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Double Star Wars Reviews: The Old Republic: Deceived and Riptide by Paul S Kemp

Double-Review time again! :-) I need to catch up with the reviews and doing Doubles seems the only way I’m going to be able to do that. :-)

Star Wars The Old Republic Deceived

Now, I haven’t been able to play The Old Republic , so I don’t know what the storylines in the game entail, but after reading Sean Williams’ Fatal Alliance, this novel and Drew Karpyshyn’s Revan (review coming), it seems clear to me that The Old Republic is a massive project that stretches over quite a long length of time.

Deceived takes place during a lull in the war between the Empire and the Republic, and gives us one of the best Sith Lords to have ever existed in the Star Wars galaxy – at least in my opinion. I’m sure you all remember the amazing cinematic from before The Old Republic was launched showing how Darth Malgus attacked the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Well, I was blown away by that, and by the Sith Lord who had the (excuse me) balls to not only try something like that but to pull it off. I really wanted to know more about him, and Paul could easily have given us an all-over-evil psychotic Force-user with nothing but domination and subjugation going for him.

Thankfully, that’s exactly what Paul didn’t do. Malgus has one of the most interesting philosophies regarding the Force, the Jedi and the Sith that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, the kind of philosophy that made the characters that Matthew Stover tackled so damned interesting and real. Yes, Malgus is badass, but he also comes across as fallible and, at times, even stupid. Powerful as he is he’s in over his head and eventually chooses the only path that keeps him true to himself. Just on the strength of that I’m hoping that Paul is able to return to Malgus sometime in the future, because the Malgus at the end of Deceived is someone I wouldn’t wish on even the most powerful Jedi force that could be assembled. Hell, even the Empire and the other Sith would have to beware! :-)

But Malgus isn’t the only cool character in the novel – there’s a smuggler doing the best that he can for his daughter and a Jedi who is searching for the truth behind her master’s death; the smuggler is the guy that really had my sympathy – the man goes through some really tight situations in ways that would make Han Solo and Talon Karrde proud, and his very personal and practically unselfish motivation really got me cheering him on. The Jedi, on the other hand, had me worried, because we all know what happens when Jedi begin focusing on the things that their polar-opposites are known for. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as I’m making it sound, but it does illustrate just how easy it is to lose sight of that which not only gives you strength but which also keeps you humble and thoughtful. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions and wanting answers, but we may not always like the answers, something the Jedi discovers, and also something that gives her the kind of motivation that any reader can identify with.

Characters aside, though, Deceived is also an excellent Star Wars novel – the action is exciting and intense, the humour spot on and just that bit campy (in other words, perfect Star Wars humour), and the intense personal explorations that the characters go on are make this novel very cool.
Is Deceived a good jumping-on point for readers new to the Star Wars Expanded Universe? Sure – if you want cool characters, thrilling action and walk-the-line looks at the philosophies of the Sith and the Jedi, then you’ll enjoy this novel. Hell, you might even end up burning to play The Old Republic! :-)

All in all, an excellent novel and another Force-strong effort from Paul; 8 / 10

Order your paperback copies here for Amazon US, here for Amazon UK, and here if you’re in South Africa. And do go and check out Paul’s website.

Riptide

Riptide is the sequel to Paul’s Star Wars EU debut, Crosscurrent (reviewed here), and though it’s a quick read (I finished it in three days), it’s a worthy successor, too.

Crosscurrent brought us Jaden Kor (some readers might remember him from the cool Star Wars PC game, Jedi Academy) and sent Jaden on a journey to find the meaning behind some disquieting Force-born visions he’d been having. Through that novel he discovered a very dangerous remnant from the days of Grand Admiral Thrawn and two smugglers who were tangled up in what quickly became an intense trial of survival. Jaden also came across a Jedi and a Sith literally thousands of years old and was pulled into their struggle for survival, too. (Incidentally, Crosscurrent is a novel that can also be read alongside the (much better than Legacy of the Force) Fate of the Jedi saga as well as John Jackson Miller’s Lost Tribe of the Sith.

