For a 2022 inventory, I thought I’d list all the Star Wars books I read last year. For the most part, I enjoyed every single one of them.
Total books: 23
High Republic books: 7
OT Era books: 6
PT Era books: 4
ST Era books: 4
YA books: 7
Middle grade books: 5
Adult books: 11
Legends books: 1
Canon books: 22
Hard copy books: 13
Not bad. 🙂 Looking forward to all the 2023 releases, including more from the High Republic, a Jedi: Survivor novel with Cal Kestis, and Rise of the Red Blade, about an Inquisitor. I love Star Wars books!
Have you read any of these books? Any favorites? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
I finished The High Republic novel Convergence, by Zoraida Cordova. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to its counterpart and sequel, Cataclysm, coming out in April of next year. It concerns the two planets Eiram and E’ronoh, which have been at war with each other for years. Jedi Knight Gella Natai is part of a Jedi delegation to help broker a peace treaty between the two worlds. She is helped in this mission by the two heirs, Xiri A’lbaran of E’ronoh and Phantu-Zenn of Eiram. Added to the mix is Axel Greylark, son of one of the Chancellors of the Republic, who has a troubled past and is sent there by his mother to report back to her. These four young people form a friendship as they embark on a mission to spread word of the treaty and the marriage that will take place between Xiri and Phantu-Zenn; they hope their union will bring peace to their war-weary worlds. However, not everyone wants peace and the mission is threatened from without as well as within.
Xiri and Phantu-Zenn are pretty straight-forward: they are both determined to forge peace between their worlds, and are willing to work together to do it. Gella, for her part, was assigned to this mission on the heels of a failed Pathfinder mission, where members of her team were killed or injured. She is unsure of her place in the Order, has doubts about herself as a team player, but is dedicated to the Force and the success of this mission.
Axel Greylark is the most interesting character in the book, and also the most inscrutable. He comes off as a scoundrel: an insouciant, selfish, jaded charmer, with gambling debts and a price on his head. But we also know there’s a wounded little boy inside, hiding his pain from his father’s death years ago, an accident which involved some Jedi. Ever since, he’s been hostile and mistrusting of Jedi. Of course, over the course of the book, he falls for Gella, but he’s far too complicated to change for the better because of this. He wants to; but feels it’s far too late for him, as he’s involved in some fairly murderous doings, among other things.
The saga of Eiram and E’ronoh continue in the audiobook releasing soon called The Battle of Jedha. I don’t care for audiobooks, but I have pre-ordered the print format of the book that will release in February, as I feel fairly invested in this story. And it’s Jedha, which, ever since Rogue One, has intrigued me immensely. I want to know more about it, and about the various Force religions. It’s why I’ve picked up Guardians of the Whills again, a short novel about Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus on Jedha. I’ll write more about that one next week.
Anyway, I also received and read the Obi-Wan Kenobi comic the other night. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m not much into comics, but every once in a while one comes out that I feel moved to read. This is one of them, as Obi-Wan is probably my favorite character in Star Wars right now. The comic concerns Obi-Wan in exile on Tatooine in his later years, probably quite close to the time of A New Hope. A sandstorm is coming, and he writes a few stories about his past in his journal to pass the time. The five stories span his lifetime, from a youngling, to Padawan to Qui-Gon Jinn, to Clone Wars General, to his mentoring of Anakin, and finally as Old Ben on Tatooine. The subtitle of the comic is “The Purpose of a Jedi”, and these stories examine that very question, as well as prepare him for his lonely exile on Tatooine. As a youngling, he must learn to rely on himself; as a Padawan, he learns to find the light in the darkness; in the Clone Wars, he truly ponders the purpose of a Jedi in war-time, which is always to help others and to choose life, even among death; in a mission with Anakin, he learns to hold on to that purpose even when it’s clear that constant war can consume others; and in the last story, he shows the incredible compassion he’s attained over the years, helping a Stormtrooper attacked by Tuskens.
The comic doesn’t add anything of great import to the canon; it’s more of a character-driven story, exploring Obi-Wan’s state of mind and what he’s learned over the years of being a Jedi. As an Obi-Wan fan, I found it very satisfying.
Also in books, I’ve been continuing my reading of Fairy Tale, by Stephen King. It’s a fun and entertaining book, about a teenage boy and his dog visiting a parallel world that is overcome by evil. I’ll probably finish it this week and write more about it next week.
