Episode I: The Phantom Menace

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

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

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)

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)

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.

Path of Destruction (Star Wars: Darth Bane, Bk 1)

So I’ll be honest with you: When it comes to Good vs. Evil, I pretty much always land on the side of good.  I like puppies and rainbows and happily ever after.  I like rebels, but generally that’s because they’re fighting against the status quo and making the world a better place.

So going into this book, I had some reservations.  Obviously Darth Bane is Sith, not Jedi.  It’s difficult for me to cheer for him when he’s defeating Jedi.  I was interested in his story, but I didn’t like him.  Even when he was rebelling against the Sith Lords and the status quo, I wasn’t always cheering for him.  Sometimes I was, but several times I wanted him to fail and stop being such a pompous ass.

Beyond the fact that the main character didn’t work for me, I had several issues with the writing.  Too much time was spent on things that ended up not being important at all. I was annoyed by the amount of detail that was thrown in about things like sabacc that never went anywhere.  I felt like it was included just to pad the word/page count of the book.  And while I won’t spoil it for anyone that happens upon this, I didn’t like the way the book ended.

So now I have two more Darth Bane books to read. This could definitely be a struggle. I am curious to see where the story goes from here, but I’m definitely looking forward to getting to the books where the good guys prosper.

Annihilation (Star Wars: The Old Republic #4)

I liked this!  The action was good and kept me interested.  I like Theron as a protagonist.  I liked that he wasn’t a Jedi so he had to figure things out on his own and use computer skills to solve problems.  I ended up liking the secondary characters more than I thought I would at the beginning, especially Teff’ith.

I’m skipping the rest of the Old Republic books for now and moving on the Darth Bane series, which is well reviewed on Goodreads.  I may go back and fill in gaps at some point, but at this point, I don’t own any of the other early books and I do own the entire Bane series, so here I go.  (Thank you, McKay Used Books!)

I really do like to read!

I’ve been a bit of a reading funk lately.  I’ve spent more time watching tv or sewing (or watching tv while sewing) or just generally doing things that are not reading.  But I do love to read and it is good for me, so I am trying to get back to reading.  I probably will never read as much and as fast as I did for the years this blog was more active, but I will be pushing myself to spend more time reading.

Lately, I’ve been getting back into being a crazy fangirl about Star Wars.  I’ve been playing with the idea of reading the Star Wars Expanded Universe books, but really had no idea where to start.  At DragonCon, a panelist mentioned that she did a read through of the majority of the books (you can see her postings here) and I decided to follow her lead.  She did it in like 6 months and I have no desire to try to read through that fast, but it is a good starting list.  I took some stuff of her list that didn’t interest me as much and added a few things that weren’t on her list.  We shall see where it takes me.  You can find my list on Star Wars Legends link above.

My original GoodReads challenge was 52 books this year, one for each week.  Considering we’re this far into the year and I’ve only read 15, that’s unlikely to happen!  So I am readjusting my goal to 30 for the year.  So I need to read 15 more books this year.

Book #16: Star Wars: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller (in progress)