BOOK SEVEN: CONVICTION
By Aaron Allston
Published in the UK by CENTURY PUBLISHING and in paperback by ARROW
Reviewed by Scott Weller
CONVICTION, bearing another striking cover from Ian Keltie and David Stevenson, is an overall entertaining set-up for the final two books in the series and Allston’s solid reputation/trademark with STAR WARS fans in providing a fast paced book, sprinkled with his obligatory good humour and well described action sequences of textbook style, remains intact.
Things are certainly not going to be the same again for our heroes in the universe of the Galactic Alliance, as the galaxy undergoes further upheaval and dramatic conflict now that Admiral Natasi Daala’s reign lay in tatters, with her ruthless regime coming to an ends of sorts, as the Jedi finally (finally!) take control of the situation, though it could have all happened a little bit more sooner in the run, I think. But the military strategist/ex-Imperial is still not without supportive and dangerous followers from within the alliance to aid both her continuing cause and powerful ambitions, and it isn’t long before her retaliation is quickly initiated. There’s also the return of two popular characters, from earlier in the series linked to the main plot, whose involvement will intrigue and surprise EU readers, plus the noted and welcome presence of a familiar dented helmeted bounty hunter to spice things up a little.
Meanwhile on the Jade Shadow, the pursuit of the Abeloth, which has survived several defeats already, by the determined Skywalker's and Sith warrior youngster Vestara Khai continues, with a decisive battle to come. And then there’s that pesky Sith death squadron to deal with, too…
On the other side of the galaxy, the rest of our heroes continue their own plotlines. Sadly, however, there’s still not enough worthy material for Han and Leia to do, their plot linked to Klatooine and the Hutt Empire slave revolt, and the sub-plot linked to their granddaughter Allana, may have interest to die-hard fans but hardly had me excited, and I really wanted to skip the pages a little bit there…
Despite a promising last chapter, the overall series narrative faults still persist, and my main criticisms are the same as before: I think the book series could have been far more effective and interesting in a shorter run, and there’s no real deviation from what the viewers expect to read. In fact, some scenes in CONVICTION sizzle out or feel like re-treads. For good or bad, it’s the standard Expanded Universe norm here, but long-term readers who have stuck with it through thick and thin will no doubt continue to enjoy it. As someone who really loves the core Classic Trilogy characters, I’m personally hoping that, like a tense and important England World Cup match, the series closure, successful or not, comes with some more memorable and suitably epic last minute adrenaline surges that will make this overall a satisfying and truly worthy reading endeavour…
AFICIONADO RATING: More of the same, and another mixed bag. 6.5 out of 10