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Shield of Lies (Star Wars: The Black Fleet Crisis, Book 2)


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Shield of Lies (Star Wars: The Black Fleet Crisis, Book 2)

30 review for Shield of Lies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    I wish it had been all a dream too, Luke... The second book in the Black Fleet Crisis series opens with Lando, Lobot, C-3PO, and R2-D2 as they are stuck inside the Vagabond investigating. Luke is off with Akanah as she continues to search for her people, the Fallanassi, and Leia's tenure as president is on rocky ground as the conflict with the Yevetha increases. I Liked: Lando's story, while extraneous, was mildly interesting. Furthermore, it was cool to see Lobot. The real highlight here is Leia's I wish it had been all a dream too, Luke... The second book in the Black Fleet Crisis series opens with Lando, Lobot, C-3PO, and R2-D2 as they are stuck inside the Vagabond investigating. Luke is off with Akanah as she continues to search for her people, the Fallanassi, and Leia's tenure as president is on rocky ground as the conflict with the Yevetha increases. I Liked: Lando's story, while extraneous, was mildly interesting. Furthermore, it was cool to see Lobot. The real highlight here is Leia's story. I wasn't so fond of it in Before the Storm, but here, it is much, much better. I really found myself liking it at the odd part where Leia is signing a bunch of planets into the New Republic. Yeah, I know, weird, but somehow, this was interesting to me. I think MKM has done a fairly good job building this plot thread and giving it decent treatment. The characters aren't even too bad, namely Leia and Lando. Leia finally sees what an idiot she was and really has to make up for being so oblivious. And Lando, while nothing to write home to, was certainly not painful to read. I Didn't Like: Let me first pause and say, "Where did Han and Chewie go?" Why are we focusing on Lando and his Story That Goes Nowhere and totally neglect Chewie, who has taken the Falcon back to his homeworld? Why not also focus on Chewie? Or what about Han? Surprisingly, he becomes a plot point, very rare for a male, only existing to tie up the loose ends (who is taking care of the kids? Who does Leia trust enough to do her military work?). And perhaps this is the fault of the abridged audiobook, but I still have no clue how he got captured. By far the worst character remains Luke. While he does attempt to pull his head out of his rear, he continues to let himself get whipped around by moody Akanah. Instead of growing a pair and making her tell him the truth, he lets himself be bullied, pushed around, and shut up as if he has no voice. And how is this guy the head of a new Jedi Order??? But that is far from all. Akanah is even more intolerable here. She demands trust and the truth from Luke but never once gives it. Like the saying goes, in order to earn respect/trust, you need to give it. Plus, every other scene, she is bawling, crying, whining, getting angry, and huffing about something. I wanted to slap her around or throw her out of the ship! And again, why, when Leia and the rest of the galaxy are going through a crisis, is Luke conveniently absent? This doesn't jive at all with his earlier incarnations! And you can't use the excuse he doesn't know, because halfway through his section, he finds out! Speaking of which...MKM decided in this book that the stories weren't disconnected enough and split them into three separate sections. On one hand, it makes skipping Luke's section a lot easier. On the other, that means you get stuck reading about any one character and no idea what is happening in another character's time line. Also, it just makes it glaringly obvious that the sections have nothing to do with each other. Again, Lando's story seems disconnected and leaves me wondering why we spend so long in the beginning learning about this weird ship. Why is it so important? As for Leia's story, much better, but still, if she hadn't been a dip-head last book, perhaps this book would have turned out differently. Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence: Perhaps a spattering of d*** and h***. Luke and Akanah travel the galaxy together. Akanah has a father who apparently isn't married to her mother (or isn't anymore?). It's not obvious. The Yevetha take over planets and commit genocide. Overall: Oddly enough, this book is better than the last. However, considering how bad the last one is, that isn't saying much. And still, there are enough "Huh?" moments that continue to befuddle me. Why doesn't Luke try to help Leia? Why does Luke believe his mother is a Fallanassi? Why does Akanah need Luke so badly (seems she is doing an okay job investigating herself)? Why does Luke trust Akanah? What is this White Current and is it related to the Force or not? Where is Chewie? Why hasn't he returned to help Leia? Why didn't Leia just listen to her advisers and avoid this whole mess? What about Han? How the heck did he get captured so easily? Why is Lando's mission even in here, other than to give him something to do? So, the sagging middle book retains its one star rating, and I wonder how MKM will wrap this trilogy up.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ayla

    Leia is extremely weak and irritating in this series. While I'm enjoying the overall story, I'd appreciate it more if Kube-McDowell knew how to write women well.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Caleb Hobbick

