Friday, March 18, 2016

James Review -- Star Wars: Dark Disciple

This week I decided to review Star Wars: Dark Disciple by Christie Golden.
The story begins with a Republic refugee convoy fleeing the Separatist conquest of the world Mahranee late in the Clone Wars. The attack is personally led by Count Dooku who orders the destruction of the convoy, and knowing that the Jedi council is in contact with the republic forces trying to evacuate the civilians, he makes it clear such attacks will continue.
In response, the Jedi Council decides to send knight Quinlan Vos, an expert in undercover operations, to assassinate Dooku, thus collapsing the Separatist alliance.To aid him they decide to have him attempt to gain the assistance of Asajj Ventress, Dooku’s former apprentice who tried and failed to assassinate him twice after he betrayed her, losing her home and people to his counterattack, without letting her know that he’s a Jedi. Ventress is now working as a bounty hunter and Vos attempts to impress her enough to form a partnership with him.
At first, things go well other than the pair struggling with their attraction to each other, but after a mission to rescue the family of a crime boss from the rival Black Sun organization ends in tragedy, Vos reveals the truth and Ventress reveals that she already knew that he was a Jedi. After she explains part of her past to him, including the origins of her hatred of the Jedi, the two become lovers. She takes him to her homeworld of Dathomir to train him in the Nightsisters’ arts of walking in the shallow portions of the Darkside without being pulled into the depths and losing control. She also tells him that Dooku killed his mentor to motivate him and increase his anger towards the count.
In time, the two launch an attack on Dooku at a party where he is receiving a humanitarian award. But the attack fails and Ventress is forced to flee while Vos is captured. Desperate to rescue him, she recruits Boba Fett, who has a grudge against her, and his crew to aid in a rescue by paying them a massive sum of credits in advance. But the rescue goes wrong when Vos attacks the rescue party after discovering that it was in fact Ventress who killed his master.
Forced to flee again, Ventress goes to the Jedi for aid. While this attempt succeeds and Vos appears to have pulled back from the reaches of the Dark Side, Ventress doesn’t trust his return to the light. However, in time she changes her mind and the two resume their romance in secret. But when Vos is again sent to eliminate Dooku they and their relationship will face an ultimate test… 
The story also contains "Kindred Spirits," a short story by the same author which covers how Ventress forged a friendship with a pirate queen linked to one of the bounties in the main book. The events are also linked to the undercover mission Vos was pulled from before being sent after Dooku, though he doesn’t appear himself.
I give the book 8 out of 10. The details of Ventress’s past are handled well and the period where her and Voss were bounty hunting partners was a lot more fun than I expected, but there are some events in the period after Vos is rescued that just seem too convenient for leading characters to reach the conclusions needed for what they do next. Also, I can’t help but feel that the section focusing on the end of the mission Vos was on before being sent after Dooku is pointless. All it does, in my opinion, is take up space and provide an unnecessary tie between Vos and the events of "Kindred Spirits." However, even though anyone remotely familiar with the franchise knows the results of the mission against Dooku, the story does a good job of keeping the reader wondering what will cause that result and what its consequences will be. "Kindred Spirits" is a nice little story but I wish it was a little longer; specifically, I think the events of the job that led Ventress to where she was when the story began should have been shown rather than just given a brief description after the fact.

No comments:

Post a Comment