[Epub] ➟ Star by Star (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #9) By Troy Denning – Uroturk.info
The following review contains spoilers, so if you haven t read this book yet, and you want to, I highly recommend skipping this review You ve been forewarned I just recently learned about the so called Star Wars canon, and I m not sure how I feel about it.A part of me thinks whatever I appreciate director J.J Abrams s desire to take the Star Wars franchise in a completely new direction, and I m confident that whatever direction Abrams chooses to take the franchise will be a fascinating, exciting, and profitable one George Lucas did, after all, generously hand over the keys and the title to the castle, so he doesn t really have any say in how Abrams redecorates the place And, by all accounts, depending on your source Lucas seems to be, at the very least, pleased with Abrams s final product It may not have been the movie Lucas would have made, but based on Lucas s last three attempts, Lucas s version may not have been the film fans would have wanted anyway.The so called canon stems from an artistic desire on Abrams s part to distance himself, creatively, from Lucas s influence Like he did with the Star Trek reboots, Abrams hopes to re invent the Star Wars universe into a place where new fans and new generations of kids who have never seen the original Star Wars films will feel welcome I can dig that It s a totally different world, here in 2015, than it was in 1977, and the new Star Wars film, in order to be successful, must reflect that.Another part of me, however, thinks the so called canon is bullshit.How do you negate the combined efforts of several dozen authors and at least a hundred different novels that have taken Lucas s original vision and expanded it into a vast universe of beloved characters beyond the original nine main characters The answer, of course, is you don t and you can t.Not that I believe that Abrams is trying to do that with The Force Awakens , but the decision to establish a canon is, essentially, a slap in the face to the true die hard SWEU fans who have grown to love the well established new characters Mara Jade, Admiral Thrawn, Admiral Pellaeon, Talon Karrde, Kyp Durron, Corran Horn, Anakin Solo, twins Jacen and Jaina Solo, Ben Skywalker, and countless others.Granted, this only applies to those of us who read As shocking as it is, many people out there aren t readers If it s not available in video game format or on a TV show or movie, it doesn t exist for them, which is fine They can t miss what they don t know exists.I am very excited about the movie, don t get me wrong I ve already come to a place of acceptance with The Force Awakens I ve even created my own rationalization for the fact that according to the trailers, at least Chewbacca is still alive, the Empire is still a viable enemy, the Yuuzhan Vong did not appear to lay waste to the New Republic, and that Mara Jade, Ben Skywalker, and the Solo children do not exist at all in this alternate dimensional timeline.The part of me, however, that is taking this the hardest is the part of me that would love to have seen Abrams film the New Jedi Order series.Starting with R.A Salvatore s Vector Prime , NJO has taken the SWEU into a darker, violent direction There are over 20 books in this series, by a wide variety of writers The series has been hit or miss but mostly hits, in my opinion, delving occasionally into ridiculously soap opera esque melodrama and sappiness but, for the most part, creating an engaging and fast paced war drama about a nearly unstoppable enemy, the Yuuzhan Vong.Troy Denning s Star by Star is the ninth book in the NJO, and it is, in my opinion, the most intense, exciting, and violent book within the series It is almost Timothy Zahn quality, which is high praise coming from me, as I think Zahn sets the bar for the SWEU.The New Republic and the Jedi Knights have suffered numerous ugly defeats in their war against the Yuuzhan Vong, but much of their defeats have been due to political in fighting and divisiveness within their own ranks, a fact that Yuuzhan Vong war leaders have relished and exploited to their benefit.The Galactic Senate, led by Borsk Fey lya, has devolved into an ineffectual governing body Important and integral issues such as building up the fleet and what to do with the influx of millions of interplanetary refugees have been stalled to the point that lives are being lost and the New Republic military has been unable to keep up with the almost unending number of Yuuzhan Vong soldiers and starfighters.To make things worse, a growing galactic anti Jedi movement has made life difficult and deadly for the hundreds of Jedi Knights fighting to protect the very people who hate them After the Yuuzhan Vong issued an ultimatum which stated that all hostilities will cease if the Jedi Knights are handed over for eradication, attacks on Jedi Knights have risen, thanks in large part to a group ironically called the Peace Brigade, comprised of mostly humans bent on appeasing the Yuuzhan Vong by handing over weapons, refugees, and kidnapped Jedi Knights in exchange for a safe place within the inevitable Yuuzhan Vong ruled galaxy These Peace Brigaders are in complete denial, however, as the Yuuzhan Vong have repeatedly not kept any promises made and have stated outright that they long to see every non Yuuzhan Vong creature infidels , as they call them in the galaxy killed, as per their extremely violent religious beliefs.This is the state of affairs at the onset of Star by Star.The newest threat to the Jedis is a Yuuzhan Vong creature called the voxyn, which are hunting down Jedi Knights and killing them throughout the galaxy Scientists have determined that these creatures are