This ought to be 3 stars but I'm doe rating because no Star Wars book should take me nearly half a year to finish and fill me with such dread every time I pick it up.
I don't know that Tim Lebbon gets Star Wars; Lanoree is one of the most incompetent Force Users I've ever read (albeit still more interesting that the dull as dirt, Kerra Holt of Knight Errant). This story was completely pointless and failed utterly at answering the big question of "What are the origins of the Jedi?"
It may sound like I hated this book, but that's not true. I'm just massively disappointed.
Not a Star Wars book I would recommend. I won't be checking out Lebbon's other works either.
Lanoree Brock is a Je'daii Ranger who has now been assigned to find her long-dead brother, Dalien, who holds a dangerous device that could ruin the world - or send them to the depths of the universe.
As a long-time Star Wars fan, who has read the likes of "Children of the Jedi" and "Jedi Trial", I must say this was a big fat disappointment - and confirmation that it's a good thing I'm not going to read past the Legends line.
Now, we all can't be too hard on Star Wars. For every "Crystal Star" (and yes, that book WAS the inspiration for my screen name - back in the day when I was a teenager and didn't have the same standards I do now), there was a "Heir to the Empire" or "Shatterpoint". Ying...and yang. That said, there are SO MUCH Star Wars out there, I'm done. I'm burned out. And, yes, I'm disgruntled about all of this canon being wiped out, just so Disney can rewrite everything and make a ton of money.
But just because Star Wars is prone to bad books doesn't mean I have to tolerate it. Just because Star Wars has its rough spots doesn't mean that I have to turn the other way and pretend they don't exist.
I'm not sure why this book was written, other than to cash in on the mildly interesting comic series of the same name - which, to be honest, was much better than anything in this book. This was not an origin story. It was not an original Jedi story. It really isn't an original Star Wars story. I mean, how many times will we suffer through the "Character X chases Character Y for MacGuffin J" plot?
The characters are so boring and dull and lifeless. Lanoree WAS a better character than Kerra Holt - but come on, that's not saying much. Kerra Holt was pretty bland. She makes Saltine Crackers look like they're made of Sriracha sauce. Lanoree could have been a kick @$$ female Jedi - Space knows, Star Wars has its problems showcasing females doing things other than dying of broken hearts (or did you retcon that now, George?). But no - she's a complete and utter moron. A simple mission turns into a jaunt around the solar system, a 300 page waste of paper/electronics/however you read this book. Her investigation skills are pretty much zero; Tre does more investigating than Lanoree and he's not a Force User at all. A character can leave a heap of bloody clothes in her path, and she collapses and IMMEDIATELY thinks he's dead withOUT checking her surroundings!
And then the bloodbath Lanoree leaves in her wake! I get that Je'daii at this time weren't the sparkling brilliant white of the Jedi in the movies, but Lanoree justifies killing people A LOT. A LOT. And her incompetence quite possibly gets a main character killed! (And no, that "death" is not stirring or compelling or heart-wrenching in the least - unless you mean it in the sense of "Lanoree is a moron and should be fired".)
Other stock Star Wars characters:
+ The Fat Evil Businessperson
+ The Twi'Lek bad guy
+ The Family Member Who Isn't Dead
Also, what are Twi'Leks and Noghri doing on Tython and all these planets? Isn't this much before interstellar travel? What, did all these cultures come from the SAME system? HUH?
And now, before I lose steam, your favorite and mine:
1. Landing permissions - ain't nobody got time for that! Seriously, is there a Star Wars book in which characters actually ask for permission to land, land, and then chase their bad guy?
2. Is there a requirement for a Star Wars author to create at least one planet per book wherein there is SO MUCH POLLUTION that acid rain and black skies are the norm? Is that in the list that George Lucas sends to all potential authors of his books?
3. At one point, Lanoree pilots her ship "out of Nox's gravity". Only, she just left the atmosphere. Yes, the further you get from the planet, the less the gravity will be, but it hasn't disappeared!
4. Force alchemy can save a person from a point-blank blaster wound! After that person has been drug through mines and been knocked out for half a day! SURE, let's go with it!
5. "We are but residents here; our true home is in the Force." I think the word you mean is "foreigners", not residents!
6. The book ends at 65% on my Kindle - the rest (besides a short story going to 68%) are a bunch of gorram excerpts of other books! I MEAN REALLY!! I am paying for THIS?!
7. Force Punch?! Seriously, Lebbon is never allowed to use this again - I've never heard it called "Force Punch" before (only "Force Push") and Lanoree overuses it so much, it must be banished from existence.
And this has been another...Nerd Nitpicks!
Seriously, the best thing about this book (other than yes, Lebbon did make the protagonist female) is the short story "Eruption" written by John Ostrander. THAT was awesome. THAT made Lanoree look bad @$$ and competent. THAT was more interesting than anything of this book.
Lanoree is an incompetent Je'daii doing a stupid mission with boring characters, and the writing is just average. This isn't the worst book that I've ever read, nor the worst Star Wars book, but it took me over 5 months to finish, and for a Star Wars book, that's a crime. Not to mention, every time I did pick up the book, I wanted to promptly put it back down.
No wait, you know what the REAL best thing about this book is? Disney has banished it from canon - a move that almost no one will cry over!