Tuesday, August 16, 2016

David: Rancor Spottings 63, 64, 65, and 66 (Legends)

Invincible by Troy Denning
Location references are for iPad.

#63 - Location 93
What do you call the person who brings dinner to a rancor? The appetizer!
    - Jacen Solo, age 14, Jedi academy on Yavin 4

#64 - Location 479
Jaina talking to Boba Fett:
    Jaina studied Fett for a moment, trying to remind herself that she had gone to him, that he had given her exactly what she asked for - and she still found herself getting angry.
    Finally, she said, "Dad's right about you. The Kaminoans did use rancor drool to fill your veins."

#65 - Location 3442
A practice session among the Jedi:
    Tesar was on her like a rancor, driving her back with a flurry of scaly-footed kicks and cane strikes, his dark Barabel eyes bulging with the joy of the fight.

#66 - Location 4084
A meeting among Darth Caedus and the Moffs:
    "Well done," Caedus said. "Thank you." He expanded his gaze to include the rest of the Moffs, too. "All of you."
    Lecersen clicked his heels and inclined his head. "A pleasure to be of service, my lord," he said. "But it was for us, too - payback for that attack on Nickel One."
    "Even better," Caedus said. "Fett should be taught that he's the smallest rancor in the pit."

David's Review of Invincible (Legends)

4/5 Rancors – Invincible by Troy Denning is the last book in the nine-book Legends of the Force series, and I have to say that I am glad to be finished with the series. Too long for me. It could have used some serious editing.

However, Mr. Denning does a good job in wrapping things up. He makes good use of the characters, includes plenty of suspense and action, and gives us a great ending. The demise of Darth Caedus was not a surprise even though there was much uncertainty along the way. Jaina gets the job done but just barely.

The first important setting in the book is Nickel One, an asteroid controlled by the Verpines. A defense pact with the Mandalorians gives Boba Fett and his people another chance to shine and to help Jaina in her task. Darth Caedus is strengthening his control over the Imperial Remnant  and the Galactic Alliance loyalists. At this point we have the first real confrontation between Caedus and Jaina (with an assist from Luke). The action is explosive and Jaina is hugely impressive, but the action ends in a draw this time. In a subsequent meeting Jaina gets the upper hand.

Mr. Denning has written a good story, and the series is complete. Now it is time to read some other stories before undertaking another series.

David: Rancor Spotting 62 (Legends)

Revelation by Karen Traviss
Page reference is for iPad.

#62 - Page 66
Darth Caedus thinking about Tahiri as his potential assistant: 

  The task of sweet-talking Pellaeon into listening to Caedus's offer was something any intelligent, personable woman could do. But Caedus needed Tahiri to be more than that, and he needed her to grow so that she wasn't performing like a circus rancor simply for tidbits of time spent flow-walking back to watch Anakin. 

David's Review of Revelation (Legends)

5/5 Rancors – Revelation by Karen Traviss is the eighth book in the nine-book Legends of the Force series and is likely the best one of the series so far. I realize that I have complained a great deal about previous books in the series, especially with regard to excessive space being used for philosophy and discussions of the rules that govern Jedi actions. This book is different. It moves along.

You can tell that it is a Karen Traviss book because the Mandalorians play a major part. She does love to write about them. Of course the focus of the book is on Darth Caedus with Ben Skywalker receiving a lot of attention as he searches for proof about his mother’s murder. There are also interesting sections about the Imperial Remnant, led by Admiral Pellaeon.

Another key figure is Jaina Solo. She has come to accept her destiny as the Sword of the Jedi, and she takes it upon herself to deal with her brother Darth Caedus. She also realizes that she is overmatched and that she needs new tactics if she is to successfully deal with Caedus and his Sith powers. So, where does she go to learn these new tactics? Believe it or not, she approaches Boba Fett, a long-time enemy of the Solo family, and asks for his help. This makes for a strange but interesting combination and is an intriguing section of the book. Jaina and Fett actually learn from each other.

In the meantime, Ben is on Coruscant trying to find the proof he needs. He knows that Darth Caedus killed his mother, but he needs to be able to convince others of the truth. He is helped in this task by Captain Shevu, a new character in the series who reports to Darth Caedus but actually is helping Ben.

Revelation is a step up in the Legends of the Force series. Now I look forward to the last book coming up next.

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.