    Didnt care too much for the part with Luke involving his mother. All of that is completely irrelevant since the prequels are out. Plus it wasn't written very well. His mother before the prequels came out was Narisha. Just didnt care for that part. The rest of the novel was good.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    I am not sure what to give this book. I will go with 4 for now, only again because they aren't as bad as some of the other books that got higher ratings. But I might have to knock it down to 3 if the 3rd book sucks... The thing about this 2nd book was the format. There were 3 major sections of it, which was a mistake. The story of Lando, which was 93 pages and about 73 pages too long. Holy crap was it boring... Then it was Luke's turn, which was over 100 pages and it was also boring and his "frie I am not sure what to give this book. I will go with 4 for now, only again because they aren't as bad as some of the other books that got higher ratings. But I might have to knock it down to 3 if the 3rd book sucks... The thing about this 2nd book was the format. There were 3 major sections of it, which was a mistake. The story of Lando, which was 93 pages and about 73 pages too long. Holy crap was it boring... Then it was Luke's turn, which was over 100 pages and it was also boring and his "friend" that is leading him to his mom (maybe) was annoying and I wish she died... I hated her. The only good thing was Leia's section that last the rest of 130+ pages. Again the section idea was bad, because I almost forgot what was happening from the 1st book. I hated her character in the 1st book, but the author must have realized that he was destroying her character after all the other books were positive about her and the movies. She seemed more in control and strong as it went on. This section also had the most action. The series will really depend on the last book to see if they still get the 4 stars and if I would recommend it. UPDATE: AFTER READING THE 3RD BOOK I AM DOWNGRADING THIS TO 2 STARS.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    "Shield of Lies", Book 2 in Michael P. Kube-McDowell's Black Fleet Crisis series is just as exciting and pulpily fun as one would hope to get from a Star Wars novel. In this one, President of the New Republic, Leia Organa Solo, is being faced with impeachment. On top of that, her husband, Han, who led a failed mission to confront the Yevethans, has been taken as a prisoner of war. The isolationist Senate does not want the New Republican naval fleet to engage itself in another intergalactic war. "Shield of Lies", Book 2 in Michael P. Kube-McDowell's Black Fleet Crisis series is just as exciting and pulpily fun as one would hope to get from a Star Wars novel. In this one, President of the New Republic, Leia Organa Solo, is being faced with impeachment. On top of that, her husband, Han, who led a failed mission to confront the Yevethans, has been taken as a prisoner of war. The isolationist Senate does not want the New Republican naval fleet to engage itself in another intergalactic war. After all, it has only been 12 years since the Rebel Alliance defeated the Empire at the Battle of Endor. (Refer to "Return of the Jedi".) Meanwhile, Luke is being led around the universe by a mysterious woman named Akanah, who claims to know where Luke's real mother is hiding, assuming she is alive. Luke is beginning to suspect that not everything is quite kosher with this woman. Also meanwhile, Lando, Threepio, and Artoo are still stuck on the vagabond ship with no way of contacting anyone. The ship, which is an organic "living" ship, seems to have taken a liking to its new inhabitants and is ultra-protective. On to book three!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Darryl Dobbs

    While the book is well written and mostly entertaining, I still got the feeling that it was being stretched out to complete a novel. One hundred pages to start, focusing on the Lando situation - a situation that could have easily been summed up in 30 pages. Then one hundred pages dedicated to the Luke Skywalker plotline and again 30 pages would have sufficed. And then we had about 120 pages on the Leia and Han Solo story. And that was one that could have used another 10 or 20. In-depth descripti While the book is well written and mostly entertaining, I still got the feeling that it was being stretched out to complete a novel. One hundred pages to start, focusing on the Lando situation - a situation that could have easily been summed up in 30 pages. Then one hundred pages dedicated to the Luke Skywalker plotline and again 30 pages would have sufficed. And then we had about 120 pages on the Leia and Han Solo story. And that was one that could have used another 10 or 20. In-depth descriptions on how Luke killed time (taking a shower, organizing/repairing the ship) that stretched on for a few pages...but the ambush and subsequent capture of Han Solo was summed up in two sentences. It's as though the novel was started with the idea that much would need to be stretched out in order to justify a trilogy...but then at around page 300 the author realized that he was running out of space and had to cram a lot into a dozen pages. Still enjoyable and worth the read, but structured wrong. It would have been so easy to make this trilogy a five-star by turning it into two 400-page novels.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ian Reay

    I don't know what the other reviewers are thinking, this is one of the best trilogies in the entire series. A major complaint seems to be that these books are "all talk and no action," well my little friends, I am sorry that your limited intellect cannot stand plot development and intricate story lines. Unlike a LOT of sci-fi books out there, the Star Wars books actually try to have a story, and a MEANINGFUL, LASTING story at that. Not just blazing light saber/death star/dog fight battles. If yo I don't know what the other reviewers are thinking, this is one of the best trilogies in the entire series. A major complaint seems to be that these books are "all talk and no action," well my little friends, I am sorry that your limited intellect cannot stand plot development and intricate story lines. Unlike a LOT of sci-fi books out there, the Star Wars books actually try to have a story, and a MEANINGFUL, LASTING story at that. Not just blazing light saber/death star/dog fight battles. If you don't have the intellectual capacity to enjoy a good story with good plot lines, that is well written and that explores more than just shooting at people, then I recommend something along the lines of "Pokémon" that would seem to fit with your age group. CHEERS!

  8. 5 out of 5

    James Taylor

    I wasn't very impressed with the first book "Before the Storm" due to the three plot threads making the main story feel watered down, and there was a lack of action throughout the book. I did wonder if the Lando and Luke storylines would tie into the main plot. Lando's story still seems irrelevant but Luke ends up heading to the Koornacht Cluster where the war is, so it ties in somewhat. Still, these stories seem shoved into the series to create enough content for a trilogy. Why not just have 3 I wasn't very impressed with the first book "Before the Storm" due to the three plot threads making the main story feel watered down, and there was a lack of action throughout the book. I did wonder if the Lando and Luke storylines would tie into the main plot. Lando's story still seems irrelevant but Luke ends up heading to the Koornacht Cluster where the war is, so it ties in somewhat. Still, these stories seem shoved into the series to create enough content for a trilogy. Why not just have 3 separate books? In the last book, you switched back and forth between the plots, but now you tackle them separately. Lando's story takes the first several chapters and is a bit dull, they wander around the spaceship without anything substantial happening. There's a bit of suspense because it seems they are running out of time before their life support fails them; but they seemed to survive way longer than you'd expect. Luke is with Akanah on a quest to find Luke's mother. It drags on for way too long, and you suspect like Luke that she is lying about something. There's a scene where Luke visits a pub which is styled on Jabba's Palace. Not just that, but specifically the time when Han was in Carbonite and the day Chewbacca turned up. This is just stupid. Why would someone that had been in the Palace on that day decide to build a pub on this particular planet and theme it on that particular event? Nothing happens at this place, it is just “fan service” (but do fans even like this part?). The main war doesn't progress too much either; there's still a lot of talking with Leia and Akbar. There is a bit of action, and the Republic take a few casualties. I don't understand why Leia orders Han to join the battle and that decision doesn't end well. Even though that part of the story was one of the biggest event in the book, it barely covers any pages; it just seems shoved in there at the last minute to get you hyped for book three.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Colin McEvoy

