The Clone Wars: Secret Missions

July 3, 2017 at 8:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

missions1The Clone Wars: Secret Missions by Ryder Windham

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I’ve decided to review the four books in the Secret Missions series together, since they seem to be more a single story than four individual stories under the same arc. Each book has its own conflict and story, but they seem to be a backdrop for the larger story, which is the conflict between Nuru Kungurama, a Chiss Padawan, and his Master, Ring-Sol Ambrase. There are other characters in the books (four clone troopers, a droid commando, and the captain of a ship), but the central conflict that drives the entire story is that one. And since this is the Clone Wars, of course the events are all orchestrated by Palpatine for his grand scheme.

missions2The stories are decent, in that they move quickly, and the characters are engaging, but this was the first juvenile book that felt like it was written for kids. Despite the complexities of the plot, the story was told simply, with more telling than showing, and an overuse of abverbs. Windham added some humor to the stories, though without making it cringe-worthy, like C-3PO and the droid factory from Attack of the Clones. He also used lines from the original movies, so readers can run their own Easter egg hunts to find them.

The first book, Breakout Squad, sets up the events that separate Nuru and Ring-Sol, while also creating the Breakout Squad itself. The second book, Curse of the Black Hole Pirates, gives us some insight into Nuru’s past as the squad goes into unknown space and meets with a Chiss ambassador. Duel at Shattered Rock reveals a Mandalorian assassin on a new mission, and Guardians of the Chiss Key brings the main plot to a close.

missions3When I decided to include the juvenile books into my Star Wars reading project, I decided against adding any adaptation of other works. That eliminated a lot of titles (each movie has a juvenile and an easy-reader adaptation, and there are some books which are adaptations of other books), but now that I’m deep into the Clone Wars, I’m finding that I’m missing out on some details because I haven’t watched the show yet. Secret Missions feels incomplete in some ways, and I wonder if it’s because Windham is relying on the readers being familiar with the show. The way he wraps up events in the fourth book leaves many questions unanswered, though maybe they’re a set up for the show.

missions4So, the books are decent, if a little basic, and they feel like there should be more story once they wrap up. Readers already familiar with The Clone Wars might have more of their questions answered, but other readers should use caution when approaching the series.

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