They screwed up.
After spending many books building up Han and Leia's youngest kid, Anakin, into the most interesting and likeable non-movie character, the powers that be made the call to kill him off in "Star by Star". Even halfway into the next book, it looked like there might be an outside chance he would come back from death, but reading further, no, it is final. He doesn't even get to come back as a ghost, I imagine.
Stupid and very disappointing. There were so many other major characters they could've killed off with an equal impact but without dramatically subtracting out one of the best characters, one of the few bright spots in what is now a rather plodding series (though it is improved from the first few books, all of which retold yet another story of refugees fleeing the enemy).
I'm getting ahead of myself in this review but only because that's the single most important fact about this book, a decision that was likely made completely outside of the framework the author had to work with. That said, Denning's book is almost as good as the previous entry in the series, which I liked the best of all the New Jedi Order books so far.
In this book, a new "Alien" style monster, with acid blood, super strong, force sensitive, etc. is created by the enemy to hunt down Jedi, so a lot of the younger generation goes on a sort of suicide mission to try to kill the queen to prevent further clones from being made (many, many logical holes here, one of the weaker parts of the book). They have to endure temporary captivity and torture, and it is all very dark and horrific, then they have to invade an enemy worldship and hunt through the whole thing for their target, all the while under attack.
Ultimately, as they near their goal, Anakin sacrifices himself after being severely wounded and goes out in a force-blaze of glory. It was a good death-scene. Too bad it had to be written. The other action here is interesting enough (the attack on on Coruscant finally takes place but the whole battle is similar to previous battles at beseiged worlds with a few new twists ... I'm glad Denning got to write it), but the bulk of the book follows the young Jedi.
It is somewhat darker than the previous (which is for the best ... worked well in the previous book) and a good read, but without the Anakin (and Tahiri) plot thread to follow, the Star Wars Universe just became less interesting. I do not trust this cabal of authors to make up for it with the usually annoying twins. Perhaps Luke and Mara's son, Ben, is meant to take Anakin's place, but I would've rather seen them together growing up.Posted by Observer at October 14, 2006 06:09 PM
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