I don't often take the time to review any of these books, but after finishing Revelation, the seventh installment in the Star Wars:Legacy series, I felt compelled to vent my frustrations. I don't like to utter anything besides a kind word unless it can be helped, but during the course of this book, I found myself shaking my head, rolling my eyes, and generally asking myself, "Are you kidding?", and felt I needed to post something, if only to find out whether anyone agrees with me, or if I'm the only one who's starting to wonder when the Star Wars EU went from interesting space drama cut in the mold of the original films to meaningless adventures featuring 'characters you always wished you could know more about' like Boba Fett and Admiral Daala.
First off, what is the obsession with Boba Fett and the Mandalorians? All of a sudden they are the talk of almost every character in the galaxy; I think Ben even makes a reference to Mando children (in one of the earlier novels) and their culture - which heretofore nobody in the SW galaxy knew anything about. All of a sudden, this fierce fighting culture is being considered by everybody and their nephew to be the definition of strength and technology. Beskar iron - previously unmentioned in any of the SW novels - is more coveted than Tibanna gas. I don't buy it. I also don't buy that a few handful of Jedi wouldn't be able to take all of the Mandalorians at once; but instead, the author paints this as absurd, because Jedi overthink and clearly are no match for the fighting skills of these supreme warriors. Last I checked, a young, fairly inexperienced Jedi named Luke Skywalker beat a seasoned Boba Fett in their brief battle over the Sarlacc.
Which leads me to my next point. Whether the author does so deliberately or not, any mention of Luke's battle against Jacen is completely ignored. Plenty of references are made to Mara's battle against him, but for some reason the fact that Luke beat Jacen to a bloody pulp is casually omitted. I only say this because Troy Denning and Aaron Allston seem to agree on something that Karen Traviss doesn't - like it or not, Luke Skywalker has come the closest to beating Jacen Solo and probably wouldn't need the likes of Boba Fett to serve as a special combat mentor. All of this might be premature since the final book hasn't been released yet, but we'll see what happens. I just don't understand why Luke is the Grand Master of the Jedi in some books, and then treated like a weak-willed shadow in any of the books written by Ms. Traviss.
Additionally, I don't understand why so many words were spent detailing such little events. More time was wasted on Boba Fett and Sintas Vel than on Darth Caedus himself, who continues to be a disappointment as a villain. I can't remember the last time his fearsome GA won a major offensive. His revelation consists of telling a few trusted confidants that he's a Sith Lord, and asking them what they think about it. When will he do something besides justifying his destiny to himself and musing over what it means to be a Sith? And if he is supposed to be so fierce and powerful as everybody is making him out to be, then I don't understand why a few Mando commandos posed any threat to him. I didn't in the least bit care for the fact that Carid, one of the many forgettable Mando's, shot a bolt right into Jacen's knee. Jacen should have crushed the man without a second thought. What kind of an all-powerful villain is this, who can't even handle one armor-wearing mercenary? I just don't buy it. I think Ms. Traviss likes Boba Fett and his comrades too much, and in that regard, believes that they can do the impossible.
Also, and this has been said in one of the earlier reviews but it bears repeating, far too much time was spent following Ben's investigation into a subject that all of the readers knows the answer to. A quicker and more subtle means of discovering the truth of Mara's killer would have been a lot more rewarding than seeing Ben piece everything together and reveal his findings to Luke, Han, and Leia, with only ten pages left in the second to last book. If Jaina is already training to fight Jacen and Luke is supposedly going to avoid going after Jacen out of fear of turning to the Dark Side, then finding out the truth about Mara's death is a moot point so late in the series. Anyway, I could be passing judgment too quickly; like I said, the final installment is still to come. But this book should have been so much more.
This series isn't terrible. I enjoy Allston's work (when he spends less time making every character into a comedian)and I think Troy Denning creates the best and most vivid lightsaber duels out of any of the SW authors to date, but I was hoping that Revelation would bring the galaxy to the threshold of the dark jeopardy that Darth Caedus was supposed to threaten, and instead, our villain is still playing politics, our heroes are near invisible, a ghost resurfaces from the past for no reason other than to make us say, 'Oh yeah, Admiral Daala, I remember her,' and the son of Luke Skywalker gets awarded 100 pages to find out something that we already knew, only to tell people whose reaction we barely get a chance to gauge because Ms. Traviss doesn't want to spend too much time away from Keldabe. I think Troy Denning has his work cut out for him with the final book.