Riptide picks up where Crosscurrent left off and sends the story hurtling into some very surprising directions, especially as regards Jaden. Not only is he still trying to solve the mystery of the Thrawn-era remnant I mentioned but he’s also trying to lead a Force-sensitive on the first tentative and dangerous steps toward Apprenticeship and Knighthood in the Jedi Order. Taken together these set up some intense problems for Jaden to overcome, and by extension, his friends. Fans of Knights of the Old Republic PC game and even the new Dawn of the Jedi comic series from Dark Horse should enjoy this novel as it gives readers another glimpse of an almost godly race of beings. Careful readers will also pick up nods to a certain Sith Order-offshoot created by one of the most controversial EU characters (who was first breathed into life by James Luceno in Cloak of Deception), and the storyline also settles in nicely with the then-current events in the Star Wars galaxy, namely the chaos left after the Second Galactic Civil War.

The novel has great humour, especially when certain characters are in very tight spots, excellent action and lightsaber duels, and the kind of philosophical journey’s that make Star Wars tales the kinds of tales that many diverse peoples can understand. I was hugely impressed with the (excuse the word) balls that Paul showed in this novel by doing what he did and I’m seriously hoping for more Jaden-centric novels from Paul.

8 / 10

To order your copies of the book click here for Amazon US, here for Amazon UK, and here for South Africa.

Till next time and the upcoming giveaway,

BE EPIC!

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Reviews

 

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Release Days and Competitions

Hey everyone, March is an absolutely *massive* month for SFF!

First up, The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss has been released – I saw it on the shelf in Australia while I was there and it looks like a gorgeous monster of a book to read; couldn’t afford a copy, though, not in Australian Dollars! I’ll definitely be reading it as soon as I get my hands on a copy, though – it’s been too long since I’ve enjoyed Kvothe’s company. :) It’s not available in SA *just yet* but should be arriving early in April; I’ll let you SA fans know as soon as it does. :)

Second March-release of note (which I’ve reviewed here) is Lily Herne’s Deadlands - zombies, kickass action and awesome characters that is proudly South African. :)

Next up (and will definitely be picking up a copy as soon as it arrives in SA), Peter V Brett’s The Desert Spear is now available in paperback! :) Suvudu’s got a post up to celebrate the release and is also hosting a competition, and Peat is also hosting a new contest – check out all the details and much, much more here. :) Massive congrats to Peat!

Another release that’s been getting *plenty* of attention is The Crippled God (as was expected, eh?). It’s been out for a while in the US and UK but hasn’t reached South Africa just yet – will let you know as soon as it arrives. :) I’ll have to wait a while before I get to it, since I’m re-reading the series (at Memories of Ice now), but I’m really looking forward to it.

Another release which I’m really looking forward to is Paul S Kemp’s Star Wars The Old Republic novel, Deceived. I’m really hoping that my copy will arrive soon (please hold thumbs for me)! Paul is hosting a giveaway for 2 copies of the audiobook, read by the awesome Marc Thompson – check out the details here. :)

One last release-day celebration – Seanan McGuire’s fourth(!!!) October Daye novel, Late Eclipses was available as of the 1st of March! :) Massive congrats to Seanan – I haven’t yet had a chance to finish A Local Habitation but that’s on my to-do list and will be happening soon. :) Congrats, Seanan! :)

That’s it for now – check back tomorrow for some news regarding a new interview with Steven Erikson. :)

Be EPIC!

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Announcements

 

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News: Star Wars and Nolan’s 3rd Batman Movie

Just saw this news:

The cover of Paul Kemp‘s third (counting from Crosscurrent and including Deceived) Star Wars novel, Riptide, has been revealed. Riptide is the sequel to Paul’s Expanded Universe debut, Crosscurrent, which I reviewed here. Here’s the cover:

Er… I’ll have to be completely honest and say that this cover just doesn’t do it for me. Not only is it a complete departure from Crosscurrent’s cover, but it also just doesn’t look like Jaden to me (meaning, the Jaden in Jedi Academy).

