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“The Jedi are keepers of the peace. We are not soldiers.” —MACE WINDU Star Wars:   Episode II: Attack of the Clones Mace Windu is a living legend: Jedi Master, senior member of the Jedi Council, skilled diplomat, devastating fighter. Some say he is the deadliest man alive. But he is a man of peace—and for the first time in a thousand years, the galaxy is at war. Now, fo “The Jedi are keepers of the peace. We are not soldiers.” —MACE WINDU Star Wars:   Episode II: Attack of the Clones Mace Windu is a living legend: Jedi Master, senior member of the Jedi Council, skilled diplomat, devastating fighter. Some say he is the deadliest man alive. But he is a man of peace—and for the first time in a thousand years, the galaxy is at war. Now, following the momentous events climaxing in the Battle of Geonosis, Master Mace Windu must undertake a perilous homecoming to his native world—to defuse a potentially catastrophic crisis for the Republic . . . and to confront a terrifying mystery with dire personal consequences. The jungle planet of Haruun Kal, the homeworld Mace barely remembers, has become a battleground in the increasing hostilities between the Republic and the renegade Separatist movement. The Jedi Council has sent Depa Billaba—Mace’s former Padawan and fellow Council member—to Haruun Kal to train the local tribesmen as a guerilla resistance force, to fight against the Separatists who control the planet and its strategic star system with their droid armies. But now the Separatists have pulled back, and Depa has not returned. The only clue to her disappearance is a cryptic recording left at the scene of a brutal massacre: a recording that hints of madness and murder, and the darkness in the jungle . . . a recording in Depa’s own voice. Mace Windu trained her. Only he can find her. Only he can learn what has changed her. Only he can stop her. Jedi were never intended to be soldiers. But now they have no choice. Mace must journey alone into the most treacherous jungle in the galaxy—and into his own heritage. He will leave behind the Republic he serves, the civilization he believes in, everything but his passion for peace and his devotion to his former Padawan. And he will learn the terrible price that must be paid, when keepers of the peace are forced to make war. . . . Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!


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“The Jedi are keepers of the peace. We are not soldiers.” —MACE WINDU Star Wars:   Episode II: Attack of the Clones Mace Windu is a living legend: Jedi Master, senior member of the Jedi Council, skilled diplomat, devastating fighter. Some say he is the deadliest man alive. But he is a man of peace—and for the first time in a thousand years, the galaxy is at war. Now, fo “The Jedi are keepers of the peace. We are not soldiers.” —MACE WINDU Star Wars:   Episode II: Attack of the Clones Mace Windu is a living legend: Jedi Master, senior member of the Jedi Council, skilled diplomat, devastating fighter. Some say he is the deadliest man alive. But he is a man of peace—and for the first time in a thousand years, the galaxy is at war. Now, following the momentous events climaxing in the Battle of Geonosis, Master Mace Windu must undertake a perilous homecoming to his native world—to defuse a potentially catastrophic crisis for the Republic . . . and to confront a terrifying mystery with dire personal consequences. The jungle planet of Haruun Kal, the homeworld Mace barely remembers, has become a battleground in the increasing hostilities between the Republic and the renegade Separatist movement. The Jedi Council has sent Depa Billaba—Mace’s former Padawan and fellow Council member—to Haruun Kal to train the local tribesmen as a guerilla resistance force, to fight against the Separatists who control the planet and its strategic star system with their droid armies. But now the Separatists have pulled back, and Depa has not returned. The only clue to her disappearance is a cryptic recording left at the scene of a brutal massacre: a recording that hints of madness and murder, and the darkness in the jungle . . . a recording in Depa’s own voice. Mace Windu trained her. Only he can find her. Only he can learn what has changed her. Only he can stop her. Jedi were never intended to be soldiers. But now they have no choice. Mace must journey alone into the most treacherous jungle in the galaxy—and into his own heritage. He will leave behind the Republic he serves, the civilization he believes in, everything but his passion for peace and his devotion to his former Padawan. And he will learn the terrible price that must be paid, when keepers of the peace are forced to make war. . . . Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!

30 review for Shatterpoint

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    I haven't been keeping up with the Star Wars novels lately, but I had been curious about this one. It wasn't what I expected. A page-turner to be sure, with lots of fighting and action and light-sabery goodness, but there's something much deeper going on here. Shatterpoint is set after Attack of the Clones. Mace Windu receives a troubling message from his former Padawan Depa Billaba. Now Mace must travel to the jungle world of Haruun Kal to find Depa and either save her or destroy her. The thing I haven't been keeping up with the Star Wars novels lately, but I had been curious about this one. It wasn't what I expected. A page-turner to be sure, with lots of fighting and action and light-sabery goodness, but there's something much deeper going on here. Shatterpoint is set after Attack of the Clones. Mace Windu receives a troubling message from his former Padawan Depa Billaba. Now Mace must travel to the jungle world of Haruun Kal to find Depa and either save her or destroy her. The thing that both impresses and disturbs me about the book is how it addresses one of the flaws of the Star Wars universe. In the movies, we see a galaxy at war. Over a million worlds. And yet the war is clean. Sterile. Ships pop out of existence in flashy explosions. Anonymous stormtroopers fall with bloodless blaster wounds. Even lightsabers leave cauterized, clean wounds. An entire world blows up, and Obi Wan Kenobi gets a headache. The horrors are there, but you never see them. Stover shows us a world devastated by war. Depa Billaba was sent to help drive the separatists from Haruun Kal, and she's done so, but at what cost? The planet's people are divided, slaughtering one another in the jungles even after the galactic conflict has moved on. Stover hammers the theme home. War is not a heroic band fighting their way past faceless enemies to blow up the Death Star and save the galaxy. It's watching your friends die of parasites and diseases, because you have no way of getting the basic medical treatment that could have saved them. It's a child stabbing a wounded soldier again and again, because that child has never known anything but war and hate. It's mutilating your enemies' bodies because you no longer see them as human. For Mace Windu, it's struggling to find the right path, the Jedi path, when all of your choices lead to darkness and death. It's a powerful book. A little heavy-handed at times, perhaps. But I have a lot of respect for Stover for going beyond the flash-bang special effects and the relatively clean imagery of the movies and reminding readers that it ain't so.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katrin von Martin

