FSFH Book Review

Site Navigation
The Best
The Worst
Abnett, Dan
Adams, Douglas
Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto
Allen, Roger MacBride
Allie, Scott
Allston, Aaron
Anderson, Kevin J.
Barclay, James
Barnes, Steven
Baum, L. Frank
Bear, Greg
Bendis, Brian Michael
Bischoff, David
Bisson, Terry
Blackman, Haden
Bova, Ben
Bowen, Carl
Brooks, Terry
Canavan, Trudi
Card, Orson Scott
Chadwick, Paul
Clarke, Arthur C.
Clarke, Susanna
Clemens, James
Collins, Paul
Crichton, Michael
Crispin, A. C.
Cunningham, Elaine
Daley, Brian
David, Peter
DeMatteis, J. M.
Denning, Troy
Dick, Philip K.
Dickens, Charles
Dietz, William C.
Dixon, Chuck
Donaldson, Stephen
Eddings, David
Edginton, Ian
Elrod, P. N.
Erikson, Steven
Feist, Raymond E.
Foster, Alan Dean
Fraction, Matt
Furman, Simon
Gaiman, Neil
Gemmell, David A.
Gerber, Michael
Gibbons, Dave
Golden, Christopher
Goodkind, Terry
Goodwin, Archie
Graham, Mitchell
Grant, Alan
Green, Jonathan
Green, Laurence
Guggenheim, Marc
Hagberg, David
Hambly, Barbara
Hamilton, Laurell K.
Hand, Elizabeth
Harras, Bob
Harrison, Mick
Heinlein, Robert A.
Herbert, Frank
Herbert, James
Hine, David
Hobb, Robin
Howard, Robert E.
Jacques, Brian
James, Charlie Hamilton
Jenkins, Paul
Jeter, K. W.
Johns, Geoff
Jones, J. V.
Jordan, Robert
Jurgens, Dan
Karpyshyn, Drew
Kennedy, Mike
Kerr, Katharine
Keyes, Greg
King, Stephen
King, William
Knaak, Richard A.
Kube-McDowell, Michael P.
Lawhead, Stephen
Layman, John
Le Guin, Ursula K.
Lewis, C. S.
Lieberman, A. J.
Loeb, Jeph
Lorey, Dean
Lowder, James
Luceno, James
Lumley, Brian
Macan, Darko
Manning, Russ
Martin, George R. R.
Marz, Ron
Matheson, Richard
McCaffrey, Anne
McIntosh, Neil
McIntyre, Vonda
Michelinie, David
Millar, Mark
Miller, John Jackson
Miller, Karen
Milligan, Peter
Moench, Doug
Moesta, Rebecca
Moore, Alan
Nicholls, Stan
Nicieza, Fabian
Nylund, Eric
O'Neil, Dennis
Ostrander, John
Paolini, Christopher
Perry, S. D.
Perry, Steve
Pratchett, Terry
Pullman, Philip
Quinn, David
Reaves, Michael
Reed, A. W.
Reed, Brian
Rice, Anne
Richardson, Nancy
Roberts, Adam
Rowe, Matthew
Rowling, J. K.
Rubio, Kevin
Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
Salvatore, R.A.
Shelley, Mary
Shultz, Mark
Simone, Gail
Simonson, Louise
Simonson, Walter
Smith, L. Neil
Spurrier, Simon
Stackpole, Michael A.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stewart, Sean
Stoker, Bram
Stover, Matthew
Straczynski, J. Michael
Stradley, Randy
Strnad, Jan
Sutcliff, Rosemary
Tolkien, J.R.R.
Traviss, Karen
Truman, Tim
Turtledove, Harry
Tyers, Kathy
van Belkom, Edo
Veitch, Tom
Wagner, John
Watson, Jude
Whitman, John
Williams, Sean
Williams, Tad
Williams, Walter Jon
Windham, Ryder
Wolverton, Dave
Woodring, Jim
Wurts, Janny
Yeovil, Jack
Zahn, Timothy
Collaborations A - F
Collaborations G - M
Collaborations N - R
Collaborations S
Collaborations T - Z
Anthologies A - R
Anthologies S
Anthologies T - Z
Still to come
Reviewing Literature
The Books of Michael P. Kube-McDowell

Michael P. Kube-McDowell is the pen name of Philidelphia-born Michael Paul McDowell.  He now lives in Michigan with artist and modelmaker Gwen Zak.
Average Review Score: 2.3 out of 5

Star Wars: Before The Storm
Book one of The Black Fleet Crisis, which vies with The Bounty Hunter Wars for the position of worst Star Wars trilogy ever.  This book is supremely boring and it seems that author actually devoted time to making all of the characters (even our beloved heroes) both stupid and unlikable.  However, Kube-McDowell's biggest mistake is that he tries to write an autonomous science fiction novel and therefore largely abandons the sheltering strength of the Star Wars franchise.  What this means is that not only does the book lack the things that make Star Wars popular (lightsaber duels and the like), but it also puts across ideas that are completely out of context, the worst two being the bit where Luke flies and the idea of a whole new universal energy field.  The latter is totally baffling, considering he could have used the Force (pardon the pun) and not had to make the 'White Current' rubbish up.
2 out of 5
Star Wars: Shield Of Lies
The Black Fleet Crisis book two and the series continues in the dire mold of the first book.  The scenes involving the fleet at the Koornacht Cluster aren't all that bad and Kube-McDowell has a pretty good talent for and grasp of military dynamics.  However, this story is dragged way down by two of the subplots.  Theres the one in which Luke is searching for his mother and basically involves him and an annoying whingy pacifist (don't get me wrong, pacifism is a good thing, but not at the expense of necessity) named Akanah going from planet to planet and not finding any clues.  Worse, however, is the the Teljkon Vagabond plotline, in which Lando Calrissian, Lobot (that's the guy from 'The Empire Strikes Back' with the computer wrapped around his head), C-3PO and R2-D2 float around on a strange spaceship, where it's very boring.
2 out of 5
Star Wars: Tyrant's Test
The third book of the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy is a slight improvement.  This is because the book is largely about the military campaign against the Yevetha and Kube-McDowell writes the military parts quite well.  However, he goes and wrecks his biggest strength by writing one of the worst (anti)climactic battles in the entire franchise (it's pretty much like the final confrontation above Cardassia in DS9 if you saw it).  Also his two abysmally boring subplots turn out to be even bigger anticlimaxes.  Luke's search for his mother turns out to be completely fruitless (obviously, since this book came out long before the prequel films) and Lando's mystery ship turns out to have absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the story at all.  Why did he bother!?  Don't read this trilogy, it's a waste of time.
3 out of 5

If you liked Kube-McDowell:
Then you're beyond redemption.  However, you may wish to read James Luceno's New Jedi Order books as they feature some of the Black Fleet Crisis's characters.  Also, the ultimate fate of the Yevetha can be found in 'Remnant' by Sean Williams and Shane Dix.

FSFH Book Review - Fantasy - Science Fiction - Horror - Book Review - Hardback - Paperback - Comics TPB - Anthologies - Star Wars - Book Review - FSFH Book Review - Fantasy - Science Fiction - Horror - Book Review - Hardback - Paperback - Comics TPB - Anthologies - Star Wars - Book Review - FSFH Book Review - Fantasy - Science Fiction - Horror - Book Review - Hardback - Paperback - Comics TPB - Anthologies - Star Wars - Book Review