Archive for the ‘Star Wars’ Category

Review: Star Wars: Crucible – Troy Denning

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: LucasBooks (July 9, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345511425
ISBN-13: 978-0345511423
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Characters:

Han Solo – Millenium Falcon Captain.
Leia Organa Solo – Female Jedi Knight
Luke Skywaker – Jedi Grand Master
Vestara Khai – Female Sith
Mirta Gev – Female Mandalorian

Synopsis:

Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo are called in by Lando Calrissian to help prevent a hostile takeover of his mining operation. Once there they discover two monstrous aliens behind it, Aliens who are willing to kill thousands to get what they want. Ben Skywalker and Tahiri Veila are in search of a Jedi who has gone missing. How are all these events tied together. Find out on July 9th when Crucible arrives at a bookstore near you.

Review

I really enjoyed this book, and some of the surprises that were in store for me. The newly introduced Alien characters were well written and dripping with evil. If there was one drawback, they rather reminded me of a character I’d seen in The Force Unleashed, but that may have just been in my imagination. There is one major plot then two offside plots involving Luke Skywalker and Ben and Tahiri Veila. However, the plot is so lengthy, and stretches out enough that it eventually involves the entire cast of characters.

I liked the new characters, and would look forward to seeing some of them again in future novels. I found it to be a great entry in the Star Wars series and would recommend it to any Star Wars fan. Age appropriateness is older teens and young adults. If you read it, be sure to drop by and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Random House and Netgalley for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Scoundrels – Timothy Zahn

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: LucasBooks; First Edition edition (January 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345511506
ISBN-13: 978-0345511508
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Characters:

Han Solo – Smuggler
Lando Calrissian – Gambler
Dayja – Imperial Intelligence Officer
Qazadi – Black Sun Vigo

Synopsis:

Han Solo is contacted by a man named Eanjer who claims to have been robbed and wants Han to get his credits back. Things aren’t as easy as they sound. The credits are on an encrypted datacard and very few of the decrypters exist. Han Solo forms a group of thieves and scoundrels in a quest to retrieve these credits, the payoff of which will be quite huge.

Review

I looked forward to this story with great anticipation and was not disappointed in the delivery. The story read like an Ocean’s Eleven Heist in the Star Wars Universe. It was quite fun to see Han Solo and Lando Calrissian in the environment that made them the men they are. The novel features some relatively new characters that were introduced in the short Novella Winner Lose All. There was also the first view of some characters that we will see much more of in later adventures.

The Time Period for this is right after the Battle of Yavin. The characters of course are well developed since most of them have been developed over the course of 40 years now. The plot was very interesting, and it kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next.

Overall, I think it was well done, and highly recommend it to the Han Solo and Lando fans out there. Age appropriateness is 13 and over due to cartoon violence and situations. Check it out though if you are a Star Wars fan, or just a fan of heist stories and be sure to come back by and let us know what you think.

About the Author

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Richard at Random House for a review copy of this audiobook. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: X-Wing Mercy Kill – Aaron Allston

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
Hardcover: 416 pages
LucasBooks (August 7, 2012)
English
ISBN-10: 0345530594
ISBN-13: 978-0345530592
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Characters:

Voort “Piggy” SaBinring – Mentally Enhanced Gamorrean Wraith Member.
Viull “Scut” Gorsat – An extolled Yuzhan Vong Wrait Member.

Synopsis:

It’s 44 Years after the Battle of Yavin. Face Loren has found Voort “Piggy” SaBinring who is now teaching Mathematics. He convinces Voort to rejoin Wraith Squadron. The Mission to prove that General Thaal was part of the Lecersen Conspiracy. Goort must also face his own prejudices when confronted with a team member who is a Yuzhan Vong.

Review

This was my first time reading one of the X-Wing novels though I have all the previous ones, I’d not found the time or inclination to read them. I’m certainly going to try to find the time to do so now. I’m not sure what they are like, but this one was a lot of fun to read. It was like a novelized version of an Oceans 11 Heist movie. There were disguises, scams, and intrigue. Just when you thought things were headed one way, the author switched courses on you.

I think the characters were well developed, and we get to see growth in some, especially in Voort. The situations seem about as real as you can get in a Star Wars novel but the characters are what brings one back time and time again as a fan. These characters feel real, they laugh, they love, they die.

I found Voort the most interesting of the characters, and we get to see him the most including in flashbacks to past missions, so as a reader we get a better understanding of him. It would be nice in future novels to explore some of the other characters inner demons more, particularly with Scut.

The audio book which is what provided this review is well put together.  The reader manages to alter his voice for various characters, you hear the subtle sounds in the background such as pipes hissing, doors opening, etc., along with the sounds you’d expect music, lightsabers, blaster fire.  All of these add depth to the book that you miss out on with just the written page.

I saw nothing objectionable outside the standard violence you’d see in a Star Wars movie. If I were to give it a rating, I’d give it a PG for teens/older readers.

If you loved the X-Wing Series, particularly the Wraith Squadron parts, then pick this up, or if you are just a Star Wars fan in general. I think you’d enjoy it. Be sure and stop by to let us know what you think.

About the Author

Aaron Allston is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi books Outcast and Backlash; the Star Wars: Legacy of the Force novels Betrayal, Exile, and Fury; the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines adventures Rebel Dream and Rebel Stand; novels in the popular Star Wars X-Wing series; and the Doc Sidhe novels, which combine 1930s-style hero-pulps with Celtic myth. He is also a longtime game designer and in 2006 was inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design (AAGAD) Hall of Fame. He lives in Central Texas.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Richard at Random House for a review copy of this audio book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse – Troy Denning

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
 
Hardcover: 496 pages
LucasBooks; 1St Edition edition (March 13, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345509226
ISBN-13: 978-0345509222
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Characters:

Abeloth
Allana Solo – 9 year old granddaughter of Han and Leia.
Ben Skywalker – Human Jedi Knight
Luke Skywalker – Jedi Grand Master.
Vestara Khai – Human Female Sith Apprentice.

Review

This is the final entry in the 9 book arc Fate of the Jedi. It made the whole journey worth it. The book starts out with the Sith in charge. The Jedi are invading Coruscant in the hopes of taking it back. In a montage of scenes reminiscent of The Godfather or other movies we see various Sith meet their ends.

Almost all of the loose ends are tied up by the end of this story. We see what the future holds for Ben and Vestara. We see what all the visions we meant. And we see the groundwork laid for the Legacy Era.

While I really enjoyed the book, there were some issues. One was in Allana. A nine year old girl realistically wouldn’t be doing much of anything she was doing. The Kiliks were reintroduced into the story, but never seemed to play a major part.

On the plus side, the reader got to see combat with 3 different Abeloths which was a bit confusing at first. We also get to see some Boba Fett action.

All told, I enjoyed the book and enjoyed the story ARC. While it wasn’t all perfect, it did advance the storyline into the future of the galaxy all Star Wars fans know and love.

If you’ve read the rest of the series, then by all means pick this up, you’ll definitely want to see how it ends. If you haven’t and want to see how things tie into Cade Skywalker’s world, then go back to the first of the arc and start reading.

About the Author

Troy Denning is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Tatooine Ghost and Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Star by Star, as well as Waterdeep, Pages of Pain, Beyond the High Road, The Summoning, and many other novels.

His most recent Star Wars novel is Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Vortex. A former game designer and editor, he lives in western Wisconsin with his wife, Andria.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Katherine at Random House Audio for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Ascension – Christie Golden

Thursday, June 7th, 2012
Hardcover: 432 pages
LucasBooks; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (August 9, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 345509161
ISBN-13: 978-0345509161
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Characters:

Abeloth
Allana Solo – 9 year old granddaughter of Han and Leia.
Ben Skywalker – Human Jedi Knight
Luke Skywalker – Jedi Grand Master.
Vestara Khai – Human Female Sith Apprentice.

Synopsis:

The Sith are continuing to infiltrate Coruscant. Luke, Ben, and Vestara are off with a team of Jedi to determine where the Sith have vanished to. Daala and Jagged Fel are in a struggle for control of the Empire.

Review

This is the next to the last entry in the Fate of the Jedi series. Much of it is political, but there are still a lot of Sith/Jedi action in it to please those fans. However, it doesn’t seem like things move forward to much in this entry. Well, outside of a complete takeover of Coruscant, which sets things up for the final book.

I enjoyed the story as part of the whole story ARC. As a stand alone novel it doesn’t work well. I am able to see though where they’ve been heading with the whole ARC and after reading this I was really looking forward to the final entry which I’ll review next Tuesday.

If you’re a huge Star Wars fan and have followed this series, particularly if you’re a fan of the Legacy Era, then you’ll want to read this. If you are in the other camp, and consider only the Thrawn Trilogy to be a worthwhile addition, then you might want to skip it.

Age limits on this would be older youth/adults. There is some scenes of violence, but nothing you haven’t witnessed already in a Star Wars movie or novel.

About the Author

Award-winning author Christie Golden has written over thirty novels and several short stories in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Golden launched the TSR Ravenloft line in 1991 with her first novel, the highly successful Vampire of the Mists. She is the author of several original fantasy novels, including On Fire’s Wings, In Stone’s Clasp, and Under Sea’s Shadow, the first three in her multi-book fantasy series The Final Dance from LUNA Books.Among Golden’s other projects are over a dozen Star Trek novels and the well-received StarCraft Dark Templar trilogy, Firstborn, Shadow Hunters, and the forthcoming Twilight. An avid player of Blizzard’s MMORPG World of Warcraft, Golden has written several novels in that world (Lord of the Clans, Rise of the Horde) with three more in the works. She has also written two Warcraft manga stories for Tokyopop, I Got What Yule Need and A Warrior Made. Golden lives in Colorado with her husband and two cats.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Katherine at Random House Audio for a review copy of this audio book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Fate of the Jedi: Conviction – Aaron Allston

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: LucasBooks (May 24, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345509102
ISBN-13: 978-0345509109
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Characters:

Luke Skywalker – Jedi Master
Ben Skywalker – Jedi Knight
Vestara Khai – Sith Apprentice
Natasi Daala – Chief of State
Leia Organa Solo – Jedi Knight
Han Solo – Human Pilot
Allana Solo – Human Female Child

Synopsis:

Valin and Jysella Horn have been cured. The Jedi and Sith battle over Pydyr is over. Luke, Ben, and Vestara have tracked Abeloth to the planet Nam Chorios, which we last saw in Planet of Twilight. They must stop Abeloth from taking over the planet using the Listeners and Tsils. They must also protect themselves from a Sith death squad coming to Nam Chorios to finish them off.

Natasi Daala has been overthrown, but behind the scenes maneuvering has put some players in place that may not have the galaxies best interests at heart.

Review

It was interesting to once again visit a planet we haven’t since for 15 years, that of Nom Chorios. There’s a lot of exciting action scenes in this book, and a good deal of political plotting as well.

As the seventh entry, I didn’t find this one as interesting as some of the others. It seemed to mostly be setting up events for the third act and the next novel.

While not the best in the series, it’s still essential to the flow and to events that will happen later on. I’d say it’s satisfactory for almost all ages. There is the usual Star Wars violence, and some minor language, so maybe older teens and adults.

If you’ve read the rest of the series, I’d recommend this to keep yourself in the loop. However, it doesn’t work as a standalone, so if you just pick it up, it likely will not make sense to you. I’d say it’s one for the most die hard star wars expanded universe fans.

About the Author

Aaron Allston is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi books Outcast and Backlash; the Star Wars: Legacy of the Force novels Betrayal, Exile, and Fury; the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines adventures Rebel Dream and Rebel Stand; novels in the popular Star Wars X-Wing series; and the Doc Sidhe novels, which combine 1930s-style hero-pulps with Celtic myth. He is also a longtime game designer and in 2006 was inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design (AAGAD) Hall of Fame. He lives in Central Texas.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Kathryn at Random House Audio for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Darth Plagueis – James Luceno

Friday, March 9th, 2012
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: LucasBooks (January 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 034551128X
ISBN-13: 978-0345511287
Order book here:

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Characters:

Review:

“Anakin – Aare you familiar with The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?”

And with those words, the world was introduced to the man who created Emperor Palpatine. From the time Revenge of the Sith had been released, fans had been clamoring to learn more about Darth Plagueis. This book is the result of that.

The book covers the period 67 years prior to A New Hope. Not only do we get to see Plagueis, but we get to see his Master as well and what became of him. It would be tough to say too much about this book without spoiling much of it for fans, so I’ll just say “Buy This BOOK!”.

The book kept my attention from the very first page. There were events that were familiar, but shown from a different perspective, and we get to see much more about the background of the Sith. We get to see a lot of what goes on in Plagueis’ mind, the manipulations, and the betrayals.

There isn’t however, as much Sith on Jedi combat as some would like. There are many action scenes though that I think should satisfy those readers. There is also a lot of political machinations for those who enjoyed the strategy of the sith, rather than the brute force.

A very good novel, a good lead in to Phantom Menace, and well draw characters make this one that every Star Wars fan must have on his shelf.

About the Author:

A former studio musician and carpenter, James Luceno has been writing professionally for twenty years. His early novels were action tales based on his experiences as a guide for an adventure-travel company. A Fearful Symmetry, his first foray into science-fiction, was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick award. Collaborating with the late-Brian Daley, Jim wrote scripts for several animated television series, and under the pseudonym “Jack Mckinney,” he and Daley adapted the anime series, Robotech. Since 2000, Jim has worked almost exclusively in the STAR WARS universe, contributing six novels to the franchise, all of which have made the NY Times best-seller lists. He has also written novelizations of Mission: Impossible, The Shadow, and Indiana Jones. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife and son.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Random House for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Star Wars: Vortex – Troy Denning

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

 

 Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: LucasBooks (November 30, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 034550920X
ISBN-13: 978-0345509208
Order book here:

 

amazon

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Characters:
Luke Skywalker – Jedi Grand Master.
Ben Skywalker – Jedi Knight.
Gavar Khai – Sith Knight.
Sarasu Taalon – Sith Lord.
Vestara Khai – Sith Apprentice.

Abaloth has been defeated, or so the joint force of Sith and Jedi believed. However, Abeloth survived. Once again Luke, Ben, and the Sith find themselves trying to stop her before danger comes the galaxy. On the other side of the world, Admiral Daala is continuing her quest to destroy the Jedi Knights. The Jedi Council has to deal with one of their own who may be becoming extreme in his duties.

I’ve enjoyed this series. Vortex is the sixth book, and there are three more to go. There are mutliple plot lines going on, and they add to the adventurous feel of the story. I can see more and more how this series is setting up the galaxy for the future as we’ve witnessed it in the Legacy comic series. A lot of questions remain. What is Abeloth’s goal in the story? What do all the visions mean? Will Luke and Ben ever be able to return? If so, will Ben be able to bring Vestara back from the darkside?

I enjoyed the story. For the audio edition, the added sound effects, and the narrator blended an extra dimension to the overall story. If you have read the others, then don’t miss this entry in the Fate of the Jedi series. If you haven’t, you have a lot of catching up to do.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Kathryn at Random House for a review copy of this audiobook. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Review: Star Wars: Fatal Alliance – Sean Williams

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: LucasBooks; 1 edition (July 20, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345511328
ISBN-13: 978-0345511324
Order book here:
 
 

Characters:

Dao Stryver – Mandalorian
Darth Chratis – Sith Lord
Eldon Ax – Sith Apprentice
Jet Nebula – Pilot
Larin Moxla – Republic Trooper
Satele Shan – Jedi Grand Master
Shigar Konshi – Jedi Padawan
Ula Vic – Imperial Agent

Synopsis:

A Ship is destroyed in space. All that’s found is a container and a signal transmitter. This debris is located in Hutt Space and put up on auction to the highest bidder. The secrets that are hidden though will require a joint force of The Republic, Mandalore, Jedi, the Empire, and the Sith in order to save the galaxy.

Review:

Set in the days of the Old Republic, this book gives us a view of a world where the Sith are as numerous as the Jedi. It wasn’t a perfect book. The premise was a little overdone, ie. an undiscovered technology puts the galaxy in jeopardy. It’s been there, done that. Some of the characters were archtypes, ie. The Solidier, the Smuggler, The Spy, the Jedi, the Sith. Hmmm, and it’s based on a game, wonder if that might be the reason.

I do think the novel was a fun story. When there was Sith or Jedi action, it really grabbed you. But I think unlike the Darth Bane series, the Sith and Jedi were just an “also there” character, so you don’t see as much of them as the cover would have you believe.

All in all for a story set in the ancient history of the Star Wars galaxies, I found it enjoyable. Not the best I’ve ever read, but a decent story and a good book to read to kill time.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies – Christie Golden

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

 

 

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: LucasBooks (May 25, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345509145
ISBN-13: 978-0345509147
Order from here:
amazon
 
 
 

Characters:

Allana Solo – Human Female Child
Ben Skywalker – Jedi Knight (Human Male)
Luke Skywalker – Jedi Grand Master (Human Male)
Han Solo – Captain, Millenium Falcon (Human Male)
Leia Organa Solo – Jedi Knight (Human Female)
Gavar Khai – Sith Saber
Vestara Khai – Sith Apprentice
Jaina Solo – Jedi Knight (Female Human)
Jagged Fel – Head of State Galactic Empire (Male Human)
Natasi Daala – Galactic Alliance Chief of State (Human Female)

Overview:

Something is still driving young Jedi Knights insane. Luke Skywalker and his son Ben, enter into an uneasy alliance with the Sith. This is in an effort to get into the Maw and find Abeloth. But as usual, there will be decptions, along the way. Luke enlists the aid of Lando Calrissian, who unknowingly to either at first is joined by Jaina Solo.

In the mean time, Han, Leia, and all the Jedi on Coruscant are surrounded by Mandalorians. The Mandalorians threaten to kill any Jedi’s caught leaving the temple. Han and Leia must work covertly to deliver medicine and messages into the temple. Medicine that is needed for treating those sick Jedi within the temple.

Review:

I liked this book. Christie Golden is now on her second run (third with a short story) in the Star Wars Universe. She really has gotten a hang of the characters, and events. It’s fun to see Ben dealing with his first big crush, on a Sith of all people. I’d actually liked to have seen a little more combat. While there are still more books to go in this series, what seemed like the main plot point doesn’t seem to deliver. I am looking for the next, I’ve enjoyed this series, and there are still some ends created in this novel, that I want to see followed.

If you’ve liked the other books in this series, then you definitely should pick this one up. However, if you haven’t as some haven’t, you can probably skip it. I still hold out hope that the whole series is setting things up for the timeline seen in the Legacy comic series. I wouldn’t even mind a story just on the these Sith. I want to know more about them, and what their agenda is.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Kathryn at Random House Audio for a review Audiobook copy. This in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.