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on 23 August 2012
Bridging the gap between the Knights of the Old Republic duology and the recent MMORPG The Old Republic this book is basically designed to explain what happened to the protagonists of the KOTOR games, Revan and the Exile. Fans of KOTOR 2 might be a little disappointed by the fact that the Exile (here identified as female and named Meetra Surik)barely features, she's only really a supporting character many of the party members of the first game are only given a token mention and most of the characters of the second not even given that courtesy. However this book is really about Revan and what happened to him after the events of the first game and in that respect it serves it's purpose. If you are a fan of the original games then this is the closest thing you are likely to get to the part three that never happened. Down sides are that it's a little short, the end is a little rushed and that some fan favourite characters are pushed out of the story altogether. All in all a good read but not likely to convert non fans.
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on 8 December 2013
I am not a fan of 'The Old Republic' MMO, but I'm a huge fan of the original KOTOR game, and this is a valuable inclusion to both games.
This story successfully expands upon the Revan mythos, building up his past and telling a new story which even he doesn't seem to remember, as well as filling in some blanks between the first and second KOTOR game, like how Canderous became Mandalore, etc...
Some have said that the character development is slightly off, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I'd recommend it to any fan of the Star Wars expanded universe, but particularly those who enjoy the 'KOTOR' games.
The book was a good price for a good quality paperback, arriving quickly at my home with no damage to the book itself.
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on 29 April 2017
Good book but crappy ending! REVAN GETS.... well... it's a crappy ending!
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on 20 April 2012
As you might have guessed from the rating I gave this book, I really enjoyed it. The thing is that Revan does not actually do much, but his charisma comes off the page. For a warrior Jedi he does not really do very much fighting but inspires other to greatness. He shows such loyalty in his partners that they are willing to risk everything including their lives. Some of the best passages in the book are the interaction between Raven and Lord Scourge, the mental chess game they play during Revan's touchier/interrogation.

The biggest thing about this book it the back story of the Sith Emperor and his back story. I have only seen the Sith Emperor mentioned once in the Star Wars: Blood of the Empire v. 1: The Old Republic (Star Wars the Old Republic 1). I am assuming The Next book Star Wars: The Old Republic: Annihilation Might be a ending to this story

Revan's main Jedi power is to absorb energy and redirect it back with some his own power added to it. This ability other Force user with this power were Vader when he absorbs blaster fire into his hand, and the Horrn family most famously Corren Horn Star Wars: I, Jedi. I think this a few of the gamers were not happy with this book cos their version of Raven was not the same as the character in the story. Which is a fair point but this is after the game Raven is older and recovering from essentially a Force brain surgery. I enjoyed the book and a very interested to know the Jedi who would end this emperor.
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on 15 May 2014
I'd like to give this book 3 and a HALF stars actually, but obviously there is no 'half' button.

Firstly, if you are unfamiliar with the Old Republic computer games as I am, this book will do little to fill you in on what you have missed.

Other than giving snippets of what has happened before ( not to be found in any other novel even, from what I can surmise ), you will not be given a full and comprehensive understanding of the setting of this story nor The Old Republic times.
Indeed, it was clear from the first few chapters that what the reader is in for is a CONTINUATION of - I am assuming - events, and situations from the games - new readers be damned. I would have loved to have read about Darth Revan and Darth Malak and that particular story arc in substantial terms, but you will not find that in this book.

Going from Drew Drew Karpashyn's reputation as the author of the acclaimed DARTH BANE trilogy ( which I have yet to read ), I had high hopes , and while the characters within are quite well drawn, and the novel is an easy read with some terrific action set-pieces, I felt let down ultimately by the story.

Even the conclusion is one where the central characters' ( three of them at least ) storyline is left up in the air, as if to be continued elsewhere ( I had a feeling this would be the case, as I was reaching the final few chapters in the story, and it was clear that the ending would either have to be rushed or not finished at all ).

I can see if you are cross media consumer of the SW games, comics, etc. this would have an appeal, but for those readers who want a good self-contained reading experience and be invited into the world of The Old Republic, you may be left wanting - and maybe even feel 'left out'.

Ultimately, an enjoyable, well written book but nothing 'meaty'.
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on 30 August 2012
(Some spoilers to follow)

I rather enjoyed this outing into the Old Republic. For anyone who has played KOTOR 1 and/or 2, this is a must-have.

It continues the journey of Revan, Jedi hero turned Sith overlord turned redeemed Jedi hero again. In my opinion he is the most interesting character in the expanded Star Wars universe and I would in fact rank him up there with the original trilogy characters in terms of appeal.

It answers a lot of questions and plot holes bought up in the KOTOR games, such as how Revan originally fell from grace to the Dark Side.

