Archive for February, 2011
In today’s episode, Wayne and I dive into the Clone Wars: Gambit Duology by Karen Miller. We discuss Karen Miller’s writing style, and what we like about, but how it could not be some’s cup of tea. We break down how she uses dialogue, verbal and internal, to take characters we know so well to a whole new level without comprimising on faithfulness to the characters. We break down how her portrayal of the Clone Wars is so different than most other writers, and much more.
We make a big announcement of our next Author Interview, which will be shared with you in our next Podcast.
I also stick my foot in my mouth, which is always fun…at least for Wayne, so come along and explore the galaxy with us one page at a time.
Thanks for listening, Jesse
This is the first book report I’ve written since high school, which was about 21 years ago (talk about your ‘a long time ago’ moments) … but who’s counting.
So, let’s get down to business. Star Wars: Heir to the Empire. The Timothy Zahn novel that, for many fans, is thought of as Star Wars: Episode VII: This should have been a freakin’ movie.
As listeners to this site’s podcast may recall, I only got into reading Star Wars novels the past year or so, largely because I rediscovered the Wars through the Clone Wars animated series. My passion for the series led to me picking up Clone Wars and prequel era novels. And those were what I was solely reading … until now.
I had heard about the Zahn books, the so-called Thrawn Trilogy, over the years, but frankly, I didn’t really have much interest in it. Nor did I really care for anything that happened beyond Return of the Jedi. Because to me, that was the end of the story. Probably due to my cinematic snobbishness. And I’ve also figured that since George Lucas said the six-film arc is the story of Anakin Skywalker, once he bought the big acreage in the Force sky (hopefully a place that is soft and without all that coarse sand that gets everywhere), there wasn’t much reason to continue on past that point.
Well, I was wrong. More on that later.
I remember playing with my neighborhood chums with our homemade lightsabers, usually constructed out of some combination of wood and cardboard, our blasters which one of us usually brought from home and assorted ships (bikes) and bases (sheds and decks). We’d waste away the time recounting the new adventures of Luke, Han, Chewie, Vader and…well, depending on how many of us there were, usually R2, Threepio and Lando. But for some reason, nobody ever wanted to be a Stormtrooper, (actually Stormtroopers and Ewoks). I guess it was because the Stormtroopers never had any interesting lines in the movies (The Death Star plans are not in the main computer or These aren’t the droids we’re looking for) and frankly, the Ewoks just danced.
But as I was reading through Allegiances written by Timothy Zahn, I found myself thinking that the popularity of the Clone Wars animated series, as well as the prequel trilogy have really helped to showcase Stormtroopers and shine a light on the ‘men beneath the armor’ so to speak.
This book takes place in the time period between Episode 4 (aka Star Wars) and Episode 5 (aka Empire Strikes Back). It features three storylines involving a group of Stormtroopers, Imperial agent Mara Jade and our Rebel heroes Luke, Han, Chewie and Leia. Each of the characters struggle with the meaning of the word “allegiance’ and how it pertains to their situation at this time during the rebellion.
Novels or Series Mentioned
Darth Bane Trilogy
Revenge of the Sith
Red Harvest by Joe Schreiber is my second jaunt into Star Wars terror. I am a little more than halfway through with this chilling tale of gore, and I have three praises and one criticism for this nightmare spring. Again, I want to state as I did over and over again after reading Death Troopers that I hope the success of these horror genre Star Wars novels opens the door for a wider variety of Star Wars tales, but anyway, let’s get to the praising of this novel.
First, I love the fact that Schreiber actually give titles to his chapters. They add so much depth to the story because of their connection to the chapter. Some are very subtle and some hit you in the face, but all of the chapter titles add a cool anticipation in reading that chapter because you wonder how “Flesh Blizzard” and “Positive ID” and all the rest are going to connect to the story. I cannot say how much these chapter titles have aided in my enjoyment of this story, again because of the anticipation on how this title will work into the story. To all authors, naming chapters is worth the time and effort. They make the story much more enjoyable, so kudos again to Mr. Schreiber for taking the time and crafting some creative titles that make this book much more captivating.
Episode 19 “Stuck In The Middle With You” or “Is The Cream The Best Part Of An Oreo” of your Star Wars Book Report
Episode 19 of your Sci-Fi Book Report is fully packed…just like the Super Bowl was, and now, Wayne pays up in our Super Bowl wager by butchering the US National Anthem worse than it was at the Big Game. After our normal sports non-sense at the beginning we dive head first into Timothy Zahn’s Dark Force Rising, which is part two of the Thrawn Trilogy. We discuss what we love about this novel and discuss our criticisms of this book. We compare the style and pacing of the Early Post Yavin novels and the Clone War novels, and much, much more.
