2.6%
6 (Average) 3 vote(s) 2.0%
5 (Average) 3 vote(s) 2.0%
4 2 vote(s) 1.3%
3 3 vote(s) 2.0%
2 0 vote(s) 0.0%
1 (Poor) 10 vote(s) 6.6%
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  1. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    I voted 10 on this one. I thought this was a very good novel, very intellectual.
  2. F0RSAK3N Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2006
    star 1
    10....absolutely!

    when i first opened the book i saw the short list of characters, and thought. . .oh no, its another dark journey. as 99.9% of this thread has seen, i obviously was in for a suprise.

    personally, i liked the prose. i find a lot of times when i read series', i get hurried and want to bounce from chapter to chapter as fast as possible. like the kid who fast forwards the character develpoment scenes and goes straight to the action sequences on dvds. this book really made me slow down and read, and i thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. i saw this story in my mind's eye more vividly than i have with any other novel in the eu.

    answered pretty much all the questions i had on vergere from past books, because after rogue planet, i was getting a little im patient to see how the connection would be revealed. vergere's philosophy, though confusing, really helped pinpoint the problem ive seen with jacen since vector prime: he was too much a blend of the family...not his own person...not really defined as an individual. of course, had i heard that this book was a story about jacen 'figuring himself out' i prolly never would have read it with the opinion i had on the solo kids before. good thing i avoid spoilers.

    but enough rambling from me.

    goood book. i recommend it, and i cant wait to get into destiny's way tomorrow.




    why cant stover write them all?!
  3. 1_4_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2006
    star 1
    9/10

    A very good novel in many ways. I found the new direction of Jacen's character to be both unexpected yet powerful, especially under the circumstances. Vergere can go jump into the Maw for all I care, but I have to admit that her character brings a convuluted philosophical perspective into the situation which makes the whole story more interesting to read. I also enjoyed following the plot as it developed from deep within the Vong culture and heirarchy and to watch Jacen try to get a grip on reality throughtout the book while redefining his own identity.
  4. Suffix Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2006
    An excellent novel. Too often, the authors involved in writing such a massively collaborative effort of the Star Wars EU are afraid to evolve characters in any significant way. They age and the Jedi may struggle (and continue to struggle) with the dark side or various issues (ethics, grief, and so on), but mostly, characters either die outright or continue on as predictable and rather two-dimensional constructs of fiction. Very rarely do they change at their core. This novel took a refreshing departure from a plot which ends very much where it began, and a lead character who does likewise. I loved it.
  5. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    10/10.

    I don't give ratings like this lightly, since I'm rather snobbish when it comes to literature, and frankly, few Star Wars books even manage to cross over from mass market paperbacks to true literature. But Traitor, I think, is a surprisingly profound novel. It crosses over into genuine philosophical discourse at times and aims to address certain questions in life that are faced not only by fictional Jedi, but also by many real people every day. That's what makes it true literature. The moral of this book, of spiritual enlightenment and learning to accept pain and understand the unity of all living things, is something that every person can benefit from learning. It is not only my favorite Star Wars book, but probably in the top 20 or 30 of my favorite books that I have ever read.
    Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn likes this.
  6. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    I loved Traitor. It was more focused on one character (Jacen) rather than the other novels that had everybody.
  7. JacenSolo7 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2006
    star 4
    Traitor is one of the best star wars books! I'd give it a 10,(or 11...lol)
  8. doc4converse Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2005
    star 4
    10

    Considering that this is my favorite EU book, it was rather interesting for me to read the comments of those who did not like "Traitor".

    I liked the philosophical questions that were raised and the symbolism used by Stover.

    The scene (the cocoon) where Jacen realizes that "he doesn't have to simply hang there and suffer" reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:

    "The last of human freedoms - the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances." - Viktor E. Frankl
  9. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    An incredibly profound book in how it seemed to address the philosophical implications of faith in general--not just faith in this fictional Force, but human faith in real life. It seems that this book can only be truly accessed with a very open mind. Having read it in the middle of a personal faith crisis myself, Jacen seemed to become far more accessible as a human character than a fictional one. Scares me half to death, but this little Star Wars book may have been more beneficial with my faith crises than a lot of things I have dealt with.

    I'm so glad that I read this at this time of year.