Reading Stephen King got me in the mood to watch a King movie, and so I watched Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining. I read The Shining years ago, and of course watched the Stanley Kubrick film with Jack Nicholson. This story concerns the adult Dan Torrance, and his life after the horrific events at the Overlook Hotel (and stars our very own Ewan McGregor as the adult Dan). So as a kid, little Danny swore he’d never touch alcohol, after seeing it destroy his father. Well, that didn’t go as planned, and he spends most of his young adult life as an alcoholic. He hits rock bottom, and ends up in a New Hampshire town where he finds help from a man named Billy, who leads him to Alcoholics Anonymous. He gets clean and spends eight years working as an orderly in a nursing home. Through his special abilities (the shining), he helps people pass on to the other side. Because of this, the residents call him “Doctor Sleep.” He turns his life around and has found a rewarding way to use his “shine.”
Of course, there’s trouble. A group called the True Knot is stalking people, children in particular, who have the shining, even if they don’t know it. They kidnap and slowly kill these people, in order to “eat” their “steam”–fear and pain causes them to emit a sort of mist that is a manifestation of their power, and when the group inhales it, it “feeds” them. It causes them to live long lives.
Dan comes to know a 12-year-old girl named Abra who is very powerful in the shining. The group finds out about her existence and wants her. Dan becomes involved in helping her, but in doing so, he needs to confront his past and the (literal) ghosts that haunt him.
I don’t think this movie did very well at the box office, but I was certainly entertained for 2+ hours. I may read the book, once I finish Fairy Tale.
Lastly, I came across a trailer for a movie coming out next March:
I never knew I needed an Adam Driver time-travel sci-fi Jurassic Park kind of movie, but here we are. I’ll definitely be watching that one!
That’s about it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
P.S.–I saw that the Phase One High Republic YA novels will be coming out in a boxed set soon with new covers:
If I had a bottomless budget, I’d get this, because I love the new covers. I’ll wishlist it, lol.
I’m going to admit right off the bat that I didn’t have the energy to do a proper “review” of the first book of The High Republic Phase 2, Path of Deceit, by Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton. But I did love the book, so instead I’m doing a little tour of the characters through images, which seemed a lot more fun to me.
Kevmo Zink. Kevmo is a Jedi Padawan, a Pantoran who has an exuberant and outgoing personality. He and his master are conducting an investigation on Dalna concerning stolen Force artifacts. He immediately meets Marda Ro, a shy, sweet girl who is a member of the Force cult The Path of the Open Hand, and they are immediately attracted. The problem is, the Path believe that the Force should be “free” and not manipulated in any way, especially the way the Jedi use the Force. It’s a point of contention between them, but they try to understand each other’s differing points of view. Kevmo is a bit flirty for a Jedi, and must be reminded by his master about attachments.
Zallah Macri. Zallah is Kevmo’s Jedi Master. She is Soikan, and therefore very calm and focused, a good counterpoint to Kevmo’s exuberance. She and Kevmo are investigating the theft of a Force artifact from the Queen of Hynestia. When they learn of the Path of the Open Hand, she encourages Kevmo’s friendship with Marda in order to learn more about them and if they are possibly connected to the theft. But they have a difficult time meeting with the Path’s leader, who is called The Mother.
Marda Ro. Marda is a member of the Path of the Open Hand, who watches over and teaches the children of the group. Marda is a true believer, passionate about the Path and their beliefs. They believe that if the Force is manipulated in any way, it has ripple effects and causes damage somewhere else. When she sees Kevmo using the Force simply to float a flower in the air, it greatly upsets her. Marda and her cousin, Yana, are Evereni, a species that is rarely seen in the galaxy and who have a bad reputation. Marda, sheltered on Dalna with the Path since she was a young child, doesn’t understand the prejudice, but does her best to be a good person and member of the group. Marda, unlike her cousin, is quite naive, believing that the Path doesn’t “steal” artifacts, they simply “liberate” them from those who would use them and corrupt the Force. Her cousin is far more cynical, being one of the members who do steal the artifacts, and often kill those who own or guard them. Marda’s beliefs and loyalties will be tested in the book.
The Mother. Her name is Eleni, but everyone calls her The Mother. She didn’t found the Path, and no one really knows where she came from, but she has Force visions that guide her decisions for the Path. When she receives an artifact that looks like a glowing purple egg, she becomes more reclusive, obsessed with the egg and never letting it out of her sight. If she had good intentions previously, she definitely becomes more sinister when the egg comes into her life.
The Herald. The Herald is one of the Elders of the Path and its previous leader. He now defers to the Mother. He is the father of Kor, Yana’s girlfriend, and has a part to play towards the end of the book.
Sunshine Dobbs. A prospector with the unlikely name of Sunshine, Dobbs is the one who brought the purple egg, which he found on a planet beyond the Outer Rim, to the Mother. Immediately upon meeting her, he seemed to fall under her spell, and became willing to do anything for her.
The Nameless. This lovely fellow is the Nameless, also called the Leveler, or Shrii Ka Rai or Eaters of the Force (so not really nameless, right?). He is what eventually came out of the purple egg (clearly a dark side artifact) the Mother tended so lovingly. The Nameless have the power to kill Jedi through utter and extreme fear, turning them to ash. Presumably the Mother will use it against the Jedi and their offensive use of the Force. What other plans she has in mind remains a mystery for now.
