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Conviction: Star Wars (Fate of the Jedi) Hardcover – May 24 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: LucasBooks (May 24 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345509102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345509109
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.2 x 24.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #295,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Aaron Allston is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi books Outcast and Backlash; the Star Wars: Legacy of the Force novels Betrayal, Exile, and Fury; the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines adventures Rebel Dream and Rebel Stand; novels in the popular Star Wars X-Wing series; and the Doc Sidhe novels, which combine 1930s-style hero-pulps with Celtic myth. He is also a longtime game designer and in 2006 was inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design (AAGAD) Hall of Fame. He lives in Central Texas.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Infirmary Level, Jedi Temple, Coruscant

The medical readout board on the carbonite pod flickered, then went dark, announcing that the young man just being thawed from suspended animation—Valin Horn, Jedi Knight—was dead.

Master Cilghal, preeminent physician of the Jedi Order, felt a jolt of alarm ripple through the Force. It was not her own alarm. The emotion was the natural reaction of all those gathered to see Valin and his sister, Jysella, rescued from an unfair, unwarranted sentence imposed not by a court of justice, but by Galactic Alliance Chief of State Daala herself. Had they come to see these Jedi Knights freed and instead become witness to a tragedy?

But what Cilghal didn’t feel in the Force was the winking out of a life. Valin was still there, a diminished but intact presence in the Force.

She waved at the assembly, a calming motion. “Be still.” She did not need to exert herself through the Force. Most of those present were Jedi Masters and Jedi Knights who respected her authority. Not one of them was easily panicked, not even the little girl beside Han and Leia.

Standing between Valin’s and Jysella’s hovergurneys with her assistant Tekli, Cilghal concentrated on the young man lying to her right. His body gleamed with a trace of dark fluid: all that remained of the melted carbonite that had imprisoned him. He was as still as the dead. Cilghal pressed her huge, webbed hand against his throat to check his pulse. She found it, shallow but steady.

The readout board flickered again and the lights came up in all their colors, strong, the pulse monitor flickering with Valin’s heartbeat, the encephaloscan beginning to jitter with its measurements of Valin’s brain activity.

Tekli, a Chadra-Fan, her diminutive size and glossy fur coat giving her the aspect of a plush toy instead of an experienced Jedi Knight and physician, spun away from Valin’s gurney and toward the one beside it. On it lay Jysella Horn, slight of build, also gleaming a bit with unevaporated carbonite residue. Tekli put one palm against Jysella’s forehead and pressed the fingers of her other hand across Jysella’s wrist.

Cilghal nodded. Computerized monitors might fail, but the Force sense of a trained Jedi would not, at least not under these conditions.

Tekli glanced back at Cilghal and gave a brisk nod. All was well.

The pulse under Cilghal’s hand began to strengthen and quicken. Also good, also normal.

Cilghal moved around the head of the gurney and stood on the far side, a step back from Valin. When he awoke, his vision would be clouded, and perhaps his judgment as well. It would not do for him to wake with a large form standing over him, gripping his throat. Violence might result.

She caught the attention of Corran and Mirax, parents of the two patients. “That was merely an electronic glitch.” Cilghal tried to make her tones reassuring, knowing her effort was not likely to succeed—Mon Calamari voices, suited to their larger-than-human frames, were resonant and even gravelly, an evolutionary adaptation that allowed them to be heard at greater distances in their native underwater environments. Unfortunately, they tended to sound harsh and even menacing to human ears. But she had to try. “They are fine.”

Corran, wearing green Jedi robes that matched the color of his eyes, heaved a sigh of relief. His wife, Mirax, dressed in a stylish jumpsuit in blacks and blues, smiled uncertainly as she asked, “What caused it?”

Cilghal offered a human-like shrug. “I’ll put the monitors in for evaluation once your children are checked out as stable. I suspect these monitors haven’t been tested or serviced since Valin and Jysella were frozen.” There, that was a well-delivered lie, dismissing the monitor’s odd behavior as irrelevant.

Valin stirred. Cilghal glanced down at him. The Jedi Knight’s eyes fluttered open and tried to fix on her, but seemed to have difficulty focusing.

Cilghal looked down at him. “Valin? Can you hear me?”

“I . . . I . . .” Valin’s voice was weak, watery.

“Don’t speak. Just nod.”

He did.

“You’ve been—”

She was interrupted by a stage-whispered notification from Tekli: “Jysella is awake.”

