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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent opener
The politicians are meeting in a summit on the planet Coruscant to discuss bringing the Imperial Remnant into the Galactic Alliance. Luke Skywalker is arrested at the instigation of Chief of Sate Natasi Dalaa for dereliction of duties. His protégé Jacen Solo turned to the dark side of the force and caused the Second Galactic Civil War when he became Darth...
Published on March 28, 2009 by Harriet Klausner

versus
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to justify spending so much money to read this series
*Warning Spoilers*
I usually enjoy Allston's entries in the Star Wars universe, but since the legacy series I've been having trouble finding ways not to complain about them. Not that I didn't enjoy this book, but I was a bit annoyed by certain continuing themes, the price, and the story isn't anywhere as interesting as NJO and pre-NJO books.

The Jedi...
Published on June 3, 2011 by Amazon Customer


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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to justify spending so much money to read this series, June 3, 2011
*Warning Spoilers*
I usually enjoy Allston's entries in the Star Wars universe, but since the legacy series I've been having trouble finding ways not to complain about them. Not that I didn't enjoy this book, but I was a bit annoyed by certain continuing themes, the price, and the story isn't anywhere as interesting as NJO and pre-NJO books.

The Jedi insanity plot was annoying from the beginning and now has gotten even worse. At least in the beginning the cause was mysterious, but now we know it is caused by a villain straight out of a made-for-tv horror movie. Seriously wtf is up with the Abeloth. When I first read the description of her I didn't know whether to laugh at the ridiculousness of it or weep for the lack of creativity in finding a new enemy for the jedi. She now has more than one body and is a cannibalistic doppelganger with mega force powers?

This book continues the new tradition of post NJO EU books by ignoring common sense for the sake of trying to push towards the goal of the author. So many of the decisions characters make in the book go against common sense and the characters' personalities. for example: there is one part in Conviction where Corran Horn makes a statement about not going after his kids when they run off because when he was in CorSec they taught him not to get too involved in cases where family was involved or something and that he would let others handle it.... now correct me if I'm wrong but...wasn't there a whole, very awesome, book called I, Jedi where he began his Jedi training and went through a huge ordeal to save Mirax when she was captured... seemed a bit personal and dealt with family then....

They did finally overthrow Daala.... I still can't figure out how they would come to the decision to put her in charge. what with the whole trying to destroy the Alliance every year of her life, trying to use giant super weapons to kill everything that went against the empire, still expressing support for the Palpatine way of rule, and the whole trying to commit genocide against all force users thingy. But yeah she seems a bit impartial and level headed. Put her in charge.

There is just so much uselessness to this book and the other books in this series. Less than half the books advance the plot. This whole series should have been finished after a few books. I wish they'd just go back to writing trilogies and short series. They can't all be a success like the NJO. There was more content in the Thrawn trilogy than all of the Fate of the Jedi books combined.

Positive notes: They do developed Ben's character a bit more, and seem to maintain some consistencies in his personality between authors. Vestara's character is also being developed pretty well throughout the book(the rest of the sith seem to be getting less intimidating though). There was a funny scene when Daala was being led into her cell where Tahiri got to wave at her from across the hall and laugh. Leia gets a good fight scene. oh and Artoo makes a few good puns at C3PO's expense.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better, but still brought down in the end: Ebook review, April 1, 2012
Well, if nothing else, I want to assure the reader that this book IS indeed vastly superior to other books in this series, particularly Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Ascension which in my opinion was an unmitigated disaster.

First, I wish to note that there will be plot spoilers in this review. I generally try not to spoil the plot, but some of my review is going to deal with direct criticism of the plot.

First, the plot moves. Thank heavens, the last book, and things definitely happen. Denning does a laudable job of making things happen. Characters (namely Abeloth) are FINALLY explained. Your mileage may vary on this. Personally, I found the explanation of what Abeloth was to be profoundly cheesy. It links in to a Clone Wars animated TV series that I think is just terrible, but apparently it is very popular for some so that is just my taste, perhaps... Regardless, though, I think the detail it went into warped her character. By the end, I couldn't really shake the impression that rather than Space Cthulhu, Abeloth was just some weird depressed stalker who had family issues.

Characterization is much better in Apocalypse. The things characters do actually make sense. And in the case of some, it isn't all good. Characters who are traumatized react appropriately. I really appreciated this from Denning, it is something often not found in sci-fi/fantasy.