    I have to admit that I put this book off for a while. So far, I've been largely unimpressed by the Clone Wars era and have never given Mace Windu much thought beyond his brief, seemingly unimportant role in the movies. Now, however, I have a newfound respect for Master Windu and am inclined to believe that Shatterpoint is one of the best Star Wars books out there. Spoilers follow. In the grand scheme of the Clone Wars, the events on Haruun Kal are probably largely unimportant. To the characters I have to admit that I put this book off for a while. So far, I've been largely unimpressed by the Clone Wars era and have never given Mace Windu much thought beyond his brief, seemingly unimportant role in the movies. Now, however, I have a newfound respect for Master Windu and am inclined to believe that Shatterpoint is one of the best Star Wars books out there. Spoilers follow. In the grand scheme of the Clone Wars, the events on Haruun Kal are probably largely unimportant. To the characters involved (especially Master Mace Windu), they are life changing. The plot kicks off from the very beginning of the book with Windu needing to go to Haruun Kal, his place of birth, to rescue Depa Billaba, his former Padawan. He finds himself caught in the Summertime War (the struggle between the native Korunnai and the foreign Balawai) and is constantly battling with the dark side of the Force, himself, the jungle, and the planet's politics. Plot twists are abundant and, often, unexpected. The story races along at a fast pace from beginning to end, making it nearly impossible to put the book down. Stover's writing style fits the story very well. I was a bit wary of the constant jumping between the third person point of view of the story and first person point of view of Mace's journal, but the two flow together so well that one eventually doesn't really notice the shift. The two points of view also provide different aspects of events without tedious repetition. I can't remember ever seeing this in a Star Wars novel before; it seems to be unique and beneficial to this book. The characters are fleshed out well and were obviously given a lot of thought. Even though we are not able to get directly into their heads and see things as they do, we really feel like we know them. My personal favourite was Nick, a sharp shooting, wise cracking Korunnai who uses his optimism and humour as a distraction from the horrors of war. He's a perfect foil to Mace's calm detachment and manages to provide some humourous entertainment in his interactions with the stoic Jedi. Depa provides us with another image of a Jedi struggling with the dark side. She has strayed from the traditional Jedi path. I personally never felt like I fully understood her, but this was part of her allure as a character. Stover also provided a believable, powerful villain in the form of Kar Vastor, a dark side user and the last of Gösh Windu (aside from Mace). He is what Mace might have become if left on Haruun Kal as a child. His desire for dominance and control is one of the many conflicts within the story. The other characters are just as dynamic, providing a rich cast to keep the plot moving. The author obviously gave his characters a lot of thought, but he still allows Mace to be the star of the show. A problem with many Star Wars novels is the authors' original characters: they tend to take centre stage and overshadow the canon characters. This isn't an issue here. While the original characters are important to the plot, the featured canon character is still very well characterized and very much the lead role. Stover also attempts to add humour to this otherwise dark novel. Some of the jokes are a bit cheesy (it almost seems like they were intended to be that way), but many are at least worthy of a chuckle. The author also doesn't waste his time with needless purple prose. Every word feels like it needs to be there to complete the story. There are no slow parts and no useless paragraphs of endless description. He knows what he's doing. The best part of Shatterpoint is just following Mace's story. He makes a lot of realizations about himself, the Jedi, the Force, and the nature of the galaxy itself. His journey to this knowledge is what truly makes the book as fantastic as it is. It's almost surprising to see this stoic Jedi Master have his foundations rocked, so to speak, by his experiences and come away from them a different person. I initially felt that this novel was a little obscure in the fact that it focused on such a seemingly random character. Now I feel that I not only have a much better understanding of the character, but of the Jedi and the Force as a whole. Stover manages to take the story beyond the characters, and he does it successfully and without a heavy hand. A commentary on morality, ethics, politics, and even, to an extent, religion can be found woven into the novel's plot. While this isn't entirely new for a Star Wars novel, it is uncommon for it to flow so seamlessly with the rest of the story Shatterpoint is a must read for any Star Wars fan. It is, by far, one of the best books in the entire series due to its good characterization, tight plot and writing style, and the author's ability to give us a broader aspect on things beyond the featured character. A solid, well deserved five stars. This review is also posted on Amazon.com.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    "He was looking forward to doing straightforward, uncomplicated butt-whooping" Depa Bilaba, Mace's only student of Vapaad, has been sent to Haruun Kal, Mace Windu's homeworld. But a disturbing message indicating she is unstable causes Mace to return to his root. There, he must battle more than just the jungles, more than the predators around every corner, more than the Korunnai and the Balawai...he must face himself and what it means to be a Jedi. NOTE: Based on audiobook and novel. If you are goin "He was looking forward to doing straightforward, uncomplicated butt-whooping" Depa Bilaba, Mace's only student of Vapaad, has been sent to Haruun Kal, Mace Windu's homeworld. But a disturbing message indicating she is unstable causes Mace to return to his root. There, he must battle more than just the jungles, more than the predators around every corner, more than the Korunnai and the Balawai...he must face himself and what it means to be a Jedi. NOTE: Based on audiobook and novel. If you are going to open this with the thought of another fluffy, "feel good" Star Wars novel, then I suggest you put down the novel right away. This is not your average, clear-cut good guys vs bad guys mindless action romp (like the Jedi Academy Trilogy). This is a very mature, very gritty, sometimes disturbing introspective novel. Mace Windu was an interesting character in the movies (partly, I am sure, because of Sam Jackson). But we never really got to see Sam make Mace bad @ss, other than some brief battles between Mace and Jango (considering Attack of the Clones, only). Matthew Stover wrote this novel as if Mace were Sam Jackson. I was shocked at how well done it was. Mace Windu was a tough man, a tough Jedi, and a fighter at heart. He uses his brains, most definitely, but he can definitely fight as well. I loved the way that Mace talks to both himself and others. The review title is one example; here's another of my favorites: "He had a different equation in mind: four steamcrawlers divided by one Jedi equals a huge, smoking pile of scrap." Matthew Stover perfectly wrote Mace and I just was enthralled. I could always imagine Sam Jackson speaking Mace's lines, thinking Mace's thoughts. The core issue is: What does it mean to be a Jedi? Mace tortures over this idea, as he makes his way to Depa. Why did she "go sane"? What made her delve so far into the Dark Side? Part of it is the nature of the forest, the harshness and the predatory nature. Part of it is the inner hatred the native Korunnai and the outsider, Balawai, have for each other, so far that even the children can't see past the outside. Which leads me to some of the most poignant, heart-wrenching scenes: children who refuse Mace's help because he's a "Korno". Parents who don't trust him because of who he is. Children who try to kill him, because the Korunnai killed their parents. An endless cycle of hatred and murder. I really liked Nick Rostu, Chalk, and even Kar Vastor. Nick was amusing, a nice sidekick, an "average" guy. Chalk, I felt was a tough woman, even when everything was against her. And Kar Vastor was like an evil twin of Mace: wild, uncontrolled fury. I don't really have a whole lot of complaints about the novel. If I have one, it was while listening to it the second time (first time I read this, it was in novel form), I got lost in the end battle. Vastor is on their side...then he isn't...then he is... It was very confusing, but I wonder if perhaps it was the abridged audiobook. If I have any complaints, it's about the audiobook version. I did not like the horrible growling noise that was played whenever Vastor spoke. Made it sound like strange yawning, not an intimidating growl. Also, it was dumb, the voice given to Vastor was deep enough to convey his voice. But by far the worst offense of the audiobook was its COMPLETE omission of the ending. The last words of the book are Mace telling Vastor: "You are under arrest." That is it. No contemplations of the mission, nothing on if he gets back to the Jedi Temple, nothing on what happened to Depa Bilaba. It was a horrible ending, leaving way too many loose ends. How hard would it have been to include Mace's final journal entry, where he tells what happened to everyone and reveals the most important lesson (about the Jedi and how they fit into the Republic and the war)? If I hadn't known that it was there from reading it before, I would have been scratching my head in wonder. This isn't necessarily a complaint about either audiobook or novel, but I do want to highlight that this is a VERY violent book, with much gore and fighting. Stover doesn't pretty it up, he doesn't glaze over it. Chalk is said to have been molested; two people die because of parasites in their brains. The smells of war and captivity are told in gritty form. So if you are at all queasy, you may want to take note. This is an amazing novel. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I loved reading about Mace Windu, I loved his thoughts, I loved how he fought. I highly recommend to those who are up for a little grittier action in Star Wars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Justyna