Cilghal adjusted her angle so she could address both siblings. “You’ve been in carbonite suspension for some time. You feel cold, shaky, and disoriented. This is all normal. You are among friends. Do you understand me?”

Valin nodded again. Jysella’s “yes” was faint, but stronger and more controlled than Cilghal had expected.

“Your parents are here. I’ll allow them to speak to you in a moment. The Solos are here, as well.” And little Amelia and her pet Anji, both of whom smell like they’ve been rolling in seafood shells left rotting for a week. Cilghal had to blink over that fact. The child should have received a thorough disinfecting before being allowed in this chamber. Come to think of it, Barv also reeked. Where could a youngling and even a Jedi Knight go in the clean, austere Temple and end up smelling like that?

She set the question aside. “Bazel Warv is here, and Yaqeel Saav’etu, your friends. They can answer many questions about an ailment that afflicted the two of you just prior to your freezing.”

Jysella looked around, barely raising her head, her attention sliding across the faces of friends and loved ones, and then she looked at Valin. He must have felt her attention; he looked back. A thought, the sort of instant communication that only siblings can understand, passed between them. Then the two of them relaxed.

Jysella looked again at her parents. “Mom?”

At Cilghal’s nod, Mirax and Corran came forward, crowding into the gap between the hovergurneys. Tekli moved out of their way, circling the head of Valin’s bed to rejoin Cilghal. She craned her neck to look up at the Mon Cal. “All signs good.”

Cilghal nodded. She turned to the others in the room. “All but the immediate family, please withdraw to the waiting area.”

And they did, exiting with words of encouragement and welcome.

In moments, only the Horns and the medics remained with Valin and Jysella. Cilghal took a few steps to the nurses’ station and its bank of monitoring screens, giving its more elaborate readouts a look . . . or pretending to. Tekli found a mist dispenser and sprayed its clean-smelling contents around the chamber, driving away reminders of Amelia’s, Anji’s, and Barv’s recent presence. Then she rejoined her superior.

If Cilghal’s predictions were correct, Valin and Jysella would be reaching full cognizance right about now, if they hadn’t already. And if the madness that had caused them to be subjected to carbonite freezing was still in effect, their voices would be raised in moments with accusations: What have you done with my real mother, my real father?

That was the insanity that had visited them, the manifestation of the dark-side effect of their connection with the monster known as Abeloth. But recently, Abeloth’s power over the “mad Jedi” had been broken. They had all returned to normal—all but these young Horns, their recovery delayed by their suspended state.

Valin’s voice was raised in a complaint, but it was not an accusation of treachery and deceit. “I can’t stop shaking.”

“It’s normal.” His father sounded confident. “Han went through it years ago. He said it took him quite a while to warm up. This gurney is radiating a lot of heat, though. You’ll be warm enough before you know it.” He frowned. “He also said his eyesight was gone right after he woke. How is it that you’re seeing so well?”

“We’re not.” That was Jysella, raising her arms above her to stretch, an experiment that caused her to wince with muscle pangs. “I’m seeing mostly with the Force.”

Valin nodded. “Me, too.”

Cilghal and Tekli exchanged a glance. That was a relief. The conversation was idle chat, and would soon turn to minute discussions of who had been up to what while Valin and Jysella slept. All was well.

Unless . . . Cilghal still had one more test to run.

She raised her voice to catch the attention of all the Horns. “Excuse me. I must interrupt. We have to let the monitors get several minutes of uninterrupted data, and all this talking is interfering. I must ask you two to withdraw for a while.”

Mirax gave her an exasperated look. “After all the time we’ve waited—”

Tekli held up a hand to forestall her. “After all that time, you can afford to indulge in a few minutes of quiet relief with your husband.” She made a shooing motion with her hands. “Out.”

Grudgingly, the older Horns withdrew. They’d be joining the others in the waiting area.

From a cabinet, Cilghal took a pair of self-heating blankets. She approached the gurneys and spread one blanket over each patient. “Tekli and I need to make some log entries about your recovery. Josat will be here in a moment—ah.” As if on cue, and it was indeed on cue, a teenage Jedi apprentice, cheerful and maddeningly energetic, entered the chamber. Red-haired, lean with a teen’s overactive metabolism, he offered Cilghal and Tekli a minimally acceptable respectful nod and immediately moved over to the nurses’ station monitor to familiarize himself with his two charges.

Cilghal finished adjusting Jysella’s blanket. “If you need anything, Josat can provide it, and if he is not here, say ‘Nurse’ and the comm router will put you in contact with the floor nurse.”

