Friday, August 28, 2015

Shadows of Mindor

Just finished reading "Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor", by Matthew Stover (2008). I'd say it was quite enjoyable, overall. The novel is set at the very beginning of the New Republic era, about a year after Endor. High points included well written dialog and believable depictions of fan favorite characters like Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie, Lando, and Wedge, among others. He got the tone and feel just right in those regards. Good marks for an epic story that is big and worthwhile, but does not outshine the Original Trilogy in scope, danger, or galactic importance. I really appreciated the constant barrage of in-universe references, idioms, similes, etc (think "...could pull the ears off a gundark." or "...bullseye womp rats...")

There is a (perhaps?) tongue in cheek strain throughout the book of referencing holodramas produced, in-universe, about the main character(s). Even the main bad guy apparently has been bitten by the acting/directing/producing bug. A bit strange on some level; but not too distracting.

The storyline delves into a variant philosophy of the dark side that seems pretty well developed and interesting. The book brings a bit more Science (with a capital "S") to the space opera sci fi that is Star Wars. I mostly enjoyed that aspect; the frequent science references were almost enough to drown out the Star Wars flavor. For instance, it is not often that SW fiction talks about hard radiation and its potential effects on space travelers, etc.

The action is epic and continuous. Many bothans died to bring us this adventure (so to speak). The characters get thoroughly roughed up along the way... the poor Falcon alone takes about thirty times more abuse than one could justifiably assume a ship could absorb and still be space-worthy, not to mention multiple capital ships exploding, and worse. But I will not spoil the story any further.

Well worth the read if you'd like to spend some more time with the old gang.

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