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Invincible (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Book 9) Hardcover – May 13, 2008
"Children of Blood and Bone"
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From School Library Journal
Adult/High School—Although this book is the conclusion to the series, it is engaging for anyone familiar with the original Star Wars films. Readers become reacquainted with familiar characters such as Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. The story picks up where Karen Traviss's Revelation (Del Rey, 2008) leaves off, with Jaina Solo, daughter of Han and Leia Solo, training alongside Boba Fett in preparation for the greatest battle of her life; Jaina is being sent to destroy Darth Caedus, the Sith who was once known as Jacen Solo, her twin brother. As she pursues him across the galaxy, Jaina and her family struggle to separate the Jedi warrior they knew as Jacen from the Dark Lord that he has become. The novel follows the battle between the Jedi and the Galactic Alliance from the perspectives of Jaina; Jacen; and their cousin, Ben Skywalker, creating a fusion of plots dealing with political dispute, inner struggles, and warfare. This is an entertaining and quick read, although the ending seems to wrap up prematurely with several plotlines left unanswered, presumably to be explored in a future series.—Kelliann Bogan, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH
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About the Author
Troy Denning is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Tatooine Ghost, Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Star by Star, the Star Wars: Dark Nest trilogy: The Joiner King, The Unseen Queen, and The Swarm War, and Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Tempest and Inferno, as well as Pages of Pain, Beyond the High Road, The Summoning, and many other novels. A former game designer and editor, he lives in western Wisconsin with his wife, Andria.
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The 'Legacy of the Force' series had an interesting concept: Jacen Solo, an often-conflicted Jedi who has always struggled with morality, slips toward the Dark Side and becomes a Sith Lord, creating a drama that is both on a galactic and deeply personal scale. The galaxy descends into civil war under Jacen's efforts to bring lasting peace to the galaxy via an iron fist, and his family and friends must cope with his transformation as he commits atrocity after atrocity.
An interesting concept - with disappointing execution.
Don't get me wrong, 'Legacy of the Force' had its moments. The problem is that they all took place in Karen Traviss's books. She is the only in the series' trio of writers - Allston, Denning, Traviss - who managed to bring a sense of drama and emotion into the proceedings. The plot line she detailed involving Boba Fett, Mandalore, and his broken family was always fun to read, and her insights into major characters' perspectives, particularly Jacen's, were captivating. It's very fortunate that Mara Jade Skywalker's death took place in one of her books, 'Sacrifice,' because otherwise it would have been as flat as Jacen's death ends up being under Troy Denning's hand. The only time any emotional connection is felt is during Traviss's writing.
This means that six books out of the nine are an exercise in boredom and confusion. Allston's writing is painfully flat, so matter of fact that it honestly reads like an outline, with no dramatic emphasis on big plot events. Denning's contributions give us glimpses of competence, but are otherwise no better - and the fact that he ended up writing the series finale, 'Invincible,' is a tragedy far worse than the birth of Darth Caedus. The entire book was utterly uninteresting, and was defined by missed opportunity. Jacen's death could, SHOULD, have been memorable and have a big impact on long time Star Wars EU readers; Denning could have jumped back and forth between Jaina and Caedus's perspectives, showing us the emotional strain that the twins' duel to the death was having on them, show us what's happening in Caedus's mind in the moments before Jaina strikes him down. Instead he opts for a flat play-by-play of their fight, with absolutely zero exploration of the emotional trauma experienced by Jacen's family afterward. There is not even a sad remembrance of who Jacen once was.
In short, Star Wars fans are left feeling unsatisfied by 'Legacy of the Force.' There were so many opportunities for epic storytelling that were simply missed by two of the three writers. Karen Traviss's contributions - 'Bloodlines,' 'Sacrifice,' and 'Revelation' - are all worth a read, are truly excellent novels, but considering you have to plow through six boring novels to properly enjoy them...the price, as Ben Skywalker laments in the books, is just too high.
Troy Denning began each chapter with a joke Jacen told when he was at the Jedi Academy. It was an effectively brilliant literary device. Every chapter, we are reminded of the sweet Jacen, the innocent Jacen, the boy who would do no harm. Contrast that with the events in the war and it brought great sadness.
I would have preferred fewer battle scenes so that the main ones would have more impact, but Jacen's final battle was full of the raw emotion that I would expect. I felt the impact of what followed.
The ending begged for more trouble in future novels. I'm not sure that was the best that could be decided. The conclusion ought to feel like a conclusion and not another opening to a cliff. It was still a much better ending than "New Jedi Order." Nevertheless, I did enjoy the story. Well done.
The sequence with the Hapan fleet ambush was poorly written. I didn't know when the trap was sprung or really what was going on in general. One minute people are on the base. Another their in a starfighter.
The entire book just seemed entirely too short and had no buildup. As another reviewer said, it was like reading an outline of a story. There is no development, revalations, or suprises. It seems like the author was just tring to address everything and close the series, but the end just didn't make sense. All of a sudden Daala is the Chief of State? When there's a Joint Chief of State still around(Where was she anyways?)? Was there not supposed to be an election after the war was over? What does the ending mean for the Jedi?
Throughout this series and the one before we are told of all the abilities that Jacen has learned while abroad. But we only see Flow-walking, Night Sister's blood thing, Force camo, hand blaster-shield, and Shatterpoint. Most of these seemed pretty trivial. Shatterpoint could have been a good one, but Luke already knows and teaches it to Jaina over the course of a whole day.
The series as a whole had the potential to be very interesting, meaningful, and emotional, but has fallen flat as a whole.
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