So it’s been a while since I’ve posted because I haven’t finished any Star Wars books lately. I’m been “reading” Labyrinth of Evil since September. I’ve tried to force myself to read it, which never works. I have actually read several non-SW books this year, which is good.
Another thing I’ve started doing is listening to podcasts. I have a few SW ones that I listen to occasionally, but for a while, the only one I listened to consistently was Rogue Podron. In the last few weeks or so, I’ve realized I like listening to podcasts while driving to work and so the number I am listening to has skyrocketed.
- Presidential – I found this podcast through the Hamilton Twitter. I really like the history and I am learning stuff that was glossed over in APUSH in 11th grade. I am not a huge fan of the host’s voice and sometimes the info is kind of light, but overall I like it and find it interesting.
- Rogue Podron – As mentioned, this was my first “I can’t wait for the next episode” weekly podcast. I really like the Rogue Squadron X-wing books. I like the hosts of this podcast. The only part that I don’t love is how long it takes to get through a book.
- Aftersmash – Smash Podcast! I found this podcast through the Broadway World messageboard and decided to watch the show while catching up on the commentary for each episode. I liked the show, but the podcast was even more amazing. I’m sad it is basically over.
- Gilmore Guys – I discovered this one because the guys were guests on Aftersmash. I am watching the show for the first time along with catching up on episodes. I have a really long way to go, but I am hopeful that I will finish before the Netflix movies start. I struggled with this podcast at first, but am growing to really like it.
- West Wing Weekly – This one just started and I am going to try to watch West Wing for the first time with them. The first episode starts this week, so hopefully it is good.
- Avatar State Podcast – I discovered this through Rogue Podron. I liked Avatar and plan to rewatch with them. The first episode just dropped and I haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but I am optimistic.
Considering how much I liked this movie, I thought it would be a given that I would love this book. To be honest, I didn’t. I gave it a 3 on GoodReads, but probably would have gone for a 2.5 if that had been an option.
The story is still there, but it seemed to lose some of its charm on the page. The prose was super annoying at first. I did eventually get into the flow and was only caught off guard a few times, but it took me about 20% of the book to really get into it.
I did like that there were some new/cut scenes and some of the scenes from the movie were longer. There was background explanation for some things that are glossed over in the movie and more insight into character motivations… Sometimes. The emotional impact of some important scenes just seemed missing.
I think I’ll go watch the movie again tomorrow.
After seeing The Force Awakens, I want to know everything I possibly can about the new “Big Three” because I love them all so much. So of course I drove straight into Before the Awakening and loved it. The book is in three sections, one for each character, and each section shows something about the character before where we meet them in the movie.
Finn’s section really helped to explain his mindset about training and battle. Rey’s story broke my heart. I really enjoyed it, though. It definitely showed the struggle she endured on Jakku trying to get food and protect her finds. Finally, Poe’s story was just really interesting and fun. I liked how it was all about him and his X-wing friends. It reminded me of the Rogue Squadron book I read recently. I liked that it also touched on the current politics and how the Resistance fits into the Republic.
I’m not really sure how I feel about this book. At the beginning, I really liked it. I liked most of the characters, especially Namir and Roach. I didn’t like Chalis at first, but she became an interesting character as the book went on. I liked the grittiness of the battles and was really engaged with each one.
But overall, my reaction was a little meh when I finished. Just like “Oh, that’s it? Okay.” The book felt like a series of events more than a cohesive story. A lot of characters died, which I expected, but the deaths didn’t seem to have much impact on the survivors. I wanted the main set of characters to be more of a family with more camaraderie. Instead, it just felt like they were a group of people that didn’t really care about each other. They were just there. I kept expecting things mentioned early on to become important later, but they didn’t. I was especially disappointed by all the build up around Thara/SP-475 with very little pay off around her.
So in the end, I really wanted to like it more than I did. I really like war stories, but I like that you generally see the impact of the war on people. I didn’t feel like this book really showed that. That could have been because the book was almost solely from Namir’s point of view. The book might have been stronger if it had POV from other characters to show what the battles were doing to them.
(Yes, I skipped ahead.)
I’m still working on my chronological read through of the Legends books (mixed in with new canon and non Star Wars books), but a new podcast started that is reading the X-wing series and talking about it weekly, so I decided to follow along. It is taking forever because they only read 4 chapters a week, but it is fun to hear other people’s opinion, especially people who also haven’t read these books before. But this weekend, I finished way ahead of the podcast because I mentioned reading this to my Bookclub and they picked it for this month. I am curious to see what non Star Wars/sci-fi fans think of it.