But, I’m seriously looking forward to this book! :-) It’ll become available on July 26th, and you can pre-order your copies here (Amazon US) and here (Amazon UK). (Thanks to EU Cantina, where I saw the post; head on over to their site to read Riptide’s blurb) Paul will also be writing a dulogy set in the EU, check out the news here.

Next up, news about The Dark Knight Rises:

“Batman has found a nemesis for his next cinematic adventure – and it looks like a love interest, too.”

The love-interest? Anne Hathaway, who’ll be portraying (YES!) Selina Kyle – Catwoman! :-) (well, that’s who Selina is, so it’s a no-brainer). :-) Very chuffed with this – I think Anne will be able to pull off Selina damn well and it’ll be great to see her in an excellent action movie again.

Other news, and potentially bigger: BANE. You read that right. Check out this post for all the details.

And can I just say that I would give my left kidney for a ticket to the premiere? (including air-fares and accomodation?) ;)

Be EPIC!

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2011 in Announcements

 

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Paul S Kemp gets a new Duology-deal in the Star Wars EU

Some great news has been doing the rounds for a couple of days now, via the Star Wars.com message boards and hints on Twitter, but the news is now finally official: Paul has signed a two-book deal (hardcovers) for a duology set in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I for one am extremely chuffed!

I read and reviewed Paul’s first Star Wars EU novel, Crosscurrent, a while ago and loved it, and I’m eagerly awaiting his The Old Republic MMO tie-in, Deceived (featuring the Sith Lord, Darth Malgus) and the sequel to Crosscurrent, Riptide – by the time Riptide is on the shelves we should have a good idea of what his new Duology will entail. :-) Until then, though, if you haven’t yet read Crosscurrent, get down to your closest bookstore and pick it up. You can also have a look around for Paul’s non-Star Wars novels – check out his website here (Erevis Cale), here (Pathfinder) and here (RA Salvatore’s War of the Spider Queen) for the details.

Be EPIC!

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2010 in Announcements

 

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Read an Excerpt from Paul S Kemp’s Star Wars: The Old Republic – Deceived

Yep, Paul’s gotten the okay to post an un-proofed excerpt of Deceived (coming in December). :-) The excerpt features the awesome character on the cover – Darth Malgus – and now you can watch a certain cinematic and have some awesome detail in the bargain!

Check out the except here – really looking forward to this! December is wayy too long to wait!

Be EPIC!

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2010 in Announcements

 

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Hodder goes Genre and Crosscurrent-Sequel get’s a Title

Hey everyone, here’s some news for you – which you may or may not have already seen. :-)

First off, Paul Kemp’s sequel to his excellent first Star Wars novel, Crosscurrent, has got a title – Riptide. :-) It was announced on Twitter by Paul yesterday and he talks a bit about the process behind choosing the title over at his blog. :-)

I’m very impressed with the title because it keeps to the same theme and feeling of Crosscurrent (this being Star Wars, I’m thinking along the lines of a particularly nasty black hole and it’s power, something every traveler should beware of), and I can’t wait to read it! :-) You can definitely count on me posting the cover to Riptide as soon as it’s released. :-)

Next up, Hodder is moving into the genre market! I’m pretty damn excited about this – we’ve already got some excellent and proven publishers given us awesome books (Tor, Voyager Gollancz, Orbit, Del Rey, etc) and it’ll be great to see what else Hodder has planned; there’s nothing better than healthy competition. :-)

Be EPIC!

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2010 in Announcements

 

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Star Wars, Dark Tower & Wheel of Time News!

Man, what a day for news!

