Crystal Starr Light's Reviews > Tyrant's Test

Tyrant's Test by Michael P. Kube-McDowell
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's review
Jul 11, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: read-at-your-own-risk, star-wars, so-bad-it-s-horrible, so-boring-it-s-boring, don-t-quit-your-day-job, ha-ha-ha-no-really
Read from April 27 to 30, 2010 — I own a copy , read count: 2

"What has this all been about?"
The crisis with the Koornacht cluster is on the brink of war. Leia's position as president is in turmoil and Han has been captured. Meanwhile, Lando and team are on the cusp of discovery and Luke is growing closer to finding the Fallanassi.

I Liked:
Kube-McDowell saves this series with the political machinations between the New Republic and the Yevetha. Leia is forced to choose between her tenure as president and her husband. This decision is tough and ugly, but it is realistic, and I appreciate an author who isn't afraid of putting an unhappy solution in a novel.
Lando's mission reaches an interesting climax when Lobot interfaces with the Vagabond, though I would be lying if I said I enjoyed the resolution of this plot line.
In the previous two reviews, I have been exceedingly critical of MKM, but I think he deserves credit for elevating Chewbacca above the sidekick role. Here, we get to see his family, how he behaves with his son, and his rescue of Han, one of the best things Chewbacca has ever done in the series.

I Didn't Like:
I can't help but echo Luke's thoughts: What has this [trilogy:] all been about? Why do we care about these missions, these crisis, these journeys? They bear no relevance on later books, they have no lasting impact. To illustrate, let me take the major plot lines:
Lando: So Lando learns the secret of the ship, but he and Luke, who comes whizzing to the rescue at the end in the only plausible tie-in to the rest of the trilogy, won't see any results of this three book long quest, because it takes 100 years for their efforts to "bloom". Wow, and why again was this mission so important that we needed to shoe horn it in with the Yevetha crisis?
Leia: So Leia's presidency is challenged and she declares war on the Yevetha. This could be the beginning of an amazing series...but it is promptly wrapped up with the appearance of Luke and the Omnipotent, Amazing, Peaceful, Wonderful, Godly Fallanassi. Thanks, MKM, for destroying a good story. You put us through one book that barely begins the conflict (I guess that's why it was called Before the Storm, yuk, yuk), another book that steadily rises the conflict to the next level, then rapidly, and hastily wraps it up in the last one. Talk about a waste of effort!
Luke: His whole reason for leaving Yavin 4 was supposed to be because he needed to be a hermit. But that lasted all of one chapter, for he spent the rest of the trilogy with Akanah, the worst girlfriend he has ever had (and proof positive that he is a diehard submissive). The most distrusting, untrustworthy, dishonest, deceitful, manipulative, oppressive, and demanding woman that supposedly was a "good guy" (Uh, huh, yeah, you really bought me on that one--not) proves her integrity by lying with Luke to get him to tag along with her. And I really don't know why. She found all the "clues" (i.e. big, huge, obvious arrow signs) and refused to listen to any of Luke's advise, resting solely on her "vastly superior" knowledge of this previously unknown force, the White Current. It is my personal belief that she is on drugs and what she sees during her psychedelic mind trips is the White Current. So, we (and Luke) trudge through this, supposedly to learn more about Luke's mom (which, those of us who have seen the prequels, know won't happen) only to come out with absolutely nothing. Luke returns to Leia with the always insightful knowledge that he ought to spend time with family. God, and we had to read three books with the worst chemistry, the worst female character ever to come out with this gem???
All in all, the only things we've come out through this tripe are the following:
1) Tie-ins with the most derided SW EU media, the Star Wars holiday special
2) Luke learning the value of family (cue sappy music)
3) Lumpawarrump becoming a man and killing his parents for giving him such a God-awful name.
Wow, I so couldn't live without that.
I've lambasted the plot and the characters (specifically Leia, Luke, and Akanah) to no end, but there is one thing I've forgot to mention in my reviews to the previous two books: Nil Spaar and the Yevetha. While there were some good aspects, I felt on a whole, they were just an excuse for an enemy, one that had absolutely no redeeming value (to human morality), so they could be wholesale slaughtered and no one would bat an eye. I never once sympathized with the villains or felt anything beyond disgust and revulsion. Even the Yuuzhan Vong from the New Jedi Order were better done. I could feel sympathy for Nen Yim and Mezhan Kwad, even for Tsvong Lah.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Little to none.
Akanah and Luke share a room.
The violence in this one is pretty darn heavy. Nil Spaar kills someone so violently, his head is severed. Han is brutally beat to a pulp and people think he is dead. The entire Yevetha society considers murder only a crime if a lower-caste member kills an upper-class member.

