Dark Disciple

August 15, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

discipleDark Disciple by Christie Golden

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After The Last Jedi, I decided to jump ahead to the new canon novels and start on those. I figured it would be a good way to stay on top of the new movies as they come out, and also that, since there were fewer volumes, I could feel like I accomplished something with them this year. Dark Disciple was a bad place to start, namely because I haven’t finished watching all of The Clone Wars yet.

Dark Disciple, if you don’t know, is based on eight unproduced episodes of The Clone Wars, written by Katie Lucas, adapted by Golden. The premise of the book is the Jedi Council has decided the best thing to do regarding Count Dooku is to kill him. Obi-Wan suggests Quinlan Vos be the one to do the deed, and sends him in search of Asajj Ventress, a wanted criminal by the Jedi who has been cast out by Dooku and is likely to want revenge, to train Vos and help him get close to Dooku.

Since I wasn’t too fond of the book, it’s hard to know where to point my criticism. It makes sense to point it toward Lucas, since most of what I didn’t like have to do with the story, not with how it was written.

I had a lot of issues with the plot, but most of them stem from the fact that no one in the book acts like you would expect. We have the Jedi Council calling for assassinations, Yoda himself calling for executions, and Ventress showing her human side. None of these characters have been presented in other works as being anything like they are in this novel, and it was hard to accept the main premise of the story because of that. Vos and Ventress fall in love over the course of their story, which was at odds to both of their characters (a Jedi spurns attachment, and Ventress … well, she’s Ventress; she doesn’t trust anyone), but those are the two plots that drive the story forward. When it’s hard to accept the actions and motivations of the characters, how can we be invested in the story?

The narrative moves along at a pretty good clip, sometimes going too fast to get a sense of emotion. Early in the novel, there’s a scene where the Jedi suffer a tremendous loss, which is what spurns them to plan the assassination at all. It’s key, and it serves its purpose, but once it’s done that, Golden doesn’t come back to it at all. For as pivotal a moment as it is in the story, I expected more introspection and contemplation about it, especially from the Jedi.

I wasn’t paying close enough attention through the book to find any Easter eggs (and I still don’t know enough about the Clone Wars to catch anything from the show), but I did notice near the end of the book that one of the clones was named Threepwood. That was a nice surprise.

The edition I read included a short story by Golden, “Kindred Spirits”, about Ventriss and Lassa Rhayme, a female pirate. Together, they retrieve some goods that were stolen from Rhayme, one of which is an item Ventriss needs to collect a bounty. It was about as decent as any other Star Wars story, but that’s not saying much. I have yet to read one that feels necessary.

I’m going to shift back to the Legends books after Dark Disciple. I think I could get away with skipping some of the books that might spoil the shows I have yet to see, but it looks like some of the books in the middle are based off of Rebels, too, so I figure I should play it safe and not run the risk of spoiling either show.

Star Wars Progress
Total Read: 110
Total Legends: 104
Total Canon: 6
Total Percentage: 36.4%

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