    I read quite a lot of Star Wars book over the last couple of years and this book was definitely different and darker than what I usually read. First of all, the main character is Mace Windu. I don't think I ever saw another book with him playing such a big part in the story. He travels to his home planet to search for his missing former Padawan, Depa Billaba, who was send there on the mission. (the book takes place shortly after The Attack of the Clones). He doesn't know what really happened to I read quite a lot of Star Wars book over the last couple of years and this book was definitely different and darker than what I usually read. First of all, the main character is Mace Windu. I don't think I ever saw another book with him playing such a big part in the story. He travels to his home planet to search for his missing former Padawan, Depa Billaba, who was send there on the mission. (the book takes place shortly after The Attack of the Clones). He doesn't know what really happened to her, and intends to find out. If you like Mace Windu, you probably going to like this book, since we can see things from his perspective. As for Depa...I wish we got a little more of her perspective, I felt a little like it was centered too much on Mace. The main reason why this books is darker than most Star Wars novels is the fact that it shows how cruel and horrible war is and how it affects people. Apart from Mace and Depa, we get to know a few more characters, the people who live on the planet, and we can see the impact the war has on them. It was really depressing to read sometimes. I'm not really a fan of Mace Windu, I'm more like curious and intrigued, cause we never get to see much of him in the movies. And while I think the way the author portrayed his character was not bad, I think I disagree with some things. The main thing was probably this short simple statement: Mace liked to fight Really? I always found him kind of intimidating and serious and powerful, but I can't imagine him liking to fight. Granted, the books shows that he hates war and doesn't want to kill people, but still, he sometimes enjoys to fight them!? Well, I think something is not right here or it's just not the way I imagine this character. Without giving anything away, because of the events in the book, it seems like Mace is on the verge of giving into Dark Side sometimes...and from the beginning it seems like he can barely keep his temper. He is worried for his Padawan (he thinks about her more like his daughter than the former apprentice) but it doesn't change the fact that he felt a little out of character. He is not a typical Jedi Master I guess, I always knew it (well, he created Vaapad, which is pretty aggressive fighting style, that also says something), but I imagine him a little different than the author of this book. If you haven't read any of the Star Wars books, don't start from this book, unless you are a fan of Mace. It's a solid book, but I wouldn't want to read anything similar to this, at least not in the near future. A little to dark for my liking. I have other Star Wars characters I like much better and want to read more about them instead:)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

    This book is way better than an original novel starring Mace Windu has any right to be.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Para (wanderer)

    This was not the type of book I usually read. It's fast-paced and full of ridiculously, over-the top badassery (as befitting the character), which is not something I usually care for. However, it's also very character-focused, really giving you insight in who Mace Windu is as a person and the internal struggle that happens when his Jedi beliefs and way of living are put to the test. I liked that a lot. Another very pleasant surprise was Stover's prose - he has a very striking style that really s This was not the type of book I usually read. It's fast-paced and full of ridiculously, over-the top badassery (as befitting the character), which is not something I usually care for. However, it's also very character-focused, really giving you insight in who Mace Windu is as a person and the internal struggle that happens when his Jedi beliefs and way of living are put to the test. I liked that a lot. Another very pleasant surprise was Stover's prose - he has a very striking style that really shines in the first-person sections and his action scenes are some of the most vivid and easy to imagine I've ever read (and I'm not someone who cares about action scenes, or notices them). The blend of somewhat more literary style than you'd expect and a very pulpy plot is strange, but works super well. Unfortunately, I also stalled hard a little over than halfway in. I didn't really care about the plot or the jungle setting, and no matter how well written the badass action scenes are, there's only so much I can take before I get bored. It dragged a bit. But that's a personal thing, and I suspect people who prefer fast-paced, action-y books would enjoy it very much indeed. Enjoyment: 4/5 Execution: 4.5/5 Recommended to: those who'd like to have it all: an action story with ridiculous badassery and a character study and decent writing - because yes, you can (mostly) have your cake and eat it too! Content warnings: rape (not on screen) More reviews on my blog, To Other Worlds.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    THE FURTHER YOU get into this scintillating, compelling, fascinating, totally unique and absolutely enthralling member of the beloved Expanded Universe, the better it gets. There’s no doubt, however, that it starts off with a bang. We learn many things in SHATTERPOINT about the wonder that is Jedi Master Mace Windu, not the least of which what a ’shatter point’ actually is. But we also learn the number of combat techniques (there are six) that are available to a Jedi and their Padawan. We also l THE FURTHER YOU get into this scintillating, compelling, fascinating, totally unique and absolutely enthralling member of the beloved Expanded Universe, the better it gets. There’s no doubt, however, that it starts off with a bang. We learn many things in SHATTERPOINT about the wonder that is Jedi Master Mace Windu, not the least of which what a ’shatter point’ actually is. But we also learn the number of combat techniques (there are six) that are available to a Jedi and their Padawan. We also learn of a mystical, mythical and magical seventh which is extremely difficult to learn, damn near impossible to master and incredibly dangerous to use. This final technique, it turns out, was developed by Master Windu. Which should be of no surprise to anyone. Mace Windu is the personifcation of everything good, and cool, about the force, and of being a Jedi. SHATTERPOINT is also about a search. Windu’s Padawan (Depa Billaba) has gone missing on his home jungle planet of Haruun Kal, and Mace has put his heroic hand up to rescue her. The things is, the planet is so strong in the force (literally as well as metaphorically) that even placing one’s foot on the planet’s surface is enough to push even a mild force user over to the Dark Side. So just imagine the powers of determination and concentration a powerful Jedi will have to use to save his own soul from this fate. The concern is, of course, that Depa herself has faced this same test, and failed. The few items of evidence presented to the Jedi Council on Coruscant certainly point in this direction. And of course there is a war going on, too, both on the planet’s surface and right across the galaxy. So not only does Mace have to fight the separatists to stay alive, he has to fight these same forces of evil in order to save his Padawan from herself. And from the very aspect of her existence which brought her to the planet in the first place. So this book is really about war. But it is so much more than that. It talks about self doubt, torture, cowardice, and even how to break a human being. It talks about unbelievable courage, and bravery, friendship, love, revenge, and everything else both your standard human and Jedi deal out to the universe every spare moment of their lives. SHATTERPPOINT is an extraordinary book. It is certainly the most realistic, exciting, fist-pumping and confronting expanded universe novel i have ever read. I won’t say it is a realistic novel about war, since (thank God) I have not found myself in that theatre of human existence. But every Star Wars fan in the galaxy should read this book. Every science fiction fan should read this book. Every war aficionado should read this book, and I would hope, close the cover at it’s end a changed person. I know I am. Full marks for a truly extraordinary and amazing reading experience. Star Wars just got serious.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Malum

