SS: The Hive

Giant worms, who needs to deal with that junk, well except in the case of the awesomeness that is Tremors!

Cover Art By: Steven D. Anderson
Written By: Steven Barnes

“All warriors dream of conquest, of glorious victory or death. But none of us knows the price of our lives. None of us knows the worth of our deaths. That is for others to decide, after we are gone.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

The Hive is a marked improvement over Steven Barnes’ other contribution to Star Wars lore, The Cestus Deception. The Hive leaves behind most of the misplaced mysticism of Mr. Barnes’ full length novel. His short story also leaves behind the short chapters that hurt the flow of The Cestus Deception. Finally, The Hive does not bother with false moments and lies to try and further its story. The characters in The Hive are placed in a simple scenario and must figure their way out of it. No false justifications are given to try and create drama where there is none. Once the majority of the negative elements of The Cestus Deception have been removed The Hive ends up as a decent short story.

The Hive isn’t a perfect short story mind you. I thought a lot more could have been done with the ruins, and decayed remains of the lost tribe of the X’Ting. There was plenty more story to be plumbed from the scenario that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jesson Di Blinth found themselves in. What I was given I found satisfactory but I know that there was a lot more cool story that was never properly cultivated. One area I wish had not been cultivated was the role of Yoda in the history of the X’Ting. That felt forced, like an author trying to shoehorn Yoda into his story because Yoda’s presence would add a certain heft to the proceedings. Ending The Hive on the element of Yoda’s presence did leave a sour taste in my mouth.

While it had its blemishes on the whole I enjoyed reading The Hive. The prose flowed very nicely and the story moved at a relatively brisk pace. The Hive isn’t an all time great Star Wars tale or even a Star Wars tale that needs to be read. But, The Hive is a decent story that has some quality moments and will provide the reader with enjoyment. At the very least The Hive succeeded in helping me move past the awfulness that was The Cestus Deception. And for that reason alone I am happy to have read The Hive and to have come away with a better appreciation of Mr. Barnes’ skills as a writer.

Rating:

B-

Cheers,
Bill

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