Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Stealth by Karen Miller (book review).

April 27, 2015 | By | Reply More

The Republic may be losing the war. General Grievous is taking his ‘clanky butt’ and his war fleet into the fray and, planet by planet, spreading darkness across the galaxy. Now he has attacked Kothlis, strategically located in the Mid Rim area and with a valuable spynet facility. It must not fall. Fortunately, Obi-Wan, Anakin, his Togruta Padawan Ahsoka, Rex and Torrent Company are on hand to stop him. The odds are overwhelming. Somehow, Grievous has sabotaged their comms. The droids they fight are ‘as cunning as Onderonian blood-beasts’ and casualties are heavy. But even though Obi-Wan plays sabacc ‘like a lame bantha’, he has ‘more lives than a Sullustan moonbat’ and lives to fight another day. Author Karen Miller sprinkles the early chapters of ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Stealth’ with alien similes though they die off later, which is a shame.


The battle for Kothlis is action-packed but merely a prelude. This book is really about the planet Lanteeb. It’s a world of no particular importance, far removed from main trade lanes and not strategically positioned but the Separatist forces have taken it. Why? Kenobe’s old friend, Senator Bail Organa, is worried enough to send Obi-Wan and Anakin on an undercover mission to the planet. That’s giving away less plot than the back cover of the book but it’s enough for now. Suffice to say that the adventure rolls along with sufficient drama to keep you reading though it does perhaps flag a bit in the middle. Be warned that the end is not the conclusion so you have to get the next book ‘Star Wars: Clone Wars Gambit: Siege’. Fortunately, I have it to hand.

The difficulty with ‘Star Wars’ is that we have all seen the films and know how it turns out. This makes it very hard for the writers to get real drama into the proceedings, yet somehow they manage. The books, as is so often the case, are better than the films. A talented novelist is able to dig a bit deeper into the characters and engage with subtler thoughts and feelings than an actor can convey with words. So even though we’re aware that Anakin will eventually go over to the dark side, it is interesting to see the process and the flaws which make him susceptible. Reading this book, I was tempted to watch the films about the Clone Wars again. Maybe that’s the idea

This space opera makes enjoyable light reading. Fans of the franchise may buy it anyway but snobs, more sniffy about this kind of fiction, could do worse than give it a try. Those big corporations that own the copyrights hire good writers to keep the quality high and Karen Miller is a proven master of this particular sub-genre. With a great cast of characters and a solid well wrought background, ‘Star Wars’ is a fun world to visit. There’s even a nice tinge of mysticism. So, if I get this review in on time, May the Fourth be with you.

Eamonn Murphy

April 2015

(pub: Del Rey/Ballantine Books/Lucas Books, 2010. 409 page enlarged paperback. Price: $15.00 (US), $18.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-345-50902-4)

pub: Arrow/Random House, 2014. 395 page paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-099-5332-1)

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Category: Books, Star Wars

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