Charlemagne: King of the Franks
by Cameron White
Published in December 2015
Thibault’s Score: 3/5
White’s biography of Charlemagne is one of the most unremarkable and unmemorable history books that I have read in a long time. He uses language understandable by lay persons and attempts to keep his biography as short as simple as possible.
Its been a week since I finished the book, and I can hardly remember any details about the book, or recall any insights that I have learned. I already knew most of the details presented in the book, and my memory of the writing has blurred with all of the books I’ve read discussing Charlemagne.
This book gets a 3 for its lack of mental stain in my mind.
Darth Maul Shadow Hunter
by Michael Reaves
Published in January 2001
Thibault’s Score: 1/5
I’ve been wanting to get back into Star Wars, so have decided to watch all the movies chronologically as well as read some of the fan fiction along the way.
I always wanted to learn more about Darth Maul, and now I have learned that all the fan fiction written about him sucks.
Darth Maul Shadow Hunter makes the previous book that I read, Lockdown, seem like Shakespear or Dostoyevski.
The main character, Lorn Pavan, is a data broker and information salesman. He is a cheap Han Solo knockoff and a male Mary Sue. His protocol droid, 5YQ, is a fun character vaguely reminiscent of Data but doesn’t make a lot of sense.
There are several supporting characters: Darsha Assant, a female Jedi Padawan. Like Lorn Pavan, she is also a bit of a Mary Sue, but the case isn’t as bad with her because she is flawed and emotionally anxious.
Finally, there is Darth Maul, who is actually used pretty well, serving as comic relief. This was odd, but it worked very well for this book. The novel is a series of unfortunate events, where Darth Maul is forced to assassinate an ever growing pool of people to keep a secret.
I read about halfway before snoozing off, and a lot of the details are fuzzy to me.
I thought this book was pretty stupid, but I haven’t yet lost faith in Star Wars fan fiction - while these two books were rated poorly on Amazon and Audible, I haven’t yet tackled any of the books that have gotten extensive praise.
Darth Maul: Lockdown
by Joe Schreiber
Published in January 2014
Thibault’s Score: 2/5
When I was in Middle School and High School, I would read a lot of Star Wars fan fiction. I haven’t seen the new Star Wars movies yet, and now that 9 is releasing, I plan on watching them all in Chronological Order. I also noticed that I haven’t reviewed a lot of fiction. I checked, and the only fiction book I’ve read in the last 2 years is a short story by HG Wells. I’ve also been a bit stressed out lately, and wanted to read something a bit more light for a change.
I used to really, really, really enjoy Star Wars fan fiction, and was exposed to many interesting philosophy and sci-fi ideas through my reading. I want to prepare for my movie binge by rediscovering some of the best Star Wars fan fiction and read some of the key books.
I wanted to start with Darth Maul. In The Phantom Menace Darth Maul is a 2d character with no personality. In the comics, he is much better fleshed out character with many interesting desires and motivations. I enjoyed reading many of the Darth Maul comics as a kid, so decided to start my Star Wars fan fiction binge there. I was throughly disappointed.
Unlike the other Sith, Darth Maul is utterly devoted to his cause and completely loyal to his master. He wishes nothing more than the advancement of the Sith’s grand plan, and the fulfillment of his mission. Lockdown does a great job of making Maul into an interesting character. It doesn’t turn him into a Mary Sue, but preserves his badassness.
Lockdown’s first half was really good. There were a lot of intriguing and compelling characters. The plot thickened, and I found myself coming up with all of these different and elaborate theories about the identity of Darth Maul’s contact.
There also was this creepy space bug living in the station that was really good. but wasn’t properly used by the author.
When I read fiction, the most important parts are the beginning and the ending. This book had a great beginning, but a stupid ending.
If the ending had been as good as the first half of the book, I would have given it 4/5 stars. However the ending was horrible. A bunch of random Sith cultists, lightsabers, and Jabba the Hutt appear for no particular reason. They ruined the ending, turned it from a really epic story of survival into a disappointing fan fiction mess of incoherent characters.
I only recommend this book to die hard Star Wars fans, but don’t think that it has much appeal for normal audiences.
Most of my articles are book reviews, but I also write about many other topics.