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Review: Star Wars – Fate of the Jedi: Allies by Christie Golden (Novel and Audiobook)

I’m reposting this, since for some very strange reason I wrote the review, thought I’d posted it and then subsequently deleted the post, thinking that it was a draft. 😛

Anyway, stupidity aside, here we go:
Fate of the Jedi, is, so far, one of the strongest storylines post-NJO (New Jedi Order). If you look at the progression of the storylines from the New Jedi Order, it seems as if there is a definite plan, even though it’s probably impossible to plan so far ahead. As things stand, Fate of the Jedi is a vast improvement on Legacy of the Force, and Christie Golden proves with Allies that she can stand proud among the best authors in the EU: James Luceno, Troy Denning, Karen Travis and Aaron Allston.

The greatest strength of Allies was the way Christie handled the characters; Luke and Ben, allied with Sith and aimed at Abeloth, are in the tightest of spots, and their POV sections are filled with tension and intrigue. But Christie also manages to inject some sharp humour and drama, too, and the conflict between Ben, Vestara and Luke was definitely one of my personal highlights. Han and Leia take a bit of a backseat in Allies, their roles more that of holding down the fort and supporting the Jedi as they can, and even though they aren’t really in the spotlight that’s fine with me – they are, after all, grandparents, and can’t be as active as they were for much of their lives. Another excellent character, one that’s been steadily getting more of the spotlight, is Daala’s aid, Wynn Dorvan Christie manages, as both Aaron and Troy have, to keep him an ambiguous character, but it is in Allies that Wynn really begins to show the shades and colours that make him a truly interesting and fun character to read; I’m looking forward to seeing what Wynn’s place in the GFFA becomes, should he survive this series.

Two of the most intense moments of the novel involve Jaina Solo and Tahiri Veila, and Christie brought tears to my eyes with these scenes; seriously, I was sitting at work, listening to the audiobook when I heard these scenes, and I had to swallow a couple of times to hide my reaction from my colleagues. These scenes were right up there with tear-jerkers such as those that Matthew Stover, Karen Traviss, RA Salvatore and Troy Denning have brought us.

Plot-wise, Allies impressed me no end – in Legacy of the Force, the Second Galactic Civil War fizzled out towards the end of the series, but all the storylines in Fate of the Jedi are important and handled as such. Christie manages to bring a couple of plot-threads to a close while seeding those endings with the beginnings of yet more mysteries, and the thing is, it didn’t seem forced at all. There’s two very important things that any Star Wars EU novel should do – capture the characters and ensure that the plots reach a proper conclusion. There can’t be any shortcuts in the EU (the best example of this would be, in my opinion, James Luceno’s absolutely brilliant Cloak of Deception) and Christie doesn’t disappoint. Allies isn’t a thick book filled with events just for the sake of it – everything that happened pushed Fate of the Jedi faster and harder, just as Sacrifice did for Legacy of the Force. It seems to me that Fate of the Jedi has certainly been kicked into high-gear with Allies and to say that I’m excited for the rest of the books in the series would be a massive understatement!

All in all, definitely the best book of the series so far, and Christie has definitely cemented her position as one the best authors writing in the Star Wars Expanded Universe; very highly recommended!

9 / 10

Audiobook review:

All I’m going to say is this: Marc Thompson, Kevin Thomsen and all the people that work on the audiobooks, should get salary increases (and big one’s) so that they never stop doing Star Wars audiobooks. The best Star Wars audiobook I’ve listened to!

10 / 10

To check out more about Christie and her body of work, visit her site here; to order Allies from Amazon US click here for the hardcover and here for the audiobook; from Amazon UK here for the hardcover and here for the audiobook; and click here to buy the audio download from Auidible. Also, don’t forget to check out the official Star Wars website for all the EU news as it happens. 🙂

Be EPIC!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 8, 2010 in Reviews

 

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Review: Star Wars Fate of the Jedi: Book 2 – Omen by Christie Golden

Book 2 of the 9-book series that follows on from the events of the Legacy of the Force sees the Jedi falling into chaos, and the only person who probably has a hope of saving them -Grand Master Luke Skywalker- has been forced into exile.