This was a great book that hints at the origins of the Nihil and their leader Marchion Ro, who are the main villains in Phase One of The High Republic books. I can’t wait to read the rest of Phase Two to get a clearer picture of what led to the events of Phase One.
I’ve been away for awhile. My 86-year-old mom, who broke her hip some six weeks ago, passed away on Oct. 3rd. It was a fairly quick, but painful, decline, and it was the most difficult time of my life (and I’ve been through some stuff). I needed some time to process everything and grieve, and while that will continue for a long while yet, part of me knew that I wanted to get back to blogging soon. One of the things that kept me sane during Mom’s situation, besides my wonderful family, was continuing to read and watch all the stories that I love. It’s pure escapism, yes, but the point is I found small nuggets of joy during a very dark time.
And so, here’s a few of the things that saved me (and I really mean that) the past few months:
First off, let’s talk about Andor. I knew I was probably going to like this show when it was announced, and when I saw the first trailers, I knew I was going to love it. And it really has surpassed all of my expectations. I can’t say that I love it more than, say Obi-Wan Kenobi or The Mandalorian. I just love it differently. Or rather, for different reasons. Andor is the show that I knew Star Wars could be, if its approach changed. It’s “serious” Star Wars. It’s gritty, it’s mature (but not in a Rated-R kind of way; its maturity lies in suggestiveness), it’s political-thriller-noir. In a word, it’s sophisticated, without a lot of the camp or pulp that can define so many Star Wars projects (which I also love, by the way). It’s a slow burn that leads up to explosive violence, and then starts over again.
Andor is different–it doesn’t feel like Star Wars, somehow, but it’s also undeniably Star Wars, if that makes sense. And that might push a lot of people away, while others embrace it. From what I can tell, I’m not seeing any hate towards it, but if you love it, you really love it, or if not, it’s just not your cup of tea. And that’s fine. But I’m totally engrossed and invested, and can’t wait to see the next episode. Oh, and I love the music!
If I’m going to nitpick, it’s something that another blogger pointed out and that I hadn’t really thought about until she did: there aren’t many aliens in this show. There’s a plethora of humans, and on the Empire side I can understand that, since they’re so xenophobic. But everywhere else? Not many. There’s that tall furry guy on Farrix that Cassian talked to, and quite a few in the background on that resort planet he went to. And…that’s it? Now that it’s been pointed out, their absence is glaring to me. Huh. Maybe more will show up in later episodes.
The other show I’ve been watching is The Rings of Power. Season One just ended, and now I have to wait a long time for Season Two, lol. I’m one of the viewers that absolutely loved it. I know there are criticisms, and complaints that it mangles Tolkien’s work. I’m no Tolkien expert, so maybe that’s why I don’t give a fig and love the series. I’m a huge fan of Peter Jackson’s movies, and I’ve read The Lord of the Rings. I’ve tried to read The Silmarillion several times, and simply gave up after awhile. It’s more of a history book rather than a novel, and that just doesn’t work for me. Sorry. But it’s still on my shelf as a kind of reference.
Anyway, I think the writers did what they could to distill the Second Age into something watchable, and it worked for me. I loved all the story arcs, and didn’t feel there were too many. I loved the young versions of Galadriel and Elrond. The supporting characters were wonderful. I especially loved the friendship between Elrond and Durin. I could watch them all day, lol. Arondir was another favorite. I was totally heartbroken that a certain someone turned out to be Sauron, but in hindsight (and a rewatch) it’s not surprising. Some people thought the Harfoots were silly, but I found them charming. What can I say, I’m easily entertained, lol.
One thing that sticks in my craw is that no one can survive a pyroclastic flow from an erupted volcano. We’re talking thousands of degrees here, people. Fantasy show or not, that’s just not within the realm of believability, from a simple biological perspective. But that’s my only nitpick. Otherwise, it’s just a gorgeous and entertaining show.
I also watched all six episodes of Tales of the Jedi. This was a fun group of animated shorts that focused on key moments in the lives of two Jedi during the prequel era: Count Dooku and Ahsoka Tano. At first glance, they seem like very different people, but they have one thing in common: they both became disillusioned with the Jedi and left the Order. But the choices they made leading up to their departure, as well as afterward, show their differences. I loved both story arcs, but we already know quite a bit about Ahsoka; it was Count Dooku’s story that was really interesting. I never read Dooku: Jedi Lost (but I might do so now), but besides that, there really wasn’t that much out there that shed any light on his character and what, exactly, led up to him leaving the Jedi and turning to Sidious. I find I understand his character much better now, and maybe even feel a little bit sorry for him (but only a little). As for Ahsoka, her last episode was a kind of distilled version of the Ahsoka novel, and I’m okay with that. Oh, and Yaddle! It was so cool seeing her in action.