Karpyshyn sheds a lot of light on the mysterious Sith Emperor, who is mentioned in the shadows throughout the Old Republic saga but we do not really know who he is, where he came from or what his intentions are. The character Karpyshyn paints epitomises what I think Lucas intended the Dark Side to be at its most extreme. Unrestricted by the limitations of making a family-friendly movie, Karpyshyn brings to life a manipulative, evil and extremely wicked Sith Lord that makes Darth Vader look like Jar-Jar (I know I've probably just made dozens of old-school SW fans spit coffee over their keyboards, but whatevs!)

I thoroughly enjoyed the character of Scourge. He is very much a Sith loyal to the Empire and the Dark Side, but he thinks outside of the box and is prepared to team-up with two Jedi to achieve his ends. He's a "bad guy" but a bad-guy you kind of want to get behind.

Some people have criticised the fact that most of the KOTOR alumni do not make an appearance. Karpyshyn actually hangs a lantern on this. He has Revan say to Canderous Ordo (a playable character in KOTOR) that a lot of their friends have moved on from fighting the Sith and that he doesn't want to interrupt their peace. He also makes it clear how a few of them are still officially affiliated with the Order and the Republic, and since his mission to the Sith is unauthorised he can't risk including them. This makes sense to me. In fact, including characters that had no business being there just for nostalgia would have been a pointless gesture.

T3-M4 returns as a main character. This was a nice touch as he had little to no backstory in KOTOR, and god knows we all love those little droids getting involved (I'm looking at you R2D2). I was a little gutted that Hk47 didn't show up. Revan states he doesn't want to draw attention to himself and that his assassin droid would be too trigger happy. Fair point, but he did make me laugh in KOTOR.

The Jedi exile from KOTOR 2 turns up (the story is set before and after that game) and plays a big part. I enjoyed seeing her and I thought she made sense being there.

Revan may have an anticlimactic end, but if you know anything about the expanded universe you know his story goes on, and his capture by the Empire sets a chain of events off that eventually benefit the Republic and the Jedi- it is a victory for the Light in the long-term, albeit a Pyrrhic one.

Would I recommend it? Totally. 4 out of 5.
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on 8 February 2012
Given what many reviews of this book are like, I will start by stating that I never played either KOTOR game, and thus had no pre-existing emotional attachment to their characters. Whether I found the characters of this book interesting or not was up to the author's efforts. I enjoyed how he portrayed the Sith, but Revan's side of the story never really engaged me. That's one of the reasons I gave this three stars. The main one is that, while I did enjoy it overall, the book depended far too much on dramatic revelations and twists and it is not worth reading again for the story. For me, a book not worth reading a second time is a book not worth buying.

Most of the book alternates between the stories of two characters, Revan and Lord Scourge. I quite enjoyed Scourge's section. He is a blunt, arrogant warrior who plunges head first into the murkiest of Sith Empire politics. He is immediately and obviously out of his depth, and frankly I found watching him flounder around quite funny. Apart from that, his story is generally a fast paced and combat filled one. I thought it was quite a good 'villain protagonist' style of story: always interesting, and you don't mind when horrible things happen to anyone, even Scourge himself, because all the characters so plainly deserve it.

Revan's section, on the other hand, had a lot of things that annoyed me. It was about Revan getting offplanet, visiting various worlds and recovering lost memories. A search has to have interesting events during it, not just have interesting goals, and I would have thought Karpyshyn knew how to do that, given all the searching for holocrons in his Darth Bane trilogy. The pace of these chapters is quite slow and most of it is exposition about what happened in the first game. A lot of the rest is Revan's internal monologuing about Force-user philosophy. I found that really annoying because Revan doesn't actually have a personal philosophy, he just reflexively opposes the philosophy of the group he is currently with and makes BS rationalisations about how having used and betrayed both the light and dark sides of the Force makes him 'better' than those who haven't.

Revan's arrogant opportunism isn't as good a lead in to why I call this noir as I wanted, but it's workable. In noir (as I understand it), everything is shades of grey and black, and good people exist to get betrayed and killed. That's the best one word summary of the book's style that I can think of. Using it makes for great depictions of the Sith, but Star Wars needs the Jedi too, and this book had surprisingly little time or place for them. Also, while conflict is necessary for stories, Karpyshyn overuses it. Even conversations and internal monologues are conflicts in this book. That seems to be another reason he writes Jedi well only when they are isolated among non-Jedi: the Jedi rarely conflict with each other, and Karpyshyn seems either unwilling or unable to tone down to that.

Like so many reviewers, I have to talk about the book's climax. I thought the ending was terrific. Karpyshyn totally blind-sided me and I had no idea what he was going to do. It was spectacular and extremely memorable and definitely contributes to making the book worth reading.