Allana. There are significant spoilers here

The other reviewers who mentioned her are right. Her characterization has to be some sort of joke by Denning. It blasts way beyond the bounds of any sane credulity or suspension of belief into complete farce. I can't for the life of me imagine how this ever got past an editor's desk.

1. Allana is 8, but she is debating force philosophy, galactic politics and ethics with her grandparents as if she were a jaded adult.
2. Leia literally thinks this about her: "Her nine-year-old granddaughter was already a veteran of several assassination attempts and practically an old hand at close-quarters combat". This is absurd. She is 9, and Denning gives us lovingly described scene after scene of this little girl going Rambo on Sith and butchering them.
3. She gets on her pet in the middle of battle, breaks cover, and makes her pet charge the enemy while she shoots at them. This tactic works.

I'm sorry, but this is easily the worst characterization I've read in any book ever. However you choose to write your 9-year old girl characters, an adult thinking and speaking, Sith-butchering combat expert is the least believable I can think of.

The ending also is confusing. It involves a "dark man" who isn't identified by name, but described in some detail as if I should recognize him. I don't understand. I wonder if this is some tie-in to that comic series I haven't read, but have heard is set in the Star Wars universe far future. This strikes me as lazy writing. If you are going to include a character that makes no sense unless you read some obscure comic series, it shouldn't be playing such a significant role. I'm not a writer, but even I know that a basic maxim is that books should internally coherent and tell a story in themselves. This book fails that test by constantly throwing out references that forced me to resort to Google to understand.

The resolution of Ben and Vestara is annoying. Vestara, is basically treated as an utter pariah, literally sent into battle unarmed, and the Jedi have the audacity to act outraged when she gets fed up with them? Honestly, I feel like it was billed as a "big betrayal", but not really. She chose not to do a stupidly noble suicide, and half-heartedly led a Sith attack in a battlezone on Allanna... Who Vestara thought would be on the other side of galaxy, safe, as the heir to a wealthy, powerful interstellar kingdom.

In summary, while the events of this book moved rapidly to a conclusion, wrapping up multiple plot points, so much of what happened is nothing more than the result of sheer stupidity from the protagonists. Vestara's betrayal is definitely the result of her being systemically treated like scum. Allana is either a complete freak of developmental psychology or a joke by Denning, either way, reading her makes me grit my teeth, the ending with Abeloth is unsatisfying, links the story to what I consider some of the cheesiest canon material in the entire EU.

Finally, and astonishingly enough, the publisher is trying to pull a fast one on buyers yet again: the last ~20% of the book is promotional material. That's right, a good fifth of the pages in your book are length advertisements and excerpts for upcoming Star Wars books. I consider this a highly negative point, deceptive on the part of the publisher, and would highly recommend not purchasing this book on the basis of that. To clarify, looking at the Kindle edition. The book ends at 78%. That means 22% of the book (nearly a QUARTER) is taken up by appendix fillers and reams of advertisements.

In the end, Apocalypse is only good to wrap up the complete disappointment and disaster that was the Fate of the Jedi series. It resolves a few plot-lines at long last, and unfortunately has nothing going for it outside of plot resolution. You can easily get what matters from a brief plot synopsis on a blog, and if you really want to read this book, I would recommend getting it from the library, so as to avoid buyer's regret.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent opener, March 28, 2009
The politicians are meeting in a summit on the planet Coruscant to discuss bringing the Imperial Remnant into the Galactic Alliance. Luke Skywalker is arrested at the instigation of Chief of Sate Natasi Dalaa for dereliction of duties. His protégé Jacen Solo turned to the dark side of the force and caused the Second Galactic Civil War when he became Darth Caedus. Dalaa wants to prosecute Luke for his failure to recognize Jacen's turn to the dark because he believes Luke is accountable for the deaths caused by the war.

Luke pleads guilty because he knows the charges are true; he is excommunicated from every Jedi Temple and Coruscant for ten years. He will be pardoned if he can learn what turned Jacen. Jedi Knight Valin Horn has a psychic break that makes him believe everyone he knows is an imposter. The media captures his rampage and the public turns against the Jedi Order leading to restrictions on them. Han Solo, his wife Leia and their granddaughter go to the dying planet Kessel to find out why earthquakes are out of control; they find an underground tunnel complex filled with machines and energy forces that could destroy the orb. Luke and his son Jedi Knight Ben go to Dorin where Jacen studied the native use of the Force hoping to find a clue.

