Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover

Posted on 21 March 2015 | No responses
Category: 2015, SciFi & Fantasy, Star Wars EU Legends | Tags:

This was an awesome book!  I wasn’t really sure what to expect going in, but it really drew me in and I found myself wanting to read it all the time, even when I should have been doing other things like sleeping or reading my book for Book Club (glad we moved our meeting to next week!).

So the book… I like Samuel L. Jackson, but I wasn’t really sure if I would like Mace Windu enough to like this book, but I was wrong.  Mace was a really interesting character.  He was still awesome and badass.  One funny thing – SLJ is Mace in Star Wars and SLJ is Nick Fury in Avengers.  There’s a character in this book named Nick and early on, there were times when I would think something Nick was saying was said by Mace because I would get my SLJs mixed up in my head.  This was quite confusing!  But I ended up loving Nick anyway.  He was smart and funny and loyal to his friends.

It was interesting reading this story about Depa Billaba.  I know from Star Wars Rebels that she was Kanan’s master, which doesn’t fit with what happened to her in this book.  It’s definitely a disconnect between the old EU (Legends) and the new canon.  Honestly, it doesn’t bother me much.  I still liked the book a lot, even if it was just a story and not part of the new canon (which is ultimately just story as well).  I’m excited to explore Kanan’s backstory and learn more about his Depa.

Speaking of the new canon, I would really like to get through the books related to the Original Trilogy before The Force Awakens comes out in December.  Theoretically, it would be nice if I was finished by September so I’d be caught up for reading Aftermath and the other Han/Leia/Luke books coming out on the 4th, but that is unlikely to happen.  I may end up skipping some books that are not as well reviewed.  Maybe. :)  I don’t want to do that, but that’s generally what has slowed me down – hitting a book I didn’t like much and putting it aside for a while.  So maybe if that happens again, I’ll just move on a little bit and see if something else sparks my interest.  And of course, I’d like to be finished with the X-wing series by the time Rogue One comes out.  I think this is possible. I think.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones by R.A. Salvatore

Posted on 15 February 2015 | No responses
Category: 2015, SciFi & Fantasy, Star Wars EU Legends | Tags:

I liked this book a lot! I love how it is not just a novelization of the movie, but expands many scenes and makes them more interesting. I especially liked the backstory is what was happening on Tatooine with Shmi and the Lars family. I was glad to get to know Owen, Cliegg, and Beru better. It also made Shmi’s death sadder because it wasn’t just about Anakin’s pain, but the whole family’s.

I also really liked getting to see Padmé’s family. That definitely helped make her feel like a more rounded character. Another good family dynamic was Jango and Boba. It was good to see them and flesh out their characters as well.

Overall, this was a fun book to read. As Yoda says, “Begun, the Clone War has.” I’m excited to dive into this time period.

The Approaching Storm by Alan Dean Foster

Posted on 5 February 2015 | No responses
Category: 2015, SciFi & Fantasy, Star Wars EU Legends | Tags:

First Star Wars book of 2015 finally complete!  This was another book I struggled through.  I generally like road trip books, but this just dragged on.  The writing was occasionally painful.  I did like Luminara and Barriss, but I didn’t feel like I knew them all that well when I got to the end of the book.  Very little had changed.

A quote on the back of the book promised introspection for Anakin.  Um, okay.  If it was there, I missed it.  Anakin and Obi-Wan were fine, but a little dull.

Constantly having to prove themselves to different tribes was weird.  At least the second time, they didn’t EACH have to do something.  Speaking of the first time, Anakin singing?  And Obi-Wan telling a story so mesmerizing that the author couldn’t even write it down for us?  Very odd talents.

The secondary characters were strange.  The two guides miraculous transformation was a little ridiculous.  They went from speaking nonsense to being proper well spoken gentlemen without any further education.  Miracles, I tell you!  And Tooqui.  I don’t even know what to say about him.  The repeating words stuff reminded me a little too much of Jar Jar.  After a while, in my head he began to look like Stitch, who I love, which helped me like him more.

Overall, this wasn’t a book I enjoyed reading.  I know I am going to hit some bumps as I go through the EU, but I am hoping for some bright spots soon.

Outbound Flight by Timothy Zahn

Posted on 18 December 2014 | No responses
Category: 2014, SciFi & Fantasy, Star Wars EU Legends | Tags:

Thank you, Timothy Zahn!  My quest to read all of these books was in danger after struggling through Rogue Planet, but Outbound Flight was a great follow up to renew my motivation.

So I know that this book is super foreshadowing or whatever for the Thrawn Trilogy I’ll get to some day.  Actually, I read it a long time ago, but I don’t really remember a ton of details.  I think that actually helped because I wasn’t comparing any of the characters to the their future selves or whatever.  It was just a good book full of interesting characters.

There were several characters I really liked – Car’das and Lorana Jinzler come to mind.  I also found Thrawn’s story very interesting.  C’baoth was definitely not my favorite and his storyline was annoying.  But I think it was supposed to be.  I didn’t mind Obi-Wan and Anakin showing up, but if they had not been in the book, I don’t think it would have hurt the book at all.  They were just a little pointless.

This was a good read and a fun adventure.  It makes me look even more forward to getting back to the Thrawn Trilogy and meeting up with Thrawn again.

Rogue Planet by Greg Bear

Posted on 6 December 2014 | No responses
Category: 2014, SciFi & Fantasy, Star Wars EU Legends | Tags:

I… I don’t know what to say about this book.  It took me well over a month to read it, which wasn’t completely its fault (I had a really busy November), but that speaks to how easy it was to put this book down.  It just wasn’t that interesting.  At one point, I checked and realized that I was 2/3rds of the way through the book and it still felt like I was reading the introduction.