    Although I'm giving this one the same star rating as the first book in this series, Before the Storm, I enjoyed that one more than this second entry. Like that first book, there are three main subplots in Shield of Lies: Lando Calrissian investigating a mysterious phantom spacecraft, Luke Skywalker searching for clues about his long-lost mother, and Princess Leia grappling with the threat posed by the Yevetha species. In Before the Storm, however, these three stories are interspersed with each o Although I'm giving this one the same star rating as the first book in this series, Before the Storm, I enjoyed that one more than this second entry. Like that first book, there are three main subplots in Shield of Lies: Lando Calrissian investigating a mysterious phantom spacecraft, Luke Skywalker searching for clues about his long-lost mother, and Princess Leia grappling with the threat posed by the Yevetha species. In Before the Storm, however, these three stories are interspersed with each other, with the action switching back and forth between them with each chapter. By contrast, Shield of Lies breaks each story into individual sections of the book – first Lando, then Luke, then Leia – and we don't leave one plotline until it is finished. I think the book suffers as a result, especially because I found myself so uninterested in the Luke subplot that that particular third of the book was a bit of a slog to get through, and had me considering giving Shield of Lies a two-star rating instead of three stars. Ultimately, though, the Lando and Leia stories were interesting enough for me to enjoy Shield of Lies overall. Leia's storyline, which has the largest consequences on a galactic scale, was again the most engaging to me. I continued to enjoy the Yevetha as an antagonist species, and it was interesting to learn more about their death-obsessed culture and caste system. I also enjoyed the political aspect of Leia's story, as I did in Before the Storm, as she was forced to cope with political in-fighting and machinations as well as dealing with the threat from external enemies. In fact, if there's one area where Shield of Lies improves upon the first book, it's in the portrayal of Leia as a character. Whereas in the first one, Leia seems uncharacteristically weak and lacking in confidence, lacking foresight and allowing an enemy to undercut her right beneath her nose, she is much more assertive and shrewd in this one, understanding the threat before her and refusing to cave in to the political pressure around her. It was nice to see Princess Leia acting like Princess Leia again. With the exception of one major battle scene and some reconnaissance missions, the Leia subplot here feels in some ways (again, much like in Before the Storm) more like build-up than action, presumably setting the stage for a final showdown in the final book in the series. I can understand why this could turn off some readers, who might find themselves losing patience with all the politics and eager to get to the fighting already. But for regular readers of Star Wars novels, who have been watching this fictional universe expand further and further with each novel, this will probably be less of a complaint. (I will say, though, that a very significant event at the very end of the book, which I won't spoil here, feels a bit rushed.) I also once again enjoyed Lando's storyline. As in the first book, it's interesting to see Lando (and his trusty sidekicks Lobot, C-3PO and R2-D2) attempting to interact with and understand a long-extinct species and technology of which they have practically no prior knowledge or understanding. Not to mention the fact that they are cut off from the rest of the universe, and running out of time before their life support fails them. It was intriguing the resourcefulness of this unlikely foursome as they attempted to solve this seemingly impossible puzzle, and the four make for quite an interesting team, especially when Lando's roguish personality clashes with the more stiff, robotic temperaments of the other three. I will be interested, however, to see how this subplot ultimately fits into the others (or at least the Leia/Yevetha one), because so far it's not at all clear how or if it will. That leaves us with Luke's subplot, which is where the book mostly lost me. Again, as with Before the Storm, this storyline just isn't doing it for me. Part of it, I'm sure, is that I know whatever Luke discovers about his mother will ultimately be rendered moot by the prequels. Another part of it, perhaps, was that I was anxious to get back to the other, more interesting subplots. Nevertheless, I feel like the Fallanassi should be a lot more interesting than they are proving to be for me, and much of the chapters with Luke and Akanah felt redundant to me: they're traveling painfully slowly in a ship, they land on a planet, they investigate, they get back on the ship, and repeat. But my biggest complaint, by far, is the handling of the Luke Skywalker character. Much like Leia in Before the Storm, only even worse in this case, I just didn't feel like Luke sounded or acted much like the character that has become well-established throughout the novels by this point. He refers to an old person as "some gray hair." He sarcastically says to a robot, "Whoa, stop right there, Chuckles." When Anikah asks if he can make the ship move faster, he says "How? Get out and push?" These all sound like things Han Solo or Lando might say, but not Luke. He even at one point says "The truth is that, most of the time, the Force is no substitute for a tech droid or a tool kit," which sounds nothing like Luke Skywalker to me. Worse yet, at one point, after Luke is justifying having killed two enemies to protect Anikah, he says "The truth is that, at the moment, I wasn’t particularly worried about whether I killed him or not." I'm sorry, but there is no way Luke would say something like this at this point in the evolution of his character, where he has come to such a profound understanding of the Force and developed such an appreciation for all forms of life. That he would act so out-of-character throughout this novel is particularly strange because he seemed more like Luke even in the first book of this same series, when he was on the verge of entering an indefinite hermitude and trying to develop an even deeper connection with the Force. For his personality to take such a complete 180 from the first book to the second is truly bizarre. All that being said, I ultimately liked more of Shield of Lies than I disliked, and I look forward to seeing how the series concludes in Tyrant's Test.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dimitrios

