The Clone Wars: Gambit: Stealth
by Karen Miller
Published by Del Rey
Adrick's Rating: 1 out of 4
Planet by planet, darkness creeps across the galaxy. Among warriors and generals, among ordinary beings living in far-flung worlds, the fear will not go away: We are losing this war...
Anakin Skywalker feels it, too. The Separatist Alliance, with ruthlessness and treachery, is beating the Republic to every strategic target. But after a costly clash with General Grievous for the planet Kothlis, Anakin has a mission that will focus his anxious mind. Alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi, he is posing as a long-lost native of Lanteeb, an impoverished world on the Outer Rim. This seemingly unimportant planet has drawn the interest of the Sepsóand Anakin and Obi-Wan soon discover the disturbing reason: A scientist enslaved by General Lok Durd is drawing on Lanteebís one natural resource for a devastating bioweapon.
Now Anakin and Obi-Wan have entered the eye of a storm. Their presence has been exposed, Lok Durdís plans unveiled, and a fight has begun for survival behind enemy linesóand a chance of winning a war that must be fought at any cost.
The first of a two-part adventure wrapping up the Clone Wars novel series, Stealth is a departure from Millerís previous Clone Wars novel Wild Space in its scope. The opening chapters feature a large, well executed battle sequence that provides a nice contrast to the tale of espionage that dominates the book.
Also, where the first story focused primarily on developing the relationship between Bail Organa and Obi-Wan Kenobi, this book features a larger cast, bringing Anakin to the forefront and adding Ahsoka and some original characters to the mix.
Miller captures the spirit of the Anakin/Obi-Wan banter from the television show fairly well here. She also gives us a truly outstanding take on the villain Lok Durd. Although he didnít make much of an impression on me in his single episode appearance (aside from being voiced by genre legend George Takei), here he really comes into his own as a truly despicable villain. Miller also touches on the Chosen One aspect of Anakinís character that was a strong part of the prequel films.
Itís good to see that Miller has freely embraced the world of the cartoon while remaining committed to the primary story of the prequels.
Itís a little disappointing that the last of the second round of Clone Wars novels has fallen prey to the same tendencies that made so much of the first round so forgettable. The heart of Stealth is a story weíve seen a hundred times before in the Clone Wars, and weíre likely to see a hundred times again: the Separatists are preparing a New Weapon, forcing Anakin and Obi-Wan to leave the front lines in order to stop it.
Miller attempts to provide some interesting ethical dilemmas to make things interesting, with Anakin siding with a kidnapped scientist working on the weapon against Obi-Wan. Itís a stab in the right direction, but itís also more than a little reminiscent of Anakinís relationship with the communications administrator in Jedi Trial.
But the most disappointing element of Stealth is one of the characters appearing here for the first time: Taria Damsin. Taria Damsin is, like Siri Tachi and Satine Kryze, a woman who was once romantically involved with Obi-Wan. Ahsoka privately idolizes her, for Taria is a kind, patient, funny Jedi Master with a trim figure, shimmering hair, piercing eyes, and full lips. She is such a good friend to Obi-Wan that he spends a chaste night in her bed after she sings him to sleep. But tragically, she is dying, victim of a terminal disease she was infected with as a result of eating seafood.
If this unlikely character appeared in a fan produced work, there would be a very specific term for her...Iím not enthusiastic about seeing her again in the second installment.
Anakin almost jumping Padme at a dinner party where Obi-Wan and Bail Organa are also in attendance. I really wish I was kidding.