Now, this might sound a bit strange, but I’ve got a feeling that Fate of the Jedi could possibly be as good a series as The New Jedi Order was (and remains to be). Why? Let me explain:

Looking back at the disjointed spectacle that Legacy of the Force became, there is a sense of Slow and Steady Does It with Fate of the Jedi. Book 1 of the Legacy series, Betrayal, rocked the whole Star Wars galaxy by showing how one of its biggest heroes, Jacen Solo, murdered a fellow Jedi Knight and chose to become a Sith Lord. After such a huge beginning it was almost impossible for the series to end on an even higher note, not to mention sustain the pace that was needed after Betrayal.

Fate of the Jedi begins with Jedi going insane and Luke Skywalker being exiled – huge events, sure, but nowhere near the events in Betrayal – and Book 2, Omen, introduces a group of long-lost Sith who have been cut off from the galaxy for thousands of years. These story-arcs are, in my opinion, very exciting and promising, because I’m pretty sure that Sue Rostoni and the gang learned a lot out of Legacy of the Force.

You see, Omen is not as good a book, event-wise, as Outcast was, but in my opinion, it’s an excellent part of the series.

Luke Skywalker and his son, Ben, meet the Aing-Tee monks, mythical Force users that were visited by Jacen during his 5-year odyssey, and who have a reputation that most sane citizens of the galaxy do well to take into account before venturing into their territory, being the Kathol Rift.

On Coruscant, Leia Solo, her husband Han and daughter, Jaina, are in the thick of a growing hatred and mistrust of the Jedi, and things aren’t getting any better; Chief of State Daala is getting all the fuel she needs to take on and cow the Jedi.

Omen is a short book; most readers will probably finish it in a day or two, but it’s expertly-paced and filled with info and interesting characters, especially Vestara Khai and the hidden enclave of Sith.

All of you should know where these Sith came from thanks to the great eBooks from John Jackson Miller, Precipice and Skyborn. These stories introduced us to a group of Sith from the era of Naga Sadow who were on a very important mission during that destructive war between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. The descendants of these Sith now take center-stage in Fate of the Jedi, and even though they don’t have such a major role to play, a dropped story-arc from Legacy of the Force is explained and given a new direction; I’m really excited to see what happens with these Sith, even after I heard rumors about what might be happening in the next couple of books in the series.

Christie’s writing is easy and flowing and her action scenes are top-notch and as cinematical as every Star Wars action-scene should be. 🙂 Her characterizations are on the spot, too, but one character, in my opinion suffers – and not just in Omen, but in every Star Wars novel he’s appeared in after The New Jedi Order:

I’m talking about Han Solo.

The thing that bugs me is that Han has become a two-dimensional character, no matter who handles him. When Chewbacca died in Vector Prime we met a Han that had great emotional depth, and we went on a journey with Han as he battled to sort through his feelings of grief and loss and anger and find his place in the world again. Han’s descent into 2-bit comedy-relief began in Legacy of the Force and has continued, and it breaks my heart. All he basically does in each novel is take part in action sequences and make funny quips, and after what he went through after Vector Prime, he’s become, well, a disappointment.

I have no idea why this happened, there just doesn’t seem to be a logical reason for it, but I seriously hope it changes. Understand, I don’t think it’s a fault of Christie -even though this is her debut Star Wars novel- but it’s something that’s been happening more and more with many different authors. 😦

All things considered, though, Omen is a great novel, and a strong addition to the Fate of the Jedi series. Things are being put in place in this series that will have repercussions, I’m sure, for a long time, and for the whole Star Wars galaxy. 🙂 Well worth a read!

7 / 10

For more info about Christie and her work, follow this link, and to order your copies, click here for the US, here for the UK, and here for SA. Also, check out the official Fate of the Jedi webpage for excerpts and more. 🙂

Be EPIC!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 5, 2010 in Reviews

 

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