Dark Tide 2: Ruin
[Michael A. Stackpole, Bantam Books, 2000]


In the aftermath of the events in "Onslaught"...

Corran Horn, still Luke's right-hand-man at the Jedi Academy, is on the New Republic's Active Service list again. He is assigned to lead an incursion onto a planet conquered by the YVs. He takes 2 "civilian" observers - Ganner [Kyp's sidekick] and Jacen.

Luke and the other Jedi spend most of their time trying to define precisely what "offensive" and "defensive" action are. Unlike Kyp Durron, who wants to take a more aggressive stance, Luke actually learned something from his "fall" to the Dark Side. One of the Jedi takes a slip towards the Dark Side, and tries to get hold of a superweapon.

The Rogues are still non-entities up against a foe who can look after itself, and even with the lessons they learned in the last book they still take believable losses! The New Republic military call in the only other major power in the Galaxy. Jaina Organa-Solo and the rest of Rogue Squadron are joined by a new breed of hero - the next generation of Imperial fighter-aces.

The climax takes place on the world of Ithor, which is in the centre of the YV invasion path. The Rogues get some space fighting, while the Jedi go hand-to-hand again.

What foreshadowing is put in place for the next book? Han Solo is beside himself with grief, and does nothing of any consequence. Jaina is given two possible love interests for future books - one a Jedi, the other a fellow pilot.


If you have read "Dark Tide 1: Onslaught" then this is more of the same.

Stackpole is churning out books at a speed that rivals KJA. Indeed, certain KJA characters and concepts are given another airing.

The most remarkable thing about this book is an apparent reference to "Use of Weapons" by the scottish writer Iain M. Banks. It is a lot more downbeat than the previous book, and some recurring characters are actually killed.

The problem with the previous book was the villains - they were just faceless cyphers. However, we are given an insight into their culture, logic and motivation.

All in all, this effort lacks the blandness of the previous book.

Rating: 80%

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