Archive for November, 2010
The Unifying Force
The New Jedi Order
I tell you The New Jedi Order was one long series. 19 books with e-books as well this series needed a stupendous ending for it to be gratifying because when you read over 6,000 pages you will be disappointed with anything less than the spectacular for the dozens and dozens of hours of your life you will never get back. You end a single novel with a bad ending and you have lost a weekend. You end a 19 book mega-series with a bad ending, and well, it’s a lot worse. For all my well documented lamenting on the concept of the unifying force, this book was a climatic end to a saga that did not disappoint me at all, and in fact gave me my 6th favorite scene.
I must admit when I began reading this series. I thought the Yuuzahn Vong were the dumbest bad guys ever. A group that liked pain…how stupid is that? Also, they were extra-galactic…what is that? In fact I bought book two of this series based solely on the fact that I wanted to see how Han Solo handled the events of Vector Prime. But as you get into this series, the various writers did a fantastic job of making the Yuuzahn Vong world view make sense. The Vong’s imitation of the pain their gods faced in creation struck a chord with a Christian who is trying to take up his cross and follow Jesus as best he can. Then, when the Vong had no force presence I was intrigued. Next, their complicated religious and social structure and interaction was fascinating, and when you get to the Shapers, the Warmasters, the Priest, and the awesome Overlord…I was hooked by a very rich and very well developed society of evil bent on total eradication of anyone that stood in their way of galactic control and dominance. If you have trouble getting the Vong in the early books, stick to it because their society will make sense and fascinate as the story progresses.
Now, onto my 6th favorite scene, if you have yet to read and complete The New Jedi Order do not read any farther. I am going to give away the ending, and ruin this series for you, so stop reading, read the 19 book series, and pick up here in 6 months.
Episode 13 “More Fun Than Sleeping In A Tauntaun” or “Chris Smith Unleashed” of your Star Wars Book Report
Welcome to our Thanksgiving speical. Where we give thanks for books esspecially The Force Unleashed by Sean Williams. Chris Hothiceplanet Smith stops by from The Sarlacc Pit the official podcast of www.galacticbinder.com to join the discussion. We discuss all the things we like and dislike about this novel, and how it fits within the canon. We also discuss the challenges of novelizing a video game. It is a fun break down of everyone’s favorite video game and now novel.
Also, Chris Hothiceplanet shares some very cool Christmas news going on at www.galacticbinder.com where they will be giving Star Wars toys, collectables, and merchandise to three needy families this Christmas, and they need your help. All of us that has been blessed this year can share and help out. There are two ways for you to help out. First, www.galacticbinder.com need Star Wars stuff to give away, so you can mail any donations to:
Holiday Star Wars Gift Packs
4955 Byron Road
Memphis TN. 38122
Send those gifts in, and also you can share your story of need or if you know a family in need, you can share the story of some other family. You can send in these stories of families in need to firstname.lastname@example.org, and then three families will be chosen. You can find more information at www.galacticbinder.com/pgiveaways.html. Also, at the previous link, there is a tab to donate through paypal to save you a trip to the store. I hope you all will participate. If you have much, send in a gift. If you have little, share your story with them, and if you know a family in need, share their story. Submissions must be sent in by December 10th, 2010. Join in this great Christmas ministry as your Star Wars Book Report has.
Thanks for listening, Jesse
“Blaster, Thermal Grenades, Flyswatter…What Kind Of War Is This?” or “The Life Cereal Of Star Wars Novels”
Books and Series Mentioned
Dark Nest III: The Swarm War
The Dark Nest Trilogy
The New Jedi Order
I just completed the Dark Nest Trilogy, and there was no reason for me to like this trilogy. There were so many plot points and events that I do not like. Strike one, I am not big into bugs. I do not like them in my house, and I do not like them in my stories. Strike two, as has been well documented on the site, I am not a fan of the unifying force. There was one scene in Dark Nest One: The Joiner King where Luke drew upon his anger and fear to cloak their ship that turned my stomach. Strike three, I am not a fan of a hive mind. That idea has just seemed overdone to me in the Sci-Fi universe. I did not think that Star Wars needed to go there. Strike four, there was its total ignoring of Jacen’s sojourn through the universe studying the force that Jacen tells Luke he will do in The Unifying Force. I was so intrigued by Jacen telling Luke about this plan in The Unifying Force, that was the one thing I was excited to learn about in this series, and it basically ignores it with just a few offhanded mentions. Strike five, the Jedi council, which seemed finally settled after The New Jedi Order was not so settled and we had to read through another Chief of State vs. Jedi debate. Strike six, and the most egregious, is Luke on the cover of Dark Next III: The Swarm War shooting Sith lightning! Let me tell you I still throw up a little in my mouth seeing that. How many strikes do you get before you’re out? Through the grape vine I heard about these issues and could see the cover of Dark Nest III: The Swarm War that I did not think that I would ever read it. I was not interested at all.
In fact I was so not interested that it took my love for reading on a Kindle to get me to read it. I have read every other Kindle Star Wars book, and since I live in small town USA, I had to either drive 45 minutes to the nearest book store, or read The Dark Nest Trilogy, and my laziness won out, and I Kindled The Dark Nest Trilogy, and let me tell, no other book, movie or any other form of entertainment has won me over like this trilogy. There are so many reasons for me to hate this trilogy, but I didn’t…if fact I rank it as one of the best trilogies I have read.
You may be thinking that my expectations were so low that I could not help, but be impressed by this trilogy, but that is not the case. This was not about my expectations. I flat do not like, bugs, hive mind, the unifying force…these are things that bother me, so for me to like things that I do not like, is an incredible writing feat by Mr. Troy Denning, so let’s get to all the things I loved about the final installment of this thrilling trilogy.