This is the opening act of a nine book saga in which the Jedi have fallen into disgrace as the government and the public believe they are not held accountable for their actions. There is plenty of action and the known characters stay true to their film personalities. Perhaps the only negative is eight books to go in this arc, but if they are anything like the first this will be one of the better Star War entries.

Harriet Klausner
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag, March 24, 2009
Darth Caedus is gone but the Galactic Alliance is suffering from the aftermath of his dark reign. The Jedi have been shouldered with the blame and Luke Skywalker has been banished from Coruscant because he was unable to stop Jacen Solo's turn to the dark side. To make matters worse, Jedi Knight Valin Horn is suffering from a psychotic break that brings even more unwanted attention on the Jedi. In a desperate move, the Galactic Alliance assigns official observers to every Jedi Knight to keep them in check.

After his banishment Luke and his son, Ben, decide to uncover the truth behind Jacen's turn to the dark side and their search leads them to Dorin, home world of the mysterious Kel Dors. While there they uncover some startling revelations that bring a whole new set of problems. Meanwhile, back on Coruscant, the Jedi continue to struggle under the watchful eye of the government and the media. When a rogue Jedi appears suffering from Valin Horn's same condition, the Jedi must find a way to capture him and get the answers they need. All the while they must outwit the government forces that have turned against them.

Outcast was a mixed bag for me because even though I flew through the pages, there were certain elements that didn't work. One thing that works well throughout is Aaron Allston's top notch writing. This story flows easily and Allston does a wondrous job of plopping us right into the middle of the civil conflict brewing around the Jedi. Throughout the story we are treated with a nice balance of action and character development that make this an effortless read. I especially enjoyed the fresh insights into the Kel Dors and it was fun to see grandparents Han and Leia up to their old tricks.

What didn't work for me was how little actually happens in this story. I hate to even comment on this since I enjoyed Allston's writing so much, but that is my straight up initial reaction. Granted, I have not read the Legacy of the Force series, and one could argue that perhaps that hindered my understanding and comprehension of everything going on in Outcast. Honestly, I feel like Allston did a great job of including the perfect amount of background info to set the stage for the story and besides, I didn't encounter anything a little Wookiepedia couldn't remedy. In the end it just seems like very little happened here and I never really felt like any of the heroes were in any kind of danger.

Don't get me wrong though. As I stated earlier, the elements that did work, worked quite well and were enough to keep me going. Star Wars fans will no doubt find plenty here to rave about, but I won't be surprised if many are left with the same impressions that I was. This is the first book in the series, and my hope is that as the series unfolds I will look back on Outcast and have a deeper appreciation for it. In the meantime I am eagerly anticipating the release of the second installment, Omen.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It Had Its Moments, March 14, 2012
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Ok, so most people know that this series has been a mixed bag and its been uncomfortable to read due to its disjointed feel in places, but overall it hasn't been bad. This is another example of "Eh, its ok".

Abeloth, the major villain of the series, is given a backstory in this novel in addition to the main plot. The story is deeply embedded in the 'Mortis Trilogy' from TCW television series. My only problem with this is that this show constantly overwrites established canon and then the EU authors go clean it up. This, however, was Denning recognizing an amazing plot device and making use of it. Too bad it felt tacked on. This could have been perfect and a believable tie-in to the show, but because it was only put in this final novel it feels rushed. This, actually, is the main problem that lies in this novel.

The ending is rushed. The backstory for Abeloth also ties into the major momentous plot ender. Its exciting, its quick and its...well...over. That's the issue. This book has to things tossed in and then its all a rush to the finish line. Its the biggest book in this series, but it feels shortest because of the sprint. Personally it didn't work for me. The first half of the novel is a fantastic action scene, but right around the moment of a noble sacrifice it all falls apart and resumes the disjointed feel the series has been plagued with.

I would also like to address the appearance of Darth Krayt and Vestara's assumed allegiance with him in the end. There are several problems in this. First off, in the Legacy story the Jedi have no idea that Krayt exists until his attack. The Sith have remained perfectly hidden, and the public has no idea they still exist. Now, because of this threat to the galaxy, Krayt exposes himself. Then we're to assume he's just...left alone? Ah, but that can't happen either, because Vestara is with them now (its hinted at anyway) and Ben has sworn to find her and bring her to justice. They still love one another so that makes this an interesting plot point, but nonetheless she'll have to die to protect the One Sith's secret, and Luke will now somehow have to forget that he saw Krayt on the Throne. Denning said in an interview the day this came out that Del Rey had been plotting way into the future story-wise and it has been suggested that the Legacy story be treated as just the possible future, but that they might overwrite it. This is kind of the problem. The story-writers have been working to force the current stories in with that future instead of working to make it about the journey and not the destination. Now they're considering deleting years of writing, art, and investment because its difficult.