    "We are well and truly forked". Yup, that's a line from this book. I'll just leave that here for you to ponder... So anyway, I have been reading a lot of really good Star Wars novels lately but Shatterpoint just didnt do it for me. Maybe it's because I'm not a huge fan of Mace Windu, maybe it's because, in the back of my mind, I am comparing it to things like the Trawn trilogy and the Bane trilogy. For whatever reason, this was just ok in my opinion. More specifically, I didnt feel like any of th "We are well and truly forked". Yup, that's a line from this book. I'll just leave that here for you to ponder... So anyway, I have been reading a lot of really good Star Wars novels lately but Shatterpoint just didnt do it for me. Maybe it's because I'm not a huge fan of Mace Windu, maybe it's because, in the back of my mind, I am comparing it to things like the Trawn trilogy and the Bane trilogy. For whatever reason, this was just ok in my opinion. More specifically, I didnt feel like any of the characters besides Mace were really fleshed out. When someone died or did something dramatic i just didn't care that much. I do like how Stover channeled The Heart of Darkness a bit, but I wish he would have delved a bit deeper into that aspect rather than just touching on it here and there and then tossing it away.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    This is as good as space opera gets. My buddy John, who absolutely _hates_ the prequel trilogy and Mace Windu in them, loved it. This is Mace Windu as he should have been. This is the best action writing I've read. This is a tale of a holy warrior pitted against a world of darkness. Warning: For the squeamish out there, this novel gets pretty graphic in its violence and its portrayal of the horrors of war. This is as good as space opera gets. My buddy John, who absolutely _hates_ the prequel trilogy and Mace Windu in them, loved it. This is Mace Windu as he should have been. This is the best action writing I've read. This is a tale of a holy warrior pitted against a world of darkness. Warning: For the squeamish out there, this novel gets pretty graphic in its violence and its portrayal of the horrors of war.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Not sure about this one. I just didn’t feel like the book was true to Mace Windu. He doubted himself a lot and was much weaker than he should be. Ultimately the book was a shallow “hack-n-slash” action story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Iset

    Thank the Force for Shatterpoint. I remember enjoying this one back when it came out, but now I find myself appreciating it even more because of its context. Now that the Expanded Universe is defined by finite parameters, I’ve been doing a grand re-read, chronologically, through the entire thing. The vast majority of these books I have read before, but there are a handful which I missed when they released – mainly from the final few years of EU publishing, partly because I was just too busy at th Thank the Force for Shatterpoint. I remember enjoying this one back when it came out, but now I find myself appreciating it even more because of its context. Now that the Expanded Universe is defined by finite parameters, I’ve been doing a grand re-read, chronologically, through the entire thing. The vast majority of these books I have read before, but there are a handful which I missed when they released – mainly from the final few years of EU publishing, partly because I was just too busy at that time in my life, and partly because the last years of EU publishing began to offer material that felt rushed, churned out, short at 250 pages and somehow still padded with filler and thinly sketched. I’m in the Clone Wars era right now, and honestly, I’ve been disappointed by these books that I missed first time round. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that they are novelisations of stories told in a very different format originally, I’m not completely sure yet. I was even let down by The Cestus Deception, which I did read on release and I remembered liking, but today just seems okay and basically missable. I kind of have a goal, as well as doing a marathon re-read, of creating a personal cut of Expanded Universe canon, and so far I hadn’t liked a single entry from the Clone Wars era well enough to include it. Shatterpoint just made my list. There are surface reasons why someone might be drawn in to this book, and then there are the deeper reasons why it is actually good. One of the surface reasons is that Mace Windu and his former Padawan, and fellow Council member, Depa Billaba, are the stars of the show. Exploring some of the universe’s intriguing side characters and fleshing them out, giving the impression of a rich and exciting galaxy aside from what we think of as our core main characters is definitely a plus point… but only if the story then written is worthwhile. If the story turns out to be a poorly written mess, we feel cheated out of what we were promised and tend to reject the portrayal of these characters. The Cestus Deception is, in my opinion, an example of a book that copped out of this promise, dangling Kit Fisto and then making him share the limelight with Obi-Wan and an original clone character, and never letting us get inside his head even though we spend plenty of time with Obi-Wan’s inner monologue. Not so here. Mace Windu is front and centre, and Obi-Wan and Anakin are nowhere in sight. This is a good thing for this book, as it means there are no distractions from putting the focus where it should be. Stover has something of a reputation in the Expanded Universe for delivering complex, brutal stories, and Shatterpoint is no different. Stover often strives to show the harsh realities of war, the way it blurs lines and snatches away clear-cut choices between good and evil. There are still heroics here, but not of the rollicking adventure kind, and they are all the more poignant for the sheer struggle it takes to achieve them, to do something as simple as save a single life. I frequently enjoy this kind of writing because the echoes of realism lend the story a stamp of authenticity that aids believability, and also because we become more invested in the story if the risk and consequences are treated seriously. Some people may be thinking this is out of step with the fun adventure time story that is Star Wars, but I would remind people that the original film saw Owen and Beru callously murdered, the captain of the Tantive IV interrogated, killed, and discarded, Leia tortured, and genocide committed against an entire planet. Sure, at the end our heroes returned in time for tea and medals, but you cared about these characters because you took the threats they faced very seriously indeed. We are clearly shown the impact of war and how pitiless people can be. Shatterpoint is not out of step with this – it continues its tradition. In any case, be warned that this story can get pretty grim and dark – but if you ask me, I consider that a positive. The book explores meaningful situations, like what happens when two groups in conflict get so caught up in a cycle of vengeance that they dehumanise one another, and their children grow up indoctrinated in hatred and prejudice. These are tough themes, but they are themes that need to be explored. With 410 pages to play with (plus ten at the end devoted to an extra short story), Stover has plenty of time and space for his subject, and this book feels substantial and significant compared to the paltry 250-page offerings aforementioned. Somehow, he succeeds in placing his main characters in considerable danger, and evoking reader worry for them, and yet also depicting moments of giddy, glorious triumph where their strength of will and Jedi training positively shines through. Stover manages to walk the knife edge of tension masterfully, never letting us get too depressed about a defeat without some satisfying success bolster our spirits, and never letting victories come too easily, without a sudden reversal or three. The successes, when they come, feel deeply satisfying because of the struggles we have to go through to get there. Stover also makes us care about the side characters, even though they are brand new and original to this story, and at the start they come across as rather unlikeable. Shared hardship reveals hidden depths and strips away masks. These people feel realistic; defensive but essentially decent and afraid. I’m not just talking about Nick and Chalk, but Geptun as well. So many low-level functionaries on the opposing side in Star Wars are depicted as incompetent pen pushers – mainly Imperial, but pre-Empire this translates to the financiers of the Separatist movement. Geptun is anything but. He’s a smart man, though not infallible, and like Nick and Chalk is essentially decent. His efforts pose a deadly threat to Mace and he is credible as a dangerous adversary. He is also treated as a fellow human being, to the point where (view spoiler)[an impressed Mace recruits him to Republic Intelligence in the aftermath. (hide spoiler)] This brings up another point – the book handles antagonism very well. It isn’t clichéd or straightforward. Geptun is a well-rounded person. And the true evil in this book comes from someone who is on the same side as Mace. Even (view spoiler)[Depa’s fall is bittersweet because it comes from a place of loyalty to the vulnerable people she is protecting – but she buys into the indoctrination of hate, of “us vs them”. (hide spoiler)] I’ve been trying to think of criticisms, and I suppose the most significant one is that things can get a bit confusing in this book. The final quarter of the book, which encompasses the ultimate confrontation and climax of the story, has so many betrayals and sudden reversals in it that it can get a little bit punch drunk at times. The overall lesson that Mace learns, or that the story is trying to impart, feels a bit murky too. I’m not sure if this is a legitimate criticism though, since Mace himself is intended to spend most of the book thrown into ethical turmoil and unsure of his path and his principles. Some final thoughts come through loud and clear – the importance of seeing the ‘humanity’ in others no matter what side they’re on. The importance of standing up for what is right and fighting even if you can’t win. Other questions remain obscure. Is the book saying that civilisation is good and the natural jungle is savage and bad? Is it saying that the Jedi should not be taking a partisan stance fighting for the Republic and should instead be moving among both sides, simply wherever they are needed to protect people? I’m really not sure. Perhaps the book deliberately leaves these questions open for readers to ponder. 9 out of 10