Jysella glanced over at her brother. “I have just been tucked in by a large fish.”

He smiled, and when he spoke, there was amusement in his voice. “Maybe you’re hallucinating.”

***

The waiting room was a long chamber decorated with plants from a dozen worlds and a wall-side fountain shaped to simulate a waterfall on the planet Alderaan, destroyed so long ago. The air here was fresher than that in the infirmary chambers, smelling of oxygen from the plants, mist from the waterfall—

Fresher in most ways, fouler in others. Leia turned to Allana and crossed her arms. “Sweetie . . .”

“I know, I know.” The child did not sound at all child-like, but she hugged her pet nexu to her with what looked like a need for reassurance. “We smell bad.”

“What did you get into?”

Allana’s shrug was uncommunicative. “I don’t know.”

Leia glanced at Barv, but the Ramoan Jedi Knight, big and green with ferocious tusks, avoided her eye.

Well, of course he didn’t want to explain. He’d been entrusted with watching over Allana, and he’d failed to keep her out of mischief. This was the sort of humbling experience young Jedi needed to have from time to time.

Han leaned into the conversation, but his attention was on his wife, not his granddaughter. “Garbage Compactor 3263827.”

Leia scowled at him. “Oh, shut up.”

Han grinned, and there was a bit of mockery in the expression. He switched his attention to Allana. “Sweetie, I can remember when your grandma smelled just like that. And unlike you, she was rude and ungrateful, too.”

“Han—”

“Go get cleaned up, and sanisteam Anji if you can, while your grandma and I discuss the impossibility of keeping children—or teenage princesses—clean.”

“Yes, Grandpa.” Allana scurried while the scurrying was good. She didn’t have to look back to detect the glare Leia was visiting on Han.





Cilghal and Tekli walked toward an office at the far end of the hall from the Horns’ chamber, just short of the waiting room.

Cilghal had Josat’s script timed and running in her head. He would now be moving around the Horns’ chamber, humming to himself, cautioning Valin and Jysella not to move or talk—the monitors needed stillness to do this evaluation—but he could talk, fortunately, for it was impossible for him to keep quiet, or so his family said . . .

Tekli interrupted the holodrama in Cilghal’s head. “So what did cause the pod monitor to fail?”

“Maybe what I said. And maybe it was a spike of the ability Valin manifested when he went mad.”

“The one that blanked out the encephaloscan?”

“Yes. He was probably using the technique when he was frozen. The monitor failure would have been the last bit of that usage.”

“Hmm.” Tekli didn’t comment. She didn’t need to: Cilghal knew what she was thinking. Retention of that scanner-blanking ability was not an indication that Valin retained the madness, as well, but neither physician liked mysteries.

When the two of them entered their office, the main monitor on the wall was already tuned to a hidden holocam view of the Horns’ chamber. They could see Josat indeed bustling among the cabinets, assembling a tray full of beverages, receptacles for medicines, blood samples, swabs.

Tekli heaved a sigh. “So far, so good.”

Cilghal offered a noncommittal rumble. “Time will tell.”

Josat moved to Valin and then Jysella, offering drinks. His voice was crisp over the monitor speakers. “We gave you the farthest room from the turbolifts and offices and waiting room. Much quieter here. If there’s an emergency, though, it’s safer to head to the stairs instead of the turbolifts. Right next door, take a left when you leave this chamber, it’s the door straight ahead, you can find it in pitch darkness. That can be important. I never used to pay attention to things like that, but since I started studying nursing, I have to know these things. Jedi Tekli will make me run laps if I ever don’t know where the emergency exits are from any of my stations. Were your Masters always assigning you exercise when you messed up? Don’t answer, the monitors need quiet.”

Cilghal blinked, pleased. “He worked that in very well.”

“About the punishment?”

“About the stairs.”

“I know.”

Cilghal sighed. “Mammalian humor. Deliberate misinterpretation.”

“Tends to drive a Master crazy, doesn’t it?”

Josat now stood beside Valin’s gurney, his lightsaber swaying on his belt within Valin’s easy reach. The apprentice eyed one of the wall monitors. “Slow progress on your evaluation. No matter. Nobody will come back to bother you until it’s run its course. Half an hour at least, I’m guessing.”

Cilghal nodded. “The last of the bait. He is not a bad actor.” Under ideal circumstances, Valin or Jysella might feel a trace of deceit from him through the Force, but now, still suffering a little from the aftereffects of carbonite freezing, they were unlikely to.

