Hero's Trial is a mediocre book in what has otherwise been a decent series to date. The first three books (written by R.A. Salvatore and Michael Stack...moreHero's Trial is a mediocre book in what has otherwise been a decent series to date. The first three books (written by R.A. Salvatore and Michael Stackpole) were quite decent, which makes the shortcomings in Hero's Trial even more disappointing.
The book isn't horrible; it's just not fun to read. With the exception of Droma, a new buddy Luceno introduces for Han, nearly every character in the book is painfully boring. The Yuuzhan Vong, who were engaging in the first three books, became nothing more than the obligatory bad guys. Description of their biological technology became long passages of text which the reader couldn't care less about. This is quite different from the first three books, where the novel and menacing threat introduced by the Yuuzhan Vong is really what made the story work.
Following the same trend, Luceno's space battles are very dry. There is nothing in the way of tactics, skill, or strategy conveyed to the reader. There are lots of action words and quite a few adjectives, but in the end they add up to nothing. You could skip over the entire battle and not be worse off for it.
Lastly, Han was given a new sidekick to replace Chewbacca. Luceno tries to write some witty dialog between the two, attempting to deliver on some of the charm Han Solo displayed in the movies. Unfortunately, this too falls rather flat - and at times seems much more slapstick than it should.
As a stand alone book, it really isn't worth reading. As part of a larger storyline which to date has been good, it is tolerable.(less)
First half of the book gets 4 stars; the second half gets 2 stars. Average = 3 stars.
I really liked the first half of the book. His description of tec...moreFirst half of the book gets 4 stars; the second half gets 2 stars. Average = 3 stars.
I really liked the first half of the book. His description of technology is wonderful, and the relationship between Nell and the Primer are quite captivating. Much to my dismay, the book fell apart at the end. Characters are disposed quite expediently, conflict is introduced with little or no explanation, very illogical events occur, and then the book stops. If I could give different ratings to both half of the books, I would.
The whole book is laced with tangents which I found to be rather dull. I cared very little for Hackworth's mission after he created the Primer. I cared very little for what Dr. X was attempting to do with the Primer. In the first half of the book, Nell captures most of the focus, which makes these other aspects simply minor annoyances.
In the end, I found the book to be enjoyable. Although, if I knew then what I know now, I would have stopped reading as soon as the book started to go downhill. My opinion of Stephenson would have been much higher, and I would have saved myself some time and effort of finishing.(less)