Later tonight, we’ve got a pair of Crucible reviews that we’ll get posted. Until then, we want to try something new. Our reviews usually feature spoilers, and I’m certain a number of you wish to stay spoiler-free but also want to know if something we’re reviewing is something you should go out and buy right away. That’s why we’re introducing a new feature called Go/No-Go. What we’ll do is go around the horn Mission Control style and have the blog’s staff writers offer a brief, spoiler-free paragraph detailing whether or not they think a book, film, or other piece of entertainment is a Go or a No-Go to purchase.
First up on the launch pad: Crucible by Troy Denning
CAPCOM Brian’s thoughts: Crucible is somewhat of a mess. It has a hard time deciding just what it wants to be through the first half, but unfortunately it settles on being another story that’s too big in scope for its own good. This book borders on uncomfortable torture porn in too many places and generally is too graphic even for Star Wars. In addition, it’s so reliant on previous reader knowledge it’s almost inaccessible to long-time EU fans, let alone less knowledgeable EU fans that were enticed by the promise of a Big Three retirement adventure. This is a a No-Go for me.
EECOM Nanci’s thoughts: I was looking forward to Crucible. I really was. (I even wrote a blog post about it.) For as much as the recent post-RotJ era EU has focused on the Big Three, they really don’t spend much time together. I picked up Crucible hoping it would be a fun adventure story that explored the Luke/Han/Leia friendship and gave them some nice character moments along with a proper send off. Instead I got another Troy Denning grimdark book: unnecessary torture scenes, characters getting maimed over and over, uber-Jedi being the only ones who can save the day, another impending apocalypse, and the continuing defarmboyization of Luke Skywalker. Moreover, Crucible contains some of the most egregious info dumps and clunky prose I’ve ever read in the Expanded Universe. I did not like this book. No-Go.
TELMU Bria’s thoughts: Crucible is not the book that we were all hoping for and that’s a shame. It’s a strange plot that relies far too much on some of the stranger and non-sensical plot lines from Fate of the Jedi and is a less than stellar final adventure for the Big Three. Torture porn and information dumps are the name of the game along with a side of ‘Jedi are the best at everything!’. Save your time, money, and eyeballs and pick up a better Expanded Universe book. It’s a definite No-Go from me.
FDO Emily’s thoughts: I can deal with some info dumping up front–I read freshman English papers on a daily basis–but when the plot doesn’t make sense, there’s gratuitous violence, and a whammy of a WTF at the end that hits you so hard your head spins, even the most generous English teacher has to assign a failing grade. It’s a No-Go.
Flight Director’s ruling: Crucible is a No-Go and is stuck on the launch pad.