actually clones, and that the original creature is indigenous to the planet Myrkyr A mission to go to Myrkyr in an attempt to destroy this creature and the cloning facilities is set in motion by Luke Skywalker Heading the mission is Anakin Solo.The majority of the book focuses on this integral mission, occasionally shifting scenes to the Yuuzhan Vong and the New Republic forces who are gathering to protect Coruscant.Denning has written one of the most kick ass space battles I have read in any SWEU book thus far It is riveting and intense, but it is also important for many reasons, the least of which is its strategic importance in the war against the Yuuzhan Vong It s a mature battle scene, meaning that while it may be exciting, it does not glorify war in its portrayal of the violence and aftermath This is Star Wars at its bloodiest.In terms of its importance, the Battle for Coruscant is as vital as the Battle for Endor was in Return of the Jedi The outcome of this battle view spoiler the fall of Coruscant hide spoiler I think this is the single darkest Star Wars book that I ever read It s strange to say, but it captured the mood of the world at the time it was released With a late October 2001 release, this was the first post 9 11 SW book and it s interesting in how it reflected the mood since its manuscript was turned in months before 9 11 ever happened.One thing that happens in the course of an invasion of Coruscant which invasion was plainly inevitable after like the third NJO book is that Yuuzhan Vong fighters end up crashing into buildings This was weird In the real world you had all these pundits saying how there was no way that you could have predicted what happened and here was a work of fiction where what amounted to planes crashing into buildings was all over the place.But what really makes it dark is that so much of it is taken up by a next gen Jedi commando raid to take out the voxyn queen voxyn being Jedi hunting beasts being cloned on Myrkr Y know, the home of ysalamiri and vornskrs, and the fact that I remember this stuff probably goes a long way to explaining never getting laid in high school It has to be really difficult for someone who s young now to understand, but nerdiness used to be an underground thing.Back to the commando raid It s brutal This is an against all odds, survival unlikely mission being undertaken It is tense because the characters are slowly being picked off This element would not have been out of place in a war movie And thanks to the death of Chewbacca back in Vector Prime the tension is completely sold You can t just be sure that the minor characters will die and that all the Solo kids will escape I have written on other NJO books about how setbacks feel pointless, but this one sold it better than any other.On top of all this you have the fall of Coruscant, making a dire picture for the Republic even bleak Indeed, with its fall the Republic essentially no longer exists But the daring Jedi raid kills the voxyn queen, and so all hope is not lost Despite the grim events, the universe soldiers on Also not unlike what was happening in the real world at that time Very strange They talk about life imitates art imitates life, but this is the first time I ever really understood what it meant and it was all because of a Star Wars book. This book was very much hit and miss for me It is almost as if Denning could not decide whether he wanted it to be about Space combat or a commando Jedi mission Therefore, the book begins to exhibit s split personality In addition, the conclusion of the book is very dark, leaving the reader feeling discouraged, much like the viewers at the conclusion of The Empire Strike Back The book just went on and on and on There was a great deal of powerful action, but after awhile it begins to feel like a Bruce Lee movie with one after another bad guy, villain, monster, etc being slashed across the throat by a Jedi lightsaber in defense.I would think that the next book in the series might bring about some redeeming quality but I was disappointed in this one. The new Jedi order completely outpaces anything in the Starwars genre This series was Dark, exciting, fast paced, and inspired The writing was fantastic and the level of philosophy and force history was unparalleled If your a fan at any level of the Starwars Universe than this series is a must read It is on my top 5 of all time for a series and I treasured every moment I spent in that time But beware, this isn t your typical Starwars book, be ready for a level of intensity that you ve never seen May the force be with you. 5 starsNice to see Lando, Han, Leia, Luke, Mara Jade, Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin Also nice that Lando got married Can t wait to read Star Wars books This was ok There was plenty of action with what I like to overly generalize as people going plces and doing things I prefer that in MOST books than the endless seeming inner turmoils and machinations That said this left me a bit cold I cant really tell if it was the book itself or just the way the series seems to be repeating old themes The Fall or Coruscant and Anakin dying seem like we have been here before not in this series I guess, unless you count Chewbacca dying as very similar to Anakin dying, but just the whole thing It also may not be this book in particular, but I also keep feeling in this entire series, like they win at the end of each book or duology, but still end up further and further behind in the war I dont know if my own sense of impending disappointment is what kept these on my own shelves so long before finally getting around to reading them, or if it was just time to get caught up to I can get to the Legacy of the Force and the Fate of the Jedi series.Either way, color