Category Archives: Books

Revan

Revan
(Star Wars: The Old Republic, #1)
by Drew Karpyshyn (2001)

 
Revan: hero, traitor, conqueror, villain, savior. A Jedi who left Coruscant to defeat Mandalorians and returned a disciple of the dark side, bent on destroying the Republic. The Jedi Council gave Revan his life back, but the price of redemption was high. His memories have been erased. All that’s left are nightmares and deep, abiding fear.


A good, but not extraordinary story of Jedi vs Sith. Based on the Bioware games I have not played

Darth Maul

Shadow Hunter
(Star Wars: Darth Maul #2)
by Michael Reaves (2001)


For the infamous, power-hungry Sith, beholden to the dark side, the time has come to rise again.

After years of waiting in the shadows, Darth Sidious is taking the first step in his master plan to bring the Republic to its knees. Key to his scheme are the Neimoidians of the Trade Federation. Then one of his Neimoidian contacts disappears, and Sidious does not need his Force-honed instincts to suspect betrayal. He orders his apprentice, Darth Maul, to hunt the traitor down.


What I liked about this book was that it was unpredictable. It’s set before the events of ‘The Phantom Menace’, so we know that Darth Maul has to survive . But what about the Jedi and other participants. Will they survive ?

The plot twists and turns to keep you guessing right up to the end.

 

Zahn’s Cobras

Cobra Trilogy

This is military science fiction about Cobras, elite soldiers augmented with bionic technology. These modifications include built-in weapons, sensory enhancements, effectively unbreakable bones, and their characteristic combat reflexes. The modifications to the human body are invisible to casual inspection, and allow the soldiers to appear as ordinary unarmed civilians, allowing them to be effective resistance leaders.

However, most of the cybernetics are permanent, allowing Zahn to examine the position these individuals might fill in a society during peace-time.


Cobra (Cobra #1)
by Timothy Zahn (1986)

The Cobras wonder if they can return home after the wars–since humans fear their talents.


Cobra Strike (Cobra #2)
by Timothy Zahn (1987)

If anyone had told Jonny Moreau the Cobras would one day take orders from the alien Troft, he would have laughed without humor. He’d lost too many friends during the Troft war, though the Cobras triumphed in the end. Now, though, the Troft were trading partners – and they feared what might be a mutual danger. A new race, ruthless and tenacious, that threatened human space as well as Troft. And the offer was territory – five new planets for the overcrowded Cobra Worlds.


Cobra Bargain (Cobra #3)
by Timothy Zahn (1988)

Jasmine Moreau is reconsidered for Cobra treatment when a return mission to a dangerous planet becomes inevitable.


The first book is the best of the trilogy. Zahn is at his best in the setup and science of telling an interesting story. The second continues in a similar matter. Unfortunately the third book suffers from slow plotting. It feels like the author had an overall plot set out, but on writing the third book came up short and simply padded the last half of the third book out.

I will probably read the sequel series:
Cobra Alliance – Cobra War Book 1 (2009)
Cobra Guardian – Cobra War Book 2 (January 4, 2011)
Cobra Gamble – Cobra War Book 3 (January 2012)
Cobra Rebellion Trilogy – Cobra Slave (2013)
Cobra Rebellion Trilogy – Cobra Outlaw (2015)
Cobra Rebellion Trilogy – Book 3 (not yet released)

Stiletto

Stiletto
(The Checquy Files #2)
by Daniel O’Malley (2016)

The Rook returns to clinch an alliance between deadly rivals and avert epic—and slimy—supernatural war.

When secret organizations are forced to merge after years of enmity and bloodshed, only one person has the fearsome powers—and the bureaucratic finesse—to get the job done. Facing her greatest challenge yet, Rook Myfanwy Thomas must broker a deal between two bitter adversaries:


At over 200,000 words this is a long book. Gone is the info-dump flashbacks. Instead the long excursions into history are part of the main narrative, Unfortunately this really drags the story down and after 20% I lost interest and abandoned the book.

What is needed is a good editor to half the novel’s length.

 

 

Vader Rises

The Rise of Darth Vader
(Star Wars: The Dark Lord Trilogy #3)
by James Luceno (2006)

Throughout the galaxy, it was believed that Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker the Chosen One had died on Coruscant during the siege of the Jedi Temple. And, to some extent, that was true. Anakin was dead.
From the site of Anakin Skywalker s last stand on the molten surface of the planet Mustafar, where he sought to destroy his friend and former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi a fearsome specter in black has risen. Once the most powerful Knight ever known to the Jedi Order, he is now a disciple of the dark side, a lord of the dreaded Sith, and the avenging right hand of the galaxy s ruthless new Emperor. Seduced, deranged, and destroyed by the machinations of the Dark Lord Sidious, Anakin Skywalker is dead . . . and Darth Vader lives.


A fair by-the-numbers Star Wars book about Darth Vader’s rise to power.

 

Rooks

The Rook (The Checquy Files #1)
by Daniel O’Malley (2012)

“The body you are wearing used to be mine.” So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.