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ethan

    As a general rule, I pretty much hate the idea of media tie-in novels, and the whole franchise thing turns me off. My brother has been trying to get me to read a few of these Star Wars authors (Stackpole, Zahn) for quite a while, and I resisted since I could only imagine books populated by hack riffs on the old themes, catch phrases and rehashes of the good old days when Leia told Han she'd rather kiss a wookie...that kind of thing. Of course, Stover wouldn't do that. This is the 4th book of his As a general rule, I pretty much hate the idea of media tie-in novels, and the whole franchise thing turns me off. My brother has been trying to get me to read a few of these Star Wars authors (Stackpole, Zahn) for quite a while, and I resisted since I could only imagine books populated by hack riffs on the old themes, catch phrases and rehashes of the good old days when Leia told Han she'd rather kiss a wookie...that kind of thing. Of course, Stover wouldn't do that. This is the 4th book of his I've read and he really does a tremendous job delivering something different, intriguing, and exciting. Yes, this is definitely Heart of Darkness meets Jedi, and I loved the idea. It is executed well, with the violence, gore and sheer darkness that Stover brings to the table. Interestingly enough, I'm sure that Stover was holding himself back when he wrote this, since this book is pretty light on the graphic violence, rape, and cannibalism you see in his other novels. Course, this is a franchise book and he had to tone it down, which is fine by me. I'm not a big fan of that kind of stuff. I loved the whole idea of the shatterpoint. Very cool concept. And Stover really does a good job exploring the mind-twisting philosophy of war, good vs. evil, that kind of thing. Stover is a thinker, and he asks some interesting questions. I had some small issues with the portrayal of Mace Windu, who acts just a little too much like Caine in the early part of the novel (when he beats up the guards) but seems to work his way into a more believable Jedi frame of mind later on in the book. Overall, though, the characterization of Windu is very good. Another minor quibble: the journal dialogue does not work for me. Direct dialogue recorded in a journal? Nah! Stover loves the first person (and it is a very effective tool) but I wished he hadn't tried to cloak it in the guise of the journal. Either that, or he should have made the dialogue indirect, which is what you'd expect in a journal. The portrayal of Depa didn't really fulfill my expectations. Stover doesn't seem to be all that good at portraying females, and he had a lot of potential to describe the fallen jedi's state of mind, which he wasn't able to do: course, it might have just been too similar to Windu, which is why he didn't include it. But I just feel that Stover missed the mark with her. The characterization of Kar Vastor is all right, but after the first scene we meet him (where Vastor chillingly describes Windu's desire to murder the defenders) there's very little character-revealing interaction. There was also one or two plot points I wondered about, but nothing obviously wrong. Overall, a very good book, and it leaves me interested in some of the other franchise books out there, notably some of Stackpole's work, and a few of Stover's other works such as Traitor and Revenge of the Sith.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    A page turner for sure. This book follows Mace Windu as he searches for his former padawan, Depa Billaba, to find out what happened to her. This was a good read, full of action and believable characters. Well written and the story was executed superbly. Throughout the story I found myself really connecting with Mace. As the story progressed, I could feel his dispair in me. At one point I felt overwhelmed with hopelessness. A book rarely does that to me, and I was surprised. But in the end, I was A page turner for sure. This book follows Mace Windu as he searches for his former padawan, Depa Billaba, to find out what happened to her. This was a good read, full of action and believable characters. Well written and the story was executed superbly. Throughout the story I found myself really connecting with Mace. As the story progressed, I could feel his dispair in me. At one point I felt overwhelmed with hopelessness. A book rarely does that to me, and I was surprised. But in the end, I was left satisfied. A bitter sweet satisfaction, but satisfaction nonetheless.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Farrell

