Friday, February 13, 2015

James Review -- Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Betrayal

This week I decided to review Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Betrayal by Aaron Allston. The story opens with a short scene of Luke Skywalker discussing a recent vision of a dark man who doesn’t exist yet, with his wife Mara Jade Skywalker. It then shifts to Adumar, where Jacen Solo and his apprentice and cousin Ben Skywalker are investigating a Proton Torpedo factory which is suspected of using used to created munitions to export to other Galactic Alliance worlds rather than being used for local defense or sent to the central Galactic Alliance military as part of a new program to limit local defense forces in favor of the central military. A battle ensues after they discover a hidden portion of the factory producing weapons. The scene then shifts to a dinner of the combined Skywalker and Solo families which degrades into an argument over the new regulations on local defense forces, and whether such regulations would have decreased the damage suffered in the Yuuzhan Vong War or made things worse. Luke eventually takes Jacen aside and explains that the Galactic Alliance has found evidence that Corellia, one of the loudest of the many planets protesting the new defense force and military hardware export restrictions, is believed to be building a secret assault fleet and seeking to reactivate Centerpoint, an ancient station used to build the Corellian system, and just as effective at destroying star systems as it is at building them. He asks Jacen to take on a mission to disable or destroy the station, while an Alliance fleet moves in to awe the Corellians into backing down. But Han and Leia find evidence of what is coming and warn Corellia, leading to the fleet operation turning into a massive battle. Then the Alliance admiral in command of the forces in the system decides to invade the outermost planet of the Corellian system. This only makes the political crisis worse, and attempted truce talks end with both negotiation teams being targeted by assassins. Corellia’s leader is among the causalities, leaving Han’s cousin Thrackan, not known for moderation, playing nice with others or liking the idea of Corellia being controlled by any form of outside government, in power. Jacen and Ben depart to try to discover who is behind the assassination, but soon find themselves caught in a web of seemingly random incidents involving insane and suicidal people who are quite willing to target bystanders. Meanwhile, Han and Wedge Antilles believe that the only hope of preventing a full scale war is to drive the Alliance forces from Corellian space and begin plotting a daring bomber raid to clear the path for an attack on the Alliance’s main ground base in the Corellian system. As the raid and battle rages far away, Jacen confronts the force behind much of the recent bloodshed and must choose from many possible paths at a time where one slip may bring a nightmare to reality.
I give this book an 8 out of 10. It was very interesting but the author writes some of the best humor scenes to be found in Star Wars, in my opinion, but that humor was mostly missing from this book. Also, there are a few parts that I question the purpose of in the story. Finally it is never a good sign when a key plot point requires the government of the galaxy passing a law at what I feel would be pretty much the stupidest possible time the history of the Star Wars galaxy to enact such a measure. It is like the Galactic Alliance senate wanted a civil war less than two decades after the most devastating war in the setting’s recorded history or something. The battle sequences were well done but I wish there had been some more viewpoint characters in the major battles. In particular, during the first battle between the Galactic Alliance fleet and Corellia’s defense fleet, you don’t see any of the space battle from the point of view of the Corellian forces. 

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