Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth

September 1, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , , )

stealthClone Wars Gambit: Stealth by Karen Miller

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The Clone Wars are still raging, and Karen Miller returns with another book set among the battle. She returns to Bail Organa’s underground informants with Stealth, this time having them tell him about a remote planet, Lanteeb, that’s been overtaken by Dooku. Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent to infiltrate the planet and discover what makes it so important to the Sith.

That’s a decent summary of the story, which is about half of what you would learn from the blurb on the back of the book. In fact, the blurb takes us through to page 350 or so, in a book that’s 395 pages long. Also, the book moves along at a nice clip, enough so that as you near page 380, you’ll wonder how everything is going to wrap up. It doesn’t. This book is one half of the story, and ends on a cliffhanger that’s about as bad as the one in The Matrix Reloaded.

What I liked about Miller’s first Clone Wars book was her characterization skills, which are present in this novel, too. I had some quibbles with the story, but her characters felt real and realized. There was one character near the end of the book who was rather insufferable, which was unfortunate, since she was supposed to be a sympathetic character. Also, her antagonist was a bit over the top, enough so to strain my suspension of disbelief. I think she’s drawing on the cartoon with that character, though, so I’m willing to let that slide; the other character, though, needed some work.

I had a hard time accepting that Obi-Wan and Anakin would be sent on this mission, since they’re two of the most recognizable Jedi in the galaxy. It’s even mentioned at one point in the story, though it’s not addressed. Given the risks involved, it makes sense to send experienced Jedi instead of, say, Ahsoka, but why the two of them? Surely there were other, less recognized Jedi they could have sent.

It’s inevitable that the Expanded Universe books will contain some anachronisms, though Miller, for the most part, does a good job with immersing the reader in the universe. The roads and buildings are ferrocrete, and the windows are transparisteel, as they are in every other book, but in this book she references their cotton clothes. It seemed like an odd reference to make, and like the penny in Bid Time Return, it threw me right out of the story.

The story is decent, and feels more like a story than some of Luceno’s books (his strike me as more “look how much I know about Star Wars” than actual stories), but I didn’t like this one as much as Wild Space. And I see that I summed up Wild Space as being a “decent read” that could have been better. Maybe Siege, or Stealth: Part Two, will bring this novel into better focus.

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