Jun 27, 2009

YetiPreview: Omen

I got Omenon Wednesday and but I still had a couple hundred pages of Powers left so I had to get through that first. Any book in the Star Wars "present" automatically jumps to the front of my reading queue. It might be bad, it might be pulp, but it's Star Wars, which has always had a special place in my heart.

Omen is Book 2 in the Fate of the Jedi after March's Outcast. Outcast was a huge departure from Del Rey's usual offering in the sense that it was a fairly stand-alone book, despite being the first of the 9 book arc. It gave some hints at a larger plot but not a whole lot. Basically, we know that something is driving the Jedi insane, we know there is something in the Maw that is being omnious, and we know that Luke and Ben are off in the Unknown Regions looking for what happened to corrupt Jacen but that they haven't found anything yet. It terms of open plot threads, almost everything was neatly tied off at the end of Outcast. I found this a bit strange but also a positive sign of change.

The previous series, Legacy of the Force was another 9-book series, but it only contained about 5 books worth of story. Because the books were being written simultaneous by different authors, there was often a lot of rehashing and repeated character development between books. It seemed like there wasn't a clear definition of where one book was going to end and where the next would begin. Characters would make the same decisions or realizations two, three, or more times, leaving readers confused and irritated. It was messy, poorly organized, and the story suffered.

But it looks like Fate of the Jedi is avoiding that by using clearly defined milestones between each book. I guess I'll be able to judge that better after I finish Omen.

Omen is the first book I've read by Christie Golden, so I'm not familiar with her writing style. If she can describe an action sequence better than Troy Denning and write humor like Mike Stackpole or Aaron Allston then I'm sure she will do fine. Just stick to the continuity, try to research the characterizations, and you will do fine.

Here's the Amazon description:

The Jedi Order is in crisis. The late Jacen Solo’s shocking transformation into murderous Sith Lord Darth Caedus has cast a damning pall over those who wield the Force for good: Two Jedi Knights have succumbed to an inexplicable and dangerous psychosis, criminal charges have driven Luke Skywalker into self-imposed exile, and power-hungry Chief of State Natasi Daala is exploiting anti-Jedi sentiment to undermine the Order’s influence within the Galactic Alliance.

Forbidden to intervene in Jedi affairs, Luke is on a desperate mission to uncover the truth behind Jacen’s fall to the dark side–and to learn what’s turning peaceful Jedi into raving lunatics. But finding answers will mean venturing into the mind-bending space of the Kathol Rift and bargaining with an alien species as likely to destroy outsiders as deal with them. Still, there is no other choice and no time to lose, as the catastrophic events on Coruscant continue to escalate. Stricken by the same violent dementia that infected her brother, Valin, Jedi Knight Jysella Horn faces an equally grim fate after her capture by Natasi Daala’s police. And when Han and Leia Solo narrowly foil another deranged Jedi bent on deadly destruction, even acting Jedi Grand Master Kenth Hamner appears willing to bow to Daala’s iron will–at the expense of the Jedi Order.

But an even greater threat is looming. Millennia in the past, a Sith starship crashed on an unknown low-tech planet, leaving the survivors stranded. Over the generations, their numbers have grown, the ways of the dark side have been nurtured, and the time is fast approaching when this lost tribe of Sith will once more take to the stars to reclaim their legendary destiny as rulers of the galaxy. Only one thing stands in their way, a name whispered to them through the Force: Skywalker.
I already gave a discourse on the FotJ cover art here. In summary, I like it. A lot. The Omen cover features a Sith looking female so I am slightly curious to see where that goes.

I'm also curious as to what Omen refers to. Star Wars is often extremely bad about having titles that actually pertain to the events of the novel. Invincible featured a death. There were no revelations in Revelation. However, Outcast did feature an outcast so Del Rey is currently 1-for-1 with FotJ.

Omen is a disappointly short 250 pages. I should be able to get through it today so hurry if you are reading along.

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