Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II by Sean Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Normally I review series together, but I chose to do these separate because the books differ significantly in quality. The first book followed the video game so closely that it felt formulaic and robotic and was very stifled by the repetitive environments.
This book on the other hand was helped by a video game that was more linear and streamlined in its flow. The book does nothing to settle the mystery of whether the main character, Starkiller, is a clone or the original man brought back to life. Also, like any video game that gives you a good-evil choice to take you down different paths, this book has to pick and follow only one of those paths for the official cannon. This inevitability will upset some hardcore purists.
One thing that I did not complain about in my prior review, and will mention here because it is applicable to both, there seems to be an obsession in the Expanded Universe, post-Episode III of showing a weakened and battle-damaged Darth Vader. I suppose this is a desire to show the such-and-such a new character is bad-ass, or to somehow strike a balance where evil doesn't just dominate. However, I feel that this is a mistake. For example, The Empire Strikes Back does a good job of showing that hope remains despite evil prevailing and too often I think we are afraid to have a book or movie or whatever form of media that shows the good guys losing sometime. Furthermore, in the Star Wars Universe, there is such love of the character of Darth Vader that it seems a shame to show him beat so often just in the name of having the main characters survive or to allow good to prevail despite obvious and overwhelming odds.
Anyway, I've not touched on the specifics of the book too much here, but I will say that it is a much better adaptation of the video game that holds its own as a stand-alone novel because it allows gamy things to remain in the game, rather than trying to force a fit.
haha "Force a fit", I wasn't trying to be punny, but it worked.
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