Kube-McDowell, Michael P.

About the Author:


Michael P. Kube-McDowell is the pen name of Philadelphia-born Michael Paul McDowell.  He lives in Michigan with artist and modelmaker Gwen Zak.



2.3 out of 5

(3 books)

Star Wars: Before The Storm

16 ABY.  Book one of The Black Fleet Crisis, which vies with K. W. Jeter's The Bounty Hunter Wars for the position of worst Star Wars trilogy ever.  This book is supremely boring and it seems that author actually devoted time to making all of the characters, even our beloved heroes, both stupid and unlikable. 

However, Kube-McDowell's biggest mistake is that he tries to write an autonomous science fiction novel and therefore largely abandons the sheltering strength of the Star Wars franchise.  What this means is that not only does the book lack the things that make Star Wars popular (lightsaber duels and the like), but it also puts across ideas that are completely out of context, the worst two being the bit where Luke flies like he's freaking Superman and the idea of a whole new universal energy field.  The latter is totally baffling, considering he could have used the Force (pardon the pun) and not had to make the 'White Current' rubbish up.

Followed by 'Shield of Lies'.

2 out of 5


Star Wars: Shield Of Lies

16 ABY.  The Black Fleet Crisis book two and the series continues in the dire mold of the first book. 

The scenes involving the fleet at the Koornacht Cluster aren't all that bad and Kube-McDowell has a pretty good talent for and grasp of military dynamics.  However, this story is dragged way down by two of the subplots.  Theres the one in which Luke is searching for his mother and basically involves him and an annoying whingy pacifist (don't get me wrong, pacifism is a good thing, but not at the expense of necessity) named Akanah going from planet to planet and not finding any clues. 

Worse, however, is the the Teljkon Vagabond plotline, in which Lando Calrissian, Lobot (that's the guy from 'The Empire Strikes Back' with the computer wrapped around his head), C-3PO and R2-D2 float around on a strange spaceship, where it's very boring.

Followed by 'Tyrant's Test'.

2 out of 5


Star Wars: Tyrant's Test

16 ABY.  The third book of the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy is a slight improvement.  This is because the book is largely about the military campaign against the Yevetha and Kube-McDowell writes the military parts quite well. 

However, he goes and wrecks his biggest strength by writing one of the worst (anti)climactic battles in the entire franchise.  Also his two abysmally boring subplots turn out to be even bigger anticlimaxes.  Luke's search for his mother turns out to be completely fruitless (obviously, since this book came out long before the prequel films) and Lando's mystery ship turns out to have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the story at all.  Why did he bother!? 

Don't read this trilogy, it's a waste of time.

Followed by Kristine Kathryn Rusch's 'The New Rebellion'.

3 out of 5


Star Wars (here)