“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” – Matthew 16:26
Do the ends justify the means? Is there such a thing as doing a bad thing for a good reason? Even Jedi wrestle with these questions and those questions are explored in the newest Star Wars novel, Dark Disciple written by Christie Golden. Dark Disciple takes place during the Clone Wars era and focuses on Jedi Master Quinlan Vos, former Sith apprentice Asajj Ventress, and her former master Count Dooku. After Dooku’s most recent and horrific attack against the Republic, the Jedi Council deems that Dooku is a threat that must be taken care of – once and for all. After much debate, the decision was made to assassinate Dooku, an action that definitely has Dark Side implications, and they give the assignment to Quinlan Vos. He is told he must work with Asajj Ventress because of her shared hatred of Dooku and her knowledge of his tactics, strengths, and weaknesses. Vos agrees to do it. But no one on the council could foresee all of the consequences of that one decision. It leads to a journey into darkness and how that affects not only Vos, but Ventress, Kenobi, and the rest of the Jedi.
Title: Dark Disciple
Author: Christie Golden
Age: 12 and up
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre: Star Wars, science fiction
Christie adapted the work from unaired episodes of the Clone Wars animated series so the events in the book take place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Fans of the cancelled series will be especially happy to revisit these old stomping grounds. But what makes the book so enjoyable is Christie’s writing style. She really captures the imagination and is especially good at drawing you into the lives of the characters. It’s easy to feel as if you are on a journey with them and not merely watching it from afar. She uses her talent at relationship building to make the story even more intense, more fraught with drama, and more action-packed. At the same time, we get a better feeling of exactly how evil Count Dooku really is. We understand better how Asajj Ventress journeyed so deep into the Dark Side and the struggle she has coming out of it. And we get a better understanding of what it means to be a Jedi and how self-sacrificing the life of a Jedi really is. All of those things combine for an intriguing story, so whether or not you’re a Star Wars long-time reader or this is your first book into that foray, you’ll find this to be an enjoyable ride.
Apart from the great overall story, I love how Christie delves into a few other characters that make appearances in the book. Although only minor characters in this particular novel, I loved Christie’s exploration into the personalities of the Jedi Council. Mace is more utilitarian than I imagined, but can see how that could be true. I really enjoyed Christie’s interpretation of Yoda which remains very true to his wise, honored, and discerning ways using the Force. Kenobi’s defense of Vos and Ventress was as honorable as you might imagine (what defense? – you’ll have to read it to find out). But my favorite is Boba Fett. Not going to say anymore, but Boba plays more of a role than I thought and reading his character was equally enlightening. Curious? Go and pick up a copy of this book when it comes out! Dark Disciple will be released in stores on July 7th.
- For more reviews of Star Wars novels, read about them right here on the Disney Nerds blog. Reviews for A New Dawn, Tarkin, and Heir to the Jedi can be found.