Thursday, October 8, 2009

Clone Wars: Secret Missions #1: Breakout Squad

Clone Wars: Secret Missions #1: Breakout Squad by Ryder Windham

circa 7 months ABG (circa 22 years BBY)

Despite the fact that this is a "young reader's" book, I enjoyed it. I've never been hesitant to pick up the books from Jude Watson's series (i.e. Jedi Apprentice, The Last of the Jedi) so why should I start now? I've greatly enjoyed previous works by Windham, especially his biographies- The Rise and Fall of Darth Vader, The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and A New Hope: The Life of Luke Skywalker.

From the get go, what attracted me to this book most was the cover. A Chiss Jedi? I've never seen that one before. Nuru Kungarama, the clever Padawan of Ring-Sol Ambase, quietly follows his Master to the planet Kynachi, where a heavy Trade Federation blockade has cut off all contact with the Republic. But while the Kynachi claim neutrality in the Clone Wars, a discovery within the wreckage of the infamous Separatist super-weapon, the Malevolence, points towards uniquely Kynachi engineering. Little did young Nuru know that his Master would be incapacitated by a traitor in the squad, and that Nuru himself would be thrust into leading a squad of new recruits on an extremely hostile planet. But the mission must go on, and Nuru will stop at nothing to save his Master.

Something I appreciate most about this book is that it's one of the first books (there's also, for example, Wild Space by Karen Traviss) that adds some literary depth to the Star Wars: Clone Wars series. As far as I can tell, this story takes place between Season 1 and 2, as Cad Bane is a major character. However, it could be that this is Bane's first mission for Sidious. Speaking of the Dark Lord, his plot unfolding in this series is especially devious....I'll say no more. Not only that but bringing the Chiss into this (the second book will address this further) is a nice little addition, as the last time I heard from them was in Outbound Flight, 27 years BBY.

Nonetheless, this series could go either way. But I have faith in Ryder Windham. I'll be sure to watch this series grow "with great interest".

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