Let’s get right into it; first off, I’ll show you the cover to Sean William’s Star Wars: The Old Republic novel, Fatal Alliance:

Awesome, right? Check out the details for the novel at this post on the official site.

Sean is not only an awesome guy but knows what makes Star Wars so great and brings it in droves to the novels he writes in the Expanded Universe, so I’m definitely looking forward to this!

Next up, the long-awaited naming and cover-reveal of The Old Republic novel by Paul Kemp; I’ll let the cover do the talking! :-)

Awesome, right? :D And yes, that is the kickass Sith Lord who we saw in action in the cinematic of The Old Republic. :-) Check out the details of the novel at this post at the official site; if you want to have another look at the cinematic, check out this post at Paul’s blog, and here’s his announcement. :-)

Very, very chuffed for Paul that he got the chance to write a novel focusing on such a badass character! Here’s hoping that the story behind the cinematic is also included in the novel! :-) He’s already sent in the first draft of the novel, so everything looks a-okay for the December release date!

Paul’s Crosscurrent (reviewed here) showed that he has an awesome understanding of Star Wars, so this will, most probably, be awesome. :-)

Now for Wheel of Time news!

Check out this post over at A Dribble of Ink; Aidan gives us an extended blurb of Book Thirteen of The Wheel of Time, Towers of Midnight. If you haven’t read it yet, I’ll say this: Perrin and Mat.

:-)

And lastly, news of the Dark Tower movies!

Thanks to my buddy Lood, I can tell you that Ron Howard has been tapped to direct a trilogy that’ll bring Stephen King’s absolutely massive and brilliant series to the big screen. Just how he’s planning to cram 7 novels-worth of plot into three movies I have no idea, but this is Ron Howard, and I’m sure he’ll do movies that’ll be as true as possible to the King’s epic. :-) Check out the info here.

That’s it for now,

Have an awesome weekend!

Be EPIC!

P.S. Oh, and here’s something you all have been drooling for – the first pic of Thor. :-)

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2010 in Announcements

 

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An Interview with Paul S. Kemp and John Jackson Miller

Reading John’s Lost Tribe of the Sith stories, the Fate of the Jedi novels and then Paul’s Crosscurrent brings it home that Del Rey has a pretty comprehensive plan for the Star Wars Expanded Universe, post-Yuuzhan Vong and post-Darth Caedus. Not only does each story arc link together, but each story is made better by these links, in my opinion.

In the New Jedi Order, we were treated to a story that stretched over five years, included hundreds of characters and events, but which, ultimately, revolved around the Core characters; what Del Rey and its authors are doing now is going one step further – Fate of the Jedi focuses on the Core characters, but both Crosscurrent and Lost Tribe of the Sith work alongside FotJ, and work well, without having the Core characters in them. Sure, Lost Tribe is set 5000 years before the Battle of Yavin and Crosscurrent was set after the events of the Legacy of the Force, but didn’t bring in the characters we are used to reading about and expecting. How these story lines mix and intertwine (and they will probably continue to do so, with Paul’s sequel to Crosscurrent and the rest of the Fate of the Jedi novels still on the way) perked my interest mightily, and I decided to get Paul and John together for a kind of round-table interview. :-) Here’s the result!

::

Please tell us a bit about yourselves, how you got into writing, etc?

John Jackson Miller:
I started writing comics and prose stories about the same time I started reading them. Reading good stories inspired me to try my own hand at it, and I kept at it over the years, writing my own short stories and producing my own small press comics and magazines. It’s funny, but later on, when I started writing professionally, I found I was drawing on a lot of those experiences when I was just writing things for myself. You need to write for more than just yourself, but you’ve also got to be happy with the work you’re doing, or nobody else will be.

Paul Kemp:
I’m Paul S. Kemp. I’ve been married for seventeen years to a lovely redhead (think Mara Jade, peeps) and we have twin five year old sons. We live in Michigan with a couple cats. My day job is corporate lawyer, which makes me evil. My night job is entertaining writer, which makes me good. So on balance, I guess that makes me about a neutral.

