I don't really blame Allston for this being such a disappointment. He put in a fine effort for what he was given. But the round robin nature of this series doesn't showcase any author's strengths. What we have is a 9 book arc that could have or should have been cut by at least 3 books. Unlike The New Jedi Order or even the lackluster, Legacy of the Force, Fate of the Jedi suffers from too many subplots that don't advance much coupled with the fact that this series feels the need to include each and every subplot in every novel. Each subplot is fairly interesting in and of itself (even if common sense does seem to elude some of these plots) but it's too much with too little advancement. What we end up with is a disjointed soap opera that doesn't zero in on any one thing. Or any one theme. It's trying to be everything in each book and the repetition of this problem is where it's lost me.
Not to mention that the inside flap actually spoils a good part of the first half of the book for you.
*MINOR SPOILER* If you've been following the series so far ask yourself, just how many times does Luke have to defeat Abeloth? Exactly. At $30 plus tax? Exactly.
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Like Jacen - I am tired of the FOTJ series... but feel like I have to make it through just because it has been interesting to date, and I have a sunk cost of time that I want to complete.
Aaron Allston does a much better job at Conviction than Backlash. Still I found that his treatment of Alana (an 8 year old) continued to be un-believable. Also I continue to be irritated that there is some cross book elements strewn into the story - but it seems that the Jedi do not learn across books. Luke Skywalker learned some new Force techniques in the previous books (Backlash for example)... yet it NEVER comes up again. The authors in the series should have co-operated even more tightly on the learnings and use of the new techniques.
These little things did not tie the series together very well. I still expected better. Not a bad read/listen - just don't expect too much. Still an engaging storyline.
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This is one of the better books in the Fate of the Jedi (FOTJ) series. I really enjoy Allston's pacing... it really makes you want to keep reading to find out what is going to happen. The three story lines of adventure (with Luke, Ben and Vestara), politics (Daala and the Jedi), and legal (Tahiri) all intertwine nicely, and have significant things happen in all of them. This is where some of the other books in the series seem to come up short as it just seems to have been more of the same. But finally we have some major developments!
*Spoiler* Daala is dealt with and ousted from her role... all the while a new level of treachery replaces her. Tahiri is sentenced and the legal story line (the flatest in the series) is out of the courts! And Luke deals a damaging blow to Abeloth... but this story line continues on.
Something that I've been noticing more and more through this series is that it draws heavily from previous novels. It would be nice if the authors included a bibliography or suggested reading so we could brush up on some of the more subtle things happening that we haven't seen since before the New Jedi Order series.
Overall, I really liked this book. I like that the authors are finally resolving some of the issues that they've been spinning circles around in the earlier books. And I am still a big fan of Allston's writting. Definite thumbs up for collector and casual reader alike.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Hard to justify spending so much money to read this seriesJune 3 2011
M. G. Moore
- Published on Amazon.com
*Warning Spoilers* I usually enjoy Allston's entries in the Star Wars universe, but since the legacy series I've been having trouble finding ways not to complain about them. Not that I didn't enjoy this book, but I was a bit annoyed by certain continuing themes, the price, and the story isn't anywhere as interesting as NJO and pre-NJO books.
The Jedi insanity plot was annoying from the beginning and now has gotten even worse. At least in the beginning the cause was mysterious, but now we know it is caused by a villain straight out of a made-for-tv horror movie. Seriously wtf is up with the Abeloth. When I first read the description of her I didn't know whether to laugh at the ridiculousness of it or weep for the lack of creativity in finding a new enemy for the jedi. She now has more than one body and is a cannibalistic doppelganger with mega force powers?
This book continues the new tradition of post NJO EU books by ignoring common sense for the sake of trying to push towards the goal of the author. So many of the decisions characters make in the book go against common sense and the characters' personalities. for example: there is one part in Conviction where Corran Horn makes a statement about not going after his kids when they run off because when he was in CorSec they taught him not to get too involved in cases where family was involved or something and that he would let others handle it.... now correct me if I'm wrong but...wasn't there a whole, very awesome, book called I, Jedi where he began his Jedi training and went through a huge ordeal to save Mirax when she was captured... seemed a bit personal and dealt with family then....
They did finally overthrow Daala.... I still can't figure out how they would come to the decision to put her in charge. what with the whole trying to destroy the Alliance every year of her life, trying to use giant super weapons to kill everything that went against the empire, still expressing support for the Palpatine way of rule, and the whole trying to commit genocide against all force users thingy. But yeah she seems a bit impartial and level headed. Put her in charge.
