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VINE VOICEon 14 June 2005
It's well written - and I think back to Splinter of the Minds eye, which was kind of hard to put down, but here the writing style is not really the Sci fi genre from that period. It's much more grown up. The result is far more hard than some people will like.
There's a message here - very clearly... it doesn't matter what you've got, or what even people think about you too much. Don't get heated about the fact that you are not given the rank of master. Or even if you don't get the girl of your dreams. What matters is WHAT YOU ARE - your character.
To be honest, I think that the backstory in ALL three movies, I, II, and III is a very hard act indeed. It is debatable (and should be anyway, as all good art creates debate)that it all works seamlessly... We're caught in a story where we know the end - that's one thing - but in episode I, it is shocking to see the little boy, because of his real history, which we kind in advance, and his real circumstances.... EVERYONE wants him to win a bit, for him to be free, for his mom to be free. It puts the viewer into quite a state, because by the time we get to III we are certainly on his side. What happens in III, is, therefore likely to be extraordinary. I can assure you that it is.
I have to be honest, the transformation does not quite pay off. But it's very effective when it does even partly convince. It is very hard not to get very involved when you see the webs of darkness slowly creep over the stage, as it were, and harder not to want to jump into the book and warn Anakin - as if that were possible.
The novel may well scare you. The genius is making what can be made believable touch you personally. As Lucas said, the Sith is in all of us. To quote Johhny Cash, "if not for love, I could be one of these", and in fact, the possibility that love itself without the virtues of temperance creates Vader is really the real terror that criss-crosses the book.
But finally, the book closes in perhaps the worst way imaginable. To BE Vader. To live in pain forever, and never be able to stop the machine that encases you from working, and to have lost the only person that you loved, who was the love of your life, because.... Oh my. I hope we are all spared that.
How wonderful it is that even after all this, we do know at the end that mercy and forgiveness extends to Darth Vader. That's certainly good news - more than that, it's wonderful, amazing, unbelievable, but that ladies and gentlemen, is the miracle that we call grace...
Which, incidently, isn't Science Fiction at all.
Don't miss it.
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on 3 October 2006
This is the first time Ive read a Star Wars novel as Im more into reading the graphic novels. Let me say that this is one of the most enjoyable books Ive read in a while and it really is so much better than the movie. I thought Anakin's fall into darkness came too easy and quick in the movie but it takes longer to happen in the book and you really get a sense of the inner turmoil he feels trying to decide if his decision is correct. Many things Ive wanted to know are also explained, for example, how does C3PO end up as Padme's and plated in gold, how does R2 end up as Anakin's starfighter astromech and the book also gives an insight into the events after Anakin was married and his elevation to Knighthood. The banter between Kenobi and Skywalker is fantastic at times and very funny, which is great because you get the feeling of sadness when Skywalker eventually turns on Obi Wan. Lucas should be slapped silly for omitting a lot of the book from the movie, particulary the whole Dooku-Palpatine conversation while they wait for Anakin and Obi Wan to enter the General's quarters to rescue the chancellor. A great read and Im now looking forward to reading The Rise Of Darth Vadar.
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on 21 March 2006
Having enjoyed Traitor and Shatterpoint I was pleased to hear that Matthew Stover had been commissioned to write the novelisation of the third prequel because I thought that he could handle the dark subject matter with some finesse. I was not displeased. He has managed to capture the grandeur and scale of the movie perfectly, evident from the opening action sequence which I thought was long in the film, in the book it runs at over a hundred pages. But also he manages with some delicacy to allow us to enter the heads of Padme and especially Anakin to greater appreciate how the subtle manipulations of that most evil of dictators, Palpatine, affect their emotions and actions. Anakins gradual slide to the Dark side motivated by love and paranoia are captured quite effectively allowing us to feel sympathy whilst also feeling shocked. We are also treated to material that was cut from the final edit of the film, concerning the foundation of the rebel alliance. This is handled effectively whilst not degenerating into excessive politcal babble rather highlighting the opposing politcal positions of Padme and her husband and the tension that this creates.
I have read all the novelisations of the films except ROTJ, and this is by far the most enjoyable and affecting. I greatly enjoyed it and would recommend it anyone interested in Star Wars.
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on 11 April 2006
If, like me, you are a dedicated Star Wars fan and therefore find that you just crave more information about the characters, history, Jedi Order, plotlines etc., that the films just can't explain in two hours - then the novelisations might just satiate your appetite (after that you'll have to make it up yourself)
This one is the best of the prequels, suitable for grown up fans of the original Star Wars saga. The book is based on the George Lucas screenplay, and so rather than follow the film scene-by-scene, the book departs suitably enough to make it feel like a dam good sci-fi read rather than just the film in words. Enjoy!
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on 23 June 2005
To be honest, it really depends on how you like your star wars novels!
This film novelisation really does go beyond the film. For example, the first chapter presents Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as the heroes of the galaxy on a grand scale, similiar to Achilles or Hector from the world of Homer. For pretty much the first (and last) time that i know of in the Star Wars universe, they are depicted as they should be; living legends, not only in the eyes of the Jedi, but in the eyes of the whole Republic! The films never quite acheived that scale of heroism.
There are plenty of great little insights here; none of them ground breaking, but what would you expect? I liked the fact that the book focused on the smaller details; for example, what the likes of Count Dooku and Mace Windu are really thinking as they fight for their lives, what style of lightsaber combat is being used etc etc. These are the reasons to read the book, if you're not bothered about those types of things, you won't gain much more than what the film has to offer.

