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The Staff of Rahgorra Hardcover – June 15, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Conquer Publishing, LLC (June 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984119205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984119202
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,844,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Oetjens was born in 1971. He grew up in suburban Chicago. As a child he was diagnosed with Dystonia, a debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Though there is no cure for Dystonia, surgeries and rehabilitation allowed him to walk with only a slight limp by the time he started high school. He received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Anthropology, both from Northern Illinois University. As an adult a brain tumor, completely unrelated to his Dystonia, threatened to disable him a second time. Thanks to radiation therapy the tumor has disappeared. Mark currently lives and writes in Phoenix, AZ.

Customer Reviews

Not to say this is a bad book.
K Lomman
This combination would normally result in 4 stars, so why the 3 stars rating?
Amazon Customer
Mark writes with a very smooth style, that carries the story long well.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J Bryden Lloyd on November 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I am a BIG Star Wars fan. I have read all the books, and I feel it is clear that this author has also.

I am certain that to some, this will be an excellent book. It is well written and the story concept is good, along with several of the characters and locations.

Unfortunately, for me, the similarities to the Star Wars saga and the characters, technology, terminology, some locations, types of creatures, the 'renamed' force, the would-be evil emperor, and so on, and so on... was all just a bit too much and this took away a huge part of what this book certainly had going for it in the early stages.

I cringed visibly when two particular characters were introduced together; one as 'Kobiyashi' and the other as 'Maru', thus managing to pay homage to Star Trek's infamous unbeatable training simulator program.

In its defence, like I said, the writing was passably good, and although there were a few grammatical and spelling errors dotted about, I think that for someone who was enjoying the story and the writing, these would be inconsequential. This certainly isn't a BAD piece of work. The good points ARE good.

However, there are too many 'borrowed' or significantly similar elements and not enough originality from the author, which is a great shame. I genuinely feel that if a little more time had been put into the planning for this book and a little more imagination applied to those aspects sci-fi readers will all-too-easily identify from other sources, that this could be an excellent work, and one which I would have widely recommended.

I have re-visited and edited this review, which I originally gave 2 stars. The main reason for this being that the author clearly has talent and has the potential to create something exceptional. As a result of that, and the fact that there WOULD be those readers out there who would enjoy this, I feel it is unfair to condemn it totally.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This book has a lot of good points, but a few bad ones too. For the good: the writing is generally pretty decent, the world well imagined, and no serious editing issues. Oetjens (the author) also does do a good job of integrating political realism into the story. This combination would normally result in 4 stars, so why the 3 stars rating?

Well, there are numerous issues with this book. First, and most obviously, is that Staff of Rahgorra is far too similar to Star Wars, with Jedi, Sith, Star Destroyer, speeder-bike, and even Ewok analogues. The naming is somewhat similar, and while the story does have many original touches that I liked, it isn't so original as to overcome the "Star Wars Clone" bias in readers. Still, the book could have been really good, if the writing, especially the action, was truly exceptional; sadly, it isn't, and Oetjens misses the mark for injecting a truly "epic" feel to the writing. While the writing's decent, there isn't quite enough action, and the action isn't visceral and vicious enough for my tastes. That said, Star Wars fans who aren't total purists may enjoy the novel.

Overall, I'd say this book is OK, but not truly standout. I'd be interested in reading another story by Oetjens, particularly one that focuses on his strengths in logical, large scale political interactions driven by unique characters and personalities. Recommended to Stars Wars fan-fiction readers.

Full Disclosure: Received free copy of book to review. This did not effect my review or star rating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K Lomman on October 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Firstly I've read the authors blog and the other review with regards to the Star Wars similarities and I have to say I can see them too. Character names (Kiber, Captain Tarpel, etc.), planet names (Anoat system), vehicles (speeder bikes), and a lot of other similarites.

A galactic peacekeeping force wielding mystical powers with a central base known as the Monastery. Sound familiar? Each skilled warrior only having 1 apprentice. The whole order being wiped out by an evil mystical power user bent on becoming emperor. The similarities are constant the whole way through (and don't think I missed the Star Trek references. Kobayashi and Maru? Seriously?) The main character is a mix of Han and Obi-Wan while the other main character is a mix of Luke and Leia. The young idealistic character who is very strong in the "Jai Kin" but untrained. Who is also directly related to the evil overlord.

Not to say this is a bad book. It's not. It's well written and interesting. But it's so very familiar to me. I feel I've read this story countless times before. There was nothing unique for it to stand out. If somebody hadn't come across Star Wars before they might find this better, but the target audience will be people like me so that's unlikely.

A decent effort but something that feels far too much like Star Wars fan-fic.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Staff of Rahgorra

I just finished reading Mark Oetjens's The Staff of Rahgorra. This is a science-fiction novel that follows the story an evil overlord named Thrull and his quest to secure a weapon called The Staff of Rahgorra and wield its power to control the galaxy. Along the way, Cam Del Rey- the hero of the story-, an ex-GSB agent is recruited to help secure the staff that was lost hundreds f years ago. On his quest, he meets up with a young GSB agent named Koya, who has a hidden past. Both possess a power known as "Jai", similar to the force. It allows a person to become hyper sensitive to the world around them. They can move faster than normal and `sense' when someone else who has this power is close by. She accompanies Cam and he decides to teach her how to control her Jai, in order to help him overthrow Thrull. As any good book would, there are segments if intrigue, drama, and deception.

I don't want to give away a lot of the story, but Staff is a science fiction novel for the science junky. Mark litters the book with very cool and interesting science facts, such as String Theory, to educate and capture the interests of the reader, while weaving it into Rahgorra lore. Mark writes with a very smooth style, that carries the story long well. He knows how to capture the essence of science-fiction and evenly lace the story with technology and action, while keeping the reader engaged.

My only gripe with the story is that it is very familiar to me. I am a huge Star Wars junky, and this tale almost parallels it with similar themes of good versus evil and the power of Jai is somewhat like the Force. It was like reading a story within the Lucas world. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not something that I would call original. For science-fiction aficionados, it is a good read.
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