Saturday, January 06, 2007

Booknote: Star Wars: Medstar Duology

Reaves, Michael and Steve Perry. Star Wars: Medstar I: Battle Surgeons. New York: Ballantine Books, 2004. ISBN: 0-345-46310-2.

Reaves, Michael and Steve Perry. Star Wars: Medstar II: Jedi Healer. New York: Ballantine Books, 2004. ISBN: 0-345-46311-0.

This two-book series chronicles the adventures of a medical team on the planet Drongar during the Clone Wars era. I think that fans of space medical scifi, like James White (Sector General novels) and S.L. Viehl (Stardoc series), might like this in addition to Star Wars fans. I have to admit I am not a big fan of the Clone Wars era in Star Wars, but these two books caught my attention since they seem to have a different story, the story of field doctors at war. In the story, the planet is a hot swamp. It's only value is that it is a place where a very rare plant used to make drugs and wonder medicines, bota, grows. Both sides are fighting for control of the crop. The mobile medical units on the planet are caught in the fire. There is a diverse cast of characters including the doctors, a Jedi healer, and a cynical reporter looking for his next big story. There is also a spy amongst them, and operatives of Black Sun, the organized crime syndicate.

In some ways, the books are slightly reminiscent of M.A.S.H. in terms of the concept of a mobile military medical unit. Also, some of the doctors' ways of coping with the losses and ravages of war from music to alcohol to making love are reminiscent of that series, but that is about as far as it goes. Readers will not find out the identity of the spy until the very end, and the authors do a pretty good job of keeping the spy's identity a secret. They do mislead the reader a bit. It may look like it is one character, but the answer may be surprising to some readers. Overall, it is a light and entertaining read. Personally, I thought the first volume moved a bit faster in terms of pacing, but the second one does give a bit of depth to some of the characters.

As someone who reads Star Wars novels in a casual way, this is a book that worked out pretty well, and I think readers out there will enjoy them as well. The fact it was a short series also helped me, as I tend to dislike very long series. The only long series I read was the Robotech books years ago, and those did have an ending. On another note, Steve Perry is the author of the Star Wars novel Shadows of the Empire. That was another reason why I picked these two books up as I enjoyed Shadows of the Empire.


fotokalender said...

Thanks for this review - I'm thinking about buying these books for months, but can't get to a decision ;) there are so many other books out there that want to be read.
But good to see that you liked them - your description makes me think that I will like them too.

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Fotoka: Thank you for stopping by. If you happen to pick up the books, feel free to stop by again and letting me know how you liked them. Best, and keep on blogging.