Posts Tagged ‘james_luceno’

Joe Schreiber – James Luceno Collaboration for Maul: Lockdown

Lockdown

The upcoming Star Wars: Darth Maul: Lockdown now has an online catalog listing, and there is a bit of new information about this novel, written by Joe Schreiber. Link

We knew about the blurb that’s posted, but in the selling points, there is this gem:

FOLLOW-UP TO DARTH PLAGUEIS: Joe Schreiber is working with author Jim Luceno to tie this story to the bestselling novel, Star Wars: Darth Plagueis.

This book is sounding better and better! Current release date is January 21, 2014.

Random HouseSEE ALSO:
Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown Blurb Now Online
Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown

Bry Dean is the founder and administrator of Knights’ Archive. You can follow him on Twitter at @bry_dean.

Darth Plagueis Among the Best in 2012 Science Fiction

Star Wars: Darth Plagueis ranked 4th place in the science fiction category in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2012! Link

I believe James Luceno wrote a masterpiece here, and think its ranking is well deserved. Of course, I would rather it be first on the list! If you want a more detailed opinion of the book, click on the links to our reviews below.

SEE ALSO:
Review: DARTH PLAGUEIS by Bry Dean
Review: Darth Plagueis by Andrew
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Audio Excerpt
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Back Cover
Darth Plagueis Blurb Now Online
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Cover Art

Review: Darth Plagueis

Darth Plagueis

Author: James Luceno

Release Date: January 2012

Darth Plagueis is my favorite EU novel. That’s not an overstatement. I’ve never read a novel like it. There’s been a lot written on this novel already, and rightfully so. The anticipation has been building for this novel for years now, and rightfully so. Unlike any other novel, Plagueis actually enhances the films. I dare anyone to watch the prequels the same way after reading this novel. Luceno has long been known as one of the best writers working in the EU and he more than lives up to that reputation with Darth Plagueis.

I hate spoilers in reviews, and will try to avoid them in this review. Plus, the book has been out for over a month now, so I’m assuming that a lot of the major plot points are known by now. The novel is very political oriented, consisting of lots of deals, conversations about the Sith’s plan, etc. This is a nice change of pace for the EU. It’s great getting to read about Palpatine’s early years as well. The menace, the darkness of Palpatine is there even in his early years. He’s always been a compelling character, but I never really realized how fascinating he was until this novel. Here we see Palpatine as he really is. The information on the events surrounding Episode One is wonderful. Reading about what was going on behind the action of the films helps to enhance the standing of that film. When I went to see the film in 3D last week it was all but impossible to think of the novel.

And what about the character of Darth Plagueis? The importance of this character in the Star Wars universe is incalculable. He was everything that I had hoped for. He is dark, thoughtful and worthy of the legend that surrounds him. He is one of the most interesting characters to appear in the EU.

This is a short review, I know, but I don’t want to ruin the novel by going into too much detail. This novel is a fans novel. Talking about it too much might spoil it. My advice to everyone is run, don’t walk, to a bookstore and pick this up. This is one of the best novels to have emerged from the EU. It’s an engaging novel that will not only change the way you watch the prequels, but also the way that you think of the Star Wars universe as a whole.

SEE ALSO:
Darth Plagueis Among the Best in 2012 Science Fiction
Review: DARTH PLAGUEIS by Bry Dean
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Audio Excerpt
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Back Cover
Darth Plagueis Blurb Now Online
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Cover Art

Review: DARTH PLAGUEIS

(NON SPOILER REVIEW)

Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis “the wise”?

The above is the question heard around our world. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith answered many questions we had about the Saga, but left us wondering and perhaps fascinated about this new character, Darth Plagueis. We had precious little info given to us, but what was said, though likely twisted to suit the needs of Palpatine’s listener, left most of us yearning for more.

Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith who lived many years ago. He was so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life… He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.

Whoa, hold on a second. Did he just totally undermine our thinking in regards to Anakin’s creation? Is it possible that Anakin was brought forth because of the Sith? And did Anakin finally discover how to save Padme from death? Wait, this is Palpatine talking, who we know is a Sith. He has to be lying.

