Okay, I take it back. "Betrayal" was cool, though it still has way too many battles. And it didn't help that p. 25-150 were all about big, honking battles. But maybe I can just skim over all that boring stuff and skip to the interesting stuff. However, I still find that interesting stuff very disturbing.
You know, as I was reading this book - particularly the scene where they were all at that fancy hotel for the diplomatic thingy and the Army of the Dead showed up and got their asses kicked - it occured to me that all the gang are like superheros. None of them ever die or get injured. Even though they've got to be in their sixties by now, they're still the absolute very best at everything. There's no human fallibility there; they're superheroes.
And the problem with superheroes is that since they are stronger and smarter and better than everyone else, they start thinking they have the right to control everyone else. That they alone are capable of saving the galaxy and making everything work out. That they have a responsbility to make decisions about everyone else's fate. (And it's very interesting that Mara and Anakin Solo had a conversation about this issue very early on in the NJO. For that matter, it's rather like the conversation she had with Luke in that last Timothy Zahn duology - the one where she and Luke finally get together. Do these authors remember those conversations, or not?)
So now we've got a Jacen Solo who thinks he has the right - or rather, the responsibility - to make life-and-death decisions about other people. At least the book ends with a hint that he is indeed wrong about all this. But even so, it seems much like the way all the characters act.
And that speaks again to a problem that I have with the way the books go: these are superheroes, and I've never been that interested in superheroes. I like real people. They can have fantastic powers, but I want them to have the same type of ordinary human limitations and possibilities as the rest of us do. I find myself wondering as I read this book what Luke is like with his son, when he's not being the frikkin' Ultimate Jedi Master Dude. Did Luke ever play ball with Ben? Did they ever tinker on a landspeeder together? Did they ever do ordinary father-and-son things?
I understand that the books aren't going to focus on that kind of ordinary slice-of-life stuff, but they could at least depict Luke in a way that would make us feel like he would do that sort of thing. Instead he's always saving the whole damn galaxy - they all are. So they all become larger than life, and that's just not as interesting as heroes who are the size of life.
So I remain dissatisfied with the way the EU books are handled. But I'm intrigued enough by the storyline to keep reading. And if anyone has any suggestions of good fanfic that shows Luke and Mara as parents, please let me know!
By the way, there were quite a few in-jokes, including Leia quipping at one point that "Han shot first." Also this blatant reference to fanfiction: says a guy talking about Aayla Secura, "Even today, educated immigrants from those cultures will write fictive cycles about her, some of them amazingly prurient....Tell me, Jacen, do people do the same about you? Write stories about you and pair you off with unlikely romantic partners?"
At least Jacen had the decency not to answer!
- (no subject)