Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn

A long time ago (the early 90s) in a galaxy far far way (Conyers), I read this book.  I really couldn’t tell you anything about it, but I remember the cover and remember owning it.  When I left for college, my mom gave most of my old books to my cousins and I lost track of which Star Wars books I read, though I know they were all prior to 1999.  So I went into reading this with pretty fresh eyes.

Honestly?  This was probably my favorite Star Wars book I’ve read in the last two years.  I definitely like the post ROTJ period and seeing what has become of our intrepid heroes.  I know these books are hugely popular, but I always assumed it was because they were the first EU books, but clearly it’s also because they’re awesome.  Tim Zahn is such a fantastic writer.

Going into this reading, I already know a decent amount about the EU, so some things already spoiled for me, but I still really enjoyed getting to know the new characters and seeing the continuation of the OT characters.  I loved the way Han, Luke, Leia, and Lando are portrayed.  They seem like themselves.  I like Mara Jade and Talon Karrde, though I kind of wonder if that is because I know other people like them.  Like did I like them the first time I read it?  Would I like them if I hadn’t know they are popular?  I don’t know.  I think I would have liked Karrde, but I am not sure I would have liked Mara based solely on this book.  I probably would have been mad at her for wanting to kill my beloved Luke.  But knowing what I know about her, I liked getting to know her and looking forward to seeing how she evolves.

I read this along with the Thrawncast, though I decided to finish it a couple weeks before they did. I’m looking forward to reading the next book along with them.

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher

This book was so fun!  It stays true to the movie action and you can see the dialogue in the iambic pentameter, but the language makes it so much better.  I loved the soliloquies that were added.  They add foreshadowing, background information, and a cool look into the character’s head.  I loved that the book gave R2-D2 asides that show what he is thinking instead of just leaving Threepio to translate for him.  He was probably my favorite part.  At times, I saw the action as the movie with the character’s just saying different dialogue, but other times, I saw the staging as a darkened stage with spotlights on the characters.  The stage in my head was definitely community center production, not Broadway too.  I have no idea why that’s what was in my head, but it enhanced the humor for me.  I have the other two books in the original trilogy and look forward to reading them.

Life Debt (Aftermath #2) by Chuck Wendig

I read the first Aftermath book in less than a day during DragonCon in 2015.  Needless to say, I don’t remember that much about it.  I was going to reread it at some point, but never did.  I did give it a 4 but my blurb here was a bit less enthusiastic.  So idk.

Overall, I liked Life Debt.  I think I liked it more than Aftermath.  I still really like the main characters – Norra, Temmin, Jas, and Sinjir.  I don’t remember Jom from Aftermath, but I guess he joined them at some point because he wasn’t really introduced in Life Debt.  He was pretty cool, though.  I liked him and Jas together.  Temmin was weird – sometimes he seems like an older teen and every intelligent and responsible, but then other times he seems like a 9 year old.  It’s hard to pin an age on him.

I LOVED spending time with original trilogy characters.  I really liked all the Leia parts of the book and enjoyed spending time with Han and Chewie.  I definitely yelled “HAAAAN SOOOOLOOO” in my best Maz Kanata voice the first time he showed up.  And Wedge.  Dear sweet Wedge.  I just want that man to be happy.  Is that too much to ask?

I liked all the politics, but at time found the Imperial side of it trying.  I didn’t really like Rax and didn’t feel like he was a great mastermind or whatever that warranted Sloane’s fear.

So yeah, I liked it and look forward to the third book in the trilogy.

Kenobi by John Jackson Miller

This book was really good. I really enjoyed reading about Obi-Wan on Tatooine. I also really liked that the book is about him, but doesn’t focus solely on him. Annileen was a fantastic character. At the end of the book, I was left with the feeling of “I hope she finds happiness.” While I realize she’s a fictional character, I was really invested in her!

Early in the book, I wanted Annie and Orrin to get together (I read for romance always), but obviously that went away halfway through the book. Then I was really hoping for some Annie and Ben action. 

The Tusken parts were really interesting. I am overall not sure how I feel about them because Tusken Raider = bad but the book showed that there’s more to them than just raiding. It was an interesting concept. 

In all, I was definitely sucked into this book and had a hard time putting it down. I really like the JJM books I’ve read so far. 

Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno

This was an interesting book. I can’t say I loved it, but it was an easy read and kept me engaged. I wasn’t super involved with the Jedi storyline, though it had an interesting ending. I liked Shryne, but Starstone was annoying. I liked getting to see young Chewbacca. 

The Vader parts were the most interesting parts. It’s nice to know that Anakin did not lose his whinypants attitude when he became Darth Vader. There were times when he was justifying his actions to himself that made me roll my eyes hard. I liked reading about him adjusting to his body and being frustrated by the machines and limitations. I also liked the tension between him and Palps. I liked that they weren’t immediately on the same page and that that relationship took time to grow.