The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.

We heard this powerful statement at the beginning of the Revenge of the Sith theatrical trailer as well. I think most of us then realized that this movie would deepen our understanding of the Dark Side, and would likely make some in the audience uncomfortable in the process. In the first two prequel episodes, Palpatine used his influence covertly upon his prey; now he seemed to be brutally honest about his secret lineage.

He became so powerful… the only thing he was afraid of was losing his power, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, and then one night, his apprentice killed him in his sleep. It’s ironic that he could save others from death, but not himself.

The look on his face looked so genuine, so satisfying. I know it convinced me that he was speaking some truth, and I began to conclude that he was referring to his master, his actions.

Is it possible to learn this power?

Not from a Jedi.

As it turns out, we would have to wait nearly seven years and endure one cancellation before the opportunity to learn more on a larger scale was available. That day is now upon us, in the form of Star Wars: Darth Plagueis, written by James Luceno.

That’s right: New York Times best-selling author James Luceno is back, and in my opinion is better than ever. What we now have before us is a novel that is absolutely delicious and satisfying. Admittedly, Darth Plagueis is more talk than action, but it is far from boring. It is extremely informative. Luceno does a masterful job in including scores of previous Expanded Universe content; this novel is a virtual big-city highway junction of references. The action that is contained in this novel, however, does not disappoint, as it rivals the somewhat mature content found in the Darth Bane trilogy written by Drew Karpyshyn in its detail and content.

Were you entertained and intrigued by Luceno’s 2001 novel Cloak of Deception? Then you are in for a serious treat. Luceno takes the term “political thriller” to a whole new level and executes it to perfection in Darth Plagueis. Lastly, James Luceno gives us rich back-stories for several characters, including the obvious: Plagueis, Palpatine, Darth Maul, but also some you may not have been expecting, including Count Dooku and Sifo-Dyas.

In short, Darth Plagueis more than deserves the title “highly anticipated”. It delivers on a scale rarely seen in the Expanded Universe. Hold on tight, you are in for the ride of your life. Now, read on for a more detailed review of the book.

(END NON SPOILER REVIEW)
Read more

Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Audio Excerpt

Want more Darth Plagueis? Random House has posted an audio excerpt!

Click here to listen!

SEE ALSO:
Darth Plagueis Among the Best in 2012 Science Fiction
Review: DARTH PLAGUEIS by Bry Dean
Review: Darth Plagueis by Andrew
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Back Cover
Darth Plagueis Blurb Now Online
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Cover Art

Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Back Cover

Suvudu has posted the back cover from the upcoming Star Wars: Darth Plagueis, due out next year.

SEE ALSO:
Darth Plagueis Among the Best in 2012 Science Fiction
Review: DARTH PLAGUEIS by Bry Dean
Review: Darth Plagueis by Andrew
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Audio Excerpt
Darth Plagueis Blurb Now Online
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Cover Art

Review: Labyrinth of Evil

Labyrinth of Evil
Author: James Luceno
Release Date: January 2005

Labyrinth of Evil is probably known as the novel that leads into the opening events of Revenge of the Sith. This is a shame because Labyrinth is much more than that. James Luceno is a skillful writer who expands upon relationships and back stories, expansions that help to enhance our understanding of characters and helps to give them more depth.

The novel begins during an attempt to capture Nute Gunray. Even though he escapes, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are able to capture his holotransceiver, a catch that offers clues to finding Darth Sidious. That’s the basic plot, and I won’t go into further detail because the plot is secondary at this point. For anyone who has seen Revenge of the Sith we already know that no truly major events will occur in this novel, because of continuity and the events of that film.

This begs the question: why read Labyrinth of Evil? We already know the Jedi won’t capture Darth Sidious. Why read something that is so directly reliant upon continuity? Labyrinth should be read because Luceno does more than just give us a story. Luceno is able to make the characters more realistic by expounding upon their relationships, with one another and the world around them.

