26 April 2016

Return of the New Jedi Order, Episode XXXI: The Unifying Force by James Luceno

This is it! It took me a year and a half to reread the series in chronological order, but I've finally come to the end of The New Jedi Order. I have to say it hasn't held up: I remember liking much more of it than I did on this reread. Its highs are still great (Edge of Victory, Star by Star, Traitor), but when you're not always eagerly picking up the latest installment to find out what happens next because you do know what happens next, the repetitiveness, aimlessness, rough edges, and dull characterizations become much more apparent.

Hardcover, 529 pages
Published 2003

Acquired December 2003
Previously read February 2004
Reread September 2015
Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
by James Luceno

Year Five of the Invasion (Months 1-3)
The New Jedi Order goes out much as it began, which is to say: blandly. Given a nineteen-book series with tons of characters to wrap up, Luceno devotes significant chunks of time early in the novel to Boba Fett and Judder Page, neither of whom have appeared in these books before. A lot of the novel feels oddly low-key: Zonoma Sekot appears in the sky over Yuuzhan'tar/Coruscant, but no one seems particularly worried about or interested in what ought to be an ominous moment. Luceno has obviously read Traitor, unlike Walter Jon Williams, but I'm not sure he gets it any better. He can bog anything down in procedural details, even the wrapup to a four-year galaxy-spanning epic, unfortunately.

Next Week: A new reading adventure begins: twelve novellas for twelve Doctors, as I finally hit up the prose fiction celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who!

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