    At a glance: Plot: * * * Characters/Character Development: * * * Grip/Feeling: * * * Original concepts: * * * *** WARNING - NOT ENTIRELY SPOILER FREE *** Summary/Verdict (Not an average): * * * To be fair, this book was written pre-episode I,II,III so the plot thread regarding Luke's and Leia's mother is not consistent. It was a fair read, although with serious faults that made me give this 3/5. It would be 2/5 but i love the Star Wars Universe and there were, quite a few moments where i could not pu At a glance: Plot: * * * Characters/Character Development: * * * Grip/Feeling: * * * Original concepts: * * * *** WARNING - NOT ENTIRELY SPOILER FREE *** Summary/Verdict (Not an average): * * * To be fair, this book was written pre-episode I,II,III so the plot thread regarding Luke's and Leia's mother is not consistent. It was a fair read, although with serious faults that made me give this 3/5. It would be 2/5 but i love the Star Wars Universe and there were, quite a few moments where i could not put it down. But there also were, MANY moments where i skipped paragraphs and that is never a good sign. It is a book of many ups and downs, lows and highs. A few words about the book This books has 3 main plot threads (continuing from the 1st one in the trilogy). One has Lando, R2, C3PO and Lobot (Lando's Cloud City adminstrator, the one with the cyborg ears-neural interface) exploring teh Quella ship. The 2nd one is about Luke's and Akanah's search for her people and his mother and the 3rd, involves Leia's comeback as a somewhat stronger leader and her admiting that her previous assesment of Nil Spaar wss wrong. There is also a part of the book dedicated to space battles but a small one at that. Also a subthread involving Admiral Ackbar and Plat Malaar. Some space exploring visiting a few planets, and a good amound of dialogue which was quite expertly written i have to say. Plot: * * * As you read above, there are many plots but not all satisfy. Lando's plot is an exploration of a ship, with few descriptions of it. It feels like walking on a corridor opening one room after another with a cursory description of each. It is a old a powerfull civilizationa and i would love to see "more" of what they have left behind. Luke's plot is more interesting since we techfreaks get some insight on how the spacelanes are administrated and we take a look at some tinkering with an old Verpine Adventurer. Akanah is a complicated character who enhances this plot. We get to see a few planets and we achieve some insight on Free Trader Worlds and how they operate. I also loved the planet Teyr and the description of its bureaucracy. It is here i have to say that the author does not offer good descriptions of anything. However it is here i have to say that the authot DOES offer amazing insights on the cultures of teh Free Traders, the Teyr as well as other cultures our heroes are about to meet. For example. The Yevetha planet is completely left to our imagination since we get absolutely no description of its ecology, architecture and culture. But we get amazing insights on the Yevetha people and we learn a lot about them. As i said, lots of ups and downs. Leia's thread gets interesting as we see her growing a backbone again, and delving into the murk of Coruscant politics like never before. I believe Star Wars enthusiasts will like the dialogues between the New Republic politicians. near the end of the book, the authir treats us with a few battle scenes that sparcle the imagination, but only a few. Characters/Character Development: * * * Lando comes out as a shallow character and we all know he is not. The author did not "nail" Lando in my opinion. However, Lobot is very well portrayed and enhanced by the author. I think-since lobot was not developed at all in the movies-that the author had more creative leaway with Lobot and that is why he succeeded. Luke is indifferent to us in this book. He is way puzzled with Akanah and in my opinion, look would start sooner to investigate her. However we are treated to some creative Force use. Leia is better developed and reminds us Leia from Zahn's books or the films. She works for peace, sometimes blind to her surroundings in order to achieve it. However Leia's strength is under teh surface and she is always ready to be aggressive if needed. You will enjoy her handling the political-machinations-dialogue during the meetings with various other Coruscant power hungry Senators. It is here where we see lots of side characters who are better developed than Lando! Han is almost non-existent in this book. Nothing new to report. Move along. Nil Spaar. The leader of the Yevetha. The author's best developed character till now (with Admiral Ackbar coming a close second). A vicious space Hitler with a worship-me complex. I liked very well the author's portrayal of Nil Spaar. This is another example that makes my case. When the author has to write about secondary (or new) characters, he almost excels. When he writes about established God Heroes of the SW universe he becomes timid and almost does not try. The author does a very good job with many secondary characters (again new characters however) like General Abah't, Colonel Pakpekkat among others. Grip/Feeling: * * * I got gripped a few times, then i was let down quite a few times. I devoured a few pages, i skipped entire paragraphs of others, mainly in the Quella ship. Original concepts: * * Difficult to write something original in the SW universe since teh author is constricted by this well established universe. One has to be carefull how to expand in order not to alienate hard core fans. But sometimes this type of care, results in unispiting stories, shallow characters and zero originality. This book is very good in parts, and very bad in others. 2 stars for the fleet operations description, the underdeveloped Quella idea, the new force powers and the planet Teyr. Summary/Verdict (Not an average): * * * By now i think you have already understood how this will end. The book is not an average book. An average book is one that leaves you with an average feeling. This book is gooooood in parts and baaaad in others. One night it is a page turner, one night you slog through. A WORD OF ADVICE For fans of Star Wars. For people who need a book to start getting into the expanded universe, get Timothy Zahn's books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    I will be kind and give this book three stars. Honestly the book seems overly drawn out. The first two sections could have been twenty pages, and Leia's section was drawn out as well. Lando and company are on a ship that they don't understand. It changes constantly. Just as they start to figure it out they are attacked. Luke is stuck sky hopping with the most annoying character to ever be written. Not even the noble Luke could put up with her. Ugh not looking forward to seeing her again. Leia is n I will be kind and give this book three stars. Honestly the book seems overly drawn out. The first two sections could have been twenty pages, and Leia's section was drawn out as well. Lando and company are on a ship that they don't understand. It changes constantly. Just as they start to figure it out they are attacked. Luke is stuck sky hopping with the most annoying character to ever be written. Not even the noble Luke could put up with her. Ugh not looking forward to seeing her again. Leia is now dealing with the repercussions of being nice to Nil. Everything she has worked for is falling apart and Nil is destroying worlds not in the republic.Nil's entire culture is pretty messed up. I'm still left wondering if these three random stories are going to blend together well or as a mess?

