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text 2017-07-19 19:55
Reading progress update: I've read 30%.
Star Wars: Poe Dameron Vol. 2: The Gathering Storm (Star Wars (Marvel)) - Charles Soule,Phil Noto

Oh, so much better than the first volume! If still... Sighs. Star Wars has a problem, and it sort of always has, but I've never noticed it the way I have with recent books and other media. And that's the fascination with the "true believer" Imperial. And I'm just not interested in how cool a fucking fascist they are. There's a difference between a good villain, and one I'm supposed to drool over. But the story's moving better, and I like Threepio's involvement, even if he seems a bit out of character.

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review 2017-06-23 15:55
Darth Plagueis by James Luceno
Darth Plagueis - James Luceno

Who can resist the inside scoop on the mysterious Darth Plagueis whose story is used to help tip Anikan toward the dark side? Well, not me. I was eager to learn more about this Sith who had supposedly controlled life and death though had not been able to avoid his own.

 

I must agree with other reviewers on two points. First, this novel is misleadingly titled. It becomes more and more about Darth Sidious and less about Plagueis from the moment Palpatine steps into the picture. Second, it does read differently than other Star Wars novels. There is less action and more plotting & politics. Neither of these points make it a bad story, but it was also not quite what I expected.

 

The history given in this book ties so many events and people to the Sith Grand Plan that it almost becomes too much. Forget Sidious tricking the rebels into ambushes, Plagueis has been ordering the entire damn universe for decades before Luke & Leia are born. It's interesting, maybe a bit unbelievable, but, hey, this is Star Wars. I was intrigued at how the author brought it all together.

 

Plagueis is an interesting character, brilliant and always a step ahead of everyone, which makes it all the more confounding when he doesn't see that Sidious will not share power with him for the long run. I mean, really, co-chancellors? That was the plan? How did he not see that failing? Ah well, that disappointment aside, this book was a great addition to the Star Wars EU.

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review 2017-06-14 04:08
Star Wars: Rebel Rising
Star Wars Rebel Rising - Beth Revis

Confession: I didn't particularly like Rogue One when I saw it in theaters. I just didn't care about any of the main characters in it, and I'm not a big enough Star Wars fan to have caught a majority of the references in the movie or recognize names of characters beyond the really big ones like Darth Vader. I knew nothing about this book other than it involved Jyn Erso in some way (I recognized her on the cover). I didn't really plan to read this, but my library got the audio book, and I was looking for one really fast to download. This was the only available book in the section I was browsing that I hadn't read and that wasn't a sequel to something I hadn't read or that wasn't a book I had no intention of ever reading. And I'm glad I ended up picking it.

 

Rebel Rising managed to do what Rogue One failed to do which is make me care about the main characters. It tells Jyn's story prior to the movie and gave me a better idea of who she is and why. Her story's not a happy one. She was forced to learn how to fight and survive from a young age under the guidance of Saw Gerrera who took her in after her mother was killed and her father joined the enemy. I loved her complex relationship with Saw who became her surrogate father. And I loved Jyn in general and how she kept trying to keep to herself and not care about others for her own sake, but kept caring despite herself, even when it often led to the very pain she was hoping to avoid.

 

It's a shame this book came out after the movie. I think I would have enjoyed Rogue One if I had read this before seeing it. I would have gone in already caring greatly about one of the main characters.

Even if that would have made the ending hurt more.

(spoiler show)

This book made me a Jyn fan and has made me consider giving the Rogue One novelization a shot just to see if I do enjoy the story (and Jyn) more.

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review 2017-06-05 15:12
2/5: Rogue One, Alexander Freed
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Alexander Freed

A prequel movie to the original Star Wars, "A New Hope".

There's nothing wrong with Freed's writing style, and there are some nice asides with background information - the leader of the Rebel Alliance's thoughts about Jyn and a very realistic back-and-forth memo about the reactor hole in the Death Star, for example.

The movie wasn't that brilliant though, and the book does what it can with what it has. I suspect it's not the fault of Freed that it's such thin material.

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review 2017-06-02 14:20
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lost Stars - Claudia Gray,Phil Noto

A few years back, I read nothing but Star Wars. I was a little addicted, but reading predictable stories about Luke, Leia, Han & their broods eventually got boring. The more recent influx of novels digging deeper into the traditional stories has some promise.

This novel gives the reader a personal view of how young people grew up after the end of the Clone Wars wanting to serve the Empire. The institution that is clearly evil in the movies isn't seen the same way by those who are raised on Imperial propaganda and 'history' lessons. I love the fact that this author gave us two main characters who grew up on the same planet and are close friends, but who end up with very different views of the Empire.

Ciena and Thane experience the events that we are already familiar with from a more personal point of view. They have friends on Alderaan and on the Death Star. Who is 'good' and who is 'bad' isn't nearly as clear to them as it is to us. The Empire has taught them not to question, only to obey, but they see too much to remain unaffected. In the meantime, they are young adults struggling to figure out their feelings for each other as well.

I thought this novel went deeper into characters and emotions than many other Star Wars stories that I have read, which made it much more enjoyable for me. We have enough shallow 'the good guys won again' action stories. This book points out what we always knew had to be true - the good guys are everywhere trying to do the best they can with what they've been given.

I may be addicted again.

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