The Old Republic: Revan
Loved it. I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the character Revan – the lone wolf, so to speak. A powerful Jedi who came back to the light after being brainwashed by the dark side. I enjoyed the feisty Jedi Meetra, and my favorite character may have actually been Lord Scourge of the Sith. This book hinted of an assassin droid called HK-47, too. I had visions of a fantastic team that remain together for the most part throughout a series of novels: Revan, Meetra, HK-47, T3-M4 (a droid not unlike R2-D2), Canderous Ordo (a huge Mandalorian mercenary warrior), Bastila Shan (Jedi Warrior and Revan’s wife)…and maybe a converted Lord Scourge? Awesome. I was rubbing my hands with glee.
This novel, it turns out, is actually a sequal to a video game. What a waste! Video games come and go, but books are forever. Star Wars: The Old Republic role-playing game may have been an awesome game, but who plays it now? Games are good for three years, max. These characters and this storyline would have made a great set of 10 or 12 books. Instead – this is the only book starring these particular characters. This is the downside of reading these books in the order of the timeline that they took place. And I think the creators of the Star Wars literary universe would be interested in seeing this perspective. Needless to say – a very good book, but a rather weak ending. I’m sure it was the right ending for those who know the game and knew the ‘history’, but this doesn’t sit well with someone working his (or her) way through the years one book at a time.
The Old Republic: Deceived
At this point, my fear is confirmed. Nothing more on Revan. And it was starting to become clear that each book takes place hundreds of years after the last one and would involve new characters each time. Once I came to grips with that, I just enjoyed the ride.
Deceived tells the story of Darth Malgus attacking the Jedi Temple and the Sacking of Coruscant – which is an event often referred to Star Wars Universe, so I guess it is a story that needed to be told. Malgus killed Jedi Master Ven Zallow, which enrages Zallow’s former Padawan Aryn Leneer. She goes off to hunt for Zallow’s killer, enlisting the help of an old friend Zeerid – a smuggler who reminds me of Han Solo.
The storyline for Zeerid gives us some insight into the workings and history of the Hutts, and we know of the Hutts in the movies thanks to the famous “Jabba”. I really liked the three characters, as well as the bounty hunter Vrath Xizor. But alas, it was just for one book. One story. So again I consider this novel an enjoyable way of learning still more about the Star Wars universe.
I didn’t overly enjoy this book. I found it a knock-off to the Walking Dead, but taking place in the Star Wars universe. A Sith Dark Lord experiments with potions – which included a long and arduous search by hired bounty hunters to find this rare orchid. The experiments were meant to make him immortal, but instead turn the students at his school into zombies. And within a day or so, the entire population of the school has pretty much turned. The orchid was found and brought to Darth Scabrous by the bounty hunter Tulkh, who is of a huge species known as a Whiphid. The orchid can only survive if it remains in the presence of a certain Jedi – Hestizo Trace. So she is taken prisoner. The story centers around those two, as well as a handful of Sith students, a human pilot, and Hestizo’s Jedi brother as they try to escape the planet. As much as I liked the two Trace characters, the bounty hunter, and Darth Scabrous, I didn’t need to read this book. If I were to take anything away from this particular novel, it was a little more insight into Sith training academies.
The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance
As with the other two Old Republic books, this one grabbed my interest thanks to fascinating characters. A smuggler named Jet Nebula got his hands on valuable merchandise – valuable to both the Empire and the Republic. But he worked for the Hutts (there they are again – the Hutts – only this time we get to see more than a glimpse of their world).
The story explores a promising Jedi Padawan Shigar Konshi, who befriends a former (but well-trained) Republic trooper Larin Moxla, as they go to the Hutts’ world to investigate this merchandise, sent by the Jedi. Meanwhile, the apprentice for Darth Chratis, Eldon Ax, is also sent for the same reason. The Republic sends an emissary Ula Vii, who is actually an Imperial spy. The Mandolorians send a powerful mercenary named Dao Stryver to steal the merchandise, which turns out to be sophisticated software that creates killer droids quickly – “breeding” them faster than fruit flies, just using material it pulls from the environment. The storyline was interesting, the characters were intriguing. I’d like to read more about them, and I can’t help but feel as though I will read other adventures of Jet Nebula in the future. Then again, this book was supposedly tied to another video game… sigh.
The Old Republic: Annihilation
This novel focuses on Theron Shan, who is the son of Jedi Master Satele Shan – and this might be the first time I’m reading about a character who appears in two novels (Satele was in Fatal Alliance). Despite not having any Jedi powers, Theron is a fantastic character. He’s a highly trained spy, and a dark, somewhat witty personality and the Force has not manifested in him. He teams up with a Jedi Master named Gnost-Dural and a tempermental Twi’lek female smuggler named Teff’ith and they work to sabotage a highly-advanced ship Ascendant Spear which is piloted by Darth Karrid. Incidentally, Karrid was Gnost-Dural’s Padawan before she moved to the Dark side. Lots of great action, and some further insight into Sith politics, as well as the relations between Jedi and the Republic.
Next, I’ll get into Knight Errant as well as the Darth Bane trilogy, which I’m reading right now.