Ruin ist der zweite Band von Michael Stackpoles Beitrag zu The New Jedi Order und damit der 2. Band der Dark Tide-Duologie. Alle offenen Handlungsstränge und selbst wenn man sie nicht als solche erkannt hat, werden in diesem Band nun abgeschlossen.
Nachdem es Leia gelungen ist die Führung der Neuen Republik von der drohenden Gefahr durch die Invasion der Yuuzhan Vong zu überzeugen bittet sie nun den Rat der Neuen Republik mit dem Rest-Imperium in Verbindung treten zu dürfen, um von ihren einstigen Feinden militärische Hilfe zu erbittern. Mit Danni Quee erhält sie die Erlaubnis und macht sich umgehend auf den Weg nach Bastion, wo sie mit Admiral Gillad Pallaeon zusammentreffen will, der das Oberkommando über die imperialen Streitkräfte inne hat.
Beinahe zeitgleich bricht Senator Elegos A'Kla zu einer wagemutigen Mission auf, die ihn nach Dubrillion führen soll, wo er sich direkt in die Hände der Yuuzhan Vong begeben will, um mehr über die Fremden zu erfahren und einen möglichen Friedensvertrag auszuhandeln.
Anderenorts sieht sich Luke Skyalker mit einer möglichen Spaltung des Jedi-Ordens konfrontiert, die durch die Krise mit den Yuuzhan Vong noch weiter verschärft wird. Vor allem Kyp Durron fordert ein entschieden aggressiveres Vorgehen, selbst wenn dies einen Bruch mit dem Kodex der Jedi bedeutet. Kompromissbereit entsendet Luke mehrere Jedi-Teams auf Erkundungsmissionen in von den Vong besetztes Gebiet. Eines dieser Teams, reist unter der Führung des vorübergehend wieder in den Militärdienst eingetretenen Jedi-Ritter Colonel Corran Horn mit einer Gruppe Noghri nach Garqi. Für Jacen Solo ist dies bereits seine zweite verdeckte Mission auf Vong-Territorium, doch auch der Jedi Ganner Rhysode konnte bereits seine eigenen Erfahrungen mit den Invasoren sammeln.
Im Jedi-Tempel finden Anakin Solo und R2-D2 plötzlich heraus dass jemand die Archive nach Informationen und Daten über imperiale Superwaffen durchforstet hat. Die Twilek-Jedi Daeshara'cor scheint dahinter zu stecken und getrieben von Rachsucht für den Mord an ihrem Freund, den durch Folter der Vong verstorbenen Jedi-Schülers Miko Reglia, droht sie einen sehr gefährlichen Weg zu beschreiten Luke, Mara, Anakin und Mirax Terrik machen sich auf die Suche nach der jungen Jedi...
Was alles noch nicht nach einer großen Schlacht klingt führt jedoch zu einer, aber davon sei noch nicht zuviel verraten. Auch wenn The New Jedi Order 19 Bände umfasst, so verkörpert eigentlich dieser den Beginn des Krieges und eine Kooperation die erst viel später wieder erreicht werden wird. Innerhalb der Jedi droht sich Kyp Durron abzuspalten, was zu dazu führen könnte dass einige seiner Anhänger sich der dunklen Seite zuwenden, aber soweit ist es wenn überhaupt noch lange nicht, es schafft dadurch jedenfalls eine sehr spannungsgeladene Atmosphäre innerhalb der Jedi.
Die eindeutige Stärke von "Ruin" liegt auf jeden Fall darin Elemente der legendären X-Wing-Reihe mit dem Flair von Jedi Knight 2 und Jedi Academy zu verbinden. Wir erleben nicht ein oder zwei Jedi in Aktion, sondern gleich eine ganze Reihe mit all ihren Fähigkeiten und das in einem Untergrundkampf der an die guten alten Zeiten der Rebellion oder frühen Neuen Republik erinnert. Besonderes Highlight ist sicher die Raumschlacht am Ende des Buches, die sich in gnadenlosen Bodengefechten fortsetzt und genau das wiederaufleben lässt was die Geschichten des Rogue Squadron alias der Sonderstaffel so erfolgreich gemacht hat. Es ist gewissermaßen Star Wars mit mehr Action und weniger Skywalker-Familiengeschichte. Aber was wäre ein Buch im Stile der X-Wing-Reihe ohne die Sonderstaffel, weshalb sie unter dem Kommando von Gavin Darklighter wiederkehrt und auch diesmal ist eine Jedi unter den Piloten, nämlich Jaina Solo, die ihre Geschicklichkeit als Raumjägerpilotin beweisen darf.