  12. 4 out of 5

    David

    3.5 stars. Slightly inferior to book one of the trilogy. I wasn't a fan of how the book was divided into three separate storylines instead of weaving the three stories together at the same time. One a positive note, Leia redeemed herself from her uncharacteristic personality from the first book. Acting more like the strong willed Leia that we know and love. Her storyline was the most interesting and fun to read out of the 3 Akanah is annoying brat, I don't know why Luke hasn't force choked her y 3.5 stars. Slightly inferior to book one of the trilogy. I wasn't a fan of how the book was divided into three separate storylines instead of weaving the three stories together at the same time. One a positive note, Leia redeemed herself from her uncharacteristic personality from the first book. Acting more like the strong willed Leia that we know and love. Her storyline was the most interesting and fun to read out of the 3 Akanah is annoying brat, I don't know why Luke hasn't force choked her yet. I found Lando'a story the more difficult to get through out of the 3 storylines. On to the 3rd book...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Greg Allbee

    I wasn't crazy about the way the book is divided into 3 sections for Lando's storyline, Luke and then Leia. I prefer it when authors rotate among 2 or 3 storylines, it helps keep them fresh in my mind. By the end of the book I couldn't remember where the first section had left off with Lando & crew. Not sure why the author wrote out Chewie at the beginning of the first book of this trilogy and has yet to bring him back into the story. The closing events of the book almost necessitate bringing Ch I wasn't crazy about the way the book is divided into 3 sections for Lando's storyline, Luke and then Leia. I prefer it when authors rotate among 2 or 3 storylines, it helps keep them fresh in my mind. By the end of the book I couldn't remember where the first section had left off with Lando & crew. Not sure why the author wrote out Chewie at the beginning of the first book of this trilogy and has yet to bring him back into the story. The closing events of the book almost necessitate bringing Chewie back into the story for the 3rd book, Tyrant's Test.

  14. 5 out of 5

    David

    Another solid SW book. This second installment in the Black Fleet trilogy breaks the story up into three sections: one focusing on Lando's prediament stranded aboard the Teljkon Vagabond with R2, 3PO and Lobot, one dealing with Luke's adventures with the Fallanassi Akanah, and one focusing on Leia and Han's dealing with the treacherous and genocidal Yevetha. It is much more of a political/military thriller then most of these early EU novels and is at it's best when dealing with the Republics pol Another solid SW book. This second installment in the Black Fleet trilogy breaks the story up into three sections: one focusing on Lando's prediament stranded aboard the Teljkon Vagabond with R2, 3PO and Lobot, one dealing with Luke's adventures with the Fallanassi Akanah, and one focusing on Leia and Han's dealing with the treacherous and genocidal Yevetha. It is much more of a political/military thriller then most of these early EU novels and is at it's best when dealing with the Republics politics and the conflict with the Yevetha.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brendan Pelto

    Really quite good for a Star Wars non-Thrawn EU novel. Kube-McDowell handles old characters well, and new even better. I am interested in checking out his non licensed work. My biggest complaint is that this book separates the major characters by Parts, so you don't get Leia and Han until the final third, and Lando only in the 1st, with Luke in the middle.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alexandr Iscenco

    Good continuation of the trilogy. It has a captivating description of the Yevetha and the ways they live that motivate their actions in the novel. The novel also gives a good understanding of the struggles the leader of the New Republic has to face and to deal with while also trying to be with her family.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ben Yandle

    Less of the things I liked from Before the Storm and way more of the stuff I didn't. Also the decision to separate each of the story lines into separate little sub-books made it a chore to get through the several areas where things just dragged.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    A Good read, Not Great yet, but the plot thickens.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Roberts

    not terrible, didn't hate it didn't love it. sort of a book that sits on my shelf and I think "not terrible, but would rather not read it a second time."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    This just took me far too long to read. I just couldn't care about anything in the story, all the characters annoyed me and I just wanted it to be over.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stormy

