Shatterpoint by Matthew Woodring Stover
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Here we finally enter the Clone Wars properly and it has always been a great chagrin that it was mentioned originally in A New Hope, and teased so much in the first two movies of the prequel trilogy, but then fail to be covered by real movies. Instead the gaps have had to be filled in by all the other forms of media: TV cartoons, movie cartoon, comic books, graphic novels, video games, magazine short stories, and novels like this one.
Like most of the Clone Wars era novels this book focuses on one main Jedi [Mace Windu] and one minor/support Jedi [Depa Billaba]. Unlike many of the following novels, this one does not focus on Kenobi or Skywalker and that is a welcomed difference. Furthermore, we get a really close look at Mace and get to see his background developed.
I have listened to this novel several times [I think my most recent read my was my 3rd] and every time I have started the novel I have wondered why I didn't enjoy it in the past because it starts out so good. However, very quickly the novel turns too dark and and brooding. The main antagonist takes a long time to develop and is fairly one-dimensional, the other main antagonist are just nature hazards and are not all that engaging. Also, too many Star Wars novels told from this point of view of a Jedi end up focusing on the wrestling between the light and dark sides- this one is no different and ends up making Mace look kind of wishy-washy, instead of his normal bad-ass self.
As I mentioned earlier, I was kind of surprised that this book turned out as bad as it did because it has a pretty solid start. I also seemed to recall that Mace ended up speaking a lot more about his love of the Republic instead of dedication to the Jedi Order or to any individual leader, but it turns out that those memories came from Matthew Woodring Stover's next Star Wars novel,
Revenge Of The Sith
. Having said that this book is a pretty good preview of Stover's writing style and there is the possibility that the abridgement of the audiobook is what did damage to the story line, instead of it being the novel itself, because Stover's writing it nowhere nearly as detailed in this book as his movie novelization. This would not be the first time that a movie adaptation was the better book by an author over their own contribution to the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The end however was abrupt and very <i>dues ex machina</i>.
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