The first couple of chapters of Paul S. Kemp’s Lords of the Sith reminded me of my childhood, playing in the yard with my Star Wars action figures. I could create a wide variety of scenarios and battles among the action figures, including making Darth Vader the baddest bad guy in all the universe.
The bookends of this one make Vader (and to a lesser extend Emperor Palpatine) just that. Set in between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, this story establishes Vader as a complete and total bad-ass. In the opening chapter, Vader uses his ship to kamikaze another after he’s ejected to board the ship and then takes out an entire crew of 24 with just his lightsaber and the Force. At this point, I was fully hooked, wondering if and how this book couple top that. But I was ready to give it the chance to do so.
Unfortunately, the book peaks early and never quite gets back to that point of pure awesomeness that felt like it was straight out of my childhood back yard. Instead, we get a lot of characters who are part of the growing rebellion that we have little or no connection with in the movies. I understand from looking at other reviews that there is a connect to the animated universe, but I’ve not had the time to delve as deeply into that part of a galaxy far, far away as I’d like.
Vader and the Emperor travel to an outer world that is the source of the rebellion. The rebel leaders plan to try to take our Vader and the Emperor. Things do not go as planned.
It’s not that this isn’t interesting so much as I felt like for a book titled Lords of the Sith, we don’t spend a lot of time with Vader and the Emperor.
I wanted to love this one, but ended up only really liking it. It has some great moments, but overall it’s not my favorite Star Wars tie-in novel since the books rebooted.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.