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.

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.

X-wing: Rogue Squadron by Michael A. Stackpole

(Yes, I skipped ahead.)

I’m still working on my chronological read through of the Legends books (mixed in with new canon and non Star Wars books), but a new podcast started that is reading the X-wing series and talking about it weekly, so I decided to follow along. It is taking forever because they only read 4 chapters a week, but it is fun to hear other people’s opinion, especially people who also haven’t read these books before. But this weekend, I finished way ahead of the podcast because I mentioned reading this to my Bookclub and they picked it for this month. I am curious to see what non Star Wars/sci-fi fans think of it. 

Anyway, the book: I really liked this! I loved the comraderie of the squadron. Wedge and Tycho are awesome and I can’t wait to read more about them. I was on the fence about Corran at first, but ended up really liking him. I grew to like Mirax a lot too. One thing I was not a fan of – people dying! I get that this is about war and battles where no one dies aren’t realistic, but the first squadron death in this book made me cry. I was able to handle later ones better, but I hate getting to know and like a character only to have them die. It just hurts my heart. 

But overall, I thought the book was great. Great characters, interesting plot, and feed space battles. I’m excited for the rest of the series. 

The Truce at Bakura by Karen Tyers

So, I skipped ahead in the timeline. I’m absolutely going to backtrack, at least for some of the books, but I decided to read the EU “what happened right after the Battle of Endor” book because Aftermath, the new canon version, comes out tonight! I’m actually sitting at Barnes and Noble where Chuck Wendig will be speaking/signing right now. But anyway, we’re not talking about that right now…

So Truce at Bakura. I liked it. It was an easier read than some of the other EU books I’ve dragged myself through this year. I definitely enjoyed being back with Han, Luke, and Leia. For the most part, I liked their characterizations in this book and felt like they flowed nicely from Return of the Jedi. I liked that Luke was recovering from the Force Lightning, though that dropped really quickly. I liked that Han and Leia still snipped at each other but also you could tell they loved and respected each other. For new characters, I liked Gaeri and would have liked to know Eppie more, but liked what we saw of her. 

There was one thing I wasn’t really sold on and that was Master Healer Luke. (Spoilers, FYI) He healed himself from the parasites. He healed Eppie’s brain damage. He removed the hypnosis whatever that Dev was under. It was just all really easy and I found it odd. 

So overall, I thought it was a fun adventure. I’m ready to move forward with post ROTJ stuff soon. 

Hm, I thought I added more to this, but don’t know what happened to it. So anyway, when Aftermath came out, people were making fun of this book, particularly the velociraptor aliens bent on taking over the universe. Somehow in my overall impression of this book, I completely forgot about that. I guess I just have selective memory and focused on Luke/Leia/Han and ignored Dev and “friends.” Oh well!

Executive Decisions

i’ll be honest here – I’m bored with these books. I’ve been trying to force myself through the first Medstar book but I just don’t really care. It’s making me frustrated, which was not the point of this. This is supposed to be fun!

So I’m walking away in a way. I’m not going to finish the Medstar books or the Republic Commando books right now. Maybe I’ll come back to them later. I’m going to skip to Yoda: Dark Rendevous and then get into the Darth Vader/Revenge of the Sith stuff. After that, I’ll figure out what I am going to read prior to A New Hope. 

So basically, I just want to keep going. Getting stalled for a month is no fun and life’s too short to force myself through bad books. I am going to do a bit better with mixing in other books. I’m accumulating a stack of books I want to read (which is actually the story of my life).

Triple Zero (Republic Commando, Bk 2) by Karen Traviss

I’m not really sure how I feel about this book. I liked the first half. I liked reconnecting with the Omega squad, but eventually adding in the Delta squad made it too many characters to keep up with. Add in Skirata, Vau, Etain, Ordo, and Jusik, and it was a bit overwhelming.

The main plot/mission was kind of slow and uninteresting. There were moments of action that were interesting, but overall it dragged a little. I did think getting more of Atin’s backstory was good, but that comes closer to the end and is resolved quickly. Skirata was …interesting? I don’t know how to describe him. I kind of liked but but mostly didn’t. Vau, I never really liked or understood. He was just there as the bad guy to Skirata’s supposed good guy.

Ordo’s story was okay. I thought it was weird that the Nulls were basically too good – almost inhuman. It just didn’t make all that much sense why they were so good at being soldiers and so smart. Too perfect for me.

I didn’t really like Jusik. I didn’t have a problem with him wanting to fight, but basically wanting to not be a Jedi anymore was weird to me.

And Etain… Gah, I want to like this girl but I am struggling. She always doubts herself as a Jedi and then goes and gets pregnant on purpose. It was completely stupid and I hated her reasoning. She should have told Darman and let him have a say in it. Her reasoning just didn’t work for me. Even if she loves him, she should know that having a child won’t serve either of them well. So on that note, I agree with Skirata, but I hated that he was so rude and condescending to her when she told him. I hated that they decided to not tell Darman too. That’s horrible in my opinion.

The writing style in this book was a bit more annoying than the first book in the series.  There were long passages of conversations that didn’t say who was saying what and sometimes I’d have to go back to the beginning of the conversation to figure it out.  The clones also weren’t as distinguished as they seemed in the first book.  Probably because there were so many of them.

And finally – I hate Mandalorian culture. Sorry, I do. I found myself just skimming sections with an “I don’t care” attitude. Luckily I am taking a break from this series. I might go crazy otherwise.

Hard Contact (Republic Commando, Bk 1) by Karen Traviss

I wasn’t really sure what to think going into this book, but I really liked it. Like the last Clone Wars book I read, I really enjoyed getting to know clones better. 

I really liked that in this one, there are 4 clones, but they all have different personalities and you can tell them apart just reading how they talk or think. I also really liked that Etain could tell them apart. It was definitely interesting to think about each one having different experiences that made them who they were when the story began. Nature versus nurture and all that jazz. 

I wasn’t too sure about Etain at first. I didn’t like how little confidence she had in her abilities. But by the end, I really liked her and liked that she grew as a person, as a commander, and as a Jedi. 

I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series, though I will be sad if it doesn’t continue to follow the same squad of clones. 

The Clone Wars by Karen Traviss

This is the novelization of The Clone Wars movie/first two episodes of TCW cartoon. I haven’t watched a ton of TCW, but I’ve seen enough to be familiar with all the characters.

I enjoyed this book. The plot wasn’t a surprise, but it added an extra depth to the characters that I found interesting, especially to Rex. It made me want to get back into watching the show, which I was planning to do anyway (hopefully before Rebels starts back up so I have more Ahsoka backstory).

This book is part of a series of books related to the show, but I am going to skip them for now. I may come back later, but right now I don’t have them and don’t want to buy them and want to keep going with the EU.

Jedi Trial by David Sherman and Dan Cragg

Oh, wow. This book was really not good. Generally I can find something positive to say about any book, but it would be a stretch for this one. I was bored and just really didn’t care. I mostly kept reading because I wanted to find out what happened to Erk and Odie. By the end, I wasn’t a huge fan of them anymore.