Episode 2: #AttackOfTheClones #StarWars novel mini review

R.A.Salvatore has done an excellent job of telling the story of the film Attack Of The Clones in his Star Wars novel. I have a hard time not enjoying novels from the Star Wars universe, but I really was hard pressed to put this one down.

As in the film, the story tells of how the republic, struggling as more and more systems succeed to the separatist movement, grant supreme chancellor Palpatine emergency powers in the Senate who then immediately sanctions the use of an army of the republic; utlizing a clone army conveniently commissioned in secret for the republic by an old Jedi master 10 years dead...

Prior to this, Senator Amidala is leading the debate against the creation of an army for the republic. Her life is in immediate danger by those who would see the motion carried, and the task dutifully falls upon Obi-Wan and his padowan Anakin Skywalker.

Anakin, in this novel was so well portrayed; much better than in the movie. I actually find myself empathizing with him instead of just finding him annoying. He's really struggling here with his unrequited love for Padme and his attachment to his mother; plagued by visions or dreams that tug at his emotions. He knows he's being uncharacteristic for one of the Jedi order but can not contain his himself.

Actually, everything in the film I found annoying I now find myself enjoying in written form. Even Jar Jar Binks comes across as an honest simpleton just trying to do the best he can in Senator Amidala's absence... I even enjoyed the bumbling Threepio scenes as he confusedly wanders around the droid factory on Geonosis...

So we reach the climax on Geonosis, and Padme, Anakin and Obi-Wan presented for execution. The detailed descriptions of the three beasts employed to bring about their demise makes them muvh more scary than their CGI counterparts. They're of course saved in rather timely fashion by Mace Windu and a small army of Jedi, who are subsequently saved by the even more timely arrival of Yoda and the now legal clone army... Okay, so Salvatore can't change the pitfalls of the original story, but what he does with the material feels much less rushed and entirely more detailed, adding to the excitement all the time; the action sequences are so well described and felt genuinely exciting, despite knowing what's around every corner from the film. Dooku is one of my favorite bad guys, and this novel enforces that. The battle at the end when Yoda steps in is so thrilling to read and is more satisfying creating the scene in your minds eye than having it displayed in dated over  I really enjoyed myself up until the end.

Movie to novel adaptations are usually a bit ropy, but if anything I enjoyed this one more than the film (though, the gravity of this achievement depends on your stance on the prequel trilogy...). Definitely recommended for any Star Wars fans, and if you've read any of the other novels in the lead up to this you'll find it follows on superbly. A very entertaining read!

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