Onto books: I read and loved the Star Wars High Republic novel Path of Deceit, by Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton. (I originally thought I was going to wait a bit on the High Republic books, but who am I kidding?) It’s a YA novel, the first book out of Phase 2, which takes place 150 years before the events of Phase 1. It takes place on Dalna, a familiar planet from Phase 1, and concerns mostly the two young protagonists: Kevmo Zink, a male Pantoran who is Padawan to Jedi Knight Zallah Macri; and Marda Ro, an Evereni female who is a member of the Force cult The Path of the Open Hand. The Path believes that the Force must be “free,” meaning it should not be manipulated in any way, including, of course, the way the Jedi use the Force. It’s considered a sacrilege. The Jedi are on Dalna investigating the theft of a Force artifact, which happens to have been stolen by the Path (they call it “liberating” the Force by keeping these artifacts from those who would use them).
Kevmo and Marda form an instant attraction, but Marda has a hard time reconciling his Force use, and Kevmo needs to be reminded about attachments from his master. I knew their feelings for each other would only lead to ruin, and I was right. No spoilers, but it’s not a happy ending. And the fact that Marda’s last name is Ro (the same as the main villain in Phase 1) doesn’t bode well, either. I might do a book review in another post later, because I really enjoyed this one and there’s so much to discuss.
On my Kindle, I finished Crash of Fate, by Zoraida Cordova (who happens to be the author of the next HR novel, Convergence, out on November 22nd). This is a YA novel that takes place during the sequel era, at Black Spire Outpost on Batuu. I really enjoyed Black Spire by Delilah Dawson, an adult novel that takes place on Batuu as well, so I thought I’d revisit it. The book was fine–two young people who grew up on Batuu together are reunited years later and fall in love, all the while having adventures together at the Outpost. We see familiar faces and places of the planet, and it’s fun but ultimately rather forgettable. They do eventually run into some Resistance members that have taken up residence there from the book Black Spire, but they’re just making a delivery and it’s a very brief moment. I kind of wish the Resistance played a bigger part in the story, or maybe even seen Vi Moradi. Oh well. At the end of the book it’s implied that the two young people may join the Resistance, but that’s it.
In between Star Wars books I’ve been reading The Broken Earth series by J.K. Nemisin. I’m on the second book of the trilogy, The Obelisk Gate. This series is so absorbing; it’s unlike anything I’ve read before. I can’t even begin to explain it, and this post has gone on long enough, lol, so I’ll just say if you like apocalyptic fantasy, or African-inspired fantasy like the stories of Nnedi Okorafor, you’ll want to read this.
Anyway, that’s what’s been keeping me afloat during this sad time of my life. I thought I wouldn’t be able to focus on anything because of my grief, but I just turned to these things even more fiercely. Mom would have wanted it that way.
Phase 2 of the High Republic will be upon us soon, and as a fan who loves the HR, I thought I’d list the upcoming books. I could only find a description for the adult novel, Convergence.
Phase 2, Wave 1:
Path of Deceit (YA), by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland, Oct. 4th, 2022.
Convergence (Adult), by Zoraida Cordova, Nov. 15th, 2022. Here’s the Amazon description:
It is an age of exploration. Jedi travel the galaxy, expanding their understanding of the Force and all the worlds and beings connected by it. Meanwhile, the Republic, led by its two chancellors, works to unite worlds in an ever-growing community among near and distant stars.
On the close orbiting planets of Eiram and E’ronoh, the growing pains of a galaxy with limited resources but unlimited ambition are felt keenly. Their hatred for each other has fueled half a decade of escalating conflict and now threatens to consume surrounding systems. The last hope for peace emerges when heirs from the two planets’ royal families plan to marry.
Before lasting peace can be established, an assassination attempt targeting the couple tilts Eiram and E’ronoh back into all-out war. To save both worlds, Jedi Knight Gella Nattai volunteers to uncover the culprit, while Chancellor Kyong appoints her son, Axel Greylark, to represent the Republic’s interests in the investigation.
But Axel’s deep distrust of the Jedi sparks against Gella’s faith in the Force. She’s never met such a puffed-up, privileged party boy, and he’s never met a more self-serious, relentless do-gooder. The more they work to untangle the shadowy web of the investigation, the more complicated the conspiracy appears to be. With accusations flying and potential enemies in every shadow, the pair will have to work together to have any hope of bringing the truth to light and saving both worlds.
