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Star Wars: Crosscurrent

de Paul S. Kemp

Sèrie: Star Wars Novels (41.5 ABY), Star Wars (41.5 ABY)

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279771,373 (3.49)5
An ancient Sith ship hurtles into the future carrying a lethal cargo that could forever destroy Luke Skywalker's hopes for peace. The Civil War is almost over when Jedi Knight Jaden Korr experiences a Force vision so intense he must act. Enlisting two salvage jocks and their ship, Jaden sets out into space. Someone or something appears to be in distress, but what Jaden and his crew find confounds them. A five-thousand-year-old dreadnaught, bringing with it a full force of Sith and one lone Jedi, has inadvertently catapulted eons from the past into the present.… (més)
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I quite like ‘Star Wars’ but have only a nodding acquaintance with the films and am not a ‘Warsie’, if there is such a being. I mention this in order to elicit forgiveness in advance for any errors I make from those hardcore fans who know Han Solo’s shoe size and Darth Vader’s favourite colour. Black, presumably. As I have enjoyed several novels related to that other big space opera franchise, I thought the ‘Star Wars’ books would be worth a look. If nothing else, the copyright controllers of these vast enterprises do ensure a minimum standard of competence in any product issued.

At the front of the novel, there is a helpful chronology which shows how the many books fit into the timeline along with those big films. ‘Crosscurrent’ is set near the end, forty years after the film ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’.

‘Crosscurrent’ uses several viewpoint characters and also starts off in two different eras, so the reader needs to focus. First up, 5,000 years before the Battle of Yavin, Sith Lord Saes Rrogon – a Kaleesh male – rips the crust off a moon to mine a huge supply of Lignan. This is an ore which hugely enhances the power of dark side users. In hot pursuit of Saes is Relin Druur, his former Jedi Master and Drev Hassin, Relin’s current Padawan. Drev is an Askajian male while Relin is human, which in a galaxy far, far away doesn’t mean an Earthman, of course. The Jedi need to stop the Sith forces getting hold of the Lignan as a major battle is coming up.

Meanwhile, 5,000 years in their future, Jaden Korr, human male and Jedi Knight, has a Force-inspired vision telling him he must go to the black hole of Fhost. Undeterred by the fact that Fhost doesn’t have a black hole, he sets off. Also headed there is Kell Douro, an Arzat assassin who eats peoples’ brains, who has been sent by the Sith. Fhost has no native species and only one real settlement. At the edge of known space, it is a haven for an assortment of bad types. Clearly, the scene is set for action!

I was hooked by page 40, which is soon enough. These kinds of books are written in a very tight style with much plot and nary a wasted word. Words that add a bit of depth to the characters and setting are not wasted and this was done with some skill. ‘Loose wires hung from everywhere, the entrails of science’ is a nifty way of describing a wrecked control room. A lift door stuck half open is an eye frozen in the act of closing.’ The descriptions of the action, sometimes quite gory, are also well done. The characters are changed by the events as in any good fiction and there is even some Jedi wisdom applicable to writers: just because you can’t do everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything.

Of course, there are loads of sizzling lightsabers, blistering blasters and speeding spaceships, which is what you want in a good space opera. This novel was crafted by Paul S. Kemp, a corporate lawyer, alas. But a man who likes ales, cigars and single malt scotch can’t be all bad. I enjoyed his book.

Eamonn Murphy
This review first appeared at https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/ ( )
  bigfootmurf | Aug 11, 2019 |
Disjointed and ultimately disappointing. Mostly build-up to sell the book that follows. Also - is time travel something we really need in SW? ( )
  Ron18 | Feb 17, 2019 |
I thought this was a well done book for a non-Skywalker book. Nothing was spectacular, but I rather enjoyed reading the 5000BBY stuff and seeing how it tied into the Lost Tribe of the Sith short stories.
Didn't care for the jedi guy though, came across as pathetic instead of sympathy inducing... ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Though I've cut back my Star Wars novel purchasing a lot, I still pick up the occasional standalone paperback. I'm glad I went for this one: it's a solid action-adventure tale featuring mostly original characters, divorced of the big galaxy-spanning concerns that have bogged down the line of late. The cast of characters is decent, expect for Marr Idi-Shael, who is a very neat character indeed. I even liked the book's seemingly gratuitous assassin villain, so much that I wish more had been done with him. The intersection of contemporary events with those from 5,000 years past is also neat, though I think slightly more could have been done with it. The existence of a "dark side ore" does bother me, though, as I don't really think it fits with the idea of the Force as presented in the films. If the Dark Side comes from our negative emotions, then how can a rock contribute to it? But that's a small quibble; overall, I liked this, and I look forward to seeing what Paul Kemp (and Jaden Korr) do next.
  Stevil2001 | Jun 2, 2010 |
With all new characters and an intersection of ancient past and present, this latest installment to the Star Wars galaxy makes for enjoyable reading. Jaden is exploring that age-old dilemma of Jedis - what makes one light or dark? I'm beginning to think that there isn't a definitive answer to that question - it simply is part of the experience of force users. I missed the regular cast of characters to begin with, but came to enjoy Jaden and his motley crew. I hope there is a follow-up planned. ( )
  tjsjohanna | May 15, 2010 |
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An ancient Sith ship hurtles into the future carrying a lethal cargo that could forever destroy Luke Skywalker's hopes for peace. The Civil War is almost over when Jedi Knight Jaden Korr experiences a Force vision so intense he must act. Enlisting two salvage jocks and their ship, Jaden sets out into space. Someone or something appears to be in distress, but what Jaden and his crew find confounds them. A five-thousand-year-old dreadnaught, bringing with it a full force of Sith and one lone Jedi, has inadvertently catapulted eons from the past into the present.

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