This is a good read and entertaining throughout, mainly due to the writing prose style that has a very modern feel. A major part of the narrative is the flashback/info-dumps provided be the main character. They provide the world-building and explanation for the characters.
Frequently being extensive and long they often feel like short stories dropped into the main narrative. The disadvantage is that they act to break and interrupt the flow of the main story.

There is a distinct tone shift in the second half as more humour in introduced into the characters and situations. It almost feels like the author is trying to correct for the rather grim-dark tone of the first half. So over all, an engaging read. It looks like the next book will dispense with flashbacks and could be better for it.

Crucible

Crucible (Star Wars)
by Troy Denning (2013)

When Han and Leia Solo arrive at Lando Calrissian’s Outer Rim mining operation to help him thwart a hostile takeover, their aim is just to even up the odds and lay down the law. Then monstrous aliens arrive with a message, and mere threats escalate into violent sabotage with mass fatalities. When the dust settles, what began as corporate warfare becomes a battle with much higher stakes–and far deadlier consequences.


This book just fails to take off. The chapters are long and not much happens. Then you’re in another location, there is talking, things happen blah, bhah etc. Just Boring.

 

One Choice

Choices of One (Star Wars Legends)
by Timothy Zahn (2011)

Set in the time between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back and featuring the young Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, and the beloved Mara Jade. The fate of the Rebellion rests on Luke Skywalker’s next move. But have the rebels entered a safe harbor or a death trap?

Eight months after the Battle of Yavin, the Rebellion is in desperate need of a new base. So when Governor Ferrouz of Candoras Sector proposes an alliance, offering the Rebels sanctuary in return for protection against the alien warlord Nuso Esva, Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie are sent to evaluate the deal. Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand, is also heading for Candoras, along with the five renegade stormtroopers known as the Hand of Judgment. Their mission: to punish Ferrouz’s treason and smash the Rebels for good. But in this treacherous game of betrayals within betrayals, a wild card is waiting to be played.


Another saga written to Timothy Zahn’s usual high standards. Recommended.

Shadow Empire

Shadows of the Empire
by Steve Perry (1996)


The book introduces Prince Xizor, the alien overlord of the largest criminal organization in the galaxy. His goal is to take Darth Vader’s place at Emperor Palpatine’s side. The novel also resumes the storylines of the usual characters. Han Solo is still frozen in carbonite, being taken to the gangster Jabba the Hutt by the bounty hunter Boba Fett. It shows Princess Leia’s secret search for Boba Fett, the construction of Luke Skywalker’s new lightsaber and Darth Vader’s search for his son. It introduces a new character to the saga, Dash Rendar, a Han Solo-type smuggler, who acts primarily as a replacement for Han Solo and as a part of the action sequences.


Turns out that this is a novelization of a game. It’s a very average book, things happen in a very pre-determined a cliched way. The writing is OK, just not very inspired. So an OK book, but only for the fans.

Darth Bane Trilogy

One to embody the power, the other to crave it.
–Darth Bane, Dark Lord of the Sith

This is a story of the Old Empire.
Sometimes the bad guys get to have all the fun, here they are the brooding serious types. It’s the descent that’s compelling here.
Recommended to all Star Wars fans.


Path of Destruction (Star Wars: Darth Bane, #1)
by Drew Karpyshyn (2007)

 

On the run from vengeful Republic forces, Dessel, a Cortosis miner, vanishes into the ranks of the Sith army and ships out to join the bloody war against the Republic and its Jedi champions. There, Dessel’s brutality, cunning, and exceptional command of the Force swiftly win him renown as a warrior. But in the eyes of his watchful masters, a far greater destiny awaits him.
As an acolyte in the Sith academy, studying the secrets and skills of the dark side, Dessel embraces his new identity: Bane. But the true test is yet to come. In order to gain acceptance into the Brotherhood of Darkness, he must defy the most sacred traditions and reject all he has been taught. It is a trial by fire in which he must surrender fully to the dark side–and forge from the ashes a new era of absolute power.


Rule of Two (Star Wars: Darth Bane #2)
by Drew Karpyshyn (2007)

The story of a young mans journey from innocence to evil. That man was Darth Bane, a twisted genius whose iron will, fierce ambition, and strength in the dark side of the Force made him a natural leader among the Sith until his radical embrace of an all-but-forgotten wisdom.


Dynasty of Evil (Star Wars: Darth Bane, #3)
by Drew Karpyshyn (2009)

Twenty years have passed since Darth Bane, reigning Dark Lord of the Sith, demolished the ancient order devoted to the dark side and reinvented it as a circle of two: one Master to wield the power and pass on the wisdom, and one apprentice to learn, challenge, and ultimately usurp the Dark Lord in a duel to the death. But Bane’s acolyte, Zannah, has yet to engage her Master in mortal combat and prove herself a worthy successor. Determined that the Sith dream of galactic domination will not die with him, Bane vows to learn the secret of a forgotten Dark Lord that will assure the Sith’s immortality–and his own.