This story might not have been the story I wanted for the first book post-RotJ, but it is a pretty good read, and the events contained within are exactly what would realistically happen in the months after the Battle of Endor.
I really wish the big three had been the focus of this story, but since they weren't, the characters we got were an interesting second-place. I absolutely loved that Admiral Sloane was a main character. I really hope we continue to see more of her, not just in the next to Aftermath novels and the upcoming short story, but for years to come. The other character that was a really cool standout was Mr. Bones. I look forward to seeing him in the next novel as well.
All the little teases in the interludes were the best parts of the story however. I would have loved to read a Han and Chewie novel which continued on from their interlude as the first chapter. The Boba Fett interlude was awesome. I almost believed that we were seeing the return of Boba Fett himself in this very novel, but as it turned out, I still believe what we saw will play a part in his "return" in the future. Besides these two standout interludes, there was the perfect amount of other character and location mentions, from Sugi to Fulcrum to Dengar to Jakku, it was great to see and hear little glimpses of characters we know and love.
The glimpses of were the story is going were very intriguing, from the implication that there is something out there in Wild Space which the Emporer had his eye on (which reminded me of the Vong), to the proposal that the Imperial Remnant should retreat, gain strength, and come back at the right moment. I think these two bits of info will be very important going foward towards The Force Awakens. And the mystery of the Admiral pulling all the strings with the Empire's plans left me very eager to read the next in the Aftermath series.
I'd give this novel an 8 out of 10.
For fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this is a must read novel. Action packed, emotional, a great addition to the Star Wars story.
Adapted from eight unfilmed scripts for The Clone Wars season seven, this novel probably far outshines what the episodes themselves would have been. While we loose the visual spectacle of the episodes, the emotional depth and adult themes which are allowed to be presented in novel form make this the perfect story to have been adapted. I found myself, as I was reading, trying to figure out when the episode breaks would have taken place for the first half of the book. After that I gave up and assumed that the story was changed enough from the screenplay to make it too difficult to figure out.
While I'm greatly enjoying the new canon novel/comic/tv show inter-connectivity, the mention of Level 1313 several times in the story made me mourn the loss of some of what was sure to to come if Lucasfilm hadn't been bought by Disney and so many planned stories had been abandoned. The move toward inter-connectivity that Lucasfilm was already planning on would have been very interesting as well.
Dark Disciple picks up where the final tidbits of The Clone Wars left off, with Ventress a bounty hunter and the Clone Wars going very badly for the Republic. Quinlan Vos and Ventress team up to assassinate Count Dooku and sparks fly. This story on it's surface would seem questionable, but I found myself totally buying the Ventress/Vos storyline, and I grew to love Ventress as a character even more than I did by the end of The Clone Wars. Golden does such a great job of capturing Ventress's voice, which I suppose can be chalked up to having the screenplay already given to her, but still give her credit for some great writing. I became so invested in the story that I was almost to the point of wondering if Ventress and Vos would actually succeed in eliminating Count Dooku.
Now on to the spoilers....
This book is also Quinlan Vos's original story arc reimagined in The Clone Wars canon continuity. His battles with falling to the dark side, going under cover to destroy Count Dooku, and his embrace of romantic attachment in defiance of the Jedi Code are great storylines plucked right out of his the original Clone Wars comic continuity, and I loved seeing them again in this tale. I don't think the canon Quinlan Vos is as cool or interesting a character as the original, but we spent much less time getting to know him and his story.
The entire assassination Dooku storyline was just another piece in the long line of horrible mistakes Yoda and Windu make that ends with the destruction of the Jedi Order.
While I loved the first half of the book, I felt the story began to loose me a bit for most of the last half. Once Vos and Ventress return from their assassination attempt, I started to get lost about their individual motivations. While I finally started to understand Vos's motive towards the very end, it was only vaguely explained in the final chapters. With a fuller understanding of what was happening, I think the last half of the book would be better on a reread.
Really big spoilers....
The last three chapters really got me back in to the story. I loved that Ventress's character was wrapped up, as she was one of the handful of dangling threads left by the abrupt end of The Clone Wars. I prefer her death as told in this story to her original fate in the Clone Wars comics. During her funeral, as Vos lowered her into the water and something strange began to happen, I thought for a moment that she would be resurrected. For just a few seconds I was very impressed that Golden had sold her death so well if the intention was to have her and Vos sail off into the sunset.
I really love when I am so excited by a scene and get the feeling that something amazing is about to be revealed. I held by hands in front of the page to prevent my eyes from darting down the paragraphs and being spoiled a few seconds before what I thought might be the big reveal of Ventress's return. As I moved my hand down the page line by line, I realized what was actually happening and was very impressed by the last line of the book. That was some great writing.
End of spoilers...
Not being a huge fan of Ms. Golden's Star Trek novels, I was very impressed by this first of her Star Wars books I have read. I hope to read more from her in the future.
