Recommendations

Recommended Star Wars Novels for Adults

There’s almost an overwhelming number of books available with the Star Wars logo emblazoned on the cover, as such, it can be intimidating to try and start reading them. A new reader may ask questions like: Where do I begin? Do I have to go in order? Is there an order to go in? Do I have to read all of these to get the backstory for the movies?

To answer the first few questions, just start somewhere, anywhere you like. There’s no particular order for most of the books, and reading them out of order doesn’t really affect the enjoyment of the book. If a book looks interesting, read it. Don’t worry about doing it “right”. Another strategy is to find an author or character you like and follow them. Whatever you do, have fun and read lots.

Original Trilogy

There really aren’t that many books that cover the period of the Original Trilogy, and of the ones out there, I’ve only read maybe three or four. So there is only one book set during the Original Trilogy that I can recommend, and that is:

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn
5 stars out of 5
This is a fun heist story that’s just the right blend of Ocean’s Eleven and Star Wars. A highly recommended stand-alone book.

Prequel Trilogy

These books were all written before Disney acquired LucasFilm and are set during the events of the Prequel Trilogy. Kenobi is technically set after Episode III, but it comes right on the heels of Revenge of the Sith so I included it with the other Prequel Trilogy books.

The Approaching Storm by Alan Dean Foster
5 stars out of 5
This book is a fun adventure story set shortly before the events of Attack of the Clones and actually sets up that movie quite well while remaining a stand-alone book. This book gives the reader a window into the lives of the Jedi before the pressures of the Clone Wars take over the galaxy. If you like Anakin or Obi-Wan it is a must-read.

Outbound Flight by Timothy Zhan
4 stars out of 5
Timothy Zahn finally gives us the backstory to the Katana fleet. This book gives readers the answers to all that transpired when the fleet vanished. It’s a good story with interesting characters and the usual Zahn flare. However, this book is best read in conjunction with the Thrawn Trilogy, otherwise the Katana fleet thing doesn’t really hold much interest.

Kenobi by John Jackson Miller
4 stars out of 5
John Jackson Miller shows himself to be a capable novelist with this offering. Taking place just after the events of Episode III Obi-Wan must navigate life on Tatooine while keeping a low profile. