Thursday, September 13, 2007

Review of Inferno: Five Irksome Points, Five Saving Graces

I’m going with three of five stars because, although I enjoyed the book, many things about it irk me to no end. Mild spoilers ahead, so beware.

This could have been the end of the series, yet the we-want-to-sell-3-more-books idea prevails.

Irksome point 1: Jacen’s characterization throughout the series. The authors have thus far tried to lead him slowly to the dark side. I even half-buy a third of their crappy rationalization. Several plot points leave me stunned by the sheer stupidity. Jacen Solo was a freaking awesome character by the end of the NJO, he even had sense through that flipping awful Swarm War series, then all of a sudden in LOTF he’s Mr. I’m-a-man-I-can-take-on-the-galaxy by sacrificing all about me, I’ll preserve peace.

Saving Grace 1: Jaina seems fully back to her senses, thank the force. She even gets one whole nice long scene to show she really is a Jedi.

Irksome point 2: Alema Rar. Ever since the force-forsaken Swarm War series I’ve disliked her character. She’s just painful to read. “We” this, “balance” that, “kill Leia” the other. Aaaarrrrggghhh. Sorry, I’m usually more articulate than that, but she’s like a rash that won’t go away in any TD book.

Saving Grace 2: Troy Denning’s descriptions are at times brilliant.

Irksome point 3: Tahiri Veila. How many years have passed since Anakin’s death? Yes, she loved deeply, but one would think her Jedi training would have given her a better measure of peace than this book implies. It’s hard to believe that her only option of finding peace is to turn to Jacen and force-flowing to find Anakin again. She knew Anakin like she knew herself, or so we’re lead to believe. Yet she’s willing to do many things Anakin wouldn’t have condoned. Sure.

Saving Grace 3: Tenel Ka. Wahoo, some characters stay true to themselves. Yes, she’s reminiscent of Padme, but unlike Padme, she’s willing to fight. Thank the force someone didn’t turn the authors loose against her character.

Irksome point 4: we-want-to-sell-3-more-books – Jacen’s beaten and Luke walks away b/c it’s the right thing to do. Incidentally, they make a half-hearted attempt to explain this away in the next book. Benny boy might walk the dark path, so we must let Mr. I-am-sith-god live. Worst part – it will WORK! Yes, I’ll buy the others to complete the series. Yes, I’ll probably have mixed feelings about them. Yes, I may regret spending the money later.

Saving Grace 4: Ben Skywalker. He reacts normally, thank goodness.

Irksome point 5: The miraculous escape in the end is so far beyond ridiculous it’s painful. The cause of said miraculous escape is also painful because the poorly named thing just all of a sudden remembers its powers… yeah right.

Saving Grace 5: Luke’s still powerful. Yes, he’s a lot over-done, which would have made him an irritant, had I been not so ready for him to DO something besides dither.