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Star Wars: Clone Wars Gambit - Siege Hardcover – 8 Jul 2010
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An original adventure for fans of Star Wars in the time of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi!
About the Author
KAREN MILLER has worked as a public servant, a receptionist, in the horse industry, in local government, in publishing, in telecommunications, as a college lecturer, and she ran her own science fiction/fantasy/mystery bookshop. So far she's written six mainstream fantasy novels and two Stargate: SG-1 tie-ins.
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Picking up where 'Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth' left off, Obi-Wan and Anakin go into hiding in a remote village on hostile Lanteeb whilst their friends and allies back on Coruscant desperately attempt to help them.
Although others have criticised the fact that here Obi-Wan knows about Anakin and Padme, the idea that he acknowleges their connections makes sense of how wearily unsurprised he is to discover that they're having a baby in 'Revenge of the Sith'.
The vast majority of this book is tedious repetition. Anakin fixing shield generators, Obi-Wan getting tired whilst healing people, Yoda and Bail going behind Palpatine's back, Lok Durd beating up Bant'ena - all of these things happen over and over again and, if we're quite honest, weren't all that interesting the first time around. Lok Durd in particular continues to be one of the most rubbish villains ever to befoul a Star Wars novel, basically spending all his time either hitting a girl or just simply shouting at people. He just doesn't stand up against the franchise's other great antagonists; he has no charisma (like Dooku), no powerful presence (like Vader), no subtlety (like Xizor) and no tactical genius (like Thrawn). The absolute worst thing about this book, however, is the truly breathtaking anticlimax. Everything (oh so very slowly) builds up towards a climactic battle at Lanteeb, with General Grievous arriving to blockade the planet, Bail and Padme recruiting a civillian fleet to fly in like the cavalry and the siege of Torbel coming down to one last desperate defence... and then it's all skipped over in about four pages. And I do mean 'skipped over'. Miller spends no time describing the battle which should have been the all-action pay off after slogging through two books of nothing really happening.
I don't know if it was always the plan for this to be the last novel of the 'Clone Wars' line or whether the terrible quality of the 'Gambit' duology was what killed the series. All I know is that, after this book, I'm glad it's dead.
I also feel that many of the books that deal with Anakin during the Clone Wars didn't focus enough on portraying his emotional state of mind that led to his downfall.
It appears Karen Miller felt this way too because she seemed intent on cramming all the missing emotional developments into one book. Seriously, like the previous book in this series, it was just page after page of Anakin feeling a bit angry and arguing with Obi-Wan. Then there are the other silly minor characters who also argue a lot about anything and everything. It was like listening to drunken people at the end of a night when they get all emotional for no reason.
Also, the plot was on the thin side and the inability of the two greatest Jedi to do more than just hang around and starve to death was completely out of character and showed nothing like the sort of abilities we see them wielding in the films and the TV series.
Anyway, once all the arguing and pointless debates from the characters had played out, it was as if Karen Miller suddenly remembered there was actually a point to the story and the last few pages read like "Oh yes, we've destroyed the weapon" and "Oh great, we've been rescued".
All in all, this book was pretty poor. Still, as I've said before, Karen Miller does have a certain quality to her writing and the passion behind her work is evident. This makes what is an otherwise dull and pointless story slightly more bearable in my opinion.
Yes it's good to get a more emotionally charged tale but by the end it felt that the author had just come up with something basic and decided to fluff up character development at the expense of action (although there is some.) Personally I read the series for a no hold barred action blaster/sabre fest but hey, you can't have that all the time. All in, a this book is well written, the authors understanding of pace gets it through a few sticky patches but compared to a number of other titles out there its merely mediocre.
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