Barnes - Cestus Deception

October 13, 2004

Steven Barnes
The Cestus deception
New York : Ballantine Books, c2004.

Steven Barnes is a perfectly competant writer. He has done some collaberation with Niven and Pournelle; his Streetlethal and followup novels are a nice mixture of martial arts, distopia, and love; he is normally someone whose stuff I like to read.

George Lucas presides over an ever expanding empire of suck. This empire has gone from the first movies to the later dreck, from the first few novels to the great Star Wars writing franchise, and at every stage the quality has declined.

The Star Wars book empire has hired a number of good writers to do novels for them. Some of them are not bad - I liked Walter Jon Williams' Destiny's Way while Timothy Zahn's Star Wars stuff is better than his stand-alone works. Most of them are terrible - all the faults of Lucas' world and none of the charm.

Barnes Cestus Deception is in the clone wars subset of the Star Wars franchise and, well, I found it absolutely unreadable. The header for this entry reads "did not finish" but it should have been called "could not start." The characters are more wooden and paper-thin than usual. The dialogue sucks. The premises are faulty. The politics are stupid. Nothing about the entire experience was enthralling or compelling. I found that I had no reason to care about the events, the characters, the plot or the world. So I stopped. And all that suckiness was in the first dozen pages. It was really most remarkably bad.

I like Barnes. I will read his next book whenever it comes out. Unless, of course, it is in Lucasworld. I have started a boycot of Lucasworld.

Posted by Red Ted at October 13, 2004 01:24 PM | TrackBack
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