    Second in the trilogy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Shield of Lies isn't quite as bad as some of the preceding Star Wars books, but it's still many miles away from being good. The author's decision to slice the novel into several parts - each with its own main character - was a poor one. It reads more like a series of disjointed novellas than a full-length book, and none of the individual parts are particularly enjoyable. Luke continues to be improbably dull; Leia is still out-of-character; Lando, at least, is written with some consistency. I'd p Shield of Lies isn't quite as bad as some of the preceding Star Wars books, but it's still many miles away from being good. The author's decision to slice the novel into several parts - each with its own main character - was a poor one. It reads more like a series of disjointed novellas than a full-length book, and none of the individual parts are particularly enjoyable. Luke continues to be improbably dull; Leia is still out-of-character; Lando, at least, is written with some consistency. I'd probably give up on this period in the Legends timeline if the Yuuzhan-Vong weren't on the horizon.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jaime K

    *yawns* Oh, things happened? Boring. Lando: Yeah, I don't understand the purpose of this side plot. There didn't seem to be any reason for it. I felt this way in the first book. The purpose of Colonel Pakkpekatt and the Teljkan Task Force is still completely unknown to me. - It's hilarious perfect that 3PO thinks to apologize to whatever is in charge of the ship they're on. And it's adorable that R2 stands up for his friend, his brother, when Lando accidentally gets 3PO electrocuted. He becomes upse *yawns* Oh, things happened? Boring. Lando: Yeah, I don't understand the purpose of this side plot. There didn't seem to be any reason for it. I felt this way in the first book. The purpose of Colonel Pakkpekatt and the Teljkan Task Force is still completely unknown to me. - It's hilarious perfect that 3PO thinks to apologize to whatever is in charge of the ship they're on. And it's adorable that R2 stands up for his friend, his brother, when Lando accidentally gets 3PO electrocuted. He becomes upset and all but shuns Lando until Lobot talks him down. It's perfect. - The Qarra ship is very intriguing and probably my favorite part of Lando's story. - I love that Lobot calls to mind that despite differences, all species [races, in my mind] have a lot of similarities in common. - What the hell was that end? Luke: I cannot stand Akanah. I could probably write a five page essay on why she is irritating. I almost want Callista back - and I abhor Callista. She's less annoying though. Akanah is a liar; Callista just is a body snatcher. Akanah tells Luke she trusts him and can tell him some things, but she actually shouldn't and can't tell him much. Therefore, she can't explain much of anything and leaves Luke hanging on multiple occasions. It's shady, and Luke's uncertainty over her actions don't help. AND THEN she gets pissy that Luke keeps secrets from her. From there, she randomly fluctuates between an absolute need for secrecy (and thus takes time to travel from one place to the next) and utter urgency (and bypassing all security precautions). Plus, Akanah is childish (whereas Callista's actions are reasonable, in the end). She acts like she knows nothing and then chalks up knowledge and understanding to living so close to a spaceport. But she thinks the Force can just move a ship and doesn't understand that just because a person doesn't verbally say they've found you, they can be aware of you. How the hell did she live so long? - Luke's nostalgia made me smile. Time and experience really do make us appreciate our pasts more. - I don't understand why he doesn't contact Leia after learning about her issues with Farlax. Leia: This was by far the most interesting part of the book. Kube-McDowell portrays Leia's leadership and influence very well. The battles were also detailed and good to read. What's more, Leia (et. al)'s stuff actually move the plot forward and deal with the situation at hand - namely, the title of the damn trilogy! The end of the part/book was done a bit too quickly though. It was tough to determine Han was taken, until it was pointed out. and maybe it's because I know he survives (though it could be because of the writing), but I didn't feel anything at the last 2-3 pages. *sigh* - Nil Spaar and the Yevetha are eerie. - Senator Tuomi is a great example of people who want to rewrite history/edits/issues simply because they weren't there put put in their two cents. - Han and Leia and the kids on vacation made me smile. - I love the interaction between Ackbar and Mallar. They might be my favorite scenes in the entire book. Ackbar is a great being, and Mallar takes great advantage of his mentorship and reach of 'friendship.' - I feel bad for disliking Behn-Kihl-Nahm in the first book! - I understand what Han tells Leia about needing to work on crowd control and rapport, but I absolutely love that Leia owns up to her faults towards the end of chapter 12: "I earned whatever criticism's aimed at me right now, and I'm going to try to earn back the respect I've lost-not replace it with something false." I just hate politics. - The first battle with the "hostages" adds extra creepiness and ingenuity to the Yevetha. Vong Influence? A ship in Lando's part is alive, and the Yevetha have a twisted honor code. I can't help but think that this trilogy helped to influence how the Yuuzhan Vong were written. The Bad: - "penpal" - Jabba the Hutt's Palace roleplaying area on Talos. The hell? - In chapter 12, there were three sentences in a row that ended with the word 'yet.'