The question is, of course, is the book worth BUYING. The book depends on revelations and twists, but the story between them wasn't that interesting overall. If I had read this beforehand, I would not have bought it, certainly not in hardcover.
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VINE VOICEon 16 July 2012
THE STORY:
After defeating his former ally Darth Malak, the Jedi Revan (from the 'Knights Of The Old Republic' computer game) is troubled by dreams of an unknown threat lurking beyond the edges of the Republic. He sets off to investigate and discovers the long-hidden Sith Empire. Meanwhile, the Sith Lord Scourge is thrown into the muddy political world of the Empire's Dark Council and discovers a plot to unseat the Emperor himself. Revan and Scourge are later joined by Jedi Knight Meetra Surik (the Jedi Exile from 'KotOR II: The Sith Lords') and they form an unlikely alliance to confront an unfathomable evil.

WHAT'S GOOD:
I found the middle section of this book thoroughly enjoyable, as we see Revan, the Exile and Lord Scourge each embarking on their own voyages of discovery. It was also great to see Canderous Ordo back in action with the Mandalorians and learn the story of how he became Mandalore between the two KotOR games.

WHAT'S BAD:
Curiously, considering this book was a marketing tool intended to link the classic KotOR games with the (relatively) new game 'The Old Republic', it is its links to those games which prove the most frustrating elements of the book. There is a trend with many recent Star Wars stories to tell a 'smaller, more personal story', as if that is in some way better. Look at the movies, the Thrawn trilogy and the original 'KotOR' itself and tell me that EPIC is not more suited to the subject matter! So here Karpyshyn shies away from telling us the story of the galaxy as a whole, and this means that the fates of most of Revan's original companions are brushed over and those of the Exile get no mention at all. We don't learn how the galaxy is coping with the recovery from the recent wars and we are never told how the Jedi Order, all but destroyed in 'KotOR II', brings about its own regeneration. Similarly, I didn't feel that this book really gave me any major insight into the backstory of 'The Old Republic' either, with the revelations about the Emperor's origins being singularly unimpressive (turns out he's evil and powerful). Finally, I couldn't end the 'WHAT'S BAD' section without making some mention of the painfully rushed and anticlimactic ending. The author could conceivably have simply written 'BUY THE OLD REPUBLIC!' on the last four or five pages and it would've given you about as much resolution as the actual ending does.

OVERALL:
Some good scenes in the middle, but this book neither resolves any major threads from the 'KotOR' games nor provides any particular insight into 'The Old Republic', thereby totally failing in its apparent literary mandate.
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on 20 August 2012
On the whole, not a terrible book. It does a good job of tying together the plots of KoTOR 1 and 2, but with a rather unfitting ending for the man who saved the galaxy. As a Star Wars fan I was concerned over a few minor details, for example stating that the Jedi masters "resented" Revan seems slightly out of touch with Jedi values. As the book appeals chiefly to fans of the KoTOR games, I was surprised at how Bastila had fundamentally changed as a character. She seems to have completely transformed from the strong willed character in KoTOR to a subservient stay at home mom. Most of the original crew were cut out, a wise choice as the relatively short book struggled to flesh out the characters it did introduce. While I was pleased to see the return of Canderous and the explanation of his rise to Mandalore between games, there was no reference at all to Carth or his becoming an Admiral.

Overall, if you haven't played the games, don't bother with this unless you want some background information for the MMO. Because that's essentially what this is, a quick plot to line up a few characters and story lines for The Old Republic game. But for fans of the games, wondering what became of Revan, this is probably worth a read. Just don't be expecting too much.
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on 28 April 2014
*Warning-Possible-Spoilers*

This books great if you're a KOTOR fan and stretches across the events of both Kotor 1 and 2 and does a pretty nice job of filling in some gaps about the aftermath events of the two games story lines. The book itself is pretty well written as per usual with Drew (however i'd say it's not really on par with the Darth Bane books).

My main (and only concern) however is how Revan (and Meetra) is actually portrayed. If you're anything like me you'll have played the games and built Revan into a total unstoppable badass with almost limitless power and ability, in the book sadly Revan seems extremely under powered and often helpless despite his background (Spoiler: As it turns out his great feats as Darth Revan were merely accomplished as a puppet serving a much more powerful master). Meetra (the exile from kotor 2) also seemed a lot weaker than expected, after seeing her comeback from being cut off from the force to tear through Sion, Nihlus and Traya (and also great Jedi master depending on your path) I expected their combined power (revan and meetras) to be more than a match for any adversary.

All in all a great book, however it does kinda destroy your perception of Revan and The Exile.
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