Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Star Wars: Darth Plagueis by James Luceno

I got back into playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, and felt the urge to read another Star Wars novel. With the current storyline stalled after the conclusion of the Fate of the Jedi storyline, I turned to this book to satisfy my craving for genre fiction.

Genre fiction (that is, fiction set within a specific shared universe, or genre of a broader class of fiction) is a lot like watching your favorite TV show: it may not break new ground or give greater perspective on the human condition, but it is fun and often not too challenging.

Star Wars: Darth PLagueis is a sort of "prequel" to the Movie Prequels, detailing the activities of Darth Sidious' master. I won't dwell too much on the plot of this book, however.

In terms of writing, I think Luceno is one of the better writers in the Star Wars stable. I had read Labrynth of Evil (a previous Star Wars book) and enjoyed it. But surprisingly, Luceno is one half of Jack McKinnley, pseudonym for the writer of the Robotech series of novels. I had begun reading them in the 6th grade, and sometimes wish I still had them. Although a novelisation of Robotech, in many ways they seemed a bit more adult and sophisticated to my 12 year old mind. I suspect re-reading those books would be a lot like re-reading the Dragonlance Chronicles series: the magic was left behind more than 2 decades ago. Luckily Luceno's writing has evolved.

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