I started writing in law school, when I realized that law was for suckers…er…when I realized, rather, that only practicing law would not lead to a fulfilling life for me. So, I submitted some material to Wizards of the Coast (they had an open submission policy at the time), they liked it, and asked me to submit to an closed call they were having for what would become The Sembia Series. I pitched them Erevis Cale, priest and assassin, they dug that, and here we are. :-)

What does Star Wars mean to you?

John Jackson Miller:
Quite a lot. The movies and the comics based on them were a big part of my childhood and teenage years, and obviously the whole milieu has been a big part of my working life. I even edited a Star Wars collectibles magazine in there somewhere.

Paul Kemp:
Setting aside the fanboy glee I feel for being able to participate in a small way in Lucas’s brainchild, (and here speaking of the movies) I think it’s one of the best fictionalized demonstrations of the Campbellian Hero’s Journey ever made. It’s really a modern myth, which explains why its such a phenomenon from generation to generation.

Considering that Fate of the Jedi, Lost Tribe of the Sith, Legacy and Crosscurrent all borrow characters and share intersecting plots, can you tell us about how this all began – who decided what, and what your roles were in creating these tales? (Without spoiling us, of course)

John Jackson Miller:
I’d been doing more writing in the EU, including some short fiction, and I was always looking for an opportunity to do more. Del Rey and Lucasfilm approached me in early 2009 about creating a supporting storyline that would fill in background about the Lost Tribe of the Sith, right from their beginnings.

The authors of the Fate of the Jedi series had come up with a fairly detailed look at what the Lost Tribe was like today, along with details about how they got stranded in the first place. Most of the intervening years were left available to interpret. We did some coordination to make sure that nothing we came up with caused problems later on, and that “Crosscurrent” and “Lost Tribe” worked together properly.

Since I was starting back five thousand years earlier and working forward, I saw part of my role as illustrating how the Sith got from Point A to Point B. The Sith we saw in the Golden Age of the Sith stories really didn’t have complicated infrastructures or military bureaucracies that we saw — but they needed underlings to be able to run missions like bringing back the Lignan crystals, and of course, the Lost Tribe evolves a fairly detailed command structure. There was also the matter of species to deal with, since the Tribe that we saw was not just human, but also striving for human physical perfection. Both of those things suggested that there was a lot more differentiation in the Sith than we initially saw in the comics — there had to be humans in the mix with some level of contact with outside cultures, even in the “hidden empire” years. The Lost Tribe had lightsabers without power packs; they had to get them from somewhere.

That was the sort of thing I’ve sought to address, while trying to tell an engaging story. Many of the changes that help make the Tribe what it is spring from choices — and unintentional consequences of choices — that our characters made in the past. “Paragon,” the upcoming story, is pretty pivotal in this regard.

Paul Kemp:

My contribution here is pretty small. In my original pitch for Crosscurrent, I had included the existence of an ancient Sith ship carrying Force-enhancing ore (what would later become Lignan) that found itself flung into the future due to a relativity shielding malfunction. My editor (I think), saw some possible connections in that to the story the team was developing for Fate of the Jedi. So she asked me if I could include a second ship that doesn’t jump into the future but instead just misjumps in some way — all of this became Lignan, Harbinger, and Omen, which are the “connectors” between Crosscurrent and the much larger story in Fate of the Jedi.

After that decision was made, I traded emails with some of the authors doing FotJ and JJM (John Jackson Miller), just to keep the various details correct. It was a great experience. Christie, Troy, and JJM (not to mention Sue, Leland, and my editor) were awesome to this Star Wars newbie.

The stories you write are separated by thousands of years of history – how do you give a tale the hallmarks of the Star Wars universe while also giving the tale its own era-specific flavor?