I ended up forcing myself to read the last 100 pages today because I just wanted to be done and it just didn’t do anything for me.  Obi-Wan seemed so unsure of himself and Anakin just seemed weird.  None of the other characters seemed interesting at all.  All the mysteriousness of the planet just ended up being dumb.

Here’s hoping the books improve from here!

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Posted on 26 October 2014 | No responses
Category: 2014, SciFi & Fantasy, Star Wars EU Legends | Tags:

I’m kind of torn on this book. It wasn’t a bad read, really. When I sat down to read, I felt like I was flying through it. It probably helped that I am somewhat familiar with the story, though it has been a long time since I saw the movie and there are definitely parts I don’t really remember.

That said, Jar Jar and child Anakin are still really annoying. All of the written out Gungan dialect was distracting. There were a couple times I wasn’t really sure what had just been said, which isn’t a change from what I remember if the movie. And Anakin… I know he’s nine years old, but I didn’t particularly enjoy being in his whiny head.

Overall, after reading the last two books, this one seemed a little unnecessary – for the most part, it was a lot of the same events told from other perspectives. I liked the story better in Darth Plagueis.  I’m still not a Qui-Gon fan. I should probably rewatch the movie and see how I feel about him there.

Cloak of Deception

Posted on 19 October 2014 | No responses
Category: 2014, SciFi & Fantasy, Star Wars EU Legends | Tags:

I’m not really sure what to say about this book.  I didn’t like it, but I can’t really say why not.  It was just boring.  I don’t think it was because it was a “political” book, because I just finished and really liked Darth Plagueis.  I just couldn’t get interested in this one.

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan drove me nuts.  I haven’t seen Episode I in a really long time, so I don’t remember Qui-Gon all that well, but in this book, I just kept rolling my eyes at him.  I didn’t really get why he was so obsessed with Cohl.

So yeah… I don’t know.  I am just glad this one is over.

Darth Plagueis

Posted on 12 October 2014 | No responses
Category: 2014, SciFi & Fantasy, Star Wars EU Legends | Tags:

Remember when I said I don’t like Sith?  Maybe I was a bit wrong.  This book focused on two Sith, Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, aka Hego Damask and Palpatine.  It was really interesting!  I really enjoyed the background on Palpatine’s rise to power and how the Siths’ actions led directly to the events of Episode I.

But even before that, I liked Plagueis’s story more than I expected to.  He was a believable character and I liked seeing how he taught Palpatine.  I really liked Palpatine, especially when he was younger.  I think I liked this book more than the Bane series because it focused on the Siths’ maneuvering and not just them saying “I am bad.  Watch me be bad.”

There were a couple times when I felt like the story was a little slow, like towards the end of the second section and when Plagueis was in hermit mode.  I also would have liked to have learned more about how Padme became mayor of Theed at 13 and why she was in politics so young, but I get that this wasn’t her story.

Dynasty of Evil (Star Wars: Darth Bane, Bk 3)

Posted on 3 October 2014 | No responses
Category: 2014, SciFi & Fantasy, Star Wars EU Legends | Tags:

I made it through the Darth Bane series!  I think I deserve a medal.

In all honesty, I liked this one a lot more than I liked the previous two.  I liked that it didn’t focus on Bane and Zannah as much, though Zannah didn’t annoy me like she did in The Rule of Two.  I liked that we got good insight into both of their motivations, though I still really hate Bane as a character.  Not just because he’s Sith, but because he’s so egotistical and ridiculous.  And whiny.  “I’m the Dark Lord of the Sith! Why aren’t you challenging me? I guess I’ll just have to replace you and/or live forever.”  In the end, I think I liked Bane better as Des the soldier and student.

I liked the newer characters for the most part.  Serra and Lucia were cool.  I might have liked the Huntress more if she had some motivation and/or a real name.  Set was just kind of there.  He didn’t wow me at all.

With the various perspectives, I felt like this was a faster read.  I was more engaged than I had been with the last two.  But then I got to the end and it all fell apart.  The ending was more “everyone dies” and the very end was vague and confusing.  I started out thinking this would be a 2/5, then around the middle bumped it up to a 3, and by the end, it was back to 2.

I am so glad to move on to another character and another story, even if next up is another Sith story.

Rule of Two (Star Wars: Darth Bane, Bk 2)

Posted on 30 September 2014 | No responses
Category: 2014, SciFi & Fantasy, Star Wars EU Legends | Tags:

Still not a fan.  I pretty much detest Darth Bane and have very little interest in what he’s doing.  Even when he was in mortal peril, I wasn’t that concerned because he’s on the cover of the third book.  He’s gonna make it, much to my chagrin.  Speaking of book covers, can we discuss how horrible this cover is?  Bane’s head is shaped very oddly and he doesn’t have lips.  It’s weird.

But yeah, I didn’t really care that much about Zannah.  She just wasn’t that great of a character to me.  Johun was alright, but kind of pointless.  I continue to hate how characters are introduced, heavily described, and then killed off.  It just makes me really not care about anyone.

The writing in this series just doesn’t do anything for me, which is weird because I really liked Annihilation, which is the same author, but these drive me nuts.  For one thing, the fact checking is off.  There’s one time that Johun is called Joshua.  There’s also a time when Bane’s head is referred to as shaved, when I thought the first book established that he was bald because the mines.  He doesn’t shave his head.

I’ve started the final book of the series.  I made it to page 6 before checking the end to see how many pages I have to slog through (300 more, btw).  But then I hit a non Bane/Zannah stretch and am enjoying it more, so we’ll see how it goes.  I’m definitely excited to be done with this series.

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