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Sunday, 10 November 2013

AFICONADO REVIEW (2009): 'LEGACY OF THE FORCE: INVINCIBLE'



STAR WARS: LEGACY OF THE FORCE 

BOOK NINE- INVINCIBLE

By Troy Denning

Released in paperback in the UK by ARROW BOOKS


Reviewed by Scott Weller


With the intriguing Tatooine Ghost and the epic volume Star by Star of THE NEW JEDI ORDER already under his literary belt, popular sci-fi novelist Troy Denning knows the characters, old and new, of the STAR WARS SAGA and its EXPANDED UNIVERSE by heart-and he has a writing style, alongside Matthew Stover, that fans have always enjoyed. So it is no surprise to discover that he had been chosen by the people at LUCAS BOOKS to bring to all-important life the next, and final, chapter of the LEGACY OF THE FORCE saga after previous devastating developments in books like Sacrifice and Revelation. And if you thought your heart strings had been effectively plucked out with the former, and the tragic murder of Mara Jade Skywalker, brace yourselves for the darkness ahead, as INVINCIBLE takes four of our primary characters –in particular the two key children of the Solo family- into a arena of evil and conflict, and a lightsaber showdown, that make you wonder if they’ll ever get out of it…they say it’s always darkest before the dawn and INVINCIBLE may prove it!

This final novel has so much to tie up there are moments when you wonder whether it can be done successfully and so live up to reader expectations. Well, for the most part it does. And, fortunately for us, Denning has never been afraid of such challenges. Surprisingly, many fans expected an adventure the size of STAR BY STAR-which you can damage your fingers from holding-it’s that weighty!! But, as any good book reader knows, the page count shouldn’t matter as long as the story is told well and can be read well. Despite that smaller page count, the author puts everything into INVINCIBLE’s story and characters that needs to be told.

Denning’s writing style is fast and fluid as expected and the descriptions of the action are fine, as are the stronger characterizations which, intriguingly, many feel are far superior than they have been in the last few LOTF books and in certain parts of Denning’s previous novels within the cycle.

As mentioned earlier, the book focuses on four characters who have proved highly popular with LOTF readers- Jacen, Jaina, their father, Han Solo, and Luke’s son, Ben (the latter mostly in a B plot that utilizes his character in a better way than most of the previous books in the LOTF series), though primarily on Jaina and the challenge of meeting her destiny as “Sword of the Jedi”. Many fans may bemoan the lack of participation of most the other main classic characters (like Luke and Leia) in major ways this time, and miss the way all the previous STAR WARS books have criss-crossed the stars in following the numerous plotlines-there is less of that here and the story is much more concentrated in a manner that you could say is all the better for it-there’s no serious epic Death Star type weapon or major league Imperial plot to be blown up, or a race against time in that kind of sense. The search-and-destroy mission aspect of this book is not handled the way you expect. Also positively, many readers have enjoyed Boba Fett’s appearance in this adventure much more than previously in this particular series, and he has some enjoyable in-character dialogue…has he outstayed his welcome? Probably, but everyone loves him regardless!

Additionally, as well as Jaina, hero turned baddie Dark Lord Jacen Solo also has some fine character moments, and there are links to the past thrown in that work effectively for long term readers, too. The final duel between brother and sister, as depicted on the nicely realized cover, is a finely described one, though again some readers may find it a bit anti-climactic as part of the overall arc of the series story…

To reveal too much of the book and its story would be a crime, and we at AFICIONADO aren’t party-poopers! All in all, there are some pure STAR WARS/ space opera moments of the best sense and some well described action… and loyal readers may get a shock surprise at the end of the adventure, too…

Judge for yourself and then look forward to STAR WARS: FATE OF THE JEDI!


AFICIONADO RATING: Whether INVINCIBLE ends the LEGACY OF THE FORCE saga in the manner that you’re after is up to you and “your own point of view.” However, with a writer of Troy Denning’s calibre on board to helm such a special LUCAS BOOKS event, you have a better chance of enjoying this read than with some of the other authors out there… 8 out of 10

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