John Jackson Miller:
Oh, I think the trappings of Star Wars are always there. Beyond the physical things like the lightsabers and phenomena like the Force, a lot of the same themes are in play —good versus evil, redemption and betrayal, etc. Whatever the time period, it’s all Star Wars.

Paul Kemp:
Historical touchstones, mostly. Obviously there are some technological differences that get highlighted (ancient lightsabers are not “modern” lightsabers, for example), but little references to current events in the particular timeline can also ground the narrative in an particular era.

When you sit down to write tales in the Star Wars galaxy, what’s the most important aspect of the Galaxy Far, Far Away that you want to capture?

John Jackson Miller:
As I’ve said above — you want to make sure it feels all of a piece with the movies. It’s OK to branch out and explore new kinds of stories, but you don’t want the story to feel completely out of place and unconnected. The feel of stories is pretty important; Star Trek stories have a different feel from Star Wars stories, and so on. Readers tend to know when something feels like it belongs in a particular milieu.

Paul Kemp:
For me, the sense that Star Wars (and the EU) is a setting for myth-making. What I mean by that is that Star Wars touches on foundational moral questions by exploring through the lens of the Force (a kind of Manichean moral construct, really). Its themes are universal. I wanted to at least try and take a stab at that with Crosscurrent.

Also, blasters. And lightsabers. :-)

Coming back to the current EU: with opinions divided on whether or not the Legacy of the Force series worked –comparing it to the New Jedi Order- do you think that the editors and authors of the EU now have a better understanding of how to handle these complex storylines?

Paul Kemp:
Dave, my experience is so limited that I can’t speak to that at all. I’ll say only that the folks I’ve worked with have been extraordinarily knowledgeable and helpful. It’s been a real treat.

What would you say to writers out there who want to someday write in the EU? Any advice or warnings?

John Jackson Miller:
Most licensed properties are invitation-only and don’t look at unsolicited submissions, and Star Wars is no exception. So the important thing is to get established — and that means writing for a variety of places and really polishing your skills. As a former journalist, I think all kinds of writing are important practice, from blogging to covering the sports for your local paper. It’s all about learning to communicate clearly, and to hit your deadlines.

Paul Kemp:
The same thing I say to any aspiring writers: read widely (and not just in genre), and learn what you can from great writers. Then, stop talking/thinking about what great ideas you have. Instead, put yourself in a chair and just friggin’ write. This is a craft. You only get better by doing it.

Finally: what would be the one EU story you would like to tell, if you could?

John Jackson Miller:
Heh! I don’t know – maybe a reality show following Lando’s life might be entertaining!

Paul Kemp:
I mentioned this in one other place, but I’d love to write Luke’s epic finale in the EU (if that finale were ever to come).

::

There we go, hope you all enjoyed that. :-) It goes without saying that the guys took time out of their busy schedules, and I thank them for that. :-)

Want more info on the authors and their work? Click on the links to head over to their websites: John Jackson Miller, Paul S Kemp.

I’ll be reading John’s third Lost Tribe of the Sith story, Paragon, this week or next week, and then I’ll post a review of all three stories.

Until then,
Be EPIC!

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2010 in Interviews

 

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Review: Star Wars – Crosscurrent by Paul S Kemp

This is the first time I got to review a new Star Wars novel BEFORE its publication, and not only was I lucky in that regard, but Paul’s Star Wars debut turned out to be one of the strongest Expanded Universe debuts I’ve read to date.

I’m not going to tell you what the plot of the novel revolves around – Star Wars fans the world over have known since the 17th of July 2009 when the Official Site posted its First Look. I’ll dive right into what made Crosscurrent such a strong debut.

Now, let me state from the outset that I’ve yet to read any of Paul’s other work (though I do have the first Erevis Cale book lined up to review), so I had no idea what to expect concerning his writing style. Would it suit Star Wars?

I’m happy to report that it does. :-)

Paul gives us an intimate focus, character- and action-wise, and his action scenes are as cinematical as would be expected from any Star Wars EU novel.

