Tuesday, July 23, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Star Wars Crucible by Troy Denning

Star Wars Crucible is a 2013 Stars Wars Expanded Universe novel written by Troy Denning. It was released on 9th July 2013 by Lucas Books with an ISBN of 0345511425.

PLOT

Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo, and Luke Skywalker return in an all-new Star Wars adventure, which will challenge them in ways they never expected—and forever alter their understanding of life and the Force.


 
When Han and Leia Solo arrive at Lando Calrissian’s Outer Rim mining operation to help him thwart a hostile takeover, their aim is just to even up the odds and lay down the law. Then monstrous aliens arrive with a message, and mere threats escalate into violent sabotage with mass fatalities. When the dust settles, what began as corporate warfare becomes a battle with much higher stakes—and far deadlier consequences.
 
Now Han, Leia, and Luke team up once again in a quest to defeat a dangerous adversary bent on galaxy-wide domination. Only this time, the Empire is not the enemy. It is a pair of ruthless geniuses with a lethal ally and a lifelong vendetta against Han Solo. And when the murderous duo gets the drop on Han, he finds himself outgunned in the fight of his life. To save him, and the galaxy, Luke and Leia must brave a gauntlet of treachery, terrorism, and the untold power of an enigmatic artifact capable of bending space, time, and even the Force itself into an apocalyptic nightmare.
 

WHY I BOUGHT IT

I am a long time fan of Stars Wars Expanded Universe and I was eagerly anticipating the next chapter after Apocalypse. I wasn’t sure which direction it would go in but I was happy to see a story involving Luke, Leia and Han. Although it seemed clear at first that it would not be a direct follow on from the previous series.

WHAT I THOUGHT

I think Crucible was a really good way to pass on the torch; the only unfortunate thing is that we don’t know where the torch is being passed to. If you are unsure of what I mean then you should check out this interview with the author which explains thing well.


To summarise now that Disney has bought up the rights for Star Wars and are releasing at least one new film and there is more than a question as to whether this might be mean a retconning of the Expanded Universe.
Now onto the book itself, it is clear from the outset that this is one for long standing fans of Star Wars, I mean we start out with a good old fashioned bar shootout and there are numerous Easter eggs like that packed in that I will just leave you to find for yourselves.

The story is an interesting one and ties together enough of the threads left dangling after the end of Apocalypse while still establishing its own story and even taking the time to introduce a new character that looks like they will be around for awhile.

One of the things that really allowed me to feel like I was in the world of the Expanded Universe is the depth of the characters personalities , thanks to the 45 in universe years we really do know what to expect from these three who have been there since the beginning of Star Wars. Luckily this manages to stay on the right side of things as even though we know the characters so well the interactions and the story doesn't ever begin to feel like we have seen it all before it all feels new and fresh.

Although this book is in the majority about the Big Three so to speak there is space for other characters including an interesting snippet about a young and arrogant Jedi youngling who I hope we will see again in a juicier role. We also get introduced to a cocky young miner whom I hesitate to Han Solo II (Han Yolo? Sham Solo) who looks like he might be sticking around for awhile.


After Crucible I can only hope that this is not the end of the Expanded Universe and that Disney won’t let greed and pandering to film studios effectively destroy 45 years of in universe history.

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