They were, however, likely to add up four important details. First, they were in a room at the end of the corridor, away from most visitors and medical personnel. Second, they were next to stairs that would allow them to reach any level of the Temple while bypassing well- traveled turbolifts. Third, they had half an hour before their absence would be noticed. And fourth, they had ready access to a lightsaber.

If they were still mad, and merely concealing the fact, could they resist the bait?

But neither Horn made a grab for the lightsaber.

If they had done so—well, it wouldn’t have been too damaging. The lightsaber would not have ignited. Switching it on, or having Cilghal or Tekli press a button on the comlinks they carried, would cause the false lightsaber to emit a powerful stunning gas. The Horns would have been felled without violence, never having even reached the corridor. Josat would have been felled as well, but it would have been easier on him than being thrashed by two experienced Jedi Knights.

But clearly, escape was not a priority for them. Which meant that they, too, were sane. Cured.





Valin had felt nothing but warmth and relief from his parents—

From the man and woman masquerading as his parents.

As he lay listening to Josat’s endless, maddening blather, Valin forced himself to remain calm. Any distress might send a signal through the Force to his captors, a signal that their deception had been detected.

And perhaps, perhaps, the man and woman who wore the faces of Corran and Mirax Horn didn’t even know that they were imposters.

What a horrible thought. Perhaps they were clones, implanted with memories that caused them to believe, in their heart of hearts, that they were the real Corran and Mirax. What would happen to them when the truth was revealed? Would they be killed by their secret masters? Were they even now implanted with strategically placed explosives that would end their lives when they were no longer useful?

Valin clamped down on that thought, suppressing it.

Again Josat came near, chattering about his studies, about politics, about the best mopping techniques for apprentices assigned to clean Temple corridors. Again his lightsaber swung invitingly just within Valin’s reach.

But, no. He and Jysella needed to know much more than they did now if they were to stage a successful escape. They needed to be rested, informed, and somewhere other than deep in the enemy-occupied Jedi Temple before they struck out on their own.

So he looked at his sister and offered her a smile full of reassurance. That emotion, at least, was real. In all the universe, the one person he knew to be true was Jysella. He’d known it from the moment they had reached for each other in the Force. Dazed, barely conscious, dreading what they would find, they had still connected, and they knew they were not alone.

She smiled back at him, an expression he felt more than saw.

They had each other, and for now, that was enough.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jacen on June 11 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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By Charles Dimov TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 1 2014
Format: Audio CD
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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By Adam TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 14 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well paced and exciting!

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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Format: Audio CD
Story was ok, but not near as good as allies or vortex. Though I enjoy this series I found this book stretched and rushed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 730 reviews
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Hard to justify spending so much money to read this series June 3 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
*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.
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Better, but still brought down in the end: Ebook review April 1 2012
By Peter Stanton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
excellent opener March 28 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The politicians are meeting in a summit on the planet Coruscant to discuss bringing the Imperial Remnant into the Galactic Alliance. Luke Skywalker is arrested at the instigation of Chief of Sate Natasi Dalaa for dereliction of duties. His protégé Jacen Solo turned to the dark side of the force and caused the Second Galactic Civil War when he became Darth Caedus. Dalaa wants to prosecute Luke for his failure to recognize Jacen's turn to the dark because he believes Luke is accountable for the deaths caused by the war.

Luke pleads guilty because he knows the charges are true; he is excommunicated from every Jedi Temple and Coruscant for ten years. He will be pardoned if he can learn what turned Jacen. Jedi Knight Valin Horn has a psychic break that makes him believe everyone he knows is an imposter. The media captures his rampage and the public turns against the Jedi Order leading to restrictions on them. Han Solo, his wife Leia and their granddaughter go to the dying planet Kessel to find out why earthquakes are out of control; they find an underground tunnel complex filled with machines and energy forces that could destroy the orb. Luke and his son Jedi Knight Ben go to Dorin where Jacen studied the native use of the Force hoping to find a clue.

This is the opening act of a nine book saga in which the Jedi have fallen into disgrace as the government and the public believe they are not held accountable for their actions. There is plenty of action and the known characters stay true to their film personalities. Perhaps the only negative is eight books to go in this arc, but if they are anything like the first this will be one of the better Star War entries.

Harriet Klausner
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Mixed Bag March 24 2009
By Jake - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
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 Moments March 14 2012
By Guitarist of the Midwest - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.


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