Star Wars: Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth
Still trying to catch up on my Star Wars: Clone Wars reading, I decided to check out a two part series set just before the Republic Commando series of books and just after Star Wars: The Clone Wars: No Prisoners. Featuring features characters from the Cartoon Network series that I have come to enjoy, Star Wars: Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth was sure to be a hit with me.
The novel starts with battle between Republic and Separatist forces over Kothlis and the invaluable spynet facility located there. The plan is for Anakin and his pilots to distract the Separatists long enough to get Obi-Wan, Ahsoka, Rex and the rest of the Clone Troopers planet-side. Once on the ground, the troops can take the Separatists out and secure control of the spynet facility. But thanks to some new Separatist weapons and possible sabotage, things donít go according to plan. The simple operation becomes anything but simple and the damage to the Republic is quite great.
Meanwhile, Bail Organa has uncovered some strange doings in the Separatist camp. Apparently, the Separatists have used some heavy resources to capture the mining planet of Lanteeb and subjugate its people. Bail Organa brings his findings to Obi-Wan, who in turn brings Anakin in on the issue. No amount of research can reveal any reason as to the importance of the planet until Ahsoka discovers a log for purchases made on the planet for a genetically coded cure for Damotite poisoning. Could it be that the Separatists are creating a bio-weapon from Lanteebís sole natural resource? Obi-Wan and Anakin go undercover in enemy lines to find out, but will their stealth mission bring them under more enemy fire than they could ever have anticipated?
When one reads that a book is based on characters in a cartoon series, one tends to think that the novel will cater to the younger generation. In fact, Star Wars: Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth is geared toward the adult fans, taking on adult themes with an intensity that no child would understand. This particular novel discusses the creation and use of a horrific bio-weapon, something on a much more horrific scale than mustard gas and/or cyanide poisoning. But it does more than that. It also focuses on morality issues - those suffered by the scientist who created the bio-weapon, Anakin and Obi-Wan and their decision regarding the scientistís fate and those of Bail Organa and his dealings with Chancellor Palpatine.
The book also shows us a different side of Anakinís Padawan, Ahsoka. Seen as a pupil of Anakinís throughout the cartoon series, we now realize that she is a Padawan learner with a very heavy weight on her shoulders. She feels responsible for her Masterís well-beingÖand most certainly does not want to be the individual responsible for bringing about her Masterís death. Ahsoka is also seen as having a profound affect on Anakin - yet one more individual he canít bear to lose. We donít know for sure yet what happens to Ahsoka by the time we reach the events of Revenge of the Sith, but we know for certain that she is no longer in Anakinís life. Could it be that whatever might have happened to Ahsoka pushed him one step closer to the all-encompassing Dark Side?
Stealth also gives us insight into the love life of Obi-Wan Kenobi. For someone who preaches so heartily against attachment, Obi-Wan appears to have taken part in his share of relationships, becoming involved with the Jedi Siri Tachi, the Mandalore Dutchess Satine and now we learn of a possible tryst between Kenobi and Jedi Taria Damsin. Could it be that Obi-Wan is that much of a hypocrite? All I know was I became confused with Damsinís appearance at first, mistaking her for Siri Tachi until I looked up her background. Now I realize that the two are completely different Jedi that Obi-Wan hooked up with long before admonishing his Padawan against such behavior. Perhaps he learned the errors of his ways the hard way.
Star Wars: Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth is bound to satisfy Star Wars fans of all types - thereís action for those who crave it in the form of hand-to-hand combat, dogfights Force usage, chase scenes and more; thereís intrigue as we learn the secrets hiding behind Lanteeb and Yoda and Bail Organa start to realize that Palpatine is not exactly trustworthy; thereís some romance and anguish because of said romance. I loved the more adult look at my favorite cartoon characters and their movie counterparts. The book ends on a cliffhanger, and I canít wait to check out the sequel, Star Wars: Clone Wars: Siege.
For more about the Clone Wars novels, check out these links: