Much like the movies it's based off, this book is broken into three parts. The first part is terrible, the second chapter is just ok, and all three stars are given to the last third which is quite a good read. Allow me to explain.
The first third of the book rarely has Darth Vader in it. Instead, it's dealing with a few Jedi trying to survive Order 66. For a book that only has Vader on the cover, it's shocking how little he's in the first 100 pages.
The second third has much more Vader (and still more rogue Jedi) but when Vader is in it, he's still largely in Anakin's mindset, so there is a lot of introspection, thought, and worry. These are not qualities that I normally attach to the Dark Lord of the Sith.
The third part is on Kashyyyk for the most part and is really wonderful, worth the price of admission on it's own. In this section, we see more of the characters we are familiar with from the Star Wars Trilogies. Chewbacca, Bail Organa, C-3PO and R2-D2 are all there, along with Grand Moff Tarkin. Here we see how the Wookies became slaves, and have more than one gasping moment as the action builds. Had the whole book been like the last, there wouldn't have been enough stars to rate the novel.
Just in general, for too much of the book was Vader overly introspective. I know this is about his transformation from Anakin to Vader, but the Vader we know and hate (or love) is just there at the last. There is too much time spent on character original to the novel, these Jedi survivors. Unless another novel uses these characters, the time seems as if it could have been better spent on core characters. The pace is terribly slow for the first half of the book, then the second part flies by, so it feels uneven.
Over all, read this if you are a Star Wars completist, or just read the book starting at "Krshyyyk" and you'll be fine. But don't wade in expecting the entire book to be brilliant.
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About the reviewer
Madelyn Pryor (madelyngoblynqueen)
I am a professional chef and former crazy graduate student. I have a wonderful husband who indulges my insane book habit. I loveto read, playWarhammer,quilt, and cook.I have diverse and ever changing … more
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