Political intrigue aside, there really is no reason to read this series. Want a real threat to the New Republic that doesn't deal with the Empire? Go to the New Jedi Order. Want political intrigue? Try Cloak of Deception or Specter of the Past. Want to see Luke learn about his family? Er, guess you will have to keep waiting (Leia finds out about her dad, though, in Tatooine Ghost. Follow Obi-Wan's advice and just "Move along. Move along."
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by B. (new) - rated it 1 star

B. Reese Makes me think, since Lucas/Disney is picking and choosing what to make "Canon" which is to say, they throw all the books out, maybe we fans should each make our own canon and throw all the stinkers out.

Crystal Starr Light I've talked with fellow Star Wars fans, and I really think that's the best thing to do. I mean, why else have all these books, if they've been chucked out of the proverbial continuity window?

Do you plan on keeping up with the new continuity? I was pretty much fading on my Star Wars interest, so when Disney/Lucas announced the canon thing, I used that as my breaking away point from Star Wars. Though I may end up seeing the new movie - gorram trailer!

message 3: by Iset (new) - added it

Iset That's exactly what I'm doing. Re-reading, and then keeping the ones I like and getting rid of the ones I dislike.

message 4: by B. (last edited Jun 25, 2015 09:54AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

B. Reese I do not plan to join the new continuity. The rebels show looks ok, but do i really need to see it? i don't know.

I'll keep my clone wars seasons though. Not sure about the new episode 7-9 movies and have 0 interest in the stand alones at present.

As far as books, I'm not going to get anything that isn't under the "Legends" Banner, and even some of this old continuity could be chucked out. I wonder if they will continue new Legends books?

Think about this. Lucas more or less quasi-approved almost everything under the Legends banner. Since Disney took over, they don't even take any of his ideas. So why should invest in it?

I stopped buying new books after Legacy of the Force because I can't afford to buy 3-6 new hardcover 150 + page books a month. I picked up half of the Fate of the Jedi's in PB at the used store.

I had always wanted to read SW in chronological order, but never could because of constant new releases, now one could.

Crystal Starr Light I'm kinda mad about the Rebels show because that's the era I've been wanting to see FOREVER. I am so burned out by all the Clone Wars stories, I never want to see that era again!

I too am not going to pick up any of the new books (a shame again because there's a book "Tarkin" that might have been interesting, though early reviews are calling it "Ho hum").

Iset and I are kinda reading the SW books in chronological order. I am focusing more on books I haven't read or don't recall much of, but I also plan on rereading favorites. I shudder to think what Legacy and Fate are like!

message 6: by B. (new) - rated it 1 star

B. Reese Legacy of the Force is OK, but I didn't like what they did with Jacen. If I modify my canon, I may stop pre NJO to have a happy ending.

With rebels, I am so glad they made a new cast, but i will wait till more seasons are out on DVD and just buy it.

CW is enjoyable for me, but i understand the burnout.

message 7: by Kendall (new)

Kendall Moore I'm leery on the Fate of the Jedi series; that's the one with Abeloth. Seriously, if you thought the Suncrusher was OP then you haven't seen anything yet.

message 8: by B. (new) - rated it 1 star

B. Reese Fotj sounds terrible, yet I got all the paperbacks

message 9: by B. (new) - rated it 1 star

B. Reese Actually, after the Ben Skywalker trip to Sithworld I even stopped read the legacy of the force series

Crystal Starr Light Oh boy...I have some stories to look forward to. Not.

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