Außer dem explosiven Finale zeugen auch die verschiedenen Handlungsstränge von einer hohen Spannung, die kaum etwas zu wünschen übrig lassen, so müssen Corran Horn und Jacen Solo unentdeckt die Vong ausspionieren und geraten dabei erst recht ins Visier der Invasoren, während Elegos A'Kla dem Anführer der Feinde direkt in die Hände läuft und Luke einer jungen Jedi hinterher jagt die am liebsten alles tun würde um die Vong zu vernichten.
Action und Spannung pur!
am 29. Juli 2000
I am just as impressed with "Ruin" as I am with the previous two books in the NJO series. This book was very well written and easy to follow. It flowed very nicely and it is so good to see new characters rising to the awesome challange that is at hand.
I am very surprised at the amount of violence that has come into these novels. To me it is a welcome change. There is a new element to these novels that is truly terrifying and these books have just as much a place on the horror shelves as they do in the Sci-fi section.
To me its almost as if the Yuzhan Vong were not meant for the Star Wars universe. Its as if they left the pages from a completely different genre and entered the Star Wars universe to wreak havoc. Whoever came up with the Yuzhan Vong should be commended - not so much because they are such an awesome advesary - but because they allow the characters that we all know and love to further grow and mature in a way that we haven't seen in the movies or past novels.
All in all - the NJO series is on the right track in keeping the Star Wars genre interseting. Before the series I had no desire to read any Star Wars novels. Now I can hardly wait for the next one in the series to hit the stores.
am 19. Juni 2000
Although having been a bit dissapointed by Onslaught I'm surprised how well Stackpole did in Ruin. The plot became exciting, even thrilling... Yet the characters still are not like one would have wanted them to be, especially Mara is not like I remember her from Zahn's books.
am 2. Juli 2000
Ruin was an excellent follow up to dark tide 1, the only real problem I had was with how the story developement went. At some points the book was fast paced and took time to explain things, then in other situations the author would skip a week and take the story from their. Dont get me wrong this was a great star wars book (as are all the New Jedi Order books). I mean the characters are great and the addition of new jedis is even better! Its nice to see Jedis with attitudes different from Luke's, and seeing the way the use the force and how they handle the responsibilites that come along with it. All in all it is a good star wars book and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is reading the new jedi order books. The end of this book was really good and surprising. It makes waiting for the next one hard to deal with
am 21. Juni 2000
This was a good book. But why was it so short? Like the other people have mentioned we waited forever, but it was short. Stackpole, in my opinion, does a great job of describing some characters. (The Solo kids) But he really needed to try harder on Mara Jade. For such a lively character, she seemed really quiet. Finially in the end, the fall of Corran horn was upsetting, he is a great character, and I would like to see more of him. Last thing, I hope Michael A. Stackpole comes back to write more Star Wars soon, he is great at writng this.
am 6. Juli 2000
Ruin is the follow up to Onslaught, and even though the story continues, the author's style and focus seem to have shifted somewhat.
Whereas Onslaught (and Vector Prime) portrayed the Vong as a super powerful force that would even shake the Empire and Rebellion alike to its core, Mr. Stackpole tends to soften them up a bit here in this novel. By a fluke the Jedi discover a weak link in the Vong armor and soon plans are set in motion to exploit it. However, the Vong figure this out as well and decide to make the climatic battle at Ithor.
Though the action was fast paced throughout, I was a little surprised on how quickly the Vong seemed to lose their edge and tenacity at Ithor. What was more surprising is the Imperial Remnant makes their debut as an ally to the New Republic (who would have ever of thought?). Mr. Stackpole clearly defines a new breed of Imperials, as a new generation (other than Admiral Palleon) have a slightly more liberal view of the galaxy than those who served the Emperor. An interesting debate takes place near the new Imperial home world of Bastion as the Moff's discuss their future and their involvement in the war.
There is further character development in Jacen, Anakin and Jaina, as now their new roles in the galaxy are shaping up. They clearly now have their own identities and paths before them, all different. What was interesting to see was that each Solo child had made a new friend in the book that clearly balanced them both as Jedi and humans. They learn valuable lessons from those they would least expect.