I know many fans felt the brotherly relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin in Revenge of the Sith seemed forced. One aspect of this novel is the progression of their relationship. More information on them in between films gives authenticity to their new relationship. But this is not a complete transformation. The two men still have disagreements throughout the book, and I appreciated this. As Anakin matured their relationship would change and they would see each other in a new light, yet some remnants of their past relationship would remain. One of the first things Vader says to Obi-Wan nearly twenty years later after the events of this novel is, “The circle is now complete”, reminding us that any many ways they’re relationship will always be master and apprentice.

Another disappointing aspect of Revenge of the Sith was Anakin’s turn to the dark side. With the major exception of his killing of the Sand People in Attack of the Clones, there is nothing in the films to indicate Anakin’s eventual turn. Luceno is able to give a more detailed look at Anakin’s transformation. In Labyrinth, Luceno writes about Anakin’s pleasure in the clone troops being frightened of him. He also details Anakin’s drawing upon his rage in combat. This lends a genuineness to what happens to Anakin, as his conversion isn’t so abrupt.

It was also good to get information on the Trade Federation. In the interest of honesty, I was never really sure how the Trade Federation fit into everything (don’t ask me about their role in The Phantom Menace). Labyrinth of Evil recounts Nute Gunray’s story of joining of the Separatist Movement and his relationship with Darth Sidious. This new understanding helped me appreciate their role in the story more.

The novel’s biggest fault is what seems to be the real life connections it makes between Chancellor Palpatine and George W. Bush. Luceno details the subtle ways Palpatine slowly transforms the Republic into the Empire. The passage is effective but it also blatantly draws parallels with then President Bush, and some of his more controversial measures during the War on Terror. This objection is not a matter of politics, but the belief that real world matters have no business in Star Wars. The comparison comes off as cheap and doesn’t serve any real purpose. The only thing it accomplished was to draw me out of the story.

There is also a conversation between Yoda and Obi-Wan that I found to be odd. It surrounds the origins of the clone army. I have no problems with the discussion itself, but rather the timing of it. Why are they discussing these things now? By now the war has been going on for three years. The conversation comes off as being solely for the reader’s benefit and the tone of the discussion is awkward.

Labyrinth of Evil is weighted down with its continuity issues. There was no mystery in the plot. Everyone knows that Darth Sidious is actually Palpatine. Yet, Labyrinth should still be read. James Luceno is an excellent writer, and his characterizations are well done. He is able to expand upon characters and their relationships, and give them depth. Despite some shortcomings, the novel works well and serves as a good introduction to Revenge of the Sith.

Labyrinth of Evil receives a 3 ½ out of 5.

- Andrew

Darth Plagueis Blurb Now Online

Random House has posted the blurb for Star Wars: Darth Plagueis, due to be released in hardcover on December 27, 2011.

He was the most powerful Sith lord who ever lived.
But could he be the only one who never died?

“Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It’s a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.”
—Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith

Darth Plagueis: one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. And when the time is right, he destroys his Master—but vows never to suffer the same fate. For like no other disciple of the dark side, Darth Plagueis learns to command the ultimate power . . . over life and death.

Darth Sidious: Plagueis’s chosen apprentice. Under the guidance of his Master, he secretly studies the ways of the Sith, while publicly rising to power in the galactic government, first as Senator, then as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor.

Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, Master and acolyte, target the galaxy for domination—and the Jedi Order for annihilation. But can they defy the merciless Sith tradition? Or will the desire of one to rule supreme, and the dream of the other to live forever, sow the seeds of their destruction?

SEE ALSO:
Darth Plagueis Among the Best in 2012 Science Fiction
Review: DARTH PLAGUEIS by Bry Dean
Review: Darth Plagueis by Andrew
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Audio Excerpt
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Back Cover
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Cover Art

Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Cover Art

Author James Luceno delves into the secrets of the dark side to find out more about Darth Sidious and Darth Plagueis in a new hardcover novel, Star Wars: Darth Plagueis, due out this winter.

Source

SEE ALSO:
Darth Plagueis Among the Best in 2012 Science Fiction
Review: DARTH PLAGUEIS by Bry Dean
Review: Darth Plagueis by Andrew
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Audio Excerpt
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis Back Cover
Darth Plagueis Blurb Now Online

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