And the debate goes on...
When this topic was active, I hadn't read any of the KT novels yet, and therefore had no imput. I confess I've still only read the first couple of Commando books, and still won't be able to comment on Boba, but as for her style and handling of the Clones and the Jedi I can talk about. With the recent flare-ups over KT's work and the fact that I and a few new members might have some fresh input on the thread, I thought I'd bring it back. So here goes..
On first glance I loved and was a little proud of KT's ideas and writing for the Clones. Proud of myself for her ideas because she went in very similar directions that I did before I knew anything about her writings: Direct control and strong Mandalorian influence by not only Jango, but many Mandalorian instructors, a deep Mandalorian bond/cult within the Clone ranks, and a recognizable military culture from the Clones and the Mandos with traces to modern military style and methods.
However, my biggest problems with her writing is her over-humanization of generally everybody, and the path she's taken the Mandalorians down.
By over humanization, I'm refering directly to her handling of the clones and the Jedi in her works.
For the clones, can we assume that they are normal humans? We KNOW the Kaminoans played with their minds, altering their natural tendencies. And, if they were just normal humans, could we expect them to do the job that they do. KT sees these problems, and addresses them regularly. Loneliness, battle-fatigue, revolt against authority, and an entire range of issues you'd be forced to deal with if you handling human beings under these circumstances.
My views on the clones, at least the later Stormtroopers, was that they were mentally deficient by design. Their leaning abilities and free will would have been sacrificed in order to ensure a pliable fighting force that would obey, no matter what the order. Traviss, in order to have the lovable yet ultra deadly Commandos that she wants to write about, seems to have thrown this out despite the MOVIE Canon quote that the clones were made more "docile." I honestly don't see where she has applied this at all to her clones. I understand that the Commandos would have much less if any of this brain alteration, and especially not the ARCs or the NULLs. However, she has given a very sweeping personality to all the clones she writes about, and I really don't see where she has applied any of that dampener to the clones or their abilities.
I believe that this is a direct result to her love and compassion for real life military personnel. I get the distinct feeling from her writings that she's not writing about Republic clones, but real-world members of the armed services. Her insight is a blessing and a curse on her SW fiction. It's an immense insight into military procedure, doctrine, and the military mindset, and I believe she's excellent at portraying all of these things. HOWEVER, it's killing her ability to make them less then complete individuals, which her writing in Triple Zero make very obvious. I know that her clones are very evoking and powerful characters, but it doesn't strike me as real to the situation. Maybe that's just me
For the Jedi, again, she makes them too real-world. Because I've only read about two of her Jedi so far, I'll write it off to a rare instance; but both the Jedi in Triple Zero come across to me as having been through a 9 week Jedi boot-camp rather then having been raised from infancy in the Order. They don't show any of the characteristics from the Movie canon Jedi I've seen and in my view they're all too open minded to the Clones and their Mando'ade ways. However, I'll write this one off as simple observations, as all the movie Jedi we HAVE seen were all Elite of the Order; perhaps the argument could be made that the lesser Jedi of the Order were more like this. I mention it only because they go against my personal notions about the Jedi as a whole.
My deepest issue with KT is her perception of the Mandalorians as a people. These are a people that during the Republics ancient times had wiped out entire races and tried almost successfully to conquer the entire galaxy. They'd made their names known for the next 4,000 years only as mercenaries, bountyhunters, and raiders. As late as 200 BBY they wiped out another entire race sentient species, certainly indicating to me that their ways hadn't changed much over the last 4,000 years. They have always been characterized as aggressive, warlike, and totally militaristic.
Yet all that seems to count for little or nothing with Karen. I've heard the claim that she's using a Celtic base for the Mandalorians, but I again see her using modern military men as her primary influence. This is a comparison that I strongly do Not think she should make, or at least not in the fashion she's using it for. Yes, the comparison between the TACTICS and even the Mind-Set of say a US or Royal Marine could be used to great effect for the Mandalorians. But using the typical modern military man's style of private life for the Mando's is a very bad comparison. As I stated above, the Mandalorians are certainly NOT the good guys. They have a direct history of some very dark and evil deeds. To suddenly say that they are no different then the average modern military man or woman I feel is a bad representation of what we know to be Mandalorian, or is a gross insult of the typical military man today. I'm sure this isn't KT's intent, but it's what I see when reading about Skirata and the Mandalorians in general from KT's point of view.
There needs to be a point created where the Mandalorians became a more common people that we can relate ourselves and our military to, or she needs stop fantasizing the Mando'ade or the real-world military as something they're not.
That's my take
"You set a code to live by. I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted...I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other men, and I require the same from them."