A nice prequel to Attack Of The Clones and the actual Clone Wars themselves, this book focused on the small but significant planet Ansion, (because of the many Alliances it was stuck in the middle of), whose citizens were unsure of either staying or leaving the Republic. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luminara Unduli, Barriss Offee, and Anakin Skywalker are put to the task of trying to convince the Ansionians to stay in the Republic. Along the way, they run into trouble but also encounter new friends and allies in unexpected ways. Foster gets all of the four Jedi's character and personality spot on in this particular time frame but Luminara sometimes got a little annoying because it seemed as if every other character in this story revered her too much. Anakin was very self-centered but that's just part of his character. Foster was also very good at describing the landscape and animals. It was very easy to picture. Lastly, the book was very politic heavy, but it wasn't at all boring.
For being listed as a prequel to Attack of the Clones, the book barely ties into the main Star Wars story. The only real tie in is Anakin and Obi-Wan and the mission to persuade a heretofore unknown planet to remain in the Republic instead of joining the burgeoning secessionist movement. No tie-ins with Darth Sidious or even Count Dooku. Other than that it is still a fairly entertaining story that introduces more planets and species to the Star Wars EU.
This book was worth reading, in the end, for the imaginative biology of the creatures and denizens of Ansion and some of Foster's clever writing. One could tell, however, that he had his hands tied to a certain degree not to make too many waves or reveal too much information that could have had an impact on the plot of the "Attack of the Clones" or "Revenge of the Sith" films.
I liked the characters of Luminara Unduli and Barriss Offee, but in the end I felt they were underutilized to give Obi-Wan more derring-do and Anakin more whining-do.
Making the Big Bad on the scene on Ansion a Hutt Lord just seemed lazy...Soergg basically was just Jabba redux.
Lastly, there was probably one or two too much sidebar scenes of plotting and chortling at the Republic's expense. The stakes were pretty much established in the first scene, there really was no pressing need to revisit these characters in my view.
Chinderixx thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over
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