The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton

I read this book about three years ago, but never gave it its own post, so I am doing it now.  This book has a lot of faults, but it is one of the few I have distinct memories of reading as a teenager and I loved it back then, so there’s a lot of nostalgia there for me.  It doesn’t make sense that Leia suddenly is willing to marry for diplomatic reasons and leave Han behind, but I like that they reconcile in the end and get married.  Threepio’s song about Han is the greatest part of Star Wars literature.  Fight me. I also really like the Dathomir storyline and the force witches were awesome.

Rereading it as an adult, I totally see the issues with the book, but at the time I loved it.

Jedi Academy Trilogy: Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson

omg.  Where to even start with this book.  I finished it because I felt like it was important to the continuity of the EU as a whole.  Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but at least I know who Kyp Durron is now.  Around page 16, I was completely exasperated, but I powered through.  I am not excited about reading the rest of this trilogy.

The characters: Every characterization was off.  Leia didn’t know how to balance being a mother with being a diplomat and when Mon Mothma found out that Leia was struggling, she didn’t care.  (Also wtf was up with the kids living with Winter until they’re two?  This makes no sense.) Also, when Han doesn’t check in, Leia just thinks he’s off gambling instead of maybe in danger and Winter has to bring up that idea?  Ugh.  AND when Leia is dealing with a tough diplomatic situation, she wishes Han or Luke was there.  WHYYYYY?  Ugh.  Luke is an ass to everyone he wants to train, but particularly to Leia.  Han was the closest to what I would expect from him but he was still off.  At least I kind of liked Kyp.

The writing:  Damn this writing is bad.  How do you show strength of character by walking down stairs?  I don’t know, but Luke apparently does it.  The book was very tell, don’t show, which is the worst.  Don’t assume your reader can’t remember a detail that was introduced a page before.  And all the dialogue is so so bad.

This review is making me want to change my goodreads review from 2 stars to 1.  I guess I will go subject myself to the next book in the trilogy now.

Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor by Matthew Stover

I had a weird reading experience with this book.  I started it before I went to Japan for 3 weeks and took it with me planning to finish it while I was over there, but I didn’t end up reading much.  Then I got back and couldn’t find the book.  I was about to buy a new copy to finish it when I pulled out my suitcase to go to California and the book was in there!  So I was able to finish it.

As for the actually book… it was pretty good.  I enjoyed it, though I wasn’t overwhelmed with love for it.  Overall, I liked the story and the characterization of our intrepid heroes. Shadowspawn and his powers were interesting.  I thought the investigation set up was interesting and I loved that there are dramatizations of Luke and Han being made.  It made the book light and fun even when the stuff going on was potentially dark and deep.

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.