Paul gives us starfighter dogfights that, while not the equal of what Mike Stackpole or Aaron Allston can do, are still tense and well-suited to the situation. He even manages a great nod at a scene from Return of the Jedi. :-)

Paul’s lightsaber duels are not as descriptive as I would have liked, but what I did like was the fact that the duels were intense and brutal, something that suited both time-periods that Paul uses in Crosscurrent as well as the characters.

Paul’s handling of the characters in Crosscurrent was excellent! Our protagonist, Jaden Korr, comes across as fully-fleshed, as if we’ve met him countless times in the EU instead of just glimpsing him in Centerpoint Station. (I haven’t mentioned Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy -Jaden’s first appearance in Star Wars- because I haven’t played the game) I trusted Jaden to take me through Crosscurrent, something that I believe any protagonist needs to create in a reader; Jaden was likable and I could relate to his situation (not being a Jedi or having a Force-vision, of course, but going through periods of being unsure of myself and having a need to strip away the clutter) and thoughts.

Paul also has a great supporting cast;

Khedryn, a human male who manages to emulate Han Solo and be a better character (considering the way Han has being relegated to comic-relief post-New Jedi Order), and Khedryn plays an awesome game of sabbac, too!

Marr, Khedryn’s co-pilot and friend, a Cerean (think Ki-Adi Mundi) who is at his most calm when taking on a navicomputer to calculate a hyperspace jump;

Kell, a creepy Anzat who is searching for the Revelation that will give his existence meaning,

Relin, a Jedi trying to accomplish the impossible while fighting incredible odds,

and Saes, a Sith who finds himself is either the best or worst possible situation.

The dynamic between Jaden, Khedryn and Marr was great; Not only did Paul manage, by using Khedryn and Marr, to give Jaden a much-needed perspective that didn’t involve the Jedi, but he also used them as a vehicle to explore the kind of questions that we all face – being afraid and dealing with it, seeing the comedy in against-the-odds situations, gathering the courage to do what needs to be done… This interplay between the characters really gave the novel that relatable feel, something that’s been missing from the Star Wars EU for a while now.

Relin I’m not going to say anything about, nor Saes; but go ahead and read the excerpts that have been posted (the first glimpse, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2) to get a taste (not telling you of who, either). :-)

Kell is, well, utterly creepy. Here’s a character that has a need, a hunger that must be fulfilled, and if you know something about Anzati, you can imagine where you’ll travel with Kell. Genuinely creepy!

What made this such an excellent Star Wars debut? Well, part from the awesome characters –

Handling two different eras and not getting me confused, keeping the action and suspense constant with short, to-the-point chapters that rocket along, and crafting a story that can stand proudly and strongly on its own without even a glimpse of Canon characters. This is a Star Wars novel that fans of the EU will love, but it’s also a novel that will get someone who has never read a Star Wars novel before hooked; it has all the hallmarks of Episodes 1 through 6 – the beautiful and strange scenery of distant planets, the wisdom and valor of the Jedi, exciting space battles and lightsaber duels, and the kind of philosophical questions that make Star Wars great. :-) Crosscurrent ranks right up there with the debuts of Troy Denning, Matthew Stover and Karen Traviss for me – it’s enjoyable, exciting, leads to questions and more mysteries, and that spark that sets it above the current EU choice-list.

I’m very excited to see where Paul will take Jaden, Khedryn and Marr, not least because of the links to other Star Wars EU projects going at the moment (and there are plenty of those, and they all work beautifully!). :-)

9 / 10

If you’d like more info about Paul and his work, click here for his official website and here for his LiveJournal blog. Need some more info about Jaden? Click here for his listing on Wookieepedia.

To pre-order Crosscurrent, click here for US, here for UK, and for those in South Africa (the book will be out in March), here.

Be EPIC!

P.S. Stay tuned for an interview with Paul and John Jackson Miller, coming up soon!

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2010 in Reviews

 

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