This book is not without positives though, and the first half of the novel is some of the best Star Wars I've read in awhile. The Jedi get series, Abeloth is insane, and Ben and Vestara are adorable. The action is heavy and well written (pure Denning) and culminates in one of the sadder moments in this series despite it involving a character that was invented ONLY for this series. The first half is absolutely perfect, and though the scenes with the Killiks are where it begins to fall apart Raynar Thul is still especially well written.

To sum up, if you enjoyed the series you'll enjoy this. If you like the show, you should try this series. If you just want to know how it ends, maybe wait for the paperback.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Left Wanting..., August 22, 2011
As an avid Star Wars fan who LOVES the classic characters, I was left wanting with this book. I felt as though all the characters were a bit naive and juvenile, and that the themes/plot lines discussed should have been included much, much earlier in the series.

That aside, Christie Golden has never really captured my attention in any of her other books, but this book sucked me in. Every day, I couldn't wait to read it because it had enough action to keep me coming back. For most of the book, I felt as though I was waiting in line at an amusement park for the best ride. Sadly I was left disappointed at the end.

Each of the other books in the series has had a semblance of closure, but this is not the case with Ascension. When I reached the last page, I wanted to throw my Nook across the room (which would have been bad since I live in China). Instead I woke my wife with my screams of frustration.

Overall, this is an average SW book that every Classic character fan must read. Enjoy it for what it is, keep up with the series, but wait to read it until Denning's Apocalypse comes out.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feeling FOTJ Fatigue despite a fair entry, December 20, 2010
By 
Jacen (Victoria, BC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Vortex (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi, Book 6) (Hardcover)
Vortex has a lot of action And Denning does know action. He does a commendable job not only juggling all of the various soap opera story-lines in FOTJ but he does so while giving us the feeling that things are really finally moving. Not happy with the Jedi Council lately? Denning remedies that. Thought Ben and Vestara were too cutesy in Allies? He tweaks that relationship too. So there was a feeling of resolution of several ongoing plots. Whether I agree with all of them is debatable.

Abeloth is more confusing and relentless than in Abyss. Why she's after Luke's old flames I don't know but I hope that goes somewhere. I really loved Denning's Luke. I haven't always in the past but Luke is as wise, powerful and understated as we want him to be. Denning creates with Abeloth something pretty un-Star Warsy. It's new. It's a Force driven David Lynch realm. But I mostly approve of the risks Denning takes by making the Force cringeworthy.

I won't call this a page turner as I didn't tear through it. I did however notice that it's more what the fans have been clamoring for in this series. There are definite consequences in Vortex. A fine entry in a fairly thin series.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I blame the editors, July 6, 2009
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I mostly liked this book. It had a lot of interesting character moments, some decent action, and some interesting plot points.

That said, I have a few problems with this title, but only one of them can be placed at the feet of the author, Ms. Golden. I like her writing, she is great at characters (See Star Trek: Voyager Homecoming). Here is my one problem with Golden's writing. Several times during this book, Jedi ignite their lightsabers to cut through a door or wall. They've done this in the past, and they'll do it in the future. My problem is that each time, Golden goes on for several paragraphs about how difficult it actually is to cut through a wall with a lightsaber. Look, its a valid point, and something the other authors have ignored, but I got it after the first time. WE GET IT! ITS HARD TO CUT THROUGH A DOOR WITH A LIGHTSABER!

And I also would have liked to see some mention of the droids, and some of the other peripherial characters, but since other books do this to the expense of the big 3 (Han, Luke, Leia), its a minor complaint.

My other complaints with the title are more related to how it fits into the overall series and I believe these issues are the fault of the editors giving Golden strict guidelines.

-I love the father-son moments with Luke and Ben. Love them. I love the Father-Daughter moments with Han and Jaina. All of these scenes were great, but there were a lot of them. My problem here is that if you look at the first book in the series (Exile), you see almost none of it. This book felt very heavy on such moments, and light on important events. The editors need to encourage the writer's to balance this out more, to include a better balance in future books.

