The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
For a book that features Darth Vader and you expect it and him to be all badass- this one is a little disappointing. The book is good and delves into Vader's psyche a little bit as he struggles to come to terms with the death of Padmé, the limitations of living in a suit, and his struggle to continue to wield the Force. Also, like many books that focus on the villain, we are given a ragtag group of Jedi that survived Order 66 to cheer for. However, this sets up an inevitable dilemma- we don't like to see evil win [although personally, I think that is more realistic and am OK with it on occasion] and most books don't let the main characters, especially the good guys, die. (view spoiler)[This leads the book into the obvious conclusion of yet another Jedi surviving the extermination order and Vader's attempts to hunt and track down this individual. Like the Darth Maul books, we see the Sith antagonist weakened to the point where it is almost unbelievable, especially when we know that the Jedi were all but wiped out and Vader is given credit. I suppose that not all of the main Jedi survived and so that makes it better, but I found it hard to connect to newly introduced Jedi. (hide spoiler)] The coolest part of the book however, is that James Luceno was given the opportunity to be the one to reveal (view spoiler)[to Obi-Wan that Anakin survived and also to give us the only real appearance of Qui-Gon's ghost in the Legacy Universe (hide spoiler)]. Although, Luceno is normally masterful at weaving in other storylines, this book was a little lacking. It is a good, but incomplete, glimpse into Darth Vader and the time between movies III and IV.
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