Finally, in terms of style and structure, it is pretty decent actually. There were some moments of prose that managed to give me that familiar 'star wars hairs on the back of the neck' type thing!
Rather than being an alternative, the book is definately more of a companion to the film. If you love Star Wars, buy it. If not, it's unlikely to interest you.
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on 8 April 2005
This book is a 'dark' book as George Lucas says and although it has an evil theme it is one of the best starwars books out.
It starts straight into action and as chancellor Palpatine urges Anakin to use the dark side when he is fighting Dooku his intentions towards Anakin become crystal clear to the reader. Matthew Stover portraies the fall of Anakin to the dark side so well that when the Palpatine asks him if he will give his life over to the sith I was practically pulling my hair out.
The deaths of the jedi and the slaughter of the children astounded me, but it helped the story of Darth Vader's cold-heartedness develope. He also adds in through out the book what the characters are thinking and feeling and this also helps you adjust to the character. All the build up through the book to the final breath taking battles of Obiwan Vs Anakin and Yoda Vs Palpatine is brilliant, while the battles are astonishing.
I won't give away any more, but this book could possibly be the best one yet. Even if you don't like Starwars and have read this and claim you don't feel anything your lying. Truly a masterpeice.
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on 10 August 2008
This is a very good adaptation of George Lucas' film.In some places this is better than the movie, but it still has the excititement of the openining space battle, the friendship between Anakin and Obi-wan and ultimately the hammer blow of order 66 and Anakin's tragic fall to the dark side.The only bad thing I would say is that some of the chapters are way too long.All things considered it's a very good take on Lucas' movie.
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on 28 December 2005
Really good read. Unlike the film this gives you more detail and helps highlight the strong points of the story that are missed out in the film. Dividing the book into three parts helps increase the understanding and impact especially when you get to the final scene. I especially enjoyed the way it details the final plan to get rid of the Jedi. The ending in which you go inside the mind of Anakin and the deep regret and sorrow he feels.
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on 5 February 2010
Matthew Stove has done an amazing job with his book, which--beside expounding on the developments of the film--allows us to have a much clearer insight into the political, seamy side of the story, including the earlier meetings of Mon Mothma and Senator Organa (along with Padmé) that were instrumental in founding the future Rebel Alliance. Anakin's psyche is analysed with precision and minute details, other characters, such as Count Dooku, are not neglected as well (as you may feel they were in the screenplay, Dooku's personality was quite overlooked in both 'Attack of the Clones' and 'Revenge of the Sith'). On the down side, the author dawdles when it comes to Palpatine's rescue which accounts for over a quarter of the book, it could have been interesting to focus on other aspects instead. As for Matthew Stower's style, it is that of an American; precise and pithy, sometimes it may get aggravating as he especially relishes short bits of sentences with no structure whatsoever, which definitely results in a dearth of elegance. Still it is a worthy read on the whole.
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on 27 July 2007
As good a book as could be expected, Stover's novelization of the last "Star Wars" film develops the script and better realizes the characters and the story.

He splits the tale into sections that philosophize (appropriately) about matters of light and dark. Anakin Skywalker's tragic journey is placed in a much more epic perspective, as is that of other characters including Bail Antilles, Padme and most notably Count Dooku.

For a four-hundred plus page length it's an astonishingly quick and addictive read (I got through it in one night) and Stover chronicles the movie's big events well, notably Mace Windu's betrayal and death, Palpatine declaring himself Emperor and the Sidious/Yoda battle in the Senate.

Fantastic stuff and (as with the best "Star Wars") left me wanting more. Recommended.
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