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Star Wars Dark Forces: Rebel Agent (Highbridge Distribution) Audio CD – Audiobook, Abridged
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From Library Journal
This latest installment from the producers of Star WarsR Original Radio Dramas (Audio Reviews, LJ 8/95) is the second in a series of three stories based on the Star WarsR: Dark ForcesTM and Jedi KnightTM interactive games. As the title suggests, the plot centers around a rebel agent named Kyle Katarn, son of Morgan Katarn of the rebel alliance. With the help of his love interest/rebel alliance partner, self-taught Jedi Kyle launches a mission to find the legendary Valley of the Jedi, overthrow the evil Dark Jedi Jerek, avenge his father's death, and complete his training to become a fully realized Jedi knight. The original musical production, combined with sound effects and full dramatization, helps to move the tale along nicely; but as an audio adaptation, this novel clearly loses something in the translation. This "rebel agent" finds himself unaccompanied throughout three quarters of the story; consequently, the listener spends much of the plot with a protagonist who is constantly and obsessively "talking himself through" much of the action. However, as is often the case with these installments and their loyal readers/listeners, who really cares about such minutiae? The Star WarsR saga returns with special guest appearances by old favorites Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa-Solo. Recommended for all sf audio collections.?Charlie Weiss, formerly with "Library Journal"
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This is the second of three stories based on the popular Star Wars: Dark Forces and Jedi Knight interactive games. The budding Jedi Kyle Katarn is racing against agents of the dark side of the Force to find the mysterious Valley of the Jedi. As with most Star Wars audiobooks, the famous music and sound effects are flawlessly presented, and the actors are well chosen. D.R.W. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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The plot of the story is very intriguing since it links a significant event in the Old Republic Era with the New Republic area. Also a certain Jedi Knight makes an appearance in this book (Luke Skywalker)! The addition of Luke, with Jan Ors, who is a rebel agent & Kyle's partner & love interest, along with the Katarn family droid, WeeGee, makes for a likeable and interesting cast of characters.
It will be interesting to see how they handle the imperial threat of Jeric (a dark jedi) & resolve the issue of the aforementioned significant incident from the Old Repulic Era, which has lingered for all these years
Previously I have commented on how seamlessly the books that now approach 200 in number have fit together, how all were worth the reading time, for bits and pieces of history were to be gleaned from their review. This particular cycle offered full-page paintings by a noted artist of the Science Fiction Genre, and while some readers would have preferred their mind's eye, I think they are good, if inconsistent. Specifically the image that is supposed to portray Princess Leia looks like her less than attractive sister. There is no sister, and there should not have been this image.
At 128 pages in length, backtracking the story as if the reader decided to start in the middle is simply wrong. Star Wars readers tend to read everything, and if the story is weak, or too brief, then perhaps there should be a different story.
Characters like Boba Fett have developed their personalities over the decades, and the version of Fett in this book reads as though the writer never read a word about this character before. Fett sounds like a bad lounge act. Fett actually sounds like someone else dressed in the Mandalorian Armor. This caricature speaks more in this book, than in a dozen other novels, and trite is being kind as to the dialogue.
If someone were to start with this series after viewing the movies, they would be correct in feeling lost. These books populate the galaxy with Dark Side Jedi at every turn. They must have been hiding in the movies.
There is one interesting bit as to Yoda's history, and it may sound strange to some, but if you are as addicted to this world of George Lucas as I am, it nearly justifies the balance.
Picking up the action again after the Kyle Katarn's exploits in the Dark Forces computer game, this book takes place somewhere between Return of the Jedi and the conquest of Coruscant in the X-Wing novels. It details the first half of the Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight computer game, instead of being more of an original story like the Soldier, with mixed results.
At times, the action is like the last chapter of Soldier, almost word for word out of the game. At other times though, it's hard to place what's going on. Also, for obvious reasons, the book can't parallel the game detail for detail. There are more characters and details filled in between missions.
While the first book was well and succinctly written, this one is far too much so; it would have benefitted immeasurably from another fifty pages or so of materiel. Kyle, even with the extra stuff going on not in the game, seems to jump from adventure to adventure, unevenly able to call on the Force, and sometimes the chapters and situations seem to lose focus, or switch POVs without breaks. It's kind of annoying.
And the ease with which Kyle takes out Pic and Gorc...straight out of Indiana Jones...just whip out the blaster and shoot the guy. It was kind of silly.
Probably the most dissatisfying bit about this book though is the quality of illustrations. While by no means bad, the art can't stand up with Dorman's literal renditions in Jedi Knight, and certainly isn't even comparable to William's beautiful renditions in Soldier for the Empire.
Despite all this, the book isn't that bad. It still has a bunch of cool action, evil enemies, witty dialogue, and even though it is very incomplete, the you know that there'll be a sequel to wind everything up.
This book ent so good, but I'm looking forward to the third one.