Decide Your Destiny #2: The Lost Legion
by Tracey West
Published by Grosset & Dunlap
Adrick's Rating: 3 out of 4
Do you have what it takes to be a clone trooper in the Republic Army? In this Decide Your Destiny story set in the world of Star Wars: The Clone Wars you can choose from multiple characters—such as medic, commander, or demolitions expert—and dozens of paths to create your own adventure. With over twenty-five different endings, every time you read this book it’ll be a whole new adventure.
Decide Your Destiny continues to be one of the more interesting Star Wars series for the young adult market. Considering the countless numbers of Choose-Your-Own-Adventures knockoffs that were produced during the 80’s and 90’s, when Star Wars had reached…well, two of its peaks, anyway…it’s surprising that there are only a handful of Star Wars books in that format.
Still, quality is always preferable to quantity. Tracey West, author of several The Clone Wars adaptations, takes over for The Way of the Jedi author Jake T. Forbes in this second volume, although Forbes still provides the story. I wasn’t too impressed with West’s take on The Clone Wars film, but she executes the book’s game/story format well.
Even though I’ve played through countless similar gamebooks (well, in my younger days, of course) The Lost Legion is still impressive to me. Many of these books tended to suffer from random, unpredictable elements that would ensure your doom. How on earth was one supposed to know that the left path would lead to an enchanted candy factory, whereas the right would cause you to be eaten by aliens? I remember once being killed by a Yeti with a cannon. How the heck would a Yeti even get a cannon? (This was before eBay.)
In The Lost Legion, the story thankfully remains the same: you are a member of a company of clone troopers assigned to Ando Prime, where an entire legion of Republic troops has mysteriously vanished. But even though the assignment never changes, there are many different choices one can make to accomplish the mission, most of which make sense. (Here’s a hint: Don’t podrace.)
I liked that you can choose your position in the company; each one requires different roles and choices. You can choose to lead, fight, heal…or just blow stuff up, if that’s what you’re in the mood for. I also have to applaud Forbes and West for choosing Ando Prime as the location for this story; it’s a nice, preexisting Expanded Universe location that offers a lot of potential, but hasn’t been over-exposed like Kashyyyk or Coruscant.
The Lost Legion doesn’t really offer the same kind of replay value that The Way of the Jedi did. In that book, you could find out more information about the characters and have vastly different kinds of battles depending on what path you chose. In this one, the action and characters are more limited. The reason behind the disappearing legion is interesting, but underused. I was also kind of hoping to see Forbes’s characters from the first book return…but perhaps we’ll see both in future installments.
A Yeti with a cannon! Oh, wait, that’s not in this book…