May the Fourth be with you

Welcome to leaf and page‘s first post, everyone. I hope you enjoy your stay and find something to like here. (And I hope that I keep this up.)

I have a confession to make: I started this blog partly for selfish reasons. Years ago, a friend of mine suggested I start a blog for my book reviews, and I considered it but never too seriously. From time to time, the idea would cross my mind to start blogging for real. But then the other day something happened: I got rejected from an advanced reader’s copy because I don’t post my reviews to a ‘legitimate’ outlet.

So, with that in mind I decided I’d finally follow up on those half-formed thoughts to start a blog, and here we are. Besides, it’s something I haven’t done in ages and having a place to write and share my thoughts is always nice.

In honour of today being a special day, my first review on the blog is going to be a repost of a review from Goodreads of Michael Reaves’ Star Wars novel, Coruscant Nights: Patterns of the Force, which I gave two stars. Find it below!

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This book might have earned a third star if it weren’t for the extremely distracting fact that Michael Reaves cannot count. His timeline is extremely muddled and some of it makes no sense. Normally I let things slide, especially if they’re one-time errors, but this was so constant and frustrating that it really pulled me out of the book.

Though I will note that some of this carries over from the previous books, let’s look at some examples:

  • Jax is stated at one point to be less than five years older than Kaj, who is stated to have just turned fifteen. This makes Jax nineteen. His father is stated as having died more than two decades ago. That puts at least two years between his father’s death and his birth which is… impossible?
  • Even if that math worked out, it’s established that Jax’s father was in his life until he was two. Which would mean he could have died seventeen years ago, max.
  • Except! It’s also set up that he died just shortly before the Naboo trade embargo–which was fourteen years before Coruscant Nights takes place.
  • At another point, Reaves notes said trade embargo as having happened eighteen years ago.
  • Minor gripe: back in the first book, Jax is stated as being nearly the same age as Anakin, who is twenty-three at this point.
  • Major gripe: in both this book and the previous book, Reaves put that the bota was discovered twenty years ago. Except it was found during the Clone Wars. Which started four years before this book takes place.
  • Added bonus: the message last book about the bota was from Barriss Offee who, if the message really were twenty years old, would have been two at the time it was made. That’s a talented toddler.

The last ones, about the bota, made me actually put the book down while I recited the Jedi Code to myself.

There is no emotion; there is peace.

Okay, I’m kidding about that last part.

I felt a bit bad for dropping this down as low as two stars, but now that I’ve written all that out, I think it’s justified to me.

Sorry Reaves, but even Jax’s characterization was more interesting in the first book.

I have other complaints that brought this down to two stars, but they involve some major spoilers for the ending so read on at your own risk:

  • There’s little to no emotional consequence for the fact that Jax’s party was cut in two. Two people died and one was sent away! This is a big deal!
  • There’s not really much emotional consequence for the betrayal, either, though it’s at least talked about.
  • A sentient droid with a Force signature? Really? Did we have to go there?
  • Speaking of said droid: outfitting him with a ridiculous arsenal–in his hands, at that. This is getting ridiculous.
  • Kaj. A lot of his scenes were good, I really enjoyed Jax working with him. But he was also kind of ridiculously overpowered and apparently just sort of randomly became super overpowered?
  • And re: Kaj being sent away… well, we’ll see if The Last Jedi does anything with that (and I don’t think it will, based on the fact that Kaj isn’t in it), but that’s not a neat way to tie up that loose end at all. At least it isn’t given the setting and the fact that we can’t have any Jedi or Jedi-like beings around by the time Luke starts training with Yoda.
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