Quest for the Hidden City (Middle Grade), by George Mann, Feb. 14th, 2023
The Battle of Jedha (Audiobook), by George Mann, Feb. 14th, 2023
Phase 2, Wave 2 (No covers available yet):
Cataclysm (Adult), by Lydia Kang, April 4th, 2023
Quest for Planet X (Middle Grade), by Tessa Gratton, April 4th, 2023
Path of Vengeance (YA), by Cavan Scott, May 2nd 2023
I plan to read all of these books, the adult and YA as they come out, and eventually get to the middle-grade books (I usually get these on deal on my Kindle at a later date). I may even read the script of the audiodrama The Battle of Jedha, although I didn’t for the Phase 1 audiodrama, Tempest Runner. Tempest Runner is about the Nihil Lourna Dee, and I wasn’t that invested in her particular story outside the novels. But Jedha? Yes, please! Ever since Rogue One and the YA book Guardians of the Whills (with Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus), I’ve had a fascination for Jedha and the holy city.
I can’t wait for this next Phase of the High Republic!
Have you read the High Republic books? Looking forward to this Phase? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
Not much to report this week, besides some re-reads and re-watches.
I finished my re-read of the Ahsoka novel on my Kindle. While I liked it when I first read it, I find that I like it so much more on this second read. I’m not sure why. I think maybe because I know Ahsoka so much better now than I did when the book came out–I don’t think I’d watched Rebels at that point yet. I think I had watched Clone Wars, otherwise I wouldn’t have known or been interested in the character. I don’t know, but I love the book! Makes me very excited for the Ahsoka show next year!
Learning about the making-of doc about the Obi-Wan Kenobi show put me in a mood to rewatch the series (I think it’s the third time for me), and it just gets better with each rewatch. I don’t have much else to say about it except how wonderful it is (Leia-under-Ben’s-coat still makes me wince, but whatever, lol). For me, with Star Wars it’s about how it makes me feel. Is everything perfect? Nope. Does everything make sense? Not always. Does it get me in the feels? Hell yeah! Emotional satisfaction is more important to me in the final analysis. That’s how I learned to love the prequels. Are they often silly? Yes. Have I learned to love that silliness? Yup. Star Wars makes me feel happy. That is all.
With The Bad Batch Season Two coming up (I think it’s back on for Sept. 28th?) I decided to rewatch the first season again (I think I’m on viewing #3 with this one, too). I’m up to episode 6, so about halfway through. I continue to be surprised at how much I love these guys (and girl). I just love listening to their banter, and I want to know what’s going to happen with Crosshair, and what is it about Omega that’s so special, and what direction will the squad go in? I’m here for it.
Once I finished Ahsoka, I had to find new Star Wars for my Kindle, so I chose the Original Trilogy novelizations. These are books that I read countless times back in the day, but it’s been a long while (literally decades). I thought it would be fun to go back and reread them and see what sticks out to me. I just started reading A New Hope, and one thing that sticks out is that mechanicals aren’t called droids, they’re called robots, which is a bit weird. Of course, this book came out months before the movie even released, so yeah, some things changed by the time of the film. Some of the dialogue is slightly different, some deleted scenes are in there, like when Luke talks with Biggs on Tatooine. Lots of little things. This will be fun!
So basically, what I’m saying with all this rereading and rewatching is that I really need some new Star Wars stuff, lol. Andor is just around the corner, and probably The Bad Batch, and October will see the first book of Phase 2 of the High Republic (stay tuned for a post on the upcoming books in the HR). So I’ll be swimming in it again very soon. We’re very spoiled in this golden age of Star Wars, don’t you think?
What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
I thought I’d post my rankings of the Star Wars books that have released this year–so far, since there are some High Republic Phase 2 books coming out this fall. I’ve included mostly adult and YA novels; the only middle grade book I’ve included is the short story collection Stories of Jedi and Sith. Obviously, I’ve only included books that I’ve read, and so the High Republic audio drama Tempest Runner is not included.
So here we go, from least favorite to best:
8. The High Republic: Midnight Horizon, by Daniel Jose Older (YA). This book occurs concurrently with The Fallen Star, but I consider it the last book of Phase 1 of the High Republic. Older is not one of my favorite Star Wars authors. This story is fine, but it’s one of my least favorite of the High Republic novels (Out of the Shadows takes the least favorite spot), and the least favorite of the books that came out this year. It has Reath Silas in it, though, so that makes up for it, and an awesome cameo by Yoda in the last few pages.
7. Stories of Jedi and Sith, by various authors (Middle-grade). These short stories are fun and showcase some great characters like Asajj Ventress, Maul, Luke, Rey and Poe. They don’t add anything significant to the canon, but they’re fun and interesting. I particularly liked the Asajj story, and the Maul story.
