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.

Catalyst by James Luceno

This book was a bit of a struggle for me. I really liked getting more background on Krennic, Galen and Lyra Erso, and Tarkin, but the overall book was really slow. It made it easy to put down. 

I do wish I had read this before Rogue One came out. I guess I’ll have to see the movie again to see how it affects my opinion of Krennic. 

I liked getting to know Lyra and was secretly hoping she was a secret Jedi. I liked her environmentalist-ness. It was interesting to see the Empire’s destruction through her eyes. 

Overall, I am glad I read this, but I did kind of have to make myself do it. 

Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn

Another awesome book by Mr. Zahn.  I was reading along with Thrawncast again, but this one actually took me a little while to get into it.  I decided to dive in over the weekend so I would have podcasts to listen to while driving home from my sister’s house and ended up finishing it today.  Character wise, I think I have pretty much the same feelings about everyone as I did in the first book, but in this one, I liked Mara more.  I can definitely see why people started to ship Luke and Mara even if it wasn’t what Zahn intended originally.  They have chemistry.

Plot wise, I liked Luke’s story and Han and Lando’s story, but was iffy on Leia and Chewie’s story.  I just seemed weird.  Hopefully the last book wraps it up nicely.

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.