There is just so much uselessness to this book and the other books in this series. Less than half the books advance the plot. This whole series should have been finished after a few books. I wish they'd just go back to writing trilogies and short series. They can't all be a success like the NJO. There was more content in the Thrawn trilogy than all of the Fate of the Jedi books combined.
Positive notes: They do developed Ben's character a bit more, and seem to maintain some consistencies in his personality between authors. Vestara's character is also being developed pretty well throughout the book(the rest of the sith seem to be getting less intimidating though). There was a funny scene when Daala was being led into her cell where Tahiri got to wave at her from across the hall and laugh. Leia gets a good fight scene. oh and Artoo makes a few good puns at C3PO's expense.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Better, but still brought down in the end: Ebook reviewApril 1 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Well, if nothing else, I want to assure the reader that this book IS indeed vastly superior to other books in this series, particularly Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Ascension which in my opinion was an unmitigated disaster.
First, I wish to note that there will be plot spoilers in this review. I generally try not to spoil the plot, but some of my review is going to deal with direct criticism of the plot.
First, the plot moves. Thank heavens, the last book, and things definitely happen. Denning does a laudable job of making things happen. Characters (namely Abeloth) are FINALLY explained. Your mileage may vary on this. Personally, I found the explanation of what Abeloth was to be profoundly cheesy. It links in to a Clone Wars animated TV series that I think is just terrible, but apparently it is very popular for some so that is just my taste, perhaps... Regardless, though, I think the detail it went into warped her character. By the end, I couldn't really shake the impression that rather than Space Cthulhu, Abeloth was just some weird depressed stalker who had family issues.
Characterization is much better in Apocalypse. The things characters do actually make sense. And in the case of some, it isn't all good. Characters who are traumatized react appropriately. I really appreciated this from Denning, it is something often not found in sci-fi/fantasy.
Allana. There are significant spoilers here
The other reviewers who mentioned her are right. Her characterization has to be some sort of joke by Denning. It blasts way beyond the bounds of any sane credulity or suspension of belief into complete farce. I can't for the life of me imagine how this ever got past an editor's desk.
1. Allana is 8, but she is debating force philosophy, galactic politics and ethics with her grandparents as if she were a jaded adult. 2. Leia literally thinks this about her: "Her nine-year-old granddaughter was already a veteran of several assassination attempts and practically an old hand at close-quarters combat". This is absurd. She is 9, and Denning gives us lovingly described scene after scene of this little girl going Rambo on Sith and butchering them. 3. She gets on her pet in the middle of battle, breaks cover, and makes her pet charge the enemy while she shoots at them. This tactic works.
I'm sorry, but this is easily the worst characterization I've read in any book ever. However you choose to write your 9-year old girl characters, an adult thinking and speaking, Sith-butchering combat expert is the least believable I can think of.
The ending also is confusing. It involves a "dark man" who isn't identified by name, but described in some detail as if I should recognize him. I don't understand. I wonder if this is some tie-in to that comic series I haven't read, but have heard is set in the Star Wars universe far future. This strikes me as lazy writing. If you are going to include a character that makes no sense unless you read some obscure comic series, it shouldn't be playing such a significant role. I'm not a writer, but even I know that a basic maxim is that books should internally coherent and tell a story in themselves. This book fails that test by constantly throwing out references that forced me to resort to Google to understand.
The resolution of Ben and Vestara is annoying. Vestara, is basically treated as an utter pariah, literally sent into battle unarmed, and the Jedi have the audacity to act outraged when she gets fed up with them? Honestly, I feel like it was billed as a "big betrayal", but not really. She chose not to do a stupidly noble suicide, and half-heartedly led a Sith attack in a battlezone on Allanna... Who Vestara thought would be on the other side of galaxy, safe, as the heir to a wealthy, powerful interstellar kingdom.
In summary, while the events of this book moved rapidly to a conclusion, wrapping up multiple plot points, so much of what happened is nothing more than the result of sheer stupidity from the protagonists. Vestara's betrayal is definitely the result of her being systemically treated like scum. Allana is either a complete freak of developmental psychology or a joke by Denning, either way, reading her makes me grit my teeth, the ending with Abeloth is unsatisfying, links the story to what I consider some of the cheesiest canon material in the entire EU.