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mark Oppenlander

    In the second book of The Black Fleet Crisis trilogy, author Michael P. Kube-McDowell takes a different approach to his storytelling. He breaks the sub-plots he was toying with out in to three separate strands told in consecutive order (rather than interwoven), making them mini-novellas that are (at this juncture) only distantly related. The strength of this approach is that I was able to track each subplot better because I stuck with it for multiple chapters at a time. I enjoyed the ability to In the second book of The Black Fleet Crisis trilogy, author Michael P. Kube-McDowell takes a different approach to his storytelling. He breaks the sub-plots he was toying with out in to three separate strands told in consecutive order (rather than interwoven), making them mini-novellas that are (at this juncture) only distantly related. The strength of this approach is that I was able to track each subplot better because I stuck with it for multiple chapters at a time. I enjoyed the ability to "deep-dive" with each story arc. The down side to this approach is that the elements I don't like or find annoying are really obvious here. The first novella involves Lando, Lobot, C-3P0 and R2D2 stuck on the alien ship (see my review of "Before the Storm" for a brief description). I enjoyed this part of the book a good deal as it was clear, clean and crisp and allowed me to spend some time with characters we don't always see a lot of in the Star Wars universe. What's not so good here is that (a) I still have no idea how this material connects to the other two plot threads and (b) it doesn't really feel very much like traditional Star Wars. This could be any sci-fi novel that deals with exploring an alien artifact (e.g. "Ringworld"). The second section or novella deals with Luke Skywalker who is still traveling the galaxy with a mysterious woman named Akanah. This story is probably the weakest of the three, as Akanah and Luke travel from planet to planet in search of clues as to where Akanah's people, the Fallanassi, have fled to. Although the planets they visit and the obstacles they face are mildly entertaining, the further this sub-plot goes along, the more obvious it is that Akanah has a lot to hide and that, at some level, she is leading Luke on a wild goose chase. I have a hard time believing that Luke would be this gullible. I guess I have to play "wait and see" on this storyline but right now it is not promising. Finally, the last and longest section of the book deals with Leia's attempts to negotiate with the Yevetha, a group of aliens who are threatening the peace and security of the New Republic. Han goes to their sector with a New Republic fleet to do some saber-rattling and maybe some spying. Leia faces political threats at home while trying to hold her government and its ideals together. This last plot seems to me to be the main one, in part because it is the most like a traditional "Star Wars" story of the three. A threat arises in the galaxy and the New Republic has to go and face it. The Yevetha are shown in this book to be darker, more disturbing enemies than we saw in book one; they engage in human sacrifice and have a nasty dictatorial government led by a tyrant. I have to assume that Kube-McDowell will make the first two plot lines relate to the last one. The series is called The Black Fleet Crisis, not "Lando the Archeologist" or "Luke Finds His Mother." But I feel he hasn't moved the plot forward as much as he should have here. The last book will have a lot of work left to do. Still, Kube-Mcdowell is an entertaining writer; hopefully he has a few tricks left up his sleeve and will bring all three tales to a satisfying (and not cheesy) conclusion in the third volume.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    Last night I finished the second book in the Star Wars "Black Fleet Crisis" trilogy, Shield of Lies, by Michael P. Kube-McDowell. I had read the first one back in mid-July and it just wasn't good enough to make me want to rush out and read the next one. But since I am a completest and I want to finish the trilogy by the end of the year I decided it was time to get moving on the second one. Despite all of the negative reviews I've seen, I actually like this one a lot more than the first. It suffer Last night I finished the second book in the Star Wars "Black Fleet Crisis" trilogy, Shield of Lies, by Michael P. Kube-McDowell. I had read the first one back in mid-July and it just wasn't good enough to make me want to rush out and read the next one. But since I am a completest and I want to finish the trilogy by the end of the year I decided it was time to get moving on the second one. Despite all of the negative reviews I've seen, I actually like this one a lot more than the first. It suffers from the age old problem of being the middle book of a trilogy and Mr Kube-McDowell apparently chose to tackle that in a slightly different way. Part of the problem I had with the first book was its tendancy to quickly jump around from one group of people to another, with a different point-of-view character all the time. It tried to be about too many things. This time, the author chose to boil it all down to three main threads each of which gets its own section. Thus there is a section, about 100 pages long, about what Lando is doing and then we move to another 100 page section on what Luke is doing and finally we end up with the rest of the book about what Leia is doing (and how Han is trying to support her). So in a way it reads like three novellas; each section has very little to do with the others except that they are occurring at the same time. For me that was easier to read. I could keep track of what was happening much better and I had a chance to get to know the lesser characters before jumping off to another part of the galaxy. The book still has some areas that were difficult for me to follow because they dealt with minor characters I had never heard of before, usually aliens of some kind and I wasn't sure how they related to the greater plot. Perhaps the very knowledgeable Star Wars fan would be better off than I, but it can be tough to read about a character named Fr'zu'lk who happens to be of the Mazzanik race and have the scene start off as if you already know who they are and what they look like. I'm making up that name and race because I don't have the book in front of me now but they might as well be the real names used in the book because I never did learn anything about Fr'zu'lk during his two paragraphs and we never return to him. I wonder if the author was just trying to add "realism" to the Star Wars universe or perhaps please the super fans but he failed on that score with readers like me. Having said that, there are some intriguing plot points developing in this trilogy and the author does succeed at building a good setup for the final book. Luke, Leia, Han, and Lando are all deeply involved with their individual story arcs and I really expect they will all come together in the final novel. I won't wait as long to read that one either because I do want to know what happens next. Next up is a Vine program entry: House of Reckoning by John Saul Posted by Benjamin Thomas at 9:51 AM Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Google Buzz Labels: Black Fleet Crisis, Michael P. Kube-McDowell, science fiction, Shield of Lies, Star Wars 0 comments:

