Sunday, 17 July 2011

Allies (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi - Book Five)

Allies (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi)Title: Allies
Author: Christie Golden
Superseries: Star Wars
Series: Fate of the Jedi
Preceded By: Backlash (by Aaron Allston)
Succeeded By: Vortex (by Troy Denning)


Score: 7/10
Chart Movement: Remains at 17
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: Probable


The first thing I can say about this fifth book is that it's a reassuring size. The last one by Golden was a bit thinner than the rest of the series, but this one isn't. As for the story, it's much better than the first three in the series.

As I often do, I'll start by discussing the characters, and in particular with my favourite character - Vestara. Vestara is a Sith apprentice, a bad guy by definition, but I  find that I can't help but like her, can't help but want her plans to succeed. As in the previous book, we don't see an awful lot of scenes from her point of view, but if anything this makes her character more interesting, and the rare chapter that is from her perspective an exciting glimpse into her life.

And one of the ways we get to explore Vestara is through Ben, and his interactions with her, which are both interesting and amusing. I must admit to really enjoying their scenes together. However, some of his moods and ideas about things switch rapidly and are often unexplained. However, this is much more true of Luke - quite a major character. He just seemed a bit too vague a character. One minute he hated the Sith, the next he was agreeing with them - even with strange ideas that I don't see why anyone would agree with. So it's a little strange that I found the other Sith in general to be quite good characters. None of them were as major characters as Luke, Ben or Vestara, but I felt that they were done really well - particularly the High Lord and Vestara's Father.

This whole paragraph is a spoiler, so look away now if you don't want to know anything. Daala gets the Mandalorians to siege the Jedi Temple. As a political move, this is pretty silly. People kind of like the Jedi, and kind of dislike the Mandalorians. I can see why she want to do it for her own pet hate of the Jedi, but I always thought of her as more level headed than that.

I'm not really liking the character that Daala is becoming, and the whole thing about the trials of Tahiri and Niathal are kind of tedious. it was interesting at first, and Tahiri's lawyer is an interesting character, but it just seems that it's going on for an awful long time. I don't mind reading it, it's not that bad, but I don't look forwards to those sections. I had been hoping it would have been cleared up by the end of this book, but it hasn't. In fact, it seems to be one of the few things that weren't.

The ending seemed a bit strange to me. It all happened quite fast, but it felt like the story was pretty much over. There was still the trial as mentioned a moment ago, and a brief scene with two people pretending to be jedi which made no difference to the story but suggests another, but the main story arcs seem to have vanished. Except the characters disagree. I'm not really sure where the story can go from here.

It was an improvement on the first three books, but not as good as the fourth. The main body of the book was good, and I really liked Vestara, but the ending was a bit too final. There's another four books to go, but not an awful lot of story to go with them. But it's made the series as a whole that little bit better, and it was fun to read - so if you don't mind a slow start, this series is looking better all the time.

More Information

Main Protagonist(s): Mixed
Main Antagonist(s): Multiple enemies, led by females
Main Relationships: Heterosexual
Genre: Sci-fi
Brief Synopsis:

After their adventures on Dathomir, Luke and Ben are determined to return to the Maw and confront Abeloth, the evil power that is making the young Jedi go crazy. The newly discovered Lost Tribe of the Sith are also interested in the Maw and make an uneasy alliance with Ben and Luke. While normally Jedi and Sith would rather kill each other than work together, these Sith are a little different, and as an outcast, Luke can’t get help from other Jedi. Most of the book focuses on the preparations for and the journey into the Maw; the story of Han, Leia, and Alanna, by contrast, takes up only a few small scenes. Even with much of the book devoted to setup, however, the tale doesn’t lack for tension, as the alliance between the Sith and Jedi teeters on a knife edge. Golden introduces a new theme here, ending slavery, and she does a good job balancing the larger series plots against the story arc of a single volume—no easy feat for the fifth installment in a nine volume-series.
--Jessica Moyer

ISBN: 978-0099542759
Amazon Link: UK | US
Pages: 448
Published: LucasBooks (May 25, 2010)
Publisher: Arrow (5 May 2011)

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