6. Queen’s Hope, by E.K. Johnston (YA). I’ve always been a fan of the Padme books, and this one is no exception. It’s the third in a trilogy, and takes place at the start of the Clone Wars and Padme and Anakin’s marriage. As soon as they’re married, they a get a few blissful days on Naboo, but are soon separated on their own missions. I was kind of hoping it was more of a The Princess and the Scoundrel sort of thing, where they get to go on a mission together. They do at the very beginning, but it’s one little chapter, not a whole book. Of course, their marriage is a secret, and Padme must deal with all that entails. It’s still good, and I especially enjoy the Sabe scenes.
5. Padawan, by Kiersten White (YA). This is a young Obi-Wan adventure, and it was quite fun. It shows a very unsure Obi-Wan Kenobi shortly after he is taken on by Qui Gon Jinn as a Padawan. He’s full of doubt and worries, and trying to figure out his relationship with both his Master and the Force. He ends up going alone to a planet where he finds young people with strange Force-like abilities. As he tries to unravel the mysteries of the planet and help these parent-less teens, he comes to understand himself, and the Force, better.
4. Brotherhood, by Mike Chen. This is an Anakin and Obi-Wan adventure, just as the Clone Wars are beginning, and taking place just after Queen’s Hope. Obi-Wan is sent to Cato Neimoidia after the planet suffers a terrible disaster, to investigate the bombing and figure out who is responsible–the Republic or the Separatists. Anakin has just been made a Jedi Knight, and is sent on his own mission, but the two aren’t used to being without the other, and must come to terms with their new relationship–not master and apprentice, but brothers. Anakin shows up, of course, with a youngling in tow, which presages his taking on an apprentice of his own. This is a great book that explores more of Neimoidian culture, separate from the Trade Federation, and how the Republic–as well as Obi-Wan and Anakin–have to overcome certain prejudices against these people. Asajj Ventress is in the book, too, “investigating” on behalf of the Separatists, and you can bet she causes trouble.
3. Shadow of the Sith, by Adam Christopher. This book takes place about fifteen years after Return of the Jedi. Luke and Lando are on a mission to help a young family–six-year old Rey and her parents, Dathan and Miramir–escape the Sith and Ochi of Bestoon. Lando is involved because he feels it will help him deal with his grief over losing his own daughter when she was two; he asks Luke for help, who is currently running his new Jedi Temple on Ossus. We get to see a young Ben Solo a couple of times, and he’s kind of sweet and eager to please his uncle Luke :(. Anyway, Luke gets drawn into a mystery involving an ancient Sith mask possessed by the spirit of a Sith Lord from long ago. It’s a big book, with a lot going on, and it ties together a lot of loose ends from the sequel trilogy. I was a bit disappointed with the portrayal of Luke, who seemed like a robot through the entire book. Otherwise, it’s a great read.
2. The Princess and the Scoundrel, by Beth Revis. I had doubts about this one, and certainly didn’t think it would be so high on my list. But I loved it! If you live for Han and Leia banter and romance (me, it’s me), this one delivers. We see their lovely wedding on Endor, and then Mon Mothma convinces them to take a honeymoon on the Halcyon, a space cruise ship based on Mothma’s homeworld of Chandrila. It’s somewhat for PR purposes, but she truly wants them to have a nice honeymoon, too. But of course they caught up in some intrigue on a troubled moon, all the while figuring each other out and how this marriage thing works. It’s a very satisfying book, at least to me.
1. The High Republic: The Fallen Star, by Claudia Gray. This is the adult finale of the first phase of The High Republic, and it’s fantastic. Claudia Gray is my favorite Star Wars author (Bloodline, Leia: Princess of Alderaan, Into the Dark, and Lost Stars are all exceptional), and she doesn’t disappoint here. Told mostly from the points of view of Stellan Gios, Elzar Mann, and Bell Zettifar (among several others), it takes place mostly on Starlight Beacon, a new space station that is the pride and joy of the Republic. Naturally, Marchion Ro, the main villain of the High Republic novels, has it in his sights. Since it takes place mostly on the station, and there’s a Jedi-killing monster on board, it’s got some Alien-like vibes. But the character work with Stellan and Elzar, especially, is great. It’s wonderful and heartbreaking, and I can’t wait to get back to these (surviving) characters in Phase 3.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
So I’ve finished The Princess and the Scoundrel this week, and I enjoyed it immensely. Most books I’ve read with Han and Leia in them have the two separated, on different adventures or missions, but this one necessarily has them together during the whole book. It’s the story of their wedding and honeymoon, after all. And because they’re together the whole time, we get all of their arguments, banter, and romance (oh, the kissing that takes place!), all the time. And it’s awesome! They get to know each other better and try to figure out what this whole marriage thing is about. Oh yeah, and they save a crumbling moon from the remnants of the Empire, yadda yadda (I jest; it’s a good story). I think the author, Beth Revis, really nailed the characters of Han and Leia, and their dynamic. It may even be my favorite Star Wars book that was released this year, next to The Fallen Star. I’ve enjoyed all of them, but this one, I think, will have a special place in my heart.
