Saturday, July 23, 2016

David: Rancor Spottings 60 and 61 (Legends)

Fury by Aaron Allston
Location references are for iPad.

#60 - Location 2511
Darth Caedus in his quarters on his flagship Anakin Solo:
Everyone who had supported Corellia during this action would die, or end up stamping out bits of Alliance trooper armor in a prison workshop, or be fed to rancors.

#61 - Location 3335
A major fight between Jag and Alema:
Jag hurtled to one side like a ball kicked by a rancor, his head and limbs jerking in the opposite direction.

David's Review of Fury (Legends)

4/5 Rancors – Fury by Aaron Allston is the seventh book in the nine-book Legends of the Force series. As I have stated in reviews of some of the previous books, I think the series is way too long and entirely too much time is devoted to discussions of the Force and the appropriate way for Jedi to handle themselves. I keep waiting for someone to be willing to deal with Jacen Solo, now a Sith with the moniker of Darth Caedus. I am still waiting, but at least I think now that there may be hope that a resolution is coming. This book moved along much better than some of the previous ones.

Fury begins where the previous book Inferno stopped. Jacen’s approach now is to burn Kashyyyk, the legendary home of the Wookies with its legendary massive trees. Jacen clearly will stop at nothing to get his way. To prove the point, he kidnaps his toddler daughter Allana from her mother’s care. This was over the top. Any sympathy I felt for Jacen was gone. Mr. Allston handled the kidnapping story very well. Allana’s behavior and reactions seemed exactly right, and the horror felt by mom Tenel Ka was completely realistic.

The other primary villain in this book is Alema Rar. She has kind of taken the place of Lumiya. A big part of the story here is the efforts by Han, Leia, Jag, Jaina, and Zekk to hunt Alema down. Good action through this part. We also get another look at the Centerpoint superweapon as it comes into play as the Corellian political situation gets ever more complicated and dangerous.

Fury has more action and less philosophy than most of the previous books, and that is a welcome change. I hope the trend continues in the final two Legacy of the Force books.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

David: Rancor Spotting 59 (Legends)

Inferno by Troy Denning
Page reference is for iPad.

#59 - Page 132
Tahiri is reporting to Darth Caedus that Luke has learned of the assassination of Chief of State Omas, and he is not happy:
    "Fine," Tahiri said. "HNE just reported Omas's assassination, and Master Skywalker's as mad as a yanskac on ice. You'd better be ready."
    Caedus's insides went cold with dread. Apparently, the HoloNet had decided to ignore the security hold he had placed on the story, and Ben's involvement alone would be enough to bring Luke to the bridge ready to fight a rancor. 

David's Review of Inferno (Legends)

4/5 Rancors - Finally the Legacy of the Force series begins to move along. Inferno by Troy Denning is the sixth book in the series with three more to go. Up until this point the books have been marked by way too much concern about Jedi philosophy and how to do things the right way. In the meantime Jacen Solo, now Darth Caedus, has run wild, taken complete control of the Galactic Alliance, made the required sacrifice, and become a Sith. Everyone knows they have to stop him, but they seem unwilling to take the next step beyond the rules of Jedi doctrine to get the job done.

The murder of a major character by Jacen was an important loss to the saga of Star Wars and to the remaining non-Sith characters but really not much of a personal sacrifice for Jacen. I won’t mention the name of the person killed. Suffice it to say that it was a major character. Mr. Denning has included an excellent funeral scene and does a good job of describing the agony felt by some of the main characters who remain.

Through most of the book Jacen seems unstoppable and increasingly evil. He goes so far as to have his soldiers take over the Jedi Academy at Ossus, taking the Jedi children hostage, and showing no remorse at any action he deems necessary. He ultimately does have some people stand up against him, and the book ends with a huge fight involving Jacen against Luke and son Ben. All of the action scenes are well-written. Alema Rar continues to pop up and cause trouble. The plot definitely continues to thicken. I hope that will continue in the last three books of Legacy of the Force.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

David's Review of Sacrifice (Legends)

3/5 Rancors - The Legacy of the Force series (9 books) is becoming way to similar to The New Jedi Order series (19 books). In both series there is too much time devoted to the thought making processes of the various characters. All decisions are analyzed to the nth degree. The books in these two series could have benefited from significant editing.

In Legacy of the Force we have known most of the way so far that Jacen Solo was going to end up embracing the Dark Side. The readers know it and the major characters know it, but apparently nothing can be done about it except to discuss how serious the problem is. Sacrifice by Karen Traviss is the fifth book in the series, and finally Jacen at the end refers to his new Sith name of Darth Caedus. Maybe some action will be taken in the remaining books. 

We also know that Jacen has to sacrifice a loved one, i.e., a main character, in order to become a true Sith. He agonizes greatly over who it will be, so I really don’t understand why the publishers gave us a very strong hint with the character featured on the cover.

Ms Traviss is a very experienced author. She certainly can write a good book, building action and tension as she goes. It is just the constant interludes of internal discussion and weighing possibilities that drive me crazy. The book could have moved along and been much more fun to read. I also find that I grow tired of the Star Wars habit of going to completely different areas of the story each time the chapter changes. There are no rules that say you can’t stick with the same plotline for several chapters.

Boba Fett is back with a major role in Sacrifice. We spend a fair amount of time with the Mandalorians. It was good to see him again. Some of his story is separate from the main plot, and some of it ties in. We do get to meet some new people who are associated with him. The book has a number of important characters – the Solo family, the Skywalkers with son Ben being very important, Lumiya, and Alema Rar. One new character is actually a Sith spaceship that Ben stumbles onto on Ziost. It is very close to being a sentient being and is fondly known simply as Ship.

Time to move on to Inferno, the sixth book in Legacy of the Force.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

David: Rancor Spottings 57-58 (Legends)

Exile by Aaron Allston
All page references are for iPad.

#57 - Page 40
Wedge after being relieved of duty on Corellia:
    By the time the lift doors opened, he was standing tall again. He walked past the ground-floor security station and flashed its guards a smile suggesting that he was a rancor and they were made of meat. 

#58 - Page 124
Wedge talking with Booster:
    Booster nodded. “When your retirement ceremony was broadcast, odds went to thirty-seven to one for total conquest of Corellia, unless the Bothans come in, at which point it goes to fourteen to one for a negotiated conclusion, with the Bothans selling the Corellians out and getting the rancor’s share of the deal.”

David's Review of Exile (Legends)

4/5 RancorsExile is the fourth entry in the nine-book Legacy of the Force series and the second one by Aaron Allston. The book builds on some unanswered questions from the end of Tempest. Jacen Solo continues to move towards becoming a Sith. In so doing he attacks his own parents with his turbolasers. The Corellians attempt to assassinate Hapan Queen Mother Tenel Ka. Things are pretty much in a mess.

The focus at this point in the series is Jacen’s movement towards the Sith. It’s going to happen. We all know it, but it is taking forever. It also is very difficult to understand, but it’s there. The Solo family has really fallen on hard times, and it’s kind of sad. They are about to lose a second child, and they are mistrusted by both sides in the war between the Corellians and the Confederation.

Lumiya is still around causing trouble without showing herself. Alema Rar is still determined to savage the Skywalker and Solo families. Jagged Fel and Jaina Solo are also along. However, the most interesting feature of the plot is where Ben Skywalker will end up. He is using Jacen as his role model and that does not sit well with his parents. Ben is sent off on a personal mission by Jacen to find an ancient amulet on the legendary world of Ziost. Things do not go smoothly. 

Time to move on to the next book, Sacrifice. Then we will be halfway through Legacy of the Force.