One of the most interesting characters introduced in THE CLONE WARS series is Asajj Ventress, so when I found an entire novelReviewed by: Rabid Reads
One of the most interesting characters introduced in THE CLONE WARS series is Asajj Ventress, so when I found an entire novel about her in the SW canon, I one-clicked.
Ventress was a Bad Guy, the “apprentice” of Count Dooku (who couldn’t really have an apprentice b/c Rule of Two), but when she was betrayed by him, she went rogue. She returned to the planet of her birth Dathomir, home to the Night Sisters, an order of assassin witches.
You: Assassin witches!?
Me: I know, right??
Stuff happens and Ventress starts over yet again, this time as a bounty hunter who occasionally tries (and fails) to kill Dooku.
You: What’s this got to do with the Jedi?
Me: Not much . . . Until the Jedi council decides to assassinate Dooku . . .
Me:I KNOW. Not very Jedi-like, is it?
That’s exactly what they do though, and they decide that Ventress is the most likely path to success.
She can’t know their chosen assassin is a Jedi. She might not want to help a Jedi, you see, b/c leftover animosity from when she was Sith(-in-training?).
Enter Quinlan Voss, Jedi of a less civilized persuasion than is usual, essentially a con man, and like most con men, winsome in the extreme.
Does this scoundrel succeed in securing the cooperation of Dooku’s former apprentice? Does he manage to keep his affinity for the Force secret? Do their combined efforts finally bring an end to the indiscriminately murderous figurehead of the Separatists?
On the one hand, I’m kind of glad that I found this installment of the STAR WARS canon to be so completely mediocre: it provesReviewed by: Rabid Reads
On the one hand, I’m kind of glad that I found this installment of the STAR WARS canon to be so completely mediocre: it proves I’m not some maniacal fangirl that loves all-the-things without regard to factors like relevance or lack of ingenuity.
On the other hand . . . Ugh.
LOST STARS is the (love) story of Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree, two very different people (in an extremely ordinary way) from the outer rim of the Empire. Thane is the proverbial rich kid, and Ciena is the girl from the valley (heh).
They both want to fly more than anything.
So lurve. *rolls eyes*
Beyond the lackluster romance, LOST STARS did nothing to further the STAR WARS story. It covered the events from the original trilogy, albeit from the perspective of Imperials rather than rebels, but still . . . Not a single revelation.
The main theme seemed to be: the Empire is Bad.
I might have found Ciena’s unique cultural perspective interesting, if I didn’t also find it obdurately prideful—I have no use for people who don’t recognize that rules only work so long as everyone follows them. You gots to roll with the punches, Dollface.
Thane I could relate to, but in a generic damn-the-man kind of way, so meh.
The secondary characters were pretty MEH as well, mostly from lack of development. Of Thane’s two roommates, one transformed into an Imperial zealot as a coping mechanism, and the other vanished after graduation beyond a brief nod to some apparently clever engineering.
Ciena’s friends had more potential, but one (view spoiler)[died in the destruction of the first Death Star (hide spoiler)], and the other was woefully neglected.
The characters weren’t the only area that lacked development: why exactly did Thane’s family loathe him? At one point, Thane himself muses that being born was his unpardonable sin, but that merely highlighted the lack of illumination on the subject. But the kind of alternate neglect and abuse he suffered at his family’s hands isn’t arbitrary . . . So what’s the deal?
Maybe Gray left it a mystery so she could address it in the follow up novel that the final chapters of LOST STAR seemed to be setting up, but no such sequel appears to be in the works.
Verdict: PASS. Unless you like YA romance and can appreciate cultural differences without being frustrated by them, in which case, go for it.
After finishing Chuck Wendig’s AFTERMATH trilogy, I tried to settle in to several non-STAR WARS books, but after a few lacklusReviewed by: Rabid Reads
After finishing Chuck Wendig’s AFTERMATH trilogy, I tried to settle in to several non-STAR WARS books, but after a few lackluster beginnings that were all unceremoniously set aside, I surrendered to my fate and indulged my recent obsession with THRAWN.
I didn’t know what to expect, having never heard of the character, but it was well received by readers, and if a character is so badass that his name is the only title needed . . . I was okay with lack of prior knowledge (which worked out just fine, FYI).
The story begins with a small unit of Imperial soldiers on a recently discovered planet, for the purpose of gathering information about a recently discovered alien population. Apparently part of the Imperial initiative is studying any and all new life forms (probably to better subjugate them).
Something is picking off the members of the group.
The way it’s presented is horrifying.
So imagine my surprise when an officer discovers that the wraith responsible for the deaths of so many of his drones has stowed away on one of the Imperial vessels, and rather than destroying the culprit in a hail of laser fire, questions and ultimately delivers him to the Emperor himself.
Thrawn is a Chiss, a member of an alien race so feared and respected that it exists only in legend. Or so Eli Banto, a student of one of the Imperial academies thought, but he recognized Thrawn for what he was immediately, and being the only one present capable of communicating with the Chiss, he finds his life upended when he gets assigned as Thrawn’s translater and guide.
The Emperor is intrigued by Thrawn, you see, and enrolls him into the Imperial academy on Coruscant, transferring Eli with him, the equivalent of a semester away from Eli’s intended graduation.
THRAWN is the story of them both, alternating primarily between their POVs.
Zahn did an excellent job of illustrating the alienness of Thrawn’s mind. Not only are his senses hightened, but he uses them to analyze and categorize the humans that surround with surprising insight. It’s as unsettling as it is captivating.
In contrast, Eli is wholly human, albeit a decent human as far as humans go, and his perspective keeps the bizarreness of Thrawn’s from becoming overwhelming.
Beyond the likability of these main characters, THRAWN is ultimately an underdog story and who doesn’t love a good underdog?
SO. If you also love STAR WARS and and underdogs, I highly recommend this recent(ish) addition to the canon. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be chomping at the bit for more information about this blue-skinned, red-eyed alien and his legendary people.