Finally, and astonishingly enough, the publisher is trying to pull a fast one on buyers yet again: the last ~20% of the book is promotional material. That's right, a good fifth of the pages in your book are length advertisements and excerpts for upcoming Star Wars books. I consider this a highly negative point, deceptive on the part of the publisher, and would highly recommend not purchasing this book on the basis of that. To clarify, looking at the Kindle edition. The book ends at 78%. That means 22% of the book (nearly a QUARTER) is taken up by appendix fillers and reams of advertisements.
In the end, Apocalypse is only good to wrap up the complete disappointment and disaster that was the Fate of the Jedi series. It resolves a few plot-lines at long last, and unfortunately has nothing going for it outside of plot resolution. You can easily get what matters from a brief plot synopsis on a blog, and if you really want to read this book, I would recommend getting it from the library, so as to avoid buyer's regret.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I blame the editorsJuly 6 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I mostly liked this book. It had a lot of interesting character moments, some decent action, and some interesting plot points.
That said, I have a few problems with this title, but only one of them can be placed at the feet of the author, Ms. Golden. I like her writing, she is great at characters (See Star Trek: Voyager Homecoming). Here is my one problem with Golden's writing. Several times during this book, Jedi ignite their lightsabers to cut through a door or wall. They've done this in the past, and they'll do it in the future. My problem is that each time, Golden goes on for several paragraphs about how difficult it actually is to cut through a wall with a lightsaber. Look, its a valid point, and something the other authors have ignored, but I got it after the first time. WE GET IT! ITS HARD TO CUT THROUGH A DOOR WITH A LIGHTSABER!
And I also would have liked to see some mention of the droids, and some of the other peripherial characters, but since other books do this to the expense of the big 3 (Han, Luke, Leia), its a minor complaint.
My other complaints with the title are more related to how it fits into the overall series and I believe these issues are the fault of the editors giving Golden strict guidelines.
-I love the father-son moments with Luke and Ben. Love them. I love the Father-Daughter moments with Han and Jaina. All of these scenes were great, but there were a lot of them. My problem here is that if you look at the first book in the series (Exile), you see almost none of it. This book felt very heavy on such moments, and light on important events. The editors need to encourage the writer's to balance this out more, to include a better balance in future books.
-Leia and Han getting their granddaughter a pet is NOT enough of a plot line to last the entire book. This is again the editor's fault, for telling Golden that Leia and Han must be in almost the exact same condition as they were before the book started. There are a plethora of crisis going on, and Leia (who has been instrumental in solving all crisis within the past 40 years) decides to go to a pet show? HUH?
-Acting Jedi Grand Master Kenth Hamner. Where do I begin? How about here: I can't remember him ever being introduced. We know almost nothing about him. The first mention of him that i can recall is in NJO: Edge of Victory Part 1 where he warns Luke and Mara that they are about to be arrested. Golden tried to get into his head, but the editors wouldn't let her create more of a backstory for him, and therefore, he still has almost none. And also, isn't he a JEDI MASTER? How can so many people lie to his face? I also can't remember him ever using the force.
-Also problematic is the visit with the Aing Tii. Many of the scenes here could have replaced "Aing Tii" with "Baron Do" and we never would have noticed the difference. The two visits were framed in very similiar manners.
-Also, editors: Amelia scenses something from the moon of Kessel in "Exile", tells Leia about it, and SHE DOESN'T INVESTIGATE!? Heh?
-And, lastly for now, my last complaint with the editors handling of the series: Why in the name of the force would Luke leave R2-D2 with Han and Leia? R2 is great with information and repairs, surprisingly good in a fight, doesn't take up that much space, and oh yeah HAS BEEN BY LUKE'S SIDE EVERY MINUTE FOR THE PAST 40 YEARS! Luke has risked his life multiple times to rescue R2, and now just dumps him on his sister like he's a nuisance? Now I haven't seen blueprints, but it seems to me like there's room on the Jade's Shadow for him.
All of this said, I loved the Sith on Kesh (even though it was obviously an afterthought), and Sylgal having an increased role is really cool. I am chomping at the bit for the next book. I just hope the editor's pay more attention.
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Mixed BagMarch 24 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Darth Caedus is gone but the Galactic Alliance is suffering from the aftermath of his dark reign. The Jedi have been shouldered with the blame and Luke Skywalker has been banished from Coruscant because he was unable to stop Jacen Solo's turn to the dark side. To make matters worse, Jedi Knight Valin Horn is suffering from a psychotic break that brings even more unwanted attention on the Jedi. In a desperate move, the Galactic Alliance assigns official observers to every Jedi Knight to keep them in check.