I chose to set aside The Fifth Season in order to finish Princess, but I’ll be getting back to that now, and will have more on that next week
I’ve also downloaded the Ahsoka novel to my Kindle, as there was a $1.99 deal on it, which is something I’ll never pass up. 🙂
When it was announced that Andor was being moved up to Sept. 21, I had wondered if The BadBatch S2 would also get moved up, as it was set to premiere Sept. 18th. Well, I saw that it has, indeed, been moved, but I haven’t seen a new premiere date yet. We’ll just have to wait and see when they’ll drop it.
On Sept. 8th, Disney+ will drop Obi-Wan Kenobi: A Jedi’s Return, a sort of making-of doc about that series. I’m guessing it will be similar to the Gallery series we’ve had about the other shows, and I can’t wait to see it!
Also on Sept. 8th, Thor: Love and Thunder will come to D+. Geez, it’s still playing in my local theater, lol. I probably won’t be rewatching. I love Thor, but this one, while it had me laughing, also left me disappointed. I kind of wish I had laughed less and was invested more in the story.
That’s about it this week. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
I don’t have a ton of stuff to talk about this week, as I’ve just been reading. And reading, and reading, lol.
I had expected to receive The Princess and the Scoundrel about a week after its release date of August 16th, because that’s been the pattern lately, as it was with Padawan and Shadow of the Sith. So I started reading The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin while I waited. But it only took two days to get Princess, and I just couldn’t wait to get into it. And I was far enough into Fifth Season not to want to put it down. Reader problems, eh? 🙂 So I’m reading two books.
The Fifth Season is a big book, and I’m about one quarter to a third of the way through. It’s mesmerizing, and unlike any other fantasy I’ve ever read. It takes place on a large continent called The Stillness, which is an ironic name since the place is constantly erupting with earthquakes and tremors. It’s so bad that their whole society is formed around this geological fact: they have the “Stonelore” which tells you what do when a “Season” (a particularly catastrophic event) comes around. The continent has been shaped and reshaped many times over the course of millenia, and many cultures and empires developed and ruled over that time. But this particular one has learned how to survive. In this world, there are people who are born with the ability to affect the tremors and shakes; they’re called “orogenes.” People fear them, so much so that when a child shows such powers, they are often killed. When they aren’t, they are sent to the Fulcrum, where orogenes train to control their powers and help keep the shakes at bay.
There are several storylines that overlap, although I’m not sure of the actual timeline. The first one introduced is that of a woman named Essun, and she’s just discovered her three-year old child is dead, beaten to death by his father. Essun is an orogene, living in the “comm” of Tirima for the past ten years and hiding what she is; she fears her son had shown signs of being an orogene like her, leading to her husband, Jija, killing the child. He’s fled with their young daughter. Essun makes it her quest to find her daughter, and, well, deal with Jija.
The world-building in this book is incredible and intricate. There are mysterious, floating obelisks in the sky, leftover from some ancient civilization that didn’t survive a Season. No one knows what they are or what they were for, but I have a feeling we’re going to find out later in the book. I’m so intrigued by the whole story, I haven’t been this swallowed up by a book in a long time. Oh, and it won the Hugo Award a few years ago. There are two other books after this one that makes up The Broken Earth series, The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky, and you can bet I’ll be reading those, too.
I’m about a third of the way through The Princess and the Scoundrel, and it’s just wonderful. There’s nothing earth-shattering in it, nothing that significantly affects the canon (so far), but it’s just a joy to read. We thought we knew the love story of Han and Leia, but there’s always room for more details, in my opinion. We get to see Han’s proposal and their wedding on Endor, and Mon Mothma has convinced them to take their honeymoon on the Halcyon, a space cruise ship. Where I am in the book, they’re just arriving at the Halcyon, but I know that some adventure and intrigue will follow.
But what I really love is getting into Han and Leia’s heads in alternating chapters, their excitement, their fears and doubts, their hope, their love. What we kind of forget is that Han lost a year of his life while he was in carbonite; it’s disorienting to him to know that others continued on with their lives while he was in that carbonite block in Jabba’s palace, and he has to catch up. So things have progressed really fast for him, to say the least. Leia, after having some conversations with Luke, has to deal with the new knowledge that Darth Vader is her father, and she’s having a hard time of it. Unlike Luke, she can’t forgive him. She hates him. And she’s hesitant to learn about the Force, because she fears she’ll become like him. I’m really enjoying the book so far.