me as glad to have read this, but I wont be reading it over and over again, like Dark is the Sun by Philip Jose Farmer Now THAT is a brilliant bookC The New Jedi Order series grinds on with this 600 page slog There are two primary plotlines that run in parallel In the first, Anakin volunteers to lead a Jedi strike team on a covert commando mission to a Yuuzhan Vong worldship to destroy the source of the voxyn, a threat specifically aimed at the Jedi In the other storyline, Leia, Luke, Han and Mara must ready themselves, as the invaders appear to be preparing a strike on Coruscant itself.The book has two major and interrelated flaws The first is that it is almost non stop action Every chapter features some form of combat a space battle, a firefight, lightsaber duels, hand to hand work it s interminable And none of the action feels particularly original or well written if it had I might have cut it some slack I m sure some readers might appreciate all of this flailing around, but I just found it tedious Despite the Star Wars title, I don t read these book for the combat As with any lengthy series, I am here for the characters Unfortunately, author Troy Denning doesn t seem to be very interested in character development or even in giving his readers any time to breathe between martial engagements.The other major flaw is the unrelenting grimness of the book Just when it appears that things can t get worse for our heroes, things get worse for our heroes Everyone is angry, depressed, or grief stricken all of the time There were several moments when I felt that Denning should just kill characters off, because there was no reasonable way for them to survive and in fact, there are eventually some casualties Perhaps both of these flaws would have been less irksome in a shorter book, but this volume, weighing in at twice the length of most other novels in this series, seemed like overkill.The one major thing I kind of liked in this book was the redemption of Borsk Fey lya Despite all the faults he s demonstrated in the EU books, especially in the NJO, he gets a moment here to prove his mettle, even if it is only in defeat Denning gives us a sense of how complicated Fey lya is, a caution against judging any being too quickly I just wish he had given us of that empathy in the rest of the book.If you re like me, you ll plow through this volume as quickly as possible, eager to get to a less brutal and unrelenting chapter in this massive saga. The New York Times Bestselling Star Wars Series The New Jedi Order Enthralls Readers With Its Epic Drama And Thrilling Adventure Now Readers Will Pierce The Very Heart Of Darkness It Is A Solemn Time For The New Republic, As The Merciless Yuuzhan Vong Continue Their Campaign Of Destruction The Brutal Enemy Has Unleashed A Savage Creature Capable Of Finding And Killing Jedi Knights And Now Leia Organa Solo Faces A Terrible Ultimatum If The Location Of The Secret Jedi Base Is Not Revealed Within One Week, The Yuuzhan Vong Will Blast Millions Of Refugee Ships Into OblivionAs The Battered But Still Unbroken Jedi Scramble To Deal With The Newest Onslaught, Leia S Son Anakin Lays Out A Daring Plan He Will Lead A Jedi Strike Force Into The Heart Of Enemy Territory In Order To Sabotage The Yuuzhan Vong S Deadliest Weapons There, With His Brother And Sister At His Side, He Will Come Face To Face With His Destiny As The New Republic, Still Fighting The Good Fight, Will Come Face To Face With Theirs I was kind of amazed to see this book hold a 3.92 average rating.I was very disappointed in this book Clocking in at just over 600 pages, I thought Denning should have either split this book into two volumes, or just had an editor cut about 200 pages I knew where this book was heading the entire time, I just wished the plot got there faster There are WAY too many minor characters to keep track of, so I ended up just remembering a detail about them to keep them straight Tahiri hot for Anakin Ganner scarred dude Bela female reptile Sadly I could not wait for this book to be over, which is unusual because I ve read and liked Denning s work before.SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER alert below here.I was pretty surprised by how nonchalant Han and Leia took Anakin s death Yes they were anguished right after it happened, but by their escape from Coruscant they re practically back to cracking wise.Plot points for my own personal use, to keep track of the major plot points of the NJO series Anakin leads a strike team behind enemy lines to destroy the vonyx queen Jedi hunters The Yuuzhan Vong begin an assault of Coruscant The Jedi are attacked at their secret base Eclipse Lando saves Ben and 3P0 aboard an escaping ship Viqi Shesh makes an attempt on Han and Leia s lives Her plot is foiled but Shesh is injured Anakin and several minor Jedi characters die aboard a Vong worldship in their mission to kill the vonyx queen Nom Anor and Vergere team up to track down the Jedi twins Jaina uses dark side energy and is forced to leave Jacen on the worldship with Vergere after Jacen kills the vonyx queen Borsk Fel yla spelling detonates a suicide bomb as the Vong invade Coruscant The Vong capture Coruscant, with Han, Leia, Luke, Mara, one of the two Noghri, and various New Republic troops aboard the Millennium Falcon. Action packed, tense and fun And now that I ve listed the good parts Anakin Oh, Anakin He was easily my favorite of the three Solo kids and I sobbed like a baby when he died Then I cried harder watching his family react to his death They should have killed Jacen instead, and saved themselves loads of trouble later on foreshadowing Anyway, I m an eternal optimist and I firmly believe that Anakin will one day reappear and marry Tahiri and make me happy The end.