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Page updated: 31st March 2009


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[The New Jedi Order]
Events that occur between 25 and 40 years after the Battle of Yavin.

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Paperback Novel
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Audio Book
Read by Jonathan Davis
Published as abridged
audio CD & digital download

[Traitor - audiobook]

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Matthew Stover
Del Rey [US]; Arrow Books [UK]
Published as:
Paperback Novel (2002)
Audio Book (2002, 2007)
e-Book (2011)

If you have read this book, please rate it:
1 review [Average review score 4 / 5]

From the depths of catastrophe, a glimmer of hope.
After the capture of Coruscant, the mighty heart of the New Republic, a stunned galaxy fears that nothing can stop the Yuuzhan Vong. Still, that crushing defeat produces one small miracle: Jacen Solo is alive. Yet he can scarcely imagine himself in stranger circumstances.
The young Jedi Knight is in the care of Vergere, a fascinating creature of mystery and power, her intentions hard to fathom, her cruelties rarely concealed. But this master of inscrutable arts has much to teach the young Jedi... for she holds the key to a new way to experience the Force, to take it to another level - dangerous, dazzling, perhaps deadly.
In the wrong hands, the tremendous energies of the Force can be devastating. And there are others watching Jacen's progress closely, waiting patiently for the moment when he will be ready for their own dire purposes. Now, all is in shadows. Yet whatever happens, whether Jacen's newfound mastery unleashes light or darkness, he will never be the same Jedi again...

This story occurs approximately 27 years after the Battle of Yavin.

Related Stories (in chronological order):

Review by Dirk Loechel, Germany, 2009:

"As a kid, I really liked Star Wars. I liked it so much I picked up the books to the films, and then the original books building on them, like Zahn's Heir to the Empire and a couple others. Pretty soo, though, those books put me off and I found other things to read. I think it was The Truce at Bakura that made me drop the line.
"Then the new movies came out, and I was thoroughly disappointed by them. In fact, they spoiled the original movies for me too (Yoda and Obi-Wan being the exception and gaining much needed depth). So I'm certainly not a fan, though the universe does mean fond memories for me.
"Traitor is the first Star Wars book I picked up in almost two decades. I picked it up with another, Shatterpoint, which I will also review later (when I've read it).
"There's much about this book not to like. The main protagonist, Jacen, is just the kind of character that tends to annoy the heck out of me, an angsty, spoiled rich teenager without a purpose in life. Someone who, at least to me, feels like a reborn Anakin (who spoiled Darth Vader for me, formerly one of my favourite villains, right up there with Iago and Magneto) without any of the reasons and excuses Annie had. I never warmed up to him, I must admit; I never really cared about or felt with him.
"Ganner, likewise, while having a true crowning moment of cool in his Mortal Kombat like last stand, felt like a cardboard cut, and was equally insecure and annoying. Nothing against characters finding their true selves, but PLEASE, why does it always have to be an angsty teenage boy?
"Also, the way this book takes one of the coolest settings of Star Wars - the planet-wide sprawl of Coruscant, one of the things I looked at and instantly wanted to know more about - and turns it into Generic Nasty Jungle Planet number 4008 is distasteful. But, Star Wars always was fond of wasting it's most interesting settings while nourishing the boring ones. Like, you know, Alderaan, while developing Tatooine, a pretty blatant Dune rip-off. So nothing new here. Also, yet another one climate zone planet. Yay.
The Yuuzan Vong, finally, are a nice enough alien menace, but what parts they were built of is too recognisable, too unoriginal. They seem like they're trying to be every popular alien menace in SciFi since the 80s at once:

  • Gigeresque slime overgrowing machinery, dripping acid and eating people alive in horrible ways? Alien, just lacking those highly memorable marines.

  • Proud (and slightly insane) Warrior Culture? Say hello to the Klingons (I wonder how many Trekkies feel terribly insulted by this and utter that in Klingon on Youtube - maybe I should try and find out), and also the Predator, given their fondness of self sacrifice and jungle settings.

  • Powerful, seemingly invincible alien creatures with organic technology covering the galaxy with war and ruin? Oh no, it's the Shadows. Quick, call the Vorlon embassy!

"They left out the Cylons, but at least the Vong live in a vast convoy because their homeworld blew up, and are chasing a mythical new homeworld ... and that all is patched together in a package that at least gives it's evil gods more imaginative (and less laughable) names than Nurgle.
"Not to say that doesn't come together in an interesting way (it does) or has it's own accents - like the masochist cult and mutilation and fondness of scarring, and plenty of tentacle action ... do these books have a huge following in Japan? Just, it's nothing that would make me read a book.
"Finally, this book continuously refers to events in other books I do not possess. If it were not for sites like wookieepedia, I would have been lost at a couple of points. It certainly is not friendly for very old time fans who have not bought a cubic meter of Lucas Books novels and read them all.
"However, there is one thing thoroughly gripping about this book, which made it a page turner even for someone who dislikes so much about it. It is also what made me pick up that book in the first place, when a friend told me about it, and I wanted to know whether it's as good as she claimed (it is).
"And that is Vergere.
"This is one of the very few aliens in a Space Opera setting that truly feels alien and remains so. Vergere's motives are never uncovered, whatever she does is up to the reader's, as well as the characters', guess, and this enigmaticness really carried the book for me. Without Vergere, this would be another uninteresting space opera book with more or less unrounded characters and repeating and rearranging space opera clichés - but Vergere, I feel is special, she carries the book and makes it into something much more than it otherwise would have been. It's very rare and a terrific feat for such a character, a being whose mind can truly be described as eldritch, to work without falling into any of a myriad cliché traps. Stover pulls that off, and that alone makes this book a worthwhile read, despite other shortcomings (which may not be entirely Stover's fault, considering Lucas Books has a write by committee policy).
"Vergere's enigmatic nature is never imposed, it is never outright stated she is enigamtic and has to be perceived as such. She is because she, well, is. The other characters have their moments too - Jacen with this digest-a-thing in Coruscant and his suicidal rage attack against the seed ship, Ganner with his last stand, and Nom Anor as he gloats about the Warmaster - but Vergere is just one consistent moment of cool."

Rating: 4 / 5 (Without Vergere, it would have been 2/5, though.)
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