However, this book was clearly that of Jedi, Corran Horn. Stackpole's creation from 'I, Jedi' takes a front and center role here and even the climax of the book centers about his actions. But, despite Jedi Horn's outcome, there does not seem to be a clear cut ending in this book. Stackpole once again seems to be laying even a broader foundation of things yet to come in this era of The New Jedi Order series.
What is missing in this novel to hardcore fans is once again: a brief glimpse of Han, C-3PO and Leia. No Lando, little of R2 and others we have come to recognize. On the flipside lesser characters are coming to the forefront in Ganner, Palleon, Mara Jade, Kyp Durron, and a few Bothans.
But Luke fans have no fear...Luke is here, though an interesting dilemma seems to be forming with the new generation of Jedi. Luke has tried so hard to bring a new Jedi order to the galaxy he efforts some think may be spread too thin, and it begins to show in the graduates and students of the Jedi academy. Some of their actions are in question, and the New Republic government is starting to fear them and question their agenda. What doesn't help is there are a few clear cut examples of Jedi walking the line of the dark side, and Luke is aware of this and wonders what his next actions are. Will some of these Jedi soon flip as the Vong war escalates?
Finally, there is a new player in that of the Vong. Clearly, by novel's end you begin to learn that yet another Vong Leader is behind the scenes pulling strings of the Vong on the forefront who think they are in control. This mysterious warrior is yet to be revealed until other novels down the road.
am 27. Juni 2000
Of Michael Stackpole, I can really say only one thing - the force is strong with him. Stackpole has almost singlehandedly recharged my interest in the post-Return of the Jedi string of Star Wars novels. The man knows Star Wars, and he seems to have a great passion for telling the stories.
"Ruin" picks up where the previous novel, "Onslaught," left off. For those not following along, the universe has been invaded by evil, brutal, slave- taking, anti-technology warriors who exist outside the force. Our aging but still potent friends from the Star Wars movies must save the day. We actually get very little of Han Solo and the droids, but plenty of Leia, her children, Luke, and Luke's Jedi students. That's fine, for the most part. I rather like the Jedi, but there are points where I started to miss the irreverent Solo.
As with past Stackpole novels, the action is fast and furious, though this is not simply a battle-only novel. Stackpole explores some of the more interesting questions of being a Jedi. Luke and his students repeatedly argue about the role of the Jedi in the war, and whether aggressively attacking the enemy is the dark side. Interesting sidebar, but the novel cuts back into the action before it gets too philosophical.
The bad guys in this novel are quite fascinating, and I enjoyed the scenes told from the perspective of the invasion leader who believes pain is the one constant in the universe. He obviously was forced to watch NBC's "Must See T.V.". These are interesting villains and ominous in their single-minded violence.
While not quite as well-paced as Stackpole's earlier novel, "Ruin" is a strong effort and should appeal to Star Wars fans and keep them anxious for more.
am 18. Juni 2000
The Empire Strikes back is one of Fans favorite movies, as it takes the characters we loved from Star Wars, and in ways that forced them to grow and change, beat them up. Luke lost his innocence and his hand, Han was betrayed and Frozen, and the Rebellion was delt a serious defeat at Hoth. Dark Tide:Ruin draws on this formula to create a very powerful and actionpacked story, that socks it too the characters in a Galaxy Far Far Away. Ruin is a very accurate description, as there is a lot of destruction, on both sides. The LS makes some early victories, but find that the threat is much worse than they have seen before. The Vong are now breeding Humans into warriors, have built a warship that is equivelent in size to a Super Star Destroyer, and have the power to decimate an entire planet in just hours. It is not entirely hopeless however, as the Republic has new allies and stratagies against the Vong. Pelleaon and the Remnent help out, and Jagged Fel, son of Baron Fel arrives with a group of Chiss fighters to assist against the ruthless enemy. There are battles and thrills aplenty, with new characthers, and old ones fighting side by side. Anakin gets some more development to his character, as he comes to grips with his feelings about the death of Chewbacca. Jaina also grows a lot. I for one like books that make you care even more about the characters than you did, and Ruin accomplishes that. Also, one of the people I least expected to die, well, died. This level of care for characters, and genuine threat to the characters and their univere and cause has not been seen since Empire Strikes Back. This is a book that people will enjoy. Another welcome addition is a look at the Vong, their social structure, aims, desires, beliefs, things we have wanted to know for the past two novels are revealed at last. The only thing I did not like was the length, it could have used another 50 pages. I would however rather have a book that left you wanting more than one that overstayed its welcome (Tom Clancy *cough*). All together, a wonderful book that broadens the Star Wars Universe, and makes it a more enjoyable place for the fan. 4/5 stars.
am 8. Juni 2000
Ruin, the third entry of the NEW JEDI ORDER series, isn't as good as the previous two installations.
