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A novel by Kevin J. Anderson (1995, Bantam Spectra)
12 years after Star Wars: A New Hope

The Hutts build another Death Star, Admiral Daala tries to unify the Imperial forces, while Luke and Callista try to re-stimulate her powers.



2 stars

Read August 21st to 26th, 1996  
    Definitely not as good as Barbara Hambly's book, to which this is really a sequel.  Still a good idea, but poorly written in comparison.  I'm getting a sense of how Kevin J. Anderson writes, which seems to be without much thought except that he has to get from point A to point B and keep moving.  I think he writes very quickly, with only one draft.  Some people can pull this off, like Asimov, but most can't. 

Luke and Han get information from Jabba's old palace that the Hutts are up to something bad.  It turns out that Durga the Hutt has teamed up with Bevel Lemelisk, the designer of the Death Stars.  They steal the death star plans from the Coruscant computer in a strangely disrespectful scene.  Durga and Lemelisk end up building a stripped down version of the Death Star, called Darksaber, but it is built by incompetent workers, and so it fizzles out when it is needed most.  It seems that Crix Madine gave his life for nothing. 

Meanwhile, Admiral Daala and Vice Admiral Pellaeon join forces to root out the people in the Imperial fleet who are destroying the Empire from within, by fighting amongst themselves.  They end up killing all the fleet leaders in a scene that was written poorly, but in visualizing it I thought it was powerful nonetheless.  They plan an attack on the Jedi Academy.

But Kyp Durron and Dorsk 81 were visiting Dorsk's planet, which is conveniently located near the place where the Imperial fleet is massing.  So while Dorsk's planet is partially destroyed, and they must start over without their cloning lifestyles, the two Jedi are able to warn Yavin 4 before the attack.  These scenes were written very hastily, I'm sure, because they are so simplistic that I was embarrassed reading them.

Luke is trying to deal with Callista's loss of her Force powers from the end of Children of the Jedi.  In a bunch more chapters that I was embarrassed reading, Luke takes her to a comet resort, and then to a clichéd tour of Dagobah and Hoth.  Either Luke was really desperate, or Anderson was trying to visit all of the Galaxy again. 

Part of the New Republic fleet is sent to confront the Darksaber, and the other half to save the Jedi Academy.  Dork 81 is able to deflect most of the Imperial fleet using all of his life Force, and Luke, Callista, Han, etc. arrive just too late for that. 

Callista singlehandedly sabotages Daala's flagship (the only one left), and barely saves herself, but won't return to Luke. 

I think two Death Stars was one too many to begin with, but I did like the idea of a stripped down version.  As usual, though, I'm tired of incompetent workers.  And the Hutts and Imperials seem to have so many of them, but only when the story is written by Anderson.  Hmmm.

I did like Callista's ending, though, and I can't wait for the sequel to this book, again by Barbara Hambly, like Children of the Jedi was.  This book was way too plot driven, and though the characters seemed to behave as in the movies, it looked like Anderson was trying to write a movie, instead of a solid book.  Ah, well.

One thing that I've noticed about the good books as opposed to the poor ones, is that the good ones don't travel all over the galaxy.  They find a good place, or three places at most, really, and they tell a story.  They don't need to move from place to place.

Not a book that I'll read again, I think.


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