Remnant (Force Heretic, #1) - Sean Williams, Shane Dix The difference between reading this book and gouging out my eyes is slim

The Galactic Alliance is still in the nascent stages. Cal Omas sends Han, Leia, Jaina, and Jag off on their merry way to get communications back with disconnected planets. Meanwhile, Luke, Mara, Saba, Jacen, and Danni head out to the Imperial Remnant to finally drag them into the Galactic Alliance and to research on this living planet thing that apparently Vergere talked about last book.

NOTE: Based on audiobook and novel.

I had this crazy dream not too long ago. I don't really remember what was happening or what I was doing, but I remember one crazy thought: that Sean Williams always has to have one ridiculously over powered Marty Stu in his novels. Somehow, that thought stayed with me when I woke up, and, as I was listening to this book, I had to agree. In The Force Unleashed, it was Starkiller. Here, I would lay my bets on Jacen Solo.

But relating dreams and picking at Marty Stus, although fun for me, do not a review make.

This book was painful. From characters to story to plot to writing to pacing, there was so much pain, I begged for mercy. Fortunately, the Force granted me the audiobook, which spared me the horribly boring Nom Anor scenes (what was the point of them honestly?) and the rather unimportant, dull Han/Leia "touring the galaxy" subplot.

This book is just dull. Stupid in places and dull.

We start out where Luke chastises Random Jedi #67 for wanting to press the advantage on the Yuuzhan Vong while the Yuuzhan Vong have been defeated. Of course, this is bad because Luke says it is bad, and when Luke says it is bad, IT IS BAD. Oh, and because of that aggression and genocide stuff that I thought had been resolved in last book, but apparently, the authors did not hit each other up on email to pass that bit along. Because why bother with continuity when you can drive the same plot point into the ground until people want to throw bricks at you. After RJ#67 has been soundly defeated by Jedi Master Luke, he happily walks off, never to be seen again.

Bye, RJ#67! It was great knowing you!

Next up, let's have a meeting with Cal Omas, Releqy A'kla (daughter of the deceased Elegos A'kla), Leia, Luke, Mara...and that's about it. I don't know about you, but this meeting feels a little...er, partisan, shall we say? Towards, I dunno, the Skywalker-Solo clan? Glad to see that our most powerful mafia--I mean!--Jedi family has SO MUCH influence on the government! NOT!

The meeting that ensues is boring. It's boring and so obviously the setup for the next two books, it's sad. It's also sad to see supposedly "wise and pacifist" Releqy get a knock down from resident know-it-all, Leia, about peace. "Peace at any cost is not peace". I'd think a pacifist would know that, Leia. In fact, she should be the one saying that, not YOU.

So off our heroes split, along random lines just because, what the hey, let's throw together the supposed Sword of the Jedi, Jaina, into stupid diplomatic missions and not out in the battlefield where her skills could be used. Let's toss Tahiri with Leia and Han, when she previously went on a mission with Luke and Mara. And just to up the angst, let's bring along Jagged Fel. Sounds like a great party.

Luke and Mara beg and plead and sacrifice the never-present Ben Skywalker to the drama queen, Saba Sebatyne, who is whining and complaining about killing her people and she can't go because *GASP* she might kill others. Oh, please, stop acting like a three-year-old who dropped her ice cream on the ground. You are a freaking Jedi Master. Act like it. To round out the group, Luke and Mara bring Jacen and Danni.

Oh, Danni, Danni, Danni...how much do I loathe you! From being way too young to do the job you have (weird Star Wars ages be damned!) to switching ALMOST OVERNIGHT from being an astronomer to a xenobiologist WITH NO PROBLEMS to stampeding over the previous relationship between Jacen and Tenel Ka, to being a FREAKING JEDI, you, Danni, have far overstayed your welcome in this galaxy. You are the next one that deserves to be on the chopping block. In fact, I hope by sacrificing your sorry corpse, we can bring back Anakin from the dead.

At this point, the audiobook is kind to me. It completely removes the Leia/Han mission and those strange sections where Nom Anor, who is still NOT DEAD, mopes around Yuuzhan'tar and incites heresy in the Shamed Ones. I do have a few memories of these, and I'll summarize. The Leia/Han mission was forgettable, but I do miss the Tahiri character growth (though, why did it take so long for her to finally have to come to terms with her Vong-forming?). As for the Nom Anor stuff...no tears shed here!

So our heroes jump to Imperial space, and OH NO! They jumped right into a Yuuzhan Vong-Imperial battle! Good thing our heroes with one X-Wing and the Jade Shadow are there, so they can save the day and all those Imperial lives! But then, nasty, evil, doing his job Keten tries to get them to be boarded. OH NO!! How could you do that to our precious, omnipotent Jedi! Mara tries to get them to come on board, so that *GIGGLES* she can use a Jedi Mind Trick, but apparently Keten is not that stupid of an Imperial (there aren't many in that boat!). "I'd sooner stick my head in a drive tube than take my chances with your Jedi Mind Tricks." (Can I please stick my head in a drive tube instead of reading this book? PLEASE?!)

No worries! A good female Imperial captain (because all female Imperials are good and sensible and all Imperials that side with our heroes will ALWAYS make sure they aren't boarded according to rules!) comes on and puts Keten in his place. Shame on him for doing his job and obeying the rules! Oh, right, our heroes are above the rules! Silly me!

Our heroes are then paraded in front of a wide range of Imperials. We have stupid, fat Imperials that Jacen is able to wriggle his nose at and convince to do what the heroes planned, we have good Imperials that like our heroes and do whatever they want with little convincing (like Paelleon), and we have angry Imperials. What a diverse place Imperial space is!

There is a little tension when Paelleon might be dead, but no worries, because he can do everything from inside a bacta tank! So Paelleon and the heroes plan up a nice Yuuzhan Vong battle, and Jacen wants his Deus Ex Machinas, I mean, the YVH droids to help out. LULZ. OH NO! It looks like the Yuuzhan Vong aren't falling for the trap...oh, whew! No worries, they did! Thank God they behave exactly how we stereotype them too. It would be too hard to have our heroes have to come up with a Plan B on the fly.

Of course the heroes win (frak, does Paelleon make a stirring speech, though to the retreating Yuuzhan Vong), and of course, the Imperials gladly join the Alliance, with only ONE of their members having a second thought. Because, of COURSE, the Imperials are easily persuaded to join when you have the awesomeness of the Jacen with them. And we close with some giggles and hints at how Danni and Jacen LIKE each other because what Star Wars book is complete without some young adult reject Romantic Plotlines?

So, yeah, I didn't like this book, I thought the characters, minus Tahiri and occassionally Paelleon, went from meh to terrible. The Imperial story wasn't bad, but I can't believe that only one Imperial would protest about joining the Galactic Alliance. It was a shame that Luke didn't actually get any closer to finding Zonoma Sekot, which feels like a HUGE Deus Ex Machina for the entire series. I understand why Leia and Han went on their mission, but I really think it wasn't worth my time, and the same with the Nom Anor plot. The writing is rather pedestrian and boring, occasionally filled with really stupid similes (such as "Flennick's features went from startlingly purple to deathly white in the time it would have taken light to cross the room"--talk about unwieldy!!). Overall, this book is a huge disappointment, and I do not recommend reading it AT ALL.