Star Wars: Rogue Planet by Greg Bear
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Although I listened to the abridged audio edition of this book most recently and have listened to that edition a couple of other times, I have also read the print book once [although it took more than one time checking it out of the library to force myself through it].
The last line there should give you a pretty good idea about my thoughts on this book. In fact, I remember specifically reading the full book hoping that maybe something that was cut in the abridgment of it that would make it more enjoyable or understandable, but no- there is a pretty big jump between the middle and the end where things fall to pieces without making much sense.
Even as I re-read it this time I found myself wondering if maybe my mind had wandered too much during my prior readings of it because it wasn't that bad until the end, but once again I was surprised at what a bad turn it took. In fact, maybe that is why I don't like it as much, because it strings you along for a pretty enjoyable ride and then turns on you.
This book was written to be a prequel to the New Jedi Order series with its Yuuzhan Vong invasion. It was interesting, although confusing, to see Vergere and "the far outsiders". It was also interesting to see bio-ships again [this was also done as a lengthy, and disconnected, side plot in The Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy with Lando, Lobot and the droids exploring the Teljkon Vagabond]. (view spoiler)[A moving, living planet gives a little more credence to the barely believable construction of the Corellian system from the Corellian Trilogy. (hide spoiler)] My biggest complaint, and this will be a theme through all of my reviews of the prequel/"Rise of the Empire" era novels is that every author wants to foreshadow the downfall of Anakin, and this just becomes unbelievable. For someone to be this terrible throughout, it makes it even less believable that no one saw this coming, or that everyone just turned a blind eye. In addition to that, unfortunately we don't get to see Obi-Wan be the confident Master in this book, although that is probably reasonable at this point in the timeline. Also, a common theme in the pre-prequel [real-world chronology] novels is that everyone wants to claim creation of the Death Star plans which became so convoluted, with Tarkin, Bevel Lemelisk, Qui Xux, Poggle the Lesser, and probably others that I missed all given credit at one point for creating it, that eventually a whole novel was commissioned just to retcon the whole mess. To me, it seems obvious, that authors should have just stepped away from some things and let certain stories be left alone for the movies to address, but often times these extras were written about and it makes little sense. And in the authors' defense, there have been times where they have been directed to do certain things, so maybe this was outside of their control, but it still seems short-sighted. Having said that, this book does a better job than any other in the Legends EU series giving Tarkin some depth of character and background, which was quite revealing to see.
This book isn't the worst in the Star Wars [Legends] Expanded Universe, that honor used to belong to Barbara Hambly, but now I think Joe Schreiber has taken that title away from her with his two horror books, but it comes right up against them.
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