    This is an almost spoiler free review! What is spoiled, is mostly revealed on the back of the book, or inside the hardcover's wrapper! This novel centres around one of the most popular secondary characters in the Star Was Universe, Mace Windu. Part of that is how the character was written, but I am sure it has more to do the fact that it was portrayed on screen by the very talented actor, Samuel L. Jackson. As such, you can't look at the character on screen, or read about him in a book without ec This is an almost spoiler free review! What is spoiled, is mostly revealed on the back of the book, or inside the hardcover's wrapper! This novel centres around one of the most popular secondary characters in the Star Was Universe, Mace Windu. Part of that is how the character was written, but I am sure it has more to do the fact that it was portrayed on screen by the very talented actor, Samuel L. Jackson. As such, you can't look at the character on screen, or read about him in a book without echos from Jackson's past roles immediately come to mind. And for a certain generation, that is the character Jules Winnfield from the Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction". And this fact also comes into play during the book. The rough plot of the novel is also probably known to you if you are a film fan, and that is the story from Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now", which is based on Joeseph Conrad's book, "Heart of Darkness". I probably read the book in high school, but have no memory of it...but I am a huge fan of Apocalypse Now. But one viewing left it's imprint on me...it was a 70mm print, shown at Canada's National Arts Centre in a hall designed for Opera and Classical music...and they had a huge sound system brought in. I was 8 or 10 rows back from the screen, so it was totally immersive. Helicopters flew all around us in the opening scene, the exploding napalm, with The End playing....you don't get a much better film experience than that! In many ways, you could describe this book as a film remake of Apocalypse Now set in the Star Wars universe, directed by Quentin Taratino. But I didn't know all this going into the book. It was just a book that was laying around, so I read it. The book begins with Jedi Master Mace Windu getting the assignment from Yoda to go to Haruun Kal, the planet of Windu's birth and bring back his apprentice, Depa Billaba, who seems to have gone "rogue" while on a mission there. Windu is the only possible candidate to go between his connection to the planet, and the fact that it is his apprentice. Windu is not comfortable about accepting the mission, because he knows he will be wading int a major mess. First there is a civil war going on, which has become a proxy war between the Republic and the Federation during the Clone Wars. Haruun Kal is a water world with little land, and what it does have is dense jungle. Add to that, must of the native population has inherent Force sensitivity. And finally, there is the relationship to his former apprentice, who has gone on and become a Master in her own right. If she has gone rogue, then something is seriously wrong. Mace Windu's course is set for the Heart of Darkness, a home to which he feels no connection to, and an apprentice that he has feelings for. It is a planet where the proxy war between the Republic supported Korunnai, the natives of the planet are fighting a guerrilla war against the subjugating Blawai, who are supported by the Federation (the guys with the battle droids) and who have been exploiting the pharmaceutical native plants. The war between the two groups is know as the Summertime War. As in Apocalypse Now, our protagonist, Mace Windu, has to travel into the jungle to confront his apprentice, and if need be, kill her. Along the way, he discovers that there is no black or white in the war, there are just many shades of grey, something that is at odds with the Jedi mindset. So Mace has to make many morally ambiguous decisions on his trip from the space port to the stronghold where his former apprentice holds court. People who are supposed to be on his side, aren't. The "bad guys" are not so much bad, but are simply seeing this from a very different perspective...which doesn't make they right, but it doesn't make the evil either. Make no mistake, though, they have committed atrocities against the "inferior savages", and are driven by the lust for power and money. In some ways, the "good guys" are as bad or worse. Oppressed for decades, they are fighting a war for their very survival, and like many peoples before them, this has led to many types of atrocities becoming common place, such as desecration of bodies, or killing of whole families, including children. Until the coming of Depa Billaba, they had been fighting a war of attrition, a war they knew they were loosing. They could win fights, but until Depa's arrival, they were loosing the war badly. With her coming, she brought strategic planning and tactics, and had started to turn around the war, but at what price to her and the Korunnai people? All of this is pure Apocalypse Now. It is the fights that are pure Tarantino! They are messy, up close and personal. Sometimes, they almost feel gratuitous, but later, you find out why. That "why" usually involves what makes this a very unique novel, the Jedi aspect is the edge which helps cleave the moral ambiguities. It is the Jedi training, and the the fact that the Jedi are not a warrior group, but Peace-keepers. And not only Peace-keepers, but deep philosophers who think long and hard about the why of what they are about to do, and how this relates to the Force. In many ways, the Force is an additional character in this novel, more so than in most Star Wars novels. All through it, Mace has to battle his warrior aspect, which will lead him to anger, and eventually, the Dark Side of the Force. And since the Korunnai all have a degree of Force sensitivity, this complicates things. In the Jungle, the Dark Side and the Light Side are not the only sides of the Force, there is a Jungle side as well. In the Jungle, the innocent or ignorant or unlucky are prey. There is no malice in a cat killing a mouse, or anger when a leopard kills a deer. The cat or the leopard are not evil. Unfortunately, when humans start to follow this current of the Force, things get ugly. And it is this treacherous route that Mace Windu must follow before he can reach Depa. Going much further would start to reveal major spoilers, and make this review almost as long as the novel! To wrap this up, I have to say this is probably one of the best written Star Wars Novels out that I have read. There is so much that could have gone wrong in what Matthew Stover was attempting to do that it shines a spotlight his skills, as he not only pulled it off, but did so brilliantly! There are many layers to this book, and as such, it is probably worth a re-reading or two, probably after a reading of Heart of Darkness, with the John Williams Star Wars soundtracks intermixed with the soundtracks of Apocalypse Now and Pulp Fiction... P.S. Here is a min-review, with some spoilers...quoting the words of Jim Morrison. "Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill This is the end Beautiful friend This is the end My only friend, the end It hurts to set you free But you'll never follow me The end of laughter and soft lies The end of nights we tried to die This is the end"

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jake Davis

    I feel conflicted on this book. On one hand the action is amazing and its an interesting look into Mace Windu. On the other hand at times it doesnt seem like a Jedi would do alot of the things he does and i had a hard time really feeling why characters did certain things or how theyre affected the way they are. And some scenes felt rushed like some chapters had been edited out to shorten the book. But overall the action is what brought this book to four stars for me. Mace Windu is a badass

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    One of the reasons why kids aren’t reading these days is because the works they’re presenting aren’t interesting to them. Most people think a work has to be dark and brooding and labyrinthine before it can be taught in schools. But I disagree. Shatterpoint, I firmly believe, is the kind of novel that should be taught in schools. It is a story about what happens when all the protections of civilization are removed. It is a story about the horrors of war and how it makes monsters of men. And it’s One of the reasons why kids aren’t reading these days is because the works they’re presenting aren’t interesting to them. Most people think a work has to be dark and brooding and labyrinthine before it can be taught in schools. But I disagree. Shatterpoint, I firmly believe, is the kind of novel that should be taught in schools. It is a story about what happens when all the protections of civilization are removed. It is a story about the horrors of war and how it makes monsters of men. And it’s also a story with Mace Windu kicking ass and taking names, and what’s better to interest teenagers in reading than that? The novel opens when Mace receives a message from his former Padawan Depa Billaba. Depa might be involved in war atrocities on Mace’s home-world of Haruun Kal, a jungle planet consumed with an eternal war between two factions. She’s also probably fallen to the dark side, and has announced that she has “become the darkness in the jungle.” None of this, in case you haven’t guessed, bodes well, so Mace is sent to Haruun Kal to find out what the hell is going on, before Depa manages to ruin everything. It’s not for nothing that I consider Matthew Stover to be one of the best writers in the world. Not one of the best Star Wars writers. One of the best writers, PERIOD. He’s not afraid to explore radical new ideas, upend the existence of previously established characters, and indulge in dark themes and plotlines. He dares. He takes risks. He innovates. And his writing of both action and quiet, philosophical scenes is beyond compare. It was easy enough to make this book into a mindless action fest. But it is not. The crux of Shatterpoint is about civilization. What happens when it’s removed? The rebel forces believe in the law of the jungle. Does this bear any relation to the nebulous state of nature postulated by political philosophers? Or is it just an excuse to justify cruelties? And is our own seemingly lawful, seemingly ordinary society any less damaged and brutal as the rebels’ and we’re just better at hiding it? How, in other words, can we win against the darkness in our heart? The answer is that we don’t have to win. We just have to fight. And fight Mace Windu does. He fights against Separatist-backed guerillas. He fights against people nominally on his own team committing atrocities. He fights against the apprentice that he loved. He fights against the jungle. And he fights against himself. But with so many fights going on, is it possible that might just lose in the end? At first glance, since he shows up in Episode III, we say no. But not all fights are physical. Some are in the soul. And you can’t see their results on film. You have to read the book to find out.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pearce

