Monday, February 04, 2008

[Book Review] SACRIFICE (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force) by Karen Traviss

Fiction/Science Fiction

Dean Moore reviews SACRIFICE (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force) by Karen Traviss (LucasBooks, 2007)

Sacrifice is the story of the power struggle between empires, nations, and families, both good and evil. As Star Wars readers and fans know, that means a struggle between The Force and The Dark Side. The central plot involves the well-known Solo family, especially the hopes and aspirations of Jacen Solo and his rise (or fall) to ultimate power. There are many subplots, but, fortunately, there is a dramatis personae in the front of this book which gives the reader a list of principal characters. This list is very helpful for the novice Star Wars reader. Without this list, the reader would be lost.

Sacrifice begins with the stark reality that there is a Galactic war going on. The main character, Jacen Solo, appears to be supporting the Alliance. The question becomes "is he really supporting the Alliance or is he plotting against them"? He holds secretive meetings with top leaders in the Alliance, but passes an emergency war powers act without Senate approval. Then, he meets with other Galactic leaders--but on which side are they? Because of the war, it is difficult to keep track of who is fighting whom. The war changes everything and everyone.

This is a detailed, slow-paced science fiction novel. It includes strong character development and lots of mystery and intrigue. There are some unusual suspense scenes and details. One amazing fight scene is between Mara Skywalker and Lumiya, Dark Lady of Sith. Mara, the more skilled fighter, seems to be winning until Lumiya escapes. She flees with help from an old XJ7 fighting ship. The details of the ship and its abilities are woven into the story nicely. The most important and detailed struggle is between Jacen Solo and Mara Skywalker and is reserved for the final portion of the story. This twist highlights the main appeal of the book, the internal struggles of some of the main Star Wars characters. The answer to the question of who is family, who is friend or who is foe, is not always obvious but is always exciting.

Dean Moore, Frayser Branch Library

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