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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!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Reviews

 

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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!

 
4 Comments

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!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 29, 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!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 18, 2010 in Announcements

 

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