Review: Medstar I
by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry.
People all the time be asking me, “Star Wars Librarian, why are you so down on the Star Wars books?” I would have to answer your question with another one–“Why do people keep writing such bad Star Wars books?” And I would add, “When someone writes one worth praising, I will praise it!” I’m not harsh because I enjoy being harsh; I’m harsh because I don’t believe in giving things marks they haven’t earned. Still, I understand that some people might be turned off by the constant stream of 1- and 2-star reviews and pleas of “never read this book” from this site–I can’t imagine who, though–so I do kind of apologize. I just haven’t read and good SW books for a long time; if it’s any consolation, I don’t like reading them any more than you like reading poor reviews. Unless you do like reading poor reviews, in which case, this paragraph isn’t for you.
I would like to redress this though because I do have a lot of SW books that are good, and my plan is to go along systematically reviewing them for your pleasure, and I promise now that I’m out of that sheaf of bad books I read this spring, the reviews will be more varied in scale and scope. I only have three books left from my spring reading, and I’ve been saving them because I really enjoyed them. Or at least part of them. See, I was waiting to review them as a unit, so I had to finish them all. I’m talking about a couple little series that Michael Reeves put out–the Med Star books and the Coruscant Nights trilogy.
Before starting on on the Med Star books, make sure that you have Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter under your belt. If you don’t, you may want to go read it now and skip the rest of this review. Just trust me that these are good books and come back once you’ve got Shadow Hunter down.
Star Wars: Clone Wars: Medstar I: Battle Surgeons, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry, follows and introduces some familiar characters. A Republic medical unit on the world Drongar have a dismal post that is also extremely important to the war effort. A miracle plant, bota, which grows on this planet and no other, is desperately sought by both the Republic and Separatist factions of the war, but it creates a challenge for the medical staff because mass bombing would destroy the precious plant. Hand-to-hand and close quarters combat leave Republic troops in desperate condition. The planet is inhospitable, uncomfortable, and unpleasant, but the cause is a good one.
Enter Jedi Padawan Barris Offee, who has been sent as back up to this post. Den Duhr, a Sullustian journalist, has also filtered down Drongar way and with him the modified droid I-FIVE who first showed up in Shadow Hunter. He’s lost his memories, though, and doesn’t remember what important mission he is supposed to be on, just that it’s something he needs to remember. Other characters are the doctors Jos (a war-worn Corellian) and Zan (a gentle, music-loving Zabrak).
I was thoroughly charmed by this book and enjoyed this glimpse into the “normal” side of life in the Star Wars universe. These people are purely EU characters (except Barris, who can be seen in E2), just everyday people. If you like medical dramas, you’ll certainly love this book, as it closely follows the pattern long-established by shows like Diagnosis Murder and ER. There is also a surprising amount of character evolution for a book like this. There’s a beautifully tragic surprise ending, too.
Absolutely read this book. Check it out on Amazon.com here.