Isard’s Revenge by Michael Stackpole

And we’re back to the Rogues, though a few of our Wraith friends are still around.  I like the Rogues, but I did miss the Wraiths.  I’m pretty sure I said the opposite back in the 4th book when it switched from Rogues to Wraiths initially.  I like them all, I guess, and just want more stories!  I liked that Corran and Mirax are a fun married couple.  I also like that Mirax and Iella are working with the Rogues but are independent women that get themselves in and out of trouble.  The story was fun and I really enjoyed it, though the premise is strange and convoluted.  But at least it was entertaining.

Also, I am going to need to hug Gavin for a really long time now.

Allegiance by Timothy Zahn

I almost didn’t read this book because there are stormtroopers on the cover and generally, I haven’t been a big fan of books focused on stormtroopers.  But it is by Timothy Zahn, also featured our intrepid OT heroes, and promised young Mara Jade, so I went for it.  It was a good book, though probably my least favorite Zahn book to date.

I liked Mara, though I kept remembering that she’s only 18 in this book and some of the stuff seems very mature for her age.  Though she does also make some rash decisions, so I guess that makes sense for an 18 year old.  I was confused by her Force powers.  If I remember correctly, in the Thrawn trilogy, Luke is teaching her to use the Force.  In this book, she’s younger and in complete control – moving things, influencing people, whatever needs to be done.  I think there might have been something in TT about her thinking her powers came from the Emperor and she lost them when he died?  idk.  It just seemed weird to me. I did really like her interactions with Darth Vader and felt he was well written.

I like the Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewy story lines.  Leia’s was especially interesting.  I feel like Zahn did a good job of capturing them in their post A New Hope places, especially Han wavering between staying with the Rebellion and leaving to pay off Jabba and working out his feelings towards Leia.

The stormtroopers weren’t as bad as I expected them to be, but I still wasn’t overly invested in their story.  It was just a little meh for me.  I did like them by the end of the book.

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Huh. Okay, where to start. I really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and liked that even though Han was the main character, it was everyone’s story. I am glad I already knew who Kell was from the Wraith books and liked him more here than I did in Wraith Squadron. I really enjoyed the Ocean’s 11 vibe more than I thought I would. It was fun to see everything come together and unfold. There were times when it felt needlessly over complicated, but for the most part, it was enjoyable.

The ending, though. What the actual hell? I was surprised by that and a little annoyed.

A couple notes on my SWEU read through: I did give up on the Jedi Twilight books, including Shadow Games. I just wasn’t interested enough to follow that story line. I do however plan to go back and read the two Han Solo trilogies I skipped over eventually. I’m just trying to move forward at a slightly faster rate so I can catch up to the story around the X-wing books.

 

Iron Fist by Aaron Allston

Remember last X-wing book when I said I didn’t like the Wraiths as much as I liked the Rogues?  Forget that.  I still miss the Rogues, but this book did a lot to make me love the Wraiths.

I love Face so much.  I liked getting to know him better and am so glad that he was the focus of this book.  I loved his relationship with Phanan and how far he comes to overcome his past.

I really liked the new characters added to the squad.  I was a little wary at first, but I ended up liking the new kids, with the exception of Castin who totes got what he deserved.  And Lieutenant Kettch may be my favorite Star Wars character ever.  Yub, yub, indeed.

(Spoiler alert) Phanan.  OMG.  This may have been the first time I cried over a death in an X-wing book.  And then his letter to Face.  OMG.  I just couldn’t handle it.  I was so distraught by his death that I had a hard time reading the final battle sequence because I was sure something was going to happen to either Face or Dia.

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

Hmmmm… what did I think about this book?  Overall, I liked it, but I didn’t love it.  I generally go into Zahn books expecting to love them, but I found it easy to put this one down too often.  I think part of the problem (or maybe all of the problem) was that all of the main characters were Imperials, so I didn’t have good guys to cheer for.  It was weird.

I did like getting to know “new canon” Thrawn and I really liked Eli Vanto.  I liked getting to know Governor Pryce better and learning her backstory.  Plotwise, I wasn’t blown away.  The plot is a little meandering and (probably because of my disjointed reading), I actually was a little confused by the reveal at the end.  I think I didn’t remember something I was supposed to.

I would love to read more about Eli and what happens to him after this book.

The Last Command by Timothy Zahn

(I typed this up on the phone app and it said it posted but it disappeared.  I am so sad!)

I really liked this book!  I am sad to be done with the Thrawn trilogy, though I know that there are more Zahn books and a lot more Luke and Mara to come, but I really liked this storyline.  I was less bored with Thrawn sections than I usually am with Imperial sections of books.  I was never sad when the focus of the chapter was Leia or Han or Lando instead of Luke and Mara because their stories were so good too.  I loved Winter as a new to me character.

But as a fan of Luke, I loved him and Mara together.  I think I said in an earlier book that I wasn’t sure I would have liked Mara because she was trying to kill Luke, but I think if I read this one as a teenager, I would have LOVED her with Luke.  They’re adorable.  My cheesy romance loving heart would have eaten it all up.  Ha – my cheesy romance loving adult heart did eat it up.  I am excited to continue their journey.

I definitely realize that I like the post-ROTJ books more than I have liked the prequel books, I am going to skip a bunch of those books and be a little more choosy so I can move forward faster.

Aftermath: Empire’s End by Chuck Wendig

I generally try to write about a book just after I finish it, but I needed to run some errands after I finished this book and so I had some time to think about it before I had a chance to sit and write.  And the verdict is… I don’t know.  I liked it.  It was a pretty easy read and I found that when I sat down to read, I effortlessly finished big chunks.  But I didn’t love it.  I loved parts of it, but the ending was a little rushed in my opinion.

In the end, I think I liked where most everyone ended up, but I wanted MORE.  I wanted to know what happens next.  I am hopeful that there will be a book series about the Corellian Academy and Phantom Squadron.  I want more Sinjir and Conder.  I want more Jas.  Hopefully we get them.  Soon.

Wraith Squadron by Aaron Allston

Hmmmmm. I am not really sure how I feel about this book. The Star Wars fans I follow on twitter rave about the Wraiths, so I went into it with high hopes. Maybe too high?

Overall, I liked the book, but I didn’t love it. I missed the characters from Rogue Squadron. It was weird to still have Wedge but not have everyone else.

I did like most of the new characters, but I didn’t really like Kell much. He and Tyria are no Corran and Mirax. I wanted to like Janson, but didn’t feel like I got to know him well. I liked Face a lot by the end, which I didn’t expect originally.

Overall the book felt a little like a space road trip book. The battles were good, but it was slow at times. I am hopeful that as the books continue with these characters, I will learn to like them as much as I like the Rogues.

Jedi Twilight by Michael Reaves

I don’t really know what to say about this book. I started it in July and just finished it tonight. It was super easy to put down, though once I started reading again 5 months later, I finished it pretty quickly.

The characters in this aren’t too bad. I liked I-Five and Den and Jax was okay. I liked seeing Nick Rostu again. I either didn’t feel like I got to know the other characters (Laranth) or I just didn’t care (everyone else).

Plot-wise, this book was eh. There was enough going on to keep me reading, but overall, the story just barely makes sense.

There are three more books about Jax Pavan in my queue.  I am going to try to get through them, but if I get bogged down again, I’m moving on.