There's Still Crying (but not as much as in the first 50)
Ki-Adi-Mundi is the latest victim of the Evil Onion floating around in this book. General Grevious starts to come up in this portion of the book, as well as his atrocities. When the venerable, pointy-headed Jedi discovers that Grevious had ordered his battle droids to raze an entire township on Ord Mantell in order to divert Republic troops...
[He] had wept, reporting it. Wept for the fathers, cut down without a chance. Wept for the murdered mothers with their babies in their arms.
Even Silas Carson is going, "WTF?"
Later in the story, Padmé sheds tears, again, after reviewing the destruction of a terrorist attack in the administration sector, but I'll get to more of that later.
The Return of Dexter Jettser
Everyone's favorite slovenly dressed, overweight diner owner returns to pass on secret information to Obi-Wan in the alley behind his diner that GG is on the move toward the Bothan home world. While Obi-Wan is mainly concerned that he'll have trouble convincing the Council that Dex's information is reliable, he also takes a moment to point out to Dex that the cheroots he keeps smoking are bad for his health.
The movies aren't the only source for cringe-worthy writing; this book has some, too. As Obi-Wan prepares to leave the Temple to meet Dex, the following lines made me wince:
...traffic that would lead him in circuitous, circumspect fashion to the Galarb district. That was where Dex presided over his profitable diner, a slovenly and benevolent dictator.
I'm not say those lines were bad, but, hell, I could have written that! Doesn't the phrase "circuitous, circumspect" grind on your ears, too?
Mace Windu is a bad mother-
And he's paranoid, too. The author does write a good section that helps explain Mace's untrusting attitude in Revenge of the Sith during which Obi-Wan is in front of the Council.
Obi-Wan considered him. He has changed since Geonosis. Dooku's defection to the dark side has changed him. And the deaths of so many Jedi, whom he could not protect. I have never known him so cautious, so suspicious. So willing to see danger in every shadow.
That, imo, describes Mace perfectly in ROTS, especially with his lack of trust for Anakin.
Palpatine is an even badder mother-
This section of the book is chocked-full of Palpatine/Darth Sidious POV. Smiling benevolently, observing the mayhem wrought by the attack on the administration sector from his office. Scheming with Darth Tryanus, who is "keeping a seat warm for Anakin, who was ripening so nicely. Really coming along." His joy in hearing that Obi-Wan was injured during the attacks, and his sorrow upon hearing that Obi-Wan will live. When he and Yoda meet to discuss the Jedi's plans for going after Grevious ("If Dooku hadn't found him, I'd have been forced to invent him.) at Bothawui (he's actually surprised that the Jedi know about GG's plans), he's on the verge of vomiting just by the stench of the light-side reeking off the Jedi.
How I long for the day when I can squash this disgusting little creature. The dark side willing it will be soon, now. Very soon.
There are even a couple of pages where he schemes about the possibility of Padmé and Bail Organa having an affair. Wow! That's a ship that's older than the prequels themselves!! While Palpatine's hatred of "dull" "lump of a Senator" Organa is obvious, did you know that Palpy was also a race car driver in his youth? Palpy reveals that he'll drive Bail and Pads while they survey the damage of the attacks, and Bail is surprised that he even has a license to drive:
Padmé grinned. She couldn't help it. Here was the Palpatine she remembered of old. Energetic, unexpected, with a sly sense of the ridiculous. She turned to Bail. "The Chancellor's right, Senator. We'll be quite safe. he won several cups for airspeeder racing back on Naboo."
I expected the next line to be, "No, shit?" from Bail, but that wasn't quite it.
Padmé and Anakin Get It On!
But we're too late to see all the fun stuff. Instead, we get there just in time to see Pads offer Ani some chee-chee berries during a case of post-coital munchees. "I can think of something tastier than chee-chee berries!" Again, I could have written that.
This part also reveals a connection to ROTS, the scene reference as "Padmé's Ruminations" on the ROTS soundtrack (tied for 15th on my Top 25 Played list on my iTunes), and is actually pretty well written, imo.
Padmé thought he didn't know how often she stood on this same spot and looked toward [the Jedi Temple], thinking of him, longing for him.
Every time she thought of him, he felt it. Every tear she shed for their separation, he wept, too. There was nothing she could feel that he couldn't -didn't- feel with her.
Other items of interest include, finally, Ahsoka's second scene in the book, in which Anakin chastises her for calling him "Sky Guy" in public. There is also my concern about the lack of clones in the story so far. Captain Rex is the book's cover-boy, yet nary a scene featuring Rex or any clone is there to be found, so far.
Yeah, it still sounds like I'm complaining, and that I'm reading the book just for the lulz, but... well... maybe just a little.