About the Author:
Steven Barnes was born in Los Angeles, USA. As well as being an author he has also written scripts for the Twilight Zone, the Outer Limits, Stargate and Andromeda TV series. He holds black belts in judo and karate and is a trained hypnotherapist. He lives with his daughter Nicki and his wife, novelist Tananarive Due.
AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
4 out of 5
Star Wars: The Cestus Deception
A Clone Wars novel, set a year after the end of 'Attack Of The Clones', in 21 BBY. Obi-Wan Kenobi is sent to Ord Cestus to halt production of a new type of battle droid, nicknamed 'Jedi Killers' through mediation. However, Supreme Chancellor Palptine is unwilling to put his faith in diplomacy and insists that a second team, consisting of Clone Commandos and led by Jedi Master Kit Fisto, be sent to the planet to initiate military operations.
This book addresses several important Star Wars issues, the first of which is the conflict of interest caused within the Jedi by the Clone Wars. It makes for compelling reading as Obi-Wan struggles to find a diplomatic solution, even as he becomes more and more certain that he will have to fall back on the military option. The other major issue that this book addresses is the Clones trying to come to terms with their own humanity and measuring themselves against the Jedi who they hold in awe. Nate/Jangotat (and ARC Trooper) is an excellent character and his development with Sheeka Tull's help is one of the strongest elements of the book, as is his ultimate decision.
Barnes makes good use of Sith Acolyte Asajj Ventress too, showing that she is as smart as she is deadly when she repeatedly foils Obi-Wan's plans. There's also a great three-way duel between Ventress, Obi-Wan and Kit.
This book's main downsides are that the X'Ting politics can be pretty boring and the revelation about the JK droids kinda makes the whole story pointless. One other fault is that the book's cover prominently features Count Dooku, but he doesn't even make a cameo appearance within the text.
Followed by 'Jedi Trial' by David Sherman & Dan Cragg.
4 out of 5