-Leia and Han getting their granddaughter a pet is NOT enough of a plot line to last the entire book. This is again the editor's fault, for telling Golden that Leia and Han must be in almost the exact same condition as they were before the book started. There are a plethora of crisis going on, and Leia (who has been instrumental in solving all crisis within the past 40 years) decides to go to a pet show? HUH?

-Acting Jedi Grand Master Kenth Hamner. Where do I begin? How about here: I can't remember him ever being introduced. We know almost nothing about him. The first mention of him that i can recall is in NJO: Edge of Victory Part 1 where he warns Luke and Mara that they are about to be arrested. Golden tried to get into his head, but the editors wouldn't let her create more of a backstory for him, and therefore, he still has almost none. And also, isn't he a JEDI MASTER? How can so many people lie to his face? I also can't remember him ever using the force.

-Also problematic is the visit with the Aing Tii. Many of the scenes here could have replaced "Aing Tii" with "Baron Do" and we never would have noticed the difference. The two visits were framed in very similiar manners.

-Also, editors: Amelia scenses something from the moon of Kessel in "Exile", tells Leia about it, and SHE DOESN'T INVESTIGATE!? Heh?

-And, lastly for now, my last complaint with the editors handling of the series: Why in the name of the force would Luke leave R2-D2 with Han and Leia? R2 is great with information and repairs, surprisingly good in a fight, doesn't take up that much space, and oh yeah HAS BEEN BY LUKE'S SIDE EVERY MINUTE FOR THE PAST 40 YEARS! Luke has risked his life multiple times to rescue R2, and now just dumps him on his sister like he's a nuisance? Now I haven't seen blueprints, but it seems to me like there's room on the Jade's Shadow for him.

All of this said, I loved the Sith on Kesh (even though it was obviously an afterthought), and Sylgal having an increased role is really cool. I am chomping at the bit for the next book. I just hope the editor's pay more attention.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gazing into the Abyss, August 19, 2009
First and foremost, my expectations for this book were pretty low. Denning's somewhat lackluster conclusion to the Legacy of the Force series, coupled with Christie Golden's plodding second entry to FOTJ gave me reason to wonder if Star Wars Legacy literature had run out of steam. However, upon finishing Abyss I was pleasantly surprised in many respects.

Denning has managed to set the series back on track and given it potential as another enjoyable read in our favorite mythos. For once this series begins to feel like the epic it is meant to be. Luke and Ben finally discover something on their journey that may directly impact the destiny of the jedi, and the galaxy itself. More importantly, we are introduced to a true villain for the first time in this series. Not to give too much away, but it's a character that will genuinely send a chill up your spine. And for those of you frustrated with lingering plot threads left over from previous series, don't you worry, there are some neat little surprises tucked away near the end of the book.

While the second half of the novel has some great scenes of action involving some of our favorite Supercommmandos and an intriguing, but unsettling journey 'beyond shadows,' the first 200 pages or so are more formulaic and predictable. However, the payoff is more than worth the trip for any Star Wars fan. Take a deep breath, and leap into the abyss.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ouch, September 2, 2011
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This story wasn't finished. I literally kept back paging in my Kindle to find out where i'd missed plot points that resloved themselves without any lead-in material, *cough* Khai's death *cry*. I'd already considered not buying this book as I didn't feel that Golden was really in touch with the Star Wars characters. Luke is apparently as moody as a kid, as she writes him he is always annoyed or angry and HAS to draw on the force to keep his calm. She tries to write these characters as if they were her creation and she's showing them to us through her eyes, except she didn't create them and their mannerisms have pretty much been in place for a loooong time.

As I stated earlier her plot mechanics just aren't there. This would've been a great book if she'd bothered to put some meat in between the slices of bread. We go from world changing events with the Lost Tribe to hahaaa we're over here now and had been setting this up for a long time aka the 3 years since we've gotten space travel back evidently...man come on that stuff just doesnt make since. Senators dont GIVE power to freshmen senators, yeah they might be able to screw up the works but they cant show up and pretend as if their seniors dont exist. The Committee for Throwing Rotten Eggs at Jedi? really? That little occurance alone made this story utterly flat for me.

I have to say that I suffered through Golden's past forrays into the Star Wars universe, but this is the last time. I just don't like the way she writes. I know she's not the one coming up with the overall story but she seems to be used as the hatchet man far too often. Almost like they toss a smooth flowing story into her workshop and run for the door as she goes, "haha well screw your plot, someone get me a knife and some duct tape".
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Vortex (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi, Book 6)
Vortex (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi, Book 6) by Troy Denning (Hardcover - November 30, 2010)
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