Next, Wanye and I break down the first half of Eldest by Christopher Paolini, which is the second book in his Inheritance Cycle, and again we discuss our likes and dislikes, as well as compare this novel to other similar tales.
Finally, we open by announcing the latest member to join our www.starwarsbookreport.com family.
So come and explore the galaxy with us one page at a time.
Thanks for listening, Jesse
Novels or Series Mentioned
The Paradise Snare
The Han Solo Trilogy
One thing I have often stated that the powers that be have gotten very right are the turns to the dark side especially of Anakin Skywalker, Des who becomes Darth Bane, and Jacen Solo. After you examine their life’s paths, you understand why they chose the dark side…it makes sense. Well with The Paradise Snare and the other two novels in this trilogy, you are basically given the story of Han Solo’s turn to becoming a smuggling pirate who is running drugs for the Hutts, and this turn to drug runner makes sense and in this wonderful story. In Han shoes, we would have made the same decisions, and I think the same could be said if we were in Anakin’s or Jacen’s too. It is powerful when you have a connection to a character where we would make the same choices given the same situation, especially when the choice is bad choice such as running drugs for Hutts…Spice is drugs in the Star Wars universe. Star Wars Geek who is saying out loud to his monitor that Glitterstim does have medicinal uses in Star Wars, I know, but Jabba was not making medicine. Han was running drugs, but the wonderful foundation than Crispin spins tells us why and it is a really good why. For me this is the pinnacle of Star Wars novels.
I have never been more afraid to read to a single novel than this one. As I have stated before, I am not a behind the scenes guy. I did not learn of The 4400 novels until after the show was cancelled, so I mistakenly thought that The 4400 was moving from the small screen to the book shelf. In my discussion with Greg Cox author of two 4400 novels, I learned that this was a four book deal struck to build off the television show, and when the show was cancelled, they were going to finish the four books and unless sales were off the charts, that the four books were going to be the end of The 4400. I was crushed because how could this in depth series be finished in only two books because two of them were set during the show. I love The 4400, and I was terrified at how the series was going to close because when you love a series, in any entertainment medium, the end can so easily disappoint. David Mack does not disappoint. This ending will satisfy any 4400 fan especially in terms of faithfulness, and that is the highest compliment I can pay a closing novel.
This book does not wait long for all heck to break out. Basically this is novel could be called the Battle for Promise City or the Battle of Seattle depending on which side wins. If you remember the ending of the television series ending, Jordan Collier and his band of promicin positives take control of Seattle and remake it as Promise City. Well, the United States military want their city back and they send in the big guns, big boats, a big laser, and a surprising group of promicin super soldiers, to get it back.
I feel like the WWF in the early nineties. Canadians are taking over! Although, I will allow Wayne and Jamie tell you who is the Hitman and who is the Anvil. I am pleased to welcome Jamie Whiteside to our little band of merriement. I hope you enjoy this review as much as I did, and I know I cannot wait to read his work in the future, so join me in welcoming Mr. Whiteside.
I just finished reading the Star Wars book Death Star, jointly written by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry.
First, let me briefly introduce myself. I am a long time reader of all things Star Wars. I was reading the expanded Universe novels as soon as they came out and was playing the Star Wars role playing game with my geek friends (sorry gang) in college. I have been lucky enough to pass along my love of Star Wars to my young son through the prequels, the Clone Wars and yes, the original trilogy. By the way, why didn’t we have cool lightsabers when we were growing up? After a brief break from the Star Wars novels, I jumped back in last summer with the Legacy of the Force novels. Over the last few months, through birthdays and Christmas, I had the opportunity to ask for some new novels to read. One of them I got as a stocking stuffer was the novel Death Star.
Episode 18 “A Clone Wars Cartoon…That’s Novel” or “More Faithful Than You Might Think” of your Star Wars Book Report
In today’s episode, Wayne and I discuss Clone Wars: The Animated Series and how the cartoon and the novels accent and help develop one another. We discuss our thoughts on the cartoon dropping Ahsoka Tano into the timeline, and how certain novels and the cartoon follow similar models: from Anakin’s leadership style in the Clone War Novels to the twisted Rule of Two followed by the Emperor that allows for other Dark Side Jedi such as Mara Jade from the Novels and Asaj Ventress from the Animated Series, and more.
We then break down the amazing Night Sister Trilogy from the Animated Series that borrows heavily from earlier novels, our thoughts on Savage, whose name looks more manly in print than when spoken, and what are our thoughts on Darth Maul coming back if that was Maul in that orb.
Today’s show is full of fun Star Wars talk, but that does not stop us from chasing rabbits, as I ask Wayne his thoughts on the recent NHL All Star Game and we make a Super Bowl bet where the loser will pay up in the next episode.
Join us for our usual shenanigans and explore with us the galaxy one page and one episode at a time.
Thanks for listening, Jesse