I am sure that since this book was so good it will be a hit. Hopefully that will give Lucasfilm reason to publish more unused The Clone Wars storylines. I would love to see that Boba Fett/ Cad Bane teamup as a novel. And we simply must see the final story of Ahsoka and Rex in what would have been the series finale. Plus, where is Darth Maul!!!???!!!
I give Dark Disciple a 9 out of 10 stars! Keep up the good work Del Rey!
This was quite a good novel. Not the novel I thought I was going to be reading, but very engaging nonetheless.
Lords of the Sith was billed a Vader/Emperor team up novel, but the star of the story was actually Cham Syndulla. Syndulla was in several episodes of The Clone Wars as a Twi'lek freedom fighter. He has also been revealed as Rebels character Hera Syndulla's father. This novel is Cham's attempt at taking down Vader and the Emperor in one fell swoop. Mixed with that tale is a few chapters of introspective and awesome Vader/Emperor team-up. As good as the Cham portions of Lords of the Sith was, I much would have rather read a full book focusing more on Vader and Emperor's relationship and adventure.
The first half of the book was almost solely about Twi'lek freedom fighters launching an attack on a Star Destoryer and their attempt to kill the Emporer and Darth Vader. Really my favorite part of the book was the very beginning, in which we got to look deep into Vader thoughts and see the man left over after the "death" of Anakin Skywalker. I also enjoyed the additions to the first chapter that were apparently made since it was released as a teaser for the book. Several mentions were made of Cham being Hera's father, a fact which was only very recently revealed. Cham's sidekick/ love interest Isval is a great real-world extrapolation of the cliche Twi'lek slave girl. She is traumatized by her former life of sexual slavery and out for revenge on the Empire.
There were some really interesting tidbits in the second half of the book, which focused on Vader and Palpatine surviving the Twi'lek attack and playing a subtle game of one-ups-man ship along the way. Along with that amazing plot are tidbits of Vader remembering Ahsoka, Rex, Cody, Echo, and a clone named "Sixes." I'm not sure if this was an error and was supposed to be a mention of Fives, or if Fives was for some reason not mentioned on purpose.
Another question I was left with was when this book takes place. It claims to occur eight years after the Clone Wars, which would be in the same year as Star Wars: A New Dawn. But the recently released Star Wars novel timeline places it before Star Wars: Tarkin, which is set five years after the Clone Wars. Hopefully this will be clarified at some point.
In the end this tale serves as another portion of the birth of the Rebellion storyline that we've seen several different aspects of in the past, and presently in Star Wars Rebels. After the events of the end of the book, I was left wondering how Cham will eventually feel about his daughter joining the Rebellion. Does he support her life fighting the Empire, or has she kept her small role in the Alliance secret from him?
Though it didn't really end up being the story it was teased as, I give Lords of the Sith a 8 out of 10.
This was the first book I've ever read about Luke Skywalker. And it was the first book ever "written by" Luke Skywalker. And I really enjoyed it.
Having been written in first person in the voice of Luke, this book is a first for Star Wars novels. I enjoyed the first person aspect of the novel, as it allowed for even deeper internal narration to come across than a normal story would have. But I found it hard to keep Luke's "voice" in my head for the entire novel, so I'm not sure it was entirely a success for me.
I've been reading Star Wars novels and comics for about a decade, but have been going through them chronologically. I'm in the Dark Times currently, and so I've never read a story staring Luke Skywalker before. But my decision to begin reading all the new canon material as it comes out led me to jump ahead to this book. It was very interesting, therefore, to see Luke talk about the Clone Wars, wonder to himself how bad a guy the Emperor is, and know of the public reputation of Darth Vader.
The novel is set shortly after A New Hope, and features Luke going on a Rebel mission to rescue a master computer slicer with the help of a beautiful Rebel, Nakari. The Luke/ Nakari relationship was a great part of the story, and it really helped show Luke growing up in the period between Episodes IV and V. The mathematical genius whom they rescue from the Empire was an interesting character, and I enjoyed the way math was such an important part of her culture. The chapter headings embedded in mathematical formulas were a nice touch.
The most interesting part of the novel was Luke struggling to learn how to use the Force. With such little time and guidance from Ben before his death, all he knows is that the Force is out there but he has little idea how to use it, and what it can do. It was great to watch him take his first steps toward figuring that out, and even see him notice that the Dark Side always beckons. Luke trying to use the Jedi Mind Trick on someone for the first time was hilarious, as was his first forays into moving objects with his mind.
Admiral Ackbar, R2D2 "talking" to Luke, and the author's meditation on weather Vader was seduced by the Dark Side or fell to it by his own choice add even more great stuff to this book. It wasn't a standout 5 star novel like The Revenge of the Sith novelization or Darth Plagueis, but I really don't have anything but praise for Heir to the Jedi.
7 stars out of 10.