The Approaching Storm by Alan Dean Foster
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
SLOW, oh my god this book was so slow!
This first novel (in-Universe chronology) establishes a pattern that existed if not through the Clone Wars era novels, then at least through the ones that were written before the Clone Wars movie and TV series came out (real-world chronology). That pattern is to take a Jedi we are familiar with from the movies and pair him with another one that we wanted to know about and focus on both together. I'm reminded of a common criticism of The X-Files and Supernatural TV shows which was "monster of the week", except here it is minor Jedi of the novel.
In this novel, since there were two main Jedi, master and apprentice, Obi-Wan and Anakin, there are two minor Jedi, master and apprentice, Luminara Unduli and Barriss Offee. Like most of the novels surrounding Episode I (and to a lesser extent Episode II and The Clone Wars) the emphasis is on politics. In this novel the dispute is between traditional, nomadic people and modern, urban people. Unfortunately, to make matters even worse, the novel doesn't even deal with the politics of the situation. The whole story is the Jedi trying to get to the nomads and having to overcome nature.
It is sad and surprising because Alan Dean Foster is the original Star Wars author- he wrote as George Lucas's ghost writer for Episode IV: A New Hope's novelization and the first Expanded Universe author, Splinter of the Mind's Eye. And now he's been given the reigns of the new trilogy and given the novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Of the ones of those I've read they have all been very good and so it was surprising that this novel was so slow. The world it describes is complex and interesting, but the plot is lacking.
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