I really liked the section on Alderaan, too. I liked seeing Bail and Breha as new parents protecting their daughter and Bail’s convos with Mon Mothma. I would have liked a lot more of that instead of the Shryne/Starstone story. 

So overall, it was a pretty good read. 

Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover

Dang, this book is good! This is my favorite prequel movie and the book makes it even better. I love how Stover really digs into the psyche of the major players – Anakin, Obi-Wan, Padmé, and Palpatine. It was really enjoyable to read. The final section just about killed me. I had to stop a few times and not be sad for a few minutes. 

I think my favorite part was the very last “This is Anakin Skywalker” section, which I thought were cheesy at the beginning and heart wrenching at the end. Oh my heart. 

I’m really glad I enjoyed this book so much because I am excited to get back to reading and enjoying Star Wars books! I’m really ready to get to the post-ROTJ books, so I will probably be a little more choosy about which OT books I read. And I have to keep working on War and Peace. :)

The Bacta War (X-Wing Bk 4) by Michael Stackpole

Warning: Spoilers below

I got so into The Krytos Trap that I decided not to wait for Rogue Podron to finish this arc of X-wing books.  It only took me a couple days to finish The Bacta War. I don’t usually post a lot of detail here, but I think my thoughts on the final book and the series as a whole warrant it.

Character wise – I still love Corran.  At the beginning of the series, his monologue-ing got old, but I really did like him.  I liked how he grew over the series and I’m really interested in seeing where he goes from here, especially as a Jedi.  I LOVE Mirax too.  I’m glad they got together.  I loved Wedge too.  I like that the books took a tertiary character from the movies and really built a world around him.  I loved whenever he was the focus.  I felt like this book did not have as good of a mix of secondary Rogues as the last one.  I liked what we got of Gavin, but definitely wanted more.  And more Tycho, Winter, Iella, and Ooryl.  Less Vorru and Isard.  I found myself missing Loor.  He was a better nemesis than Vorru.  I was a little meh on Booster and Talon Karrde.  I guess I need to get to know them better to really like them.

Plot wise – I liked the action in this book, though there were times when I just wanted stuff to be done, usually when we were focused on the bad guys.  I liked that there were a lot of surprises and stuff just worked out, but sometimes it was too easy.  Things just worked out perfectly in ways that almost don’t make sense if you think about it too much.  But that’s the joy of sci-fi books sometimes – you can just take them at face value and not worry too much about the actual logistics.  I did feel like this book lacked the high stakes the other books had.  Only 1 Rogue dies (and one is believed dead for a while) and that death doesn’t seem to have a big impact on the team.  No one dies in the final battle.  While I am happy about that, because I always hate when a beloved character is gone, it seemed weird when all the other books had more deaths after battles.

Also, there was a character (a droid) named Poe in one section of the book.  That was so weird to me.

Bloodline by Claudia Gray

I really should write my thoughts down right after I finish a book.  It’s been a few weeks and now I am struggling to remember details.  But overall, I liked this book a lot.  I really like Claudia Gray’s writing style in this book and in Lost Stars.  It’s just easy to get lost in the world around her characters.  And those characters are always awesome.  I have always loved Princess Leia, so I loved that this book focused on her.  My feelings on Casterfo were up and down throughout the book, but I did end up really liking him.  And the rest of the characters were great.  I especially liked Greer and Joph.

So um, yeah, this is a really good book.  My brain just isn’t recalling all the details at the moment. :)

X-Wing Series Books 2 and 3 by Michael Stackpole

Wedge’s Gamble and The Krytos Trap by Michael Stackpole

Taking the lazy way out to catch up and doing one review for both of these books.  I would probably say the same thing about them anyway! :)

I really like this series.  The characters are fun and interesting.  At first, I thought I was going to be more upset by the deaths of old characters and additions of new characters, but mostly I’ve been okay with them.  I don’t dislike Corran as much as other people.  I get why he can be annoying, but it doesn’t bother me that much.  I only occasionally have to roll my eyes.  I really like the ladies in these books, especially in Krytos Trap.  Iella and Mirax especially.  I liked both storylines a lot and am getting better at keeping up with what is happening in battles instead of just skimming over the action.

I think The Krytos Trap may be one of my favorite Legends books so far.  I really like the story overall and the balance between the various plots going on at a time.  I liked that many of the plot points started in the first and second book were resolved.  I can’t wait to read the 4th book.  I read ahead of Rogue Podron, so now I need to decide if I am going to keep reading ahead or wait for them.  I started War and Peace, so that should keep me busy waiting for them.