The primary reason for this is that Siege, which was going to be the middle volume of this would be trilogy, was cancelled, so a lot of ideas and events seemed kind of either forced or unbased at the beginning of this volume. However, a lot of cool stuff did happen in this novel -- more on that later.
The biggest problem with this book, and its predecessor Onslaught, was that they tried to say too much. Though the publication of Siege would have helped, it wouldn't have alleviated this problem. The author crams a ton of events from a bunch of characters' POV into a few chapters, and then the book skips a week until the next big battle, skipping what would have been very interesting character building times. Another problem with this too much being said is that certain smaller plotlines were just dropped.
I found myself not liking the enemies, the Vong, in this book. Vector Prime set them up extremely well, alien and menacing, and, well...alien in thought and deed. In this book, however, they're still theoretically obsessed with pain, but they're too petty. They've gone from a terrifying unified force to political infighting among their own houses, petty acts of revenge, and are just too human in their thought processes.
Most of the characters are in character, but Luke and Corran are still often preachy-speechy, not seemingly able to have a normal conversation, while the Solo kids, for the most part very interesting characters, seem to be mostly just worry-warts in this book. While I wasn't expecting to see Han much, he gets more space than some other characters -- Leia is sadly neglected, as is the new and potentially very good character Danni Quee. However, because it's Stackpole, of course we get our myriad of familiar characters. Good old Kapp Dendo's back, Pelleaon, Chiss, Baron Fel is mentioned. Which leads me to another interesting but completely undeveloped character -- Fel's son, Jag.
The action isn't as good as in the other books -- in fact, most of the big battle isn't seen from the POV of the fighters, but is instead outlined after the fact. While there are a few very neat sequences, such as the destruction of the "grand," and the defoliation, most of the action scenes aren't what we've come to expect from Stackpole either. And he effectively makes it impossible for any other author to use his character Corran also.
Still, while the writing isn't so great, a lot of very interesting and important events occur, and a lot of neat insights and foresights are made. While this book doesn't have that "great book" feeling to it, it is definitely worth reading as one of the more "important" in the Star Wars line. I'll give it 3.5/5 stars.
am 7. Juni 2000
For those who felt the two most recent books were short on the snap-hiss of lightsabers and personal combat/conflict, you will find all you want in this latest installment.
Shedao Shai leads the Yuuzhan Vong against the New Republic and a somewhat surprising ally, and brings with him all the Vong are known for. This book continues to take place in the very dark abyss R. A. Salvatore dropped this Star Wars experience into with Vector Prime. The sadomasochism of the Vong is more intense this time around, and I am tiring of it. Evil always was portrayed in Star Wars with much left to the imagination; the terror suggested was always magnified by the imagination of the reader. When an interrogation droid hovered into Princess Leia's cell in Episode 4 we were not present for whatever took place. In Episode 5 we only see the very beginning of Han Solo's treatment at the hand of Vader, a scream, and then a scene change.
Now we have the Vong's "Embrace Of Pain" that is pure horror story not science fiction. The level to which it is used stretches credibility. There is nothing clever about it, it's just graphic. I lost track of the number of beheadings and the ways they were described. The other offensive and defensive organic weapons of the Vong continue to fascinate, but there novelty is wearing thin. A new fighter on the side of the Republic is more interesting this time around. And the best part is you will never guess who leads the squadron.
Michael Stackpole continues as one of the best writers in the Star Wars Universe. The story he shares here is very well told, and strikes a balance between the times spent on Jedi Reflection, the Senate Politics, and the action that always has been the heart of Star Wars.
There are more bits of comment that suggest other changes are coming. I am beginning to wonder if when this latest cycle of books has ended will it coincide with the final movie?
George Lucas has said there will be no 3rd trilogy from him and he will not allow someone else to continue the story. These books may be the final trilogy, and they may bring everything full circle. Just a thought.
I do have one personal hope that someone will take a lightsaber to Borsk Fey'lya. I realize I may be slipping to the darker side, but if there in an appropriate place for this sentiment, it is within this series.
A very good read that all fans should enjoy.