Monday, July 6, 2015

Star Wars Dark Disciple Review

Star Wars Dark Disciple Review | Anakin And His Angel

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!


Star Wars Dark Disciple Review | Anakin And His Angel

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.


*Some spoilers ahead!

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!


Star Wars Timeline | Anakin And His Angel

2 comments:

  1. I'm one of those people who's been having a hard time accepting the change in status quo with the Expanded Universe. Issues like the characters of Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos are a particular hot-button, if only because their role in the Clone Wars show, as interesting and good as it may be, are a hard pill to swallow due to the way they diverge from their old stories.

    Quinlan Vos's origin as an invention of Dark Horse's Republic comic series gave him a long and complex arc stretching from before Episode 1 to the aftermath of Episode 3. Going from Padawan to Jedi Master, his big moment was in the Clone Wars era becoming a double agent by establishing himself in a group of Force-sensitive "apprentices" serving under Dooku for the Separatists. It was a story that echoes Dark Disiple in that Vos faced the taint of the dark side and struggled to resist it, and ultimately succeeding, finding love in a women who had ironically been a double agent sent by Dooku to follow him, and would miraculously survive Order 66 and be able to have a child. It's an interesting arc, and while I admit I only know it from Wookiepedia, all of it gives me pause at the idea of The Clone Wars rewriting the character so much in this book as opposed to how he was handled by the very source material he came from.

    I feel a similar way about Ventress too. Though she was more multi-media as she was created for the whole original Clone Wars book/comic/first Clone Wars TV show media bonza before Episode 3, she got some really significant roles in Dark Horse's comics, including a story showing her giving Anakin his facial scars. They also wrote a very interesting finale for her in the Obsession books that saw Obi-Wan obsessively concern for her well-being and give her a motivation to leave the Separatists that does echo some of the allegiance questions she expressed in the later TV show (Obsession also gave Adi Gallia a swan song by way of pitting her against General Grevious, something that's also negated by the way The Clone Wars decided to handle her. Eh...).

    At the very least, it's good to hear this book has promise, but it puts me in a very uncomfortable place knowing that the star characters of Vos and Ventress diverge so much from the way their first stories established them.

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  2. I had no idea about their extended stories as I'm not really a book/comic book reader (though I did slightly remember Ventress being the one who gave Anakin his scar's in the original Clone Wars cartoon. I haven't watch that in ages!). Thanks for filling me in on what had previously took place! I know it's been difficult for a lot of fans to accept that so much of what we grew up with is no longer canon. I have a good feeling all these new books and movies will make up for it. We shall see! Thanks for reading!

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