August 12, 2010

Book Review: Clone Wars Gambit - Seige


"You will enjoy this book if you are a fan of Obi-Wan and Anakin, live & breathe Jedi philosophy, enjoy witty banter and are thrilled about reading more exploits in The Clone Wars saga."
That was my bottom line from the first of this two-book series by my favorite Star Wars author, Karen Miller.  I have to say that I feel the same about this newest release, as well!  The first book, Stealth, left us with our heroes dangling dangerously mid-air in a precariously rigged groundcar.  Can you say 'cliffhanger'?  Thankfully, the wait wasn't too long, and we were pleased to finally be able to purchase Siege at our local Borders the day it arrived.  I have now read the book once through and listened to the audio unabridged version (more on that in a bit). 

Siege picks up the story right where we left off (at a fever pitch) and doesn't let you go.  Anakin and Obi-Wan somehow have to make their way from their mid-air situation to somewhere they can contact the Temple, and Master Yoda, with very sensitive information and a serious plea for help.  The bioweapon is made and in the hands of the nastiest of Neimoidian Separatist leaders, Lok Durd.  Our heroes must find a way to destroy that weapon before it can be used on unsuspecting Republic strongholds.  Unfortunately, they are tired, hungry, in the middle of nowhere, and bruised and beaten up in a way that any ordinary person would have just laid down and died.  But, these are Jedi...and not just any Jedi, mind you.  The quintessential Jedi and the Chosen One, no less.  Inspiring, I tell you.

I found the story to move along quickly, punctuated with witty, heartfelt and heartbreaking interchanges between Anakin and Obi-Wan.  Ms. Miller continues to get inside the heads of our heroes with little effort, consistently keeping true their personalities and motivations.  For fans that know these characters so well, they will not be disappointed or left scratching their heads at comments or reactions - right on the mark, every time.  Although, when Anakin sees Obi-Wan interact with a new and delightful Jedi named Taria Damsen, his reaction was a little surprising, but again, totally in keeping with Anakin's rather selfish and impulsive side.  I was amazed at how Ms. Miller could weave conversations and conflicts together with the history of these characters, always bringing them back together to work side by side, as was necessary.  So sad it is, since we all know the tragic end of the story...

I very much enjoyed all the new characters created by our author for this story - very colorful and believable, indeed.  So well described that I could hear the grinding of equipment, whines of machinery and could smell the sickness and pain.  We also got to spend time, again, with Padme and Bail Organa - a political team that is hard to beat.  I just loved the human-ness, vulnerability and integrity of the characters Ms. Miller weaves through the story.  And, of course, Palpatine/Sidious is ruthless and reviles the reader easily.

This book is a great read...or listen.  I highly recommend investing in some sort of audio book listening device to partake in all three Karen Miller books in audio form.  Reader/Actor Jeff Gurner is absolutely brilliant in his reproduction of the voices of the characters, and adds another entire dimension to the story and experience.  An absolute necessity for die-hard fans.

The bottom line:
If you read Stealth, you will absolutely want to read Siege.  And then you will be left wondering when Karen Miller will write another Star Wars book.  Soon, I hope.

2 comments:

Mama Cache said...

Karen Miller should read this, my friend.

Ari C'rona said...

Ah, excellent review, Master Jedi! I couln't agree more, though I have yet to listen to it. :o)