Friday, December 18, 2009
Tyrant's Test is the third book of a Star Wars trilogy written by Michael P. Kube-McDowell. According to the "About the Author" page, this is actually the pen name of Michael Paul McDowell. I understand why authors use different pen names to keep from being typecast with a certain genre but I'm not sure how they came up with the mouthfull for this one. Oh well. This trilogy take place about twelve years after the "Return of the Jedi" and was written in the still early days of the first group of Star Wars fiction. Consequently, it suffers, I believe with having to rely on plot development, filling in the "what happened next" syndrome and just doesn't have to time to really expand on the characters. Most of us know a lot about Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, Lando, etc. but do we really? The plot of this one is fairly straight forward. Each of the main characters I just mentioned plus some bad guys have their own sub plots and that's really too many to fully develop in a 350 page paperback book, especially when all of the sub plots need to be wrapped up. I thought Luke's plot was especially contrived because it turned out he was just being lied to the whole time and nothing came of it. But somehow at the end, that experience had substantially changed him and his outlook. Hmmm... Han didn't play a big role throughout the trilogy, just uncharacteristically being captured and having to be rescued. Didn't ring true.
All in all, this trilogy has some of the worst reviews I've seen for SW books. It wasn't that bad in my opinion but still, I am glad to see it come to an end.
Louis L'Amour, on the other hand, once again provided a wonderful traditional western reading experience in his short story, "The Marshal of Sentinel". This time we have a very serious protagonist, the marshal himself, who has to defend his town against an outlaw gang of bank robbers whose method is to use an inside man to assassinate the marshall up front and thereby leave the bank as easy pickins. I'm sure liking this collection but unfortunately, only one more story to go in The Strong Shall Live.
Next up: finishing off yet another trilogy with Inkdeath, by Cornelia Funke.
Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)
- "The Stand" by Stephen King
- "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
- "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
- "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
- "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
- "River God" by Wilbur Smith
- "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
- "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
- "Centennial" by James A Michener
- "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson