The Ruins of Dantooine

April 6, 2018 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

ruinsThe Ruins of Dantooine by Voronica Whitney-Robinson & Haden Blackman

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Well, I thought I had hit rock bottom in the Expanded Universe with the L. Neil Smith books, but little did I know the worst was yet to come. The storytelling here is about as subtle as a brick to the head, and as exciting as watching Two-and-a-Half Men. It’s terrible.

Neither the story nor the characters (or even the plot) in this book are that deep. It’s part of the Star Wars Galaxies computer game, and having not played the game, I don’t know how much of the story might relate to the game. I do know that it doesn’t matter. The two main characters, Dusque and Finn (not the same Finn from The Force Awakens, mind you) are as flat as a dinner mint, with questionable motivations, and even if they do feature in the game, what the author does with them is criminal.

The entire book is told in a dry, clinical style, and relies far too much on telling. There’s no emotion or feeling connected to anything that happens in the book, so we don’t care much about what happens. Near the beginning of the book, Whitney-Robinson tells us that Dusque is a feminist, but she neglects to show us how she is. In fact, as much as she depends on Finn and becomes a damsel in distress, I don’t know how the author expects us to believe her statement about Dusque.

She also telegraphs the truth behind Finn’s character, enough so that part of me wondered if she were setting him up that way to play with our expectations of him. I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up, because there’s nothing else in the story to suggest the author would do something this subtle. In the end, I can’t say I was disappointed to find out that he was exactly the character she was leading us to believe he was.

The whole book feels like a juvenile book, which in itself is an insult to books like the Harry Potter series, or any of Jude Watson’s EU books. Those books used subtlety of character and plot to make the stories more engaging and significant; The Ruins of Dantooine just barrels on through like a train determined to come into the station on time. It was a fast read, yes, but it certainly wasn’t a good read. I can’t say I’m surprised that Lucas only released one book in this particular franchise.

Started: January 14, 2018
Finished: January 14, 2018

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