    This is badly written in the same way as a lot of media tie-in novels, which makes me suspect that there is a style guide advising writers to overuse cliché phrases and to avoid pronouns etc. The writer may have set himself a challenge to use the made-up word from the title as often as possible. The story doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense (why does Depa Billaba go to so much trouble to call Mace Windu to Haruun Kal when she clearly doesn't want him there?) and the characterisations are shall This is badly written in the same way as a lot of media tie-in novels, which makes me suspect that there is a style guide advising writers to overuse cliché phrases and to avoid pronouns etc. The writer may have set himself a challenge to use the made-up word from the title as often as possible. The story doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense (why does Depa Billaba go to so much trouble to call Mace Windu to Haruun Kal when she clearly doesn't want him there?) and the characterisations are shallow. Windu's military tactics also don't make sense, but that's normal for Star Wars. Just read Heart of Darkness or watch Apocalypse Now again instead.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Mace Windu's old padawan has got involved in a war and may have fallen to the dark side. Mace goes after her alone, to his home planet. This is 'Heart of Darkness' with a jedi twist. The journey through the jungle, looking for his elusive pupil, to the horrors of war, just pay homage to 'Heart'. This is a dark, depressing kind of book, with lots of horrible things happening. It does not glamorise war in any sense of the word. Mace's character is strongly enough written to drive the plot forward. Mace Windu's old padawan has got involved in a war and may have fallen to the dark side. Mace goes after her alone, to his home planet. This is 'Heart of Darkness' with a jedi twist. The journey through the jungle, looking for his elusive pupil, to the horrors of war, just pay homage to 'Heart'. This is a dark, depressing kind of book, with lots of horrible things happening. It does not glamorise war in any sense of the word. Mace's character is strongly enough written to drive the plot forward. A good read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mike Jozic

    Nothing like a marginal EU novel to kill a May the 4th inspired reading spree. It appears that Shatterpoint is actually well liked by most readers but I found it to be a real disappointment. It did nothing for the character of Mace Windu, failed to capture the character's voice, felt very little like a Star Wars adventure, and was repetitive and dragged on for far too long. I mean, I think Mace faced off against the big bad, like, four times! As a short story I could have forgiven a lot of what I Nothing like a marginal EU novel to kill a May the 4th inspired reading spree. It appears that Shatterpoint is actually well liked by most readers but I found it to be a real disappointment. It did nothing for the character of Mace Windu, failed to capture the character's voice, felt very little like a Star Wars adventure, and was repetitive and dragged on for far too long. I mean, I think Mace faced off against the big bad, like, four times! As a short story I could have forgiven a lot of what I didn't care for but as a full length novel I have to go with one star and time already wasted.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    A good story, but poorly told. Sophomoric humor and lapses of simple grammatical standards detract from what could have been much better. It's as if Stover's target audience was thirteen-year-olds. Having said that, Stover attempted an unblinking appraisal of the ugliness of war. While the writing soon after September 11, 2001 may have contributed to the stark lessons he conveyed, those lessons are universal. A good story, but poorly told. Sophomoric humor and lapses of simple grammatical standards detract from what could have been much better. It's as if Stover's target audience was thirteen-year-olds. Having said that, Stover attempted an unblinking appraisal of the ugliness of war. While the writing soon after September 11, 2001 may have contributed to the stark lessons he conveyed, those lessons are universal.

  21. 4 out of 5

    James

    I could not believe how bad this book was when I borrowed it from the library when it was first published and read it. It is a crass, boring, pointless, poorly written cash in on Star Wars, especially the clone wars. It is not worth your time, avoid this at all costs.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kacey Lundgren

    Too dark and depressing for me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Starwars/Trek Freakman

    Terrible. Mace is my favorite Jedi, but this book gave him no justice. It was simply a borefest.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Eckbold

    Read this book about ten years ago. Cant get it out of my mind though. Guess I'll go read it again. Read this book about ten years ago. Cant get it out of my mind though. Guess I'll go read it again.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    My opinion of this book fluctuated between 3 and 4 stars throughout. I eventually went with 4 because it went somewhere different than most SW books in spite of the missed potential. It has a pretty slow beginning, but my biggest complaint was that there didn't seem to be much consistency in the characters. The story had the feel of a cowboys v Indians (I later learned it was inspired by the idea of Apocalypse Now with Jedi. I kind of like the story less after learning that). I really enjoyed tha My opinion of this book fluctuated between 3 and 4 stars throughout. I eventually went with 4 because it went somewhere different than most SW books in spite of the missed potential. It has a pretty slow beginning, but my biggest complaint was that there didn't seem to be much consistency in the characters. The story had the feel of a cowboys v Indians (I later learned it was inspired by the idea of Apocalypse Now with Jedi. I kind of like the story less after learning that). I really enjoyed that this a more of an adult themed book. Stover didn't hold back. The majority of Star Wars books will have violence, but it usually isn't that graphic. This book has people being slaughtered and rooms covered in blood. It doesn't shy away from discussing rape, drugs, and body mutilation. I didn't enjoy the varying qualities of Mace. (view spoiler)[He gets completely handled by a small band of mercenaries early on in the book. A small militia band takes him down as well because he wasn't ready for them. Later, he is practically God-like. Him and Depa are literally flying from shuttle to shuttle in mid-flight casually raining destruction on their enemies. (hide spoiler)] I also didn't feel that Stover got Mace Windu and even the characters he created. (view spoiler)[Windu was all over the place. He spends the majority of the book wracked by guilt over killing Jango Fett. He can't even look at the clone troopers in the eye because it is too hard for him to deal with. Is this kind of weepy, second guessing Mace Windu even hinted at anywhere else? It'd be one thing if it were some innocent kid he killed, but in no universe can I see Mace Windu agonizing over having to kill an attacking foe. (hide spoiler)] Nick was a character that went all over the place as well. (view spoiler)[He started off as the only out for himself/unfeeling wannabe mercenary. This wasn't just an act either. He was part of the body mutilation to lure Mace in. He constantly advocated for the killing of any and all Balawi, including children. He led the group that didn't hesitate for a second to murder the Republic's intel chief. Mace Windu puts him in charge of some Balawi children for a day and Nick becomes a fine upstanding man willing to die to protect the innocent. He also becomes incredibly brave and willing to sacrifice himself. (hide spoiler)] I am curious what level of power of laser is too much for a lightsaber to deflect. Mace is deflecting blasts from speeders and even small starships in this one without any ill-effect. (view spoiler)[It annoyed the crap out of me when Depa stabs Mace through the stomach with a lightsaber, but Mace continues to fight her and the Kar. He eventually beats them both. I guess Qui-Gon Jinn was a big pansy for going down with such a minor wound. (hide spoiler)] Finally, the biggest disappointment in this book for me was that the author didn't follow through on the tough situations. (view spoiler)[I enjoyed in the beginning how there weren't clear cut good guys and bad guys. Both sides seemed to have valid arguments from different points of view and both sides had committed atrocities. I liked the complicated characters did horrific things with intentions you could understand. Stover ruined all of this. By the end, people were neatly placed on the good and evil side. Mace was good. Depa had fallen to the Dark Side and was content to massacre an entire city. Kar was also no longer a somewhat sympathetic character who did horrific violence in what he saw as his only choice to defend his people. Nope. He is just evil now. Nick is just about as pure as Mace by the end. Geptun has all kinds of excuses made for him and he was just putting up a cynical front. He is actually a really good guy and joins the Republic. Even the local militias end up being more or less decent people who just want to take care of their families. You know, the same people who were shaking innocent people down and stealing from them under threat of violence in the beginning. In the end, they just disarmed most of the people and everything was good. (hide spoiler)]