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bret

    Overall, not too bad. The book is broken into three sections. The first is the Lando storyline, which is the most gripping part of the trilogy so far. The author has a firm grasp on Lando's character, as well as 3PO. The detail in this part of the story is vivid, and reminds me a bit of the ship from the movie Prometheus. The second section of the book deals with Luke and his expedition with Akanah. To me, it seems the author hasn't the first clue of how to handle Luke's character. The dialog fee Overall, not too bad. The book is broken into three sections. The first is the Lando storyline, which is the most gripping part of the trilogy so far. The author has a firm grasp on Lando's character, as well as 3PO. The detail in this part of the story is vivid, and reminds me a bit of the ship from the movie Prometheus. The second section of the book deals with Luke and his expedition with Akanah. To me, it seems the author hasn't the first clue of how to handle Luke's character. The dialog feels all wrong, as is his temperament and manner. The author just isn't consistent with Luke, and it goes from Luke being grumpy to him cracking jokes, to applying flawed logic to the Force. I was hoping this storyline would pick up a bit from the first book, but it hasn't. The third section of the book deals with Leia and the political struggle on Coruscant as the New Republic is on the brink of war with the Yevetha. This part of the story is also fairly interesting, as Leia not only has to battle an enemy of the New Republic but also battle with politicians clamoring for a higher station in life. Then, of course...as if it is required when writing a Star Wars book...someone gets kidnapped.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    First off let me say that this book isn't as bad as everyone seems to think it is. Interesting, well written and a good, fast read, I gave it four stars only because I didn't like it quite as much as the first, 'Before the Storm'. I liked the character of Akanah and her interaction with Luke. Of all the woman they've invented in the novels as companions for Luke(Callista, Gariel, etc.) I found her to be among the most well drawn and fleshed out. Lando's story is fascinating and I really feel Lob First off let me say that this book isn't as bad as everyone seems to think it is. Interesting, well written and a good, fast read, I gave it four stars only because I didn't like it quite as much as the first, 'Before the Storm'. I liked the character of Akanah and her interaction with Luke. Of all the woman they've invented in the novels as companions for Luke(Callista, Gariel, etc.) I found her to be among the most well drawn and fleshed out. Lando's story is fascinating and I really feel Lobot coming to the forefront in this one. As Lando himself says early in the novel, "Lobot, you have unexpected depth." Leia's story is by far the most interesting. She continues to be the best characterization of the Princess I've ever seen in the novels, and she really gets a chance to show her strength in the political forum. Now to address the issue of the book being divided into the three sections. This seems to unnecessarily upset people. To me, it allowed me to focus on one story at a time, and of the three sections, I read two in the same sittings I started them. Overall, a good follow-up to a great book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Simon Kissam

    This book is good, and good be really good, but sadly isn't. It does an interesting thing, in that instead of, like the first book mixing up the Luke story, the Lando story, and the Leia story together, Kube-McDowell breaks the book up into three sections each containing their own stories. I have mixed feelings about this, on one hand you have to wait 200 pages before we get the Leia story (by far the best) but once it is there you only get that for the next 140 pages. The Lando's story is bette This book is good, and good be really good, but sadly isn't. It does an interesting thing, in that instead of, like the first book mixing up the Luke story, the Lando story, and the Leia story together, Kube-McDowell breaks the book up into three sections each containing their own stories. I have mixed feelings about this, on one hand you have to wait 200 pages before we get the Leia story (by far the best) but once it is there you only get that for the next 140 pages. The Lando's story is better than in Before the Storm, but not by a lot and still is somewhat boring, it starts to pick up near to end, so I'm hopeful for Tyrant's Test to finish up the Lando story. The Luke story continues being bad, though I'd say Luke becomes more thoughtful and less out of character than the first book, but still is quite bad. The last section dedicated to Leia is really good, I wish the whole book could just be this. It's basically a first contact story along with the political and military wheeling-and-deeling on Coruscant. I want more Leia and less Luke and Lando, though the Lando story seems to be picking up, I am hopeful for the third book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I've read a lot of negative reviews of this series, but I have to say...after the last few I've read that were absolutely ABYSMAL, I'm enjoying these. Yes, there are things that annoy me. Part of me wants to accuse the author of being a typical man who can't write a strong female lead to save his life. Sadly, there are female authors in the realm of Star Wars that have written even worse interpretations of Leia. At least she's not as awful in this series as she was The Crystal Star. I'm not sure I've read a lot of negative reviews of this series, but I have to say...after the last few I've read that were absolutely ABYSMAL, I'm enjoying these. Yes, there are things that annoy me. Part of me wants to accuse the author of being a typical man who can't write a strong female lead to save his life. Sadly, there are female authors in the realm of Star Wars that have written even worse interpretations of Leia. At least she's not as awful in this series as she was The Crystal Star. I'm not sure how I feel about the book being split into three sections. I have to say that Leia's section was the most interesting and intense, and the pages absolutely flew by. However, leaving Lando and Luke out of my mind for so long will simply make me forget that they have storylines as well. Overall, much more enjoyable that I, Jedi, Children of the Jedi, Darksaber, and The Crystal Star, none of which I liked. I'm definitely involved in the story enough to pick up the next book and to do so eagerly.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jerome

    Didn’t read the novel preceding this, so I had no idea what the heck it was about. The Republic deals with some sort of crisis (apparently the Yevethan’s genocidal war against the Republic, although it seems more an indirect Cold War-type conflict), while Luke is introduced to a mysterious sect called “White Current” whose objectives remain unclear throughout the story, and whose existence seems pointless since the Force already exists. Chewbacca somehow has a son all of a sudden that he is look Didn’t read the novel preceding this, so I had no idea what the heck it was about. The Republic deals with some sort of crisis (apparently the Yevethan’s genocidal war against the Republic, although it seems more an indirect Cold War-type conflict), while Luke is introduced to a mysterious sect called “White Current” whose objectives remain unclear throughout the story, and whose existence seems pointless since the Force already exists. Chewbacca somehow has a son all of a sudden that he is looking after. There is some sort of mystery surrounding Lando and a certain starship that is too much of a puzzle to figure out, and a little too boring---in the end they don’t really do all that much. At the same time Leia is thrust into an array of slow, boring political subplots. A convoluted plot and stretched-out writing do not do much to make this enjoyable. Then again, that’s my fault for not reading the preceding book---maybe.

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