I’m also excited to learn that there will be a Cal Kestis novel next year! I’ve never been a gamer, and let’s face it, I never will be nor do I want to be, but I’ve always felt like I’ve missed out on the story of Cal Kestis from the game Jedi: Fallen Order. He’s kind of a big part of canon now, especially with the Fortress Inquisitorious making an appearance in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show. So while gamers wait for the sequel to Fallen Order, Jedi: Survivor, there will be a book called Jedi: Battle Scars, and it will release on March 7th of 2023. I’ve always hoped for a book or series of books with Cal Kestis, and it looks like my wish will come true!
What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about!
Last week, I forgot to mention that I finished Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson. I was a little wary at first, considering it’s a tie-in to an amusement park; but besides an introduction to the Outpost at the beginning that seemed like a tour at Galaxy’s Edge, I have to say it was a really good book. Vi Moradi, a Resistance spy, and Archex (aka Cardinal), both of whom were in Dawson’s excellent book Phasma, are sent by General Organa to Batuu to set up a Resistance base. Of course, everything goes wrong immediately, and Vi must somehow get back her equipment (which was stolen after they crashed), find and set up a Resistance base, recruit the locals to the cause, and stay out of the First Order’s clutches, who have recently landed. Vi has become one of my favorite Star Wars characters, by the way; she’s tough but compassionate, funny but one hundred percent committed. This poor woman was not only tortured in Phasma, but is beaten and tortured several times in this book as well. As a spy, she’s been trained to deal with torture (which seems kind of appalling to me, but makes sense); she tells another character at one point, “Spy school was fun,” with tongue firmly in cheek. She’s even got a poisoned tooth to get her out of unbearable situations, but she’s never used it. Atta girl.
I also finished Padawan by Kiersten White, about a young Obi-Wan Kenobi. I talked a little bit about in last week’s post, before I finished it. It’s a good book, a great coming-of-age story for Obi-Wan, who learns to trust not only himself, but the Force; and I liked its theme of how those with power must learn how to responsibly wield it. A very fun but also thoughtful book.
I debated on whether or not I wanted to get into the whole “Obi-Wan’s sexuality” controversy brought on by this book, and I just want to say: who cares? A few lines in a book (in which he isn’t explicitly attracted to another male, he’s simply wondering about kissing, well, anyone) isn’t a big deal. Yes, he fell in love with Satine, but the point is, he never acted on any sexual attraction he might have had for anyone during his entire life, as he’s committed to the Jedi Order above anything else. So the argument is moot, in my opinion. People love making mountains out of molehills, and it’s annoying, lol.
Anyway, I’ve been reading the novelization of Solo: A Star Wars Story on my Kindle just for the fun of it, and it made me want to watch the movie again. So I did the other night, and I’m just reminded how much I love this story. Because it is SO much damn fun! And the book delves into a lot of details that the movie leaves out, like what, exactly, happened to Qi’ra after Han escaped Corellia but she didn’t. There’s more about Lando and his delightful idiosyncrasies. And a whole lot more about L3-37, Lando’s revolutionary droid–about how she became who she is, and how she integrated with the Millenium Falcon. Just really cool, neat stuff.
I also watched the Star Wars LEGO Summer Vacation, and as usual, it was fun and delightful. I still think the Holiday Special reigns supreme, but these specials never disappoint. I still think the Emperor steals the show, though, as always, lol. Got a little misty-eyed at the end of the third one when Han tells Ben “I love you,” and Ben says, “I know.” Some high points are Obi-Wan singing “Gamorrean Girls” in Jabba’s palace, and Anakin’s Force ghost showing up in scuba gear, of all things. I’m hoping we someday get to see the sequel crew doing their things–Finn looking for Force-sensitives, Rey searching for Jedi Temples, Poe training X-Wing pilots, and Rose going on relief missions. I want to see ALL of this, okay LF/Disney? Please?
In Marvel news, I heard that there may be a second season of Moon Knight! I hope this is true, because I loved that series. I’m disappointed that in a long list of Emmy nominations, Oscar Isaac did not get an acting nomination. This is criminal, in my opinion. So it’s fantasy, who cares? His performance was phenomenal, I don’t care what anyone says. These kinds of shows always do great in the technical categories (as they should), but for some reason the actors get passed over. And that’s too bad, because they often pour their heart and souls into these roles, and should be taken as seriously as anyone else. Anyway, that’s my rant for the day, lol. Ooh, and I hear he’s not against coming back as Poe Dameron. Whaa??? Don’t get my hopes up, Oscar!
I’m now patiently awaiting The Princess and the Scoundrel by Beth Revis, which comes out on August 16th, but I probably won’t receive it until the next week. That leaves me some time to read another book. I was browsing around my local bookstore when The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin caught my eye. This one’s been on my someday list for a long while, so I finally bought it. I just started it, but I can tell it’s going to be a really different, interesting read. It’s the first non-Star Wars book I’ve picked up in probably over a year, lol, so it will be a nice change of pace.
That’s about it. What’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!