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jared

    Star Wars Legends Project #117 Background: Shatterpoint was written by Matthew Woodring Stover and published in June 2003. Stover has written three other Star Wars novels, including the adaptation of Revenge of the Sith, as well as other fantasy and science fiction works. Outside of Star Wars, he is probably best-known for his "Acts of Caine" series. Shatterpoint takes place about 6 months after the Battle of Geonosis, 22 years before the battle of Yavin. The main character is Mace Windu, with Star Wars Legends Project #117 Background: Shatterpoint was written by Matthew Woodring Stover and published in June 2003. Stover has written three other Star Wars novels, including the adaptation of Revenge of the Sith, as well as other fantasy and science fiction works. Outside of Star Wars, he is probably best-known for his "Acts of Caine" series. Shatterpoint takes place about 6 months after the Battle of Geonosis, 22 years before the battle of Yavin. The main character is Mace Windu, with a major role played by Jedi Master Depa Billaba. Most of the story takes place on the jungle world Haruun Kal. Summary: Still obsessed with his failure on Geonosis to end the Clone Wars before they could begin, Mace Windu is horrified to learn that a member of the Jedi Council, Depa Billaba, may be guilty of war crimes. It has been months since she contacted the Jedi Temple, despite having apparently driven the Separatists from the system where she was sent to organize a guerilla resistance, which also happens to be on the planet where Mace himself was born. When a message arrives from an apparently raving Depa accompanied by scenes of a civilian massacre, Mace knows he has no choice but to make the dangerous journey to seek the truth for himself, and either clear his former padawan's good name or bring her to justice. But he cannot even begin to prepare himself for what he will find in the primal jungles of Haruun Kal. Review: This is such a killer idea for a Star Wars novel: It's Apocalypse Now . . . but with Jedi, but like that classic film, it also owes a deep debt to Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Ultimately, of course, the novel cannot help but fall short of the artistic and philosophical heights reached by those great works, but that doesn't make it any less significant as an entry in the Star Wars bibliography. Obviously, a great concept is well and good, but the real key is in the execution. Stover pretty much nails it. There are tics in his writing that I didn't notice much when I first read this novel over a decade ago, but it sucks you deep up into its narrative and characters and doesn't let go. Good luck putting this down at any point during the 2nd half. Stover is a master of world-building, and his cast of characters is memorable and compelling, but what I think I liked best is how he takes elements of other Star Wars stories, including far lesser ones, and weaves references to them into the book. Plus, he does this in a way that makes it genuinely feel like part of a larger universe and increases the cachet of those other stories rather than diminishing this one. One character I'm not completely sure he gets right is Mace Windu himself, although perhaps that's too his credit. What we know of Windu from the films and many other stories is somewhat flat and underdeveloped . . . so much so that it's hard to imagine that character having as much personality as he does here. Stover's channeling of Windu's voice in the various excerpts from his private journal are great writing, and make for great reading, I'm just not sure they feel authentic. I'm also not sure that I care. There are certainly things he gets right: Mace's steely determination, his undisputed sense of authority, and his general lack of a sense of humor. The most important thing that this book does, though, that so few other Star Wars novels do (despite the title of the franchise) is treat war seriously and realistically. Shatterpoint is brutal and violent and full of senseless casualties of huge numbers of good people and innocents. What's more, it's about cycles of violence and how they create no-win situations, despite Mace's constant search for a victory. In the end, he can barely save himself, let alone anyone else. What's really impressive is the fine line Stover has to walk here. Having an extremely powerful Jedi as your main character is like operating with a constant built-in deus ex machina. That's fine if you want to tell a rollicking, action-packed adventure story, but it's much trickier if you're trying to deal with the themes this book touches on. This is far from the first story I've read where a Jedi or a superhero or someone else with extreme powers encounters a situation where they can't save everyone. But usually, the ultimate ending is somewhat victorious because these individuals are almost always triumphant in some sense. Stover, by contrast, is continually pulling the rug out from under Mace in unexpected ways, forcing him to peel back layer after layer and dig down to the core of who he is as a leader, as a Jedi, and as a person, and get to what his values really are and what they amount to in a galaxy where 1000 years of relative peace has just come to an end. What is the difference between the law enforcement Mace has spent his whole life pursuing, where people can be brought to justice before a shared authority, and waging war? I also particularly appreciated Stover's obvious debt to his source material, which is primarily the film Apocalypse Now. But it's pretty clear that, if he didn't also read Heart of Darkness and study the Vietnam War and the Belgian colonization of the Congo, then he's just unbelievably intuitive in his understanding of human nature and historical realities. Star Wars is a lot about big, fun good vs. evil adventure and escapism . . . but this is a Star Wars book that has something to say about us as people, and that's pretty cool. Any quibbles I have with the book are minor to the point of insignificance. I don't know what more I could reasonably have expected it to embody or accomplish. Brilliant. A+

  27. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Kukwa

    It's a slow burn at times...perhaps a little too slow on occasion. But there is no denying the intensity of the story...and the intensity of the main character. Matthew Stover gives Mace Windu the greatest showcase ever, and takes the brooding cliched tough guy of the prequel and makes him a fully rounded, wise, dangerous Jedi. THIS Mace Windu wouldn't have met the same fate as the Episode III Windu...and I would have loved to see more of THIS Windu on screen, so we could all appreciate him. It's a slow burn at times...perhaps a little too slow on occasion. But there is no denying the intensity of the story...and the intensity of the main character. Matthew Stover gives Mace Windu the greatest showcase ever, and takes the brooding cliched tough guy of the prequel and makes him a fully rounded, wise, dangerous Jedi. THIS Mace Windu wouldn't have met the same fate as the Episode III Windu...and I would have loved to see more of THIS Windu on screen, so we could all appreciate him.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stanislav

    A great Star Wars story. I wish I've read it in 2004 when it was published, when my passion for starwars was peaking and when the story was still canon. Still a good read though. A great Star Wars story. I wish I've read it in 2004 when it was published, when my passion for starwars was peaking and when the story was still canon. Still a good read though.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Hits like a truck. i';ve heard this called 'Apocalypse Now' in the GFFA, and they're right. Intense and barely lets up. Hits like a truck. i';ve heard this called 'Apocalypse Now' in the GFFA, and they're right. Intense and barely lets up.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tanesha Brumfield

    I don’t write reviews, this is specifically for my friend AFJ😂 I loved this book. As a Star Wars fan, even the movie glimpses of Mace Windu are exciting, impressive and intriguing. This book adds a deeper layer to this character making you instantly adore and admire him. Reading it had all the adventure of any film (and of course you will imagine Samuel L. Jackson as you go)! I would recommend this book for anyone who is an avid reader, loves adventure, and has a healthy imagination, be they Star I don’t write reviews, this is specifically for my friend AFJ😂 I loved this book. As a Star Wars fan, even the movie glimpses of Mace Windu are exciting, impressive and intriguing. This book adds a deeper layer to this character making you instantly adore and admire him. Reading it had all the adventure of any film (and of course you will imagine Samuel L. Jackson as you go)! I would recommend this book for anyone who is an avid reader, loves adventure, and has a healthy imagination, be they Star Wars Fan or no.

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