    Thank you very much, Stover.
  10. Chiss_Athena Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2006
    star 1
    10

    The symbolism is profound in my opinion.
  11. RafVader Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2007
    star 2
    The Best Star Wars Book I've ever read. Hands Down! 12 out of 10.
  12. Jedi_Veancawen Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2004
    star 1
    Definite 10. I loved the symbolism, the imagery, so on and so forth. One of my favourites, and probably my favourite NJO book.
  13. nate_the_great Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2005
    star 1
    Oh wow! This is one of my favorite NJO books. It was great because it gave Jacen a push in the right direction. If I remember right, he was all passive and not into fighting in the war very much. This novel really transformed his character and for that I am greatful!
  14. PerfectCell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 4
    10/10

    I loved Stover before I read this book and now I love him even more. The view of the force that Stover puts forth is a view I've held ever since I got into SW, and it's refreshing to see an author fully explore the true meaning of the force for once. At the same time he takes a character like Vegere who I can't stand throughout the book and want to be constantly wrong but every time he makes her right I know it has to be that way, that she is doing such a good job of guiding Jacen down his path that as much as I want her to be wrong she won't be. Of course now that I have to move on from this book I'm pretty scared to see how much Stover's (and by extension my own) vision of the force is muddled with in the books that follow.
  15. Obilieveinme Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2005
    star 4
    I liked it a lot but couldn't give it a ten. I think some of the the descriptions, while beautiful, overshadowed the story itself. 9
  16. tulakhordpwns Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2007
    star 2
    I liked it a lot

    I liked how Jacen began to think realistically about the morality of the force, that there is no light and dark side.

    I hate how Luke is pefectly ok with using the force help him destroy enemy fighter pilots but thinks it is the dark side to scramble peoples minds, even though it results in them not being killed, and how white force lightning is pure evil, while it is fine for jedi to use green force lightning.
  17. MGG-112487 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2007
    I thought this was one of the best books of the Expanded Universe. I read it after I read Stover's "Revenge of the Sith," since that made be a big fan of his. I don't agree with Vergere's philosophy, but I find her a fascinating character. I don't think she was a villain. She was a catalyst because, if weren't for her, Jacen may not have been willing to become Lumiya's Sith apprentice. I've studied philosophy a lot, especially since I've been in college, so this was a great book.

    The Potentium view of the Force was not accepted by Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, or Yoda. It is morally relativistic and solipsistic in nature. But we later learned that Vergere did learn learn it from the Jedi.

    At some point after Darth Maul's death, Palpatine was training other possible candidates for the mantle of the Sith. One known pupil was Vergere, who, at some point, after discovering the extent of Palpatine's plots and megalomania, attempted to kill Palpatine. She failed and was forced to flee, managing to escape the galaxy. Shortly thereafter, she wound up with the Yuuzhan Vong.

    It has been suggested that the book alludes to Dante's Inferno in many respects, such as Vergere's name's similarity to that of Virgil, and how she described herself as Jacen Solo's guide through the land of the dead. In addition, when Jacen allows himself to be taken under the slime to the mouth of the World Brain it is very similar to the Devil in the nineth circle of Hell who chews eternally on three traitors. While Vergere and Nom Anor?both traitors in their own rights?are not present within the mouth, they are still very nearby, just beneath the slime pool. Matthew Stover has not confirmed that parallels exist between Traitor and Dante's Inferno.

    So, I gave it a 10.
  18. turnip3030 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2003
    I tried to keep a open mind, I really did. But something about this book pushes me the wrong way. The way the words are put together, and the message about life it tries to convey to us, is completely ass backward to the way I view life myself.

    In other words... his written form is poetic. But the words itself, and the message he tries to give, is just ugly. That's the most apt description I can give the book, it's ugly.

    For this reason, I'd have to give it a 2/10
  19. KissMeImARebel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2003
    star 4
    This book was beautifully horrifying - I don't know how to say it any other way. The imagery and emotions were painful and made me ache for Jacen. The scene where Jacen sits in his shattered apartment on Coruscant is one of my favorite EU scenes - it's haunting.

    I can't quite give it a 10 - there was something lacking. In the end I felt like things wrapped up a little too nicely and without enough payoff and explanation: Something didn't satisfy. Vergere's cryptic babbling seemed a little over the top sometimes too. I give it a 9.
  20. rumsmuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2000
    star 7
  21. Obi-Ron42 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2002
    star 1
    I give it a 1, simply for overusing the word "sphincter."
  22. darthcaedus1138 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2007
    star 5
    hey sphincter is a nice word

    Stover Junkies rejoice!

    This book was excellent.
    It deserves undoubtedly a 9 or 10

    Great work.
  23. Zedd Tucson AZ Chapter Rep

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2007
    star 3
    Hey I haven't read this book yet, but I am wondering why the JCF rated this book as 'NC-17'. Is it just because of the torture scenes, or is there sex in it, or what?
  24. KissMeImARebel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2003
    star 4
    No, there's not sex. Just mental/physical torture. And it's 'dark' and morally ambiguous. [face_peace]
  25. xx_Anakin_xx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    Stover is by far the greatest SW author around. ROTS had me laughing so hard I thought I was going to suffocate - I don't think I have ever read anything so brilliant as the Obi-Wan/Anakin v. Dooku match; I still read it from time to time just to put myself in a good mood. Traitor was another gift of writing. I am not much into prose and symbolism, but Stover managed to keep me interested anyway and as usual his writing sytle was captivating and humorous. Perhaps I see humor where others don't, I dunno...but for me, that is his little dark gift to man kind. A perfect 10 for you darlin'.
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