Anyway, the book: I really liked this! I loved the comraderie of the squadron. Wedge and Tycho are awesome and I can’t wait to read more about them. I was on the fence about Corran at first, but ended up really liking him. I grew to like Mirax a lot too. One thing I was not a fan of – people dying! I get that this is about war and battles where no one dies aren’t realistic, but the first squadron death in this book made me cry. I was able to handle later ones better, but I hate getting to know and like a character only to have them die. It just hurts my heart.
But overall, I thought the book was great. Great characters, interesting plot, and feed space battles. I’m excited for the rest of the series.
And just like that, all the Force Friday books are done. I’m a little sad to be honest. I’ve had fun reading these books and am super excited for the new movie.
Of the books about the original 3, this was probably my favorite. I liked the comradarie between Han and Chewy, especially from Chewy’s perspective. I liked that this book was fast paced and engaging. I thought Han was well written and believable for where he was after A New Hope.
The prologue/epilogue on this one made me a bit sad. Must we refer to Han as an old man? I realize it has been 30 years, but I am going to be a little sad about losing the young Han of my childhood. I love me some young Harrison Ford. I don’t really want crotchety old man Han. Oh well. I remain hopeful!
Hrm. I liked this, but definitely not as much as I liked the Leia book. I felt like the beginning dragged and I was super confused about why Luke accepted Farnay’s offer to be his guide and then accepted Sarco’s too. Maybe I missed something. Like the Leia book, this didn’t draw me in the way Aftermath and Lost Stars did.
But I did like it. I’ve always loved Luke, so I liked seeing more of this story, especially his training. I wish the book had had less set up (visiting the city and finding a guide) and more training/exploring in the temple. I liked that part best.
I did think the prologue and epilogue were really interesting and I am curious which of these characters we’ll see in The Force Awakens.
On to my last Force Friday book – Smuggler’s Run, the story of my favorite scoundrel and his Wookiee BFF. Can’t wait!
I liked this! It isn’t terribly long, but it took me longer to read than Aftermath or Lost Stars. I guess that’s partially just because DragonCon is over and I’m back to the real world. But while engaging, it didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat the way the other two books did.
But overall, I liked it. I loved the characters. They really grew on me as the book went on. I liked Leia’s leadership and sacrifice. Like the other books in Journey to the Force Awakens so far, I liked that this showed the impact the war had on regular people – Leia’s team and the worlds they visited.
I loved the prologue and epilogue. They made me even more excited for answers in The Force Awakens, if it is even possible for me to be more excited about this movie.
This book! So good! I didn’t want it to end. I guess I am supposed to have coherent thoughts now, but that’s a little difficult in my sleepy “all I do is attend DragonCon panels and read” state.
Mild spoilers ahead. Possibly not so mild.
The book is considered Young Adult which implies it is for and/or about teenagers, but it isn’t really in my opinion. The main characters, Thane and Ciena, are children in the prologue and age quickly through the first few chapters (including going to the Imperial Academy as teens), but most of the book, they’re 20 somethings in the time period of the Original Trilogy.
The book weaves Thane and Ciena’s story through that time period. It’s always obvious where the story matches up with the events in the movie without being all “hey, this scene is coming up!!!” It makes sense for them to be where they are. I loved seeing them encounter OT characters, especially smaller parts.
I liked how they each ended up where they did and how it made sense for each of them. I liked humanizing the Imperials while also showing how someone would realize that everything they believe is wrong. I liked that the defector (ha, no spoilers yet!) didn’t immediately jump into the Rebellion, but came to believe in it.
I thought that Nash was the most interesting secondary character. It was interesting to contrast his reaction to Alderaan’s destruction versus Leia’s reaction.
The ending made me a little sad, but it made sense and I am actually glad that what I wanted to happen in a perfect world didn’t, because the post ROTJ world was pretty imperfect and people don’t change overnight.
This isn’t the first new canon book I’ve read, but it is the first I’ve reviewed here. I need to remedy that! I will soon
So Aftermath! This is the first book set post Return of the Jedi. I got the book at midnight at a signing with the author, which was fun. I actually had started it earlier in the day at Target because they had it on the shelf. Oops!
Overall, I liked it. There was a LOT going on, but I liked the main storyline on Akiva with Norra, Temmin, Jas, and Sinjir. (I may have those names spelled wrong. I’ll double check when I have my physical copy with me.) But I liked them and all the twists.
I was less enthused by the Imperial storylines, though it was cool to see Rae Sloane again after A New Dawn. I’m confused by the epilogue. So confused.
I liked the interludes that showed the effect of the Rebels actions on various planets. It was definitely thought provoking.