The Old Republic: Revan, by Drew Karpyshyn, was one of the most highly anticipated Star Wars novels of the year. It came out just in time (on my birthday, in fact) to create hype for The Old Republic, an MMORPG set to be released on December 20 of this year. Revan, although a great read, failed to meet my expectations and, sadly, was a disappointment.
Revan’s plot is fast-paced and exciting. It keeps the reader riveted and intrigued throughout the entire novel and, at only 298 pages, makes for a very fast read. It follows Darth Revan’s exploits after the events of Knights of the Old Rebublic I and II. One of the oddest parts of the novel, however, was the obsession with Lord Scourge, a Sith warrior. More than half the book is spent merely focusing on him and his escapades in the Sith Empire. The novel’s focus on Lord Scourge is one of the main disappointments of the book (other disappointments involve spoilers and won’t be mentioned in detail). In a book entitled Revan, why, must I ask, is so much attention given to an insignificant Sith Lord? As I stated earlier, the book is a great read. Karpyshyn is a great author, and the book mirrors his skill (character development aside). The problem I had with Revan, though, was not with its merit as a standalone novel. Rather, my problem is with its being a continuation of the storyline of the Knights of the Old Republic series; in that, it fails miserably. The story itself and its ending (sorry) were huge disappointments. At the end of the novel, I found myself oddly depressed (and not just by Revan’s fate). I began Revan not knowing what to expect; I ended it wishing I still held that ignorance.
Revan’s character development is its true flaw. As I have stated before, someone who has never played Knights of the Old Republic would enjoy the book, but anyone who has played Knights (even only once through) will be sorely disgusted by Karpyshyn’s apparent lack of knowledge of the characters (which is funny because he helped write the storyline for it). Revan seems nothing like he does in the game, whether one took the light, dark, or neutral path. Karpyshyn never mentions anything of Revan’s turmoil about his time as a dark lord and nothing of his days during the Mandalorian Wars; granted, his memories don’t fully come back until later in the story, but more should have been said than, (hyperbole) “Oh; I have my memories back!” Many of the characters I grew to love in the Knights series weren’t even an integral part of the storyline. Mission, Zaalbar, Jolee, Juhani, and HK-47 only receive very brief mentions, and neither Carth nor any of the companion characters from The Sith Lords are discussed. Meetra Surik (the Exile, who now has a name) is a principal character, but her character is very bland, too. I really don’t want to give too much away, but she plays out to be a very generic female character, somewhat akin to Jaina Solo in Traitor, for those of you who have read it. Lord Scourge receives the best character development, but I don’t care about him! No one I cared about was developed well or even matched his or her profile in the games.
Revan was a disappointment, not only because of its incongruity with the games, but also because of Karpyshyn’s seeming apathy for fans of the Knights series. If you have played Knights of the Old Republic, wish to play it, or have even the faintest interest in it or its sequel, do not read this book. It will make you angry. Very, very angry.
|Good standalone story|
Concludes the Knights series
Not enough Revan
Doesn't follow Knights very well