After his banishment Luke and his son, Ben, decide to uncover the truth behind Jacen's turn to the dark side and their search leads them to Dorin, home world of the mysterious Kel Dors. While there they uncover some startling revelations that bring a whole new set of problems. Meanwhile, back on Coruscant, the Jedi continue to struggle under the watchful eye of the government and the media. When a rogue Jedi appears suffering from Valin Horn's same condition, the Jedi must find a way to capture him and get the answers they need. All the while they must outwit the government forces that have turned against them.
Outcast was a mixed bag for me because even though I flew through the pages, there were certain elements that didn't work. One thing that works well throughout is Aaron Allston's top notch writing. This story flows easily and Allston does a wondrous job of plopping us right into the middle of the civil conflict brewing around the Jedi. Throughout the story we are treated with a nice balance of action and character development that make this an effortless read. I especially enjoyed the fresh insights into the Kel Dors and it was fun to see grandparents Han and Leia up to their old tricks.
What didn't work for me was how little actually happens in this story. I hate to even comment on this since I enjoyed Allston's writing so much, but that is my straight up initial reaction. Granted, I have not read the Legacy of the Force series, and one could argue that perhaps that hindered my understanding and comprehension of everything going on in Outcast. Honestly, I feel like Allston did a great job of including the perfect amount of background info to set the stage for the story and besides, I didn't encounter anything a little Wookiepedia couldn't remedy. In the end it just seems like very little happened here and I never really felt like any of the heroes were in any kind of danger.
Don't get me wrong though. As I stated earlier, the elements that did work, worked quite well and were enough to keep me going. Star Wars fans will no doubt find plenty here to rave about, but I won't be surprised if many are left with the same impressions that I was. This is the first book in the series, and my hope is that as the series unfolds I will look back on Outcast and have a deeper appreciation for it. In the meantime I am eagerly anticipating the release of the second installment, Omen.
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
It Had Its MomentsMarch 14 2012
Guitarist of the Midwest
- Published on Amazon.com
Ok, so most people know that this series has been a mixed bag and its been uncomfortable to read due to its disjointed feel in places, but overall it hasn't been bad. This is another example of "Eh, its ok".
Abeloth, the major villain of the series, is given a backstory in this novel in addition to the main plot. The story is deeply embedded in the 'Mortis Trilogy' from TCW television series. My only problem with this is that this show constantly overwrites established canon and then the EU authors go clean it up. This, however, was Denning recognizing an amazing plot device and making use of it. Too bad it felt tacked on. This could have been perfect and a believable tie-in to the show, but because it was only put in this final novel it feels rushed. This, actually, is the main problem that lies in this novel.
The ending is rushed. The backstory for Abeloth also ties into the major momentous plot ender. Its exciting, its quick and its...well...over. That's the issue. This book has to things tossed in and then its all a rush to the finish line. Its the biggest book in this series, but it feels shortest because of the sprint. Personally it didn't work for me. The first half of the novel is a fantastic action scene, but right around the moment of a noble sacrifice it all falls apart and resumes the disjointed feel the series has been plagued with.
I would also like to address the appearance of Darth Krayt and Vestara's assumed allegiance with him in the end. There are several problems in this. First off, in the Legacy story the Jedi have no idea that Krayt exists until his attack. The Sith have remained perfectly hidden, and the public has no idea they still exist. Now, because of this threat to the galaxy, Krayt exposes himself. Then we're to assume he's just...left alone? Ah, but that can't happen either, because Vestara is with them now (its hinted at anyway) and Ben has sworn to find her and bring her to justice. They still love one another so that makes this an interesting plot point, but nonetheless she'll have to die to protect the One Sith's secret, and Luke will now somehow have to forget that he saw Krayt on the Throne. Denning said in an interview the day this came out that Del Rey had been plotting way into the future story-wise and it has been suggested that the Legacy story be treated as just the possible future, but that they might overwrite it. This is kind of the problem. The story-writers have been working to force the current stories in with that future instead of working to make it about the journey and not the destination. Now they're considering deleting years of writing, art, and investment because its difficult.
This book is not without positives though, and the first half of the novel is some of the best Star Wars I've read in awhile. The Jedi get series, Abeloth is insane, and Ben and Vestara are adorable. The action is heavy and well written (pure Denning) and culminates in one of the sadder moments in this series despite it involving a character that was invented ONLY for this series. The first half is absolutely perfect, and though the scenes with the Killiks are where it begins to fall apart Raynar Thul is still especially well written.
To sum up, if you enjoyed the series you'll enjoy this. If you like the show, you should try this series. If you just want to know how it ends, maybe wait for the paperback.