01/05/2009. Contributed by Tomas L. Martin
pub: Del Rey/Ballantine/Lucas Books. 299 page paperback. Price: $ 7.99 (US). ISBN: 978-0-345-47755-2.
check out websites: www.delreybooks.co and www.starwars.com
As we pass out of the middle of the nine-book series and begin the culmination to the final climax, Jacen Solo's dark side begins to become more obvious. Drawn to the Sith ways, the son of Han and Leia has forgotten his heroic roots. In the aftermath of the dramatic death of a major character, Jacen uses the chaos to assert more control over the Galactic Republic.
Troy Denning is my least favourite of the writers involved with this sequence of books but this is a good effort, with some excellent confrontations between Jacen and Uncle Luke, whose character arc is particular good as amongst his grief he begins to realise he must do something about his nephew.
Luke's son, Ben Skywalker, continues to play a key role in the story and the young Jedi's role in the attempts on Republic chancellor Cal Omas form an integral part of his development. Ben is obviously being groomed as the main hero of later books and his gradual realisation that his heroic worship of Jacen is misplaced is handled particularly well.
Denning's strength is action sequences and I don't feel his sub-plots are as interesting as Karen Traviss and Aaron Allston's efforts. The books he produces in this sequence are strong but I feel perhaps the order in which the writers took the series could have been better. The three writers wrote three books each, but took turns over nine novels rather than writing consecutive trilogies. I feel perhaps Allston may have been a better choice in Denning's place in the sequence and vice versa.
This book will not enter into your purchasing thoughts if you haven't read the previous six but rest assured that it continues a solid plot development in what is the best Star Wars tie-in sequence in a number of years.
Tomas L. Martin
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