Knight Errant: 2 Aflame part 2
For a man that has been out of comics for more than 15 years, I have enjoyed getting back into them. I still cannot get over the great leap forward in the quality of the pages, the ink, and the printing. It makes the artwork pop in ways they never did in the early 90’s when I was collecting, which brings me to the first aspect of Knight Errant: 2 that really grabbed, and that was the artwork.
I am amazed at the realism of Dallocchio’s work. Most comic art is human perfection on a page. Its muscles and curves all over the place. The men and women heroes in many comics have 30 inch waist and 50 inch chest, and look great in spandex…I do not want to even think what I would look like in head to toe spandex, but I digress. I think the characters in these comics that look like normal people who I see everyday adds a realism that comes off the page. This comic art is grimy, and I mean that as a high compliment. It is the story, so far, of two Sith Lords raining down pain and misery and exploitation on people. They should look grimy. They should look thin. They should look like they have just been beaten down by life, and the artwork of Dallocchio brings these emotions off the page.
Also, I loved the cell of the arrival of Lord Daiman. You have all of these dirty people, and down comes a beautiful, despite his mullet, golden blond, muscular, but not cartoony muscular, man. It was typical Sith. I am posh while you are the grunts that serve me in all my wonderfulness. Great artwork!
Episode 12 “There’s Ice Korsin Through Her Veins” or “Get Lost With John Jackson Miller” of your Star Wars Book Report
What a jam packed episode we have for you today! It is John Jackson Miller day here at the podcast. Wayne and I discuss The Lost Tribe of the Sith e-book series written by John Jackson Miller, which is absolutely free online. You can find links to download these e-books plus more information on John Jackson Miller at his writing website at http://www.farawaypress.com. Wayne and I enjoy breaking down this series which ties into The Fate of the Jedi series and Crosscurrent, and more. If you are trying to get your friends to enjoy Star Wars reading it is a great introduction to the written Expanded Universe because well, they are free and a good read.
Also, we interview John Jackson Miller himself who is right in the middle of so much withing the Star Wars Universe right now. He is writing a newly released comic entitled Knight Errant, from Dark Horse Comics, http://www.darkhorse.com, the above mention e-book series, and has his first Star Wars novel set to be released January 25th 2011. We discuss the differences in writing in these different mediums. We discuss his comic collection and work as a comic historian, which can be enjoyed at http://www.comichron.com. He also tells us how writing Star Wars is like camping in a national forest, and where is the best place to watch a college football game.
The John Jackson Miller interview begins at the 47 minute mark. Thanks for listening.
So come along for the ride as we explore the galaxy one page at a time, Jesse
Novels or Series Mentioned
Yoda: Dark Rendezvous
I have a young daughter who enjoys the show Blues Clues…I never got to control the remote from my dad, so I am not sure how my kid got it from me, but I digress. Anyway, Blues Clues has had two leading characters along with Blue the cartoon dog, Steve and Joe. Steve was the original long time host, and then came Joe. Nick Jr which plays Blues Clues will go throw streaks showing Joe episodes, and then, they will go to an older Steve episode, and I always think, “I forgot how good Steve was with Blue.” Yes I like Blues Clues as well, but I get so used to Joe, who I also like and think is unduely criticized, that I forget just how much I enjoy Steve…well, this rambling about a kids show sums up my feelings about Yoda: Dark Rendezvous. I forgot just how much I love Yoda.
As stated in a previous article, Sean Stewart is clearly following the Yoda model from The Empire Strikes Back. He is funny. He is annoying. He is wise. He is kind. He is loving…You will laugh. You will cry. You will love Yoda from this book. Yoda is in one word incredible.
Read the rest of this entry »
Yoda: Dark Rendezvous
The Clone Wars Era
Recently I received an e-mail from Pete, his blog can be found at http://www.lightsaberrattling.blogspot.com/, and he suggested to me that I read Yoda: Dark Rendezvous by Sean Stewart. Wanting to be responsive, I picked up Dark Rendezvous, and I want to thank Pete for this suggestion. In truth, I have been wanting to read this novel for a long time as I have had others suggest it as well, but I wanted to read the Clone Wars novels, not tied into the cartoon, in order, so it has taken me a while to get to Dark Rendezvous, and Pete’s e-mail was the kick in the rear I needed to finish up a few novels, so I could get to this gem.
Today, this is not a full review of Dark Rendezvous. I just want to mention one thing that I love, and I mean I loved about this novel, and it is Stewart’s portrayal of Yoda. It is a masterpiece, but before I get to Stewart’s portrayal of Yoda, I want to review Yoda in this era of novels.
In today’s episode, we discuss Darth Bane: Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn. We discuss what makes Darth Bane such a great villain and an odd Sith Lord. We share our favorite scenes. We guess how Darth Bane would think of Darth Vader. We break down our thoughts on the Sith Order and the Rule of Two, and much more. Come and listen to us break down this chilling anti-hero.
Also, as we are continuing to bring you more great Sci-Fi coverage we turn a 180 from Darth Bane the evil anti-hero to a pure hearted hero in Eragon in Eragon by Christopher Paolini. We begin with part 1 of a discussion of this lengthy fantasy epic. We discuss just how jealous we are of a teenage boy. Paolini’s skill at writing characters you love and character you love to hate, and much, much more.
Come explore the galaxy with us one page at a time with your Star Wars and Sci-Fi Book Report.
As always send us your thoughts and comments to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a voice message for our podcast at 706-760-5782. Have a great day, and thanks for reading.
Exploring the galaxy one page at a time, Jesse