Final Score: 9.2

    ★★★★☆ Plot

    ★★★★★ Characterization

    ★★★★★ Writing

    ★★★★★ Star-Wars-iness

    ★★★★☆ Personal Enjoyment


This book review contains spoilers for those who have not yet read Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor by Matthew Stover.

This is definitely one of the best Star Wars novels I’ve read, hands down. Stover lives up to his reputation as one of the best – from the philosophical themes that make up the heart of Star Wars, to the classic characters and intricate battle scenes, this novel is an amazingly fun romp through the galaxy far, far away.

That being said, there were a few things that kept me from being on the edge of my seat and blasting through it, which I mention in the cons section below, and are the reasons why ‘Plot’ and ‘Personal Enjoyment’ were given a 4.

Pros:

  • The Dark and The Light in this may be my favorite representation of these themes in the Star Wars philosophy. The antagonist’s description of the dark and his evil intent are better than what I’ve read in other dark side/Sith stories, including the Bane trilogy. I can’t emphasize my pleasure with this point enough – it greatly enhanced the story for me!
  • All of the characters feel very true to themselves, and the interactions between them harken back to the original trilogy
  • The battle scenes are very original, and Stover’s descriptive writing style paints mental pictures with ease
  • It was nice to have some of Stover’s non-traditional characters from other Star Wars novels show up
  • There are quite a few nice surprises, twists, and clever moments that feel like sugar coating
  • I like the ship descriptions and the expansion of things like the organics of the Mon Calamari cruisers
  • There were a couple meta-moments where it felt like Stover was getting himself out of a writing spot quickly, but definitely play into the whole idea of the holothriller cheese theme, so it works

Cons:

  • Too much meltmassif, although I like what it represented and the story it allowed for, I got tired of reading about it
  • The descriptions of the gravity wells and what they were doing were a bit too much at times
  • Including the Mandos felt rushed and underused
  • Even though jumping back and forth between the events happening in space and planetside are pretty gripping and allows for enough separation of the various plotlines, I can’t help but wish there were another location or plot happening elsewhere that gets tied in, even beyond Lando’s part

-Will Reinhardt