I'm going to be honest and say that I haven't read a book in a long time. Well, I've read a few smaller books but definitely not a novel-sized since the first Twilight installment hit shelves in 2005. Go ahead and do the math. Obviously I am not the world's biggest reader, but when I heard about the new canon Star Wars novels in development, I was definitely intrigued. Though I haven't read many as compared to other fans, Star Wars books have always been my favorite to read and I thought it'd be fun to start up again. I was given the chance to read Christie Golden's Dark Disciple (thanks to NetGalley) before it hits shelves tomorrow, July 7th. Below you'll find out why I highly suggest adding this to your to-read list!
Knowing that Dark Disciple was based on un-produced episodes of The Clone Wars cartoons was definitely a selling point for me. I'm a huge fan of the series and was interested in seeing ex-Sith Asajj Ventress in a new light and getting to know Jedi Master Quinlan Vos on a deeper level (we were introduced to Quinlan in an episode of TCW during Season 3). From the moment I began reading I was hooked. I didn't know what to expect but I soon found myself clearly envisioning every moment as if it were a motion picture, and oh how I wish I could watch it a thousand times over! The characters (both new and old) are so diverse and I appreciated being able to get inside their heads to experience what they're thinking and feeling. The familiar characters like Obi-Wan, Anakin, and even Yoda, were so well written I never once questioned their mannerisms. I also found all the battles to be so thrilling! Christie writes with such passion and detail that I found my heart beating faster than usual during those moments. It takes some serious skills to write out complex light saber battles. As a very serious Star Wars fan I also have to mention how much it meant to see Christie incorporate content from the films and cartoons. Even simple things like quotes from key characters reflected on events that had or hadn't yet taken place, and it gave me goosebumps. One of my favorites, though terribly saddening, was a quote from Jedi Master Plo Koon, "You cannot save everyone Master Kenobi.".
Even our very own Anakin and Padme have a scene together and they couldn't be more adorable. One of Anakin's thoughts of his beloved wife is conveyed and of course I had no choice but to share it with you, "His name, when spoken by her lips, was the sweetest music in the galaxy."
While I don't want to give everything away, I thought I'd put together a short excerpt of the beginning of the novel along with some juicy information on two of our main characters.
In the beginning of the book we learn that Count Dooku has upped his Sith Lord status by becoming even more ruthless in his crimes across the galaxy. The Jedi Council makes an unusual proclamation to have him assassinated. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, of course, are hesitant about the plan but ultimately trust Master Yoda and Mace Windu's decision. The Council assigns Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos to the task whilst suggesting he sides with Asajj Ventress, Dooku's former apprentice who has recently taken up bounty hunting. They believe that with Quinlan's wisdom and unique abilities in the force along with Asajj's own abilities and previous attempts on her former Master's life, the job had a better chance of seeing itself through.
I thoroughly enjoyed discovering more about Quinlan and even Asajj. As soon as they crossed paths, I couldn't stop reading! Their chemistry was just so perfect. Ventress is thick-headed, and a loner who is practical but passionate about her work and doesn't hesitate to get the job done by any means necessary. You can imagine how difficult it was for Vos, a strong, intelligent Jedi who is highly respected and well, just an all around kind person, to get Ventress to work alongside him. The friction, surly remarks, and cockyness between these two characters was amusing but also made me wonder if they could really be a couple. I didn't know anything about the book prior to reading it so I didn't expect their toxic relationship to soon be filled with banter and strong but unfamiliar feelings for each other.
Asajj is a character I never expected to like so much. I never disliked her but Dark Disciple definitely changed my feelings towards her. I now find her to be less eccentric and much more human. It's also so incredible to me how a character like Quinlan who had a minimal amount of screen time on TCW could become one of my favorite Jedis. Christie Golden has truly brought these characters to life!
What part will trust play in their relationship? What dark secrets will arise in the process? How far will the Jedi Council go to get things done? You'll have to find out by reading it yourself! My intention with this review was to give you a small taste of what you can expect without spoiling the entire story. If you consider yourself a hard core Star Wars fan and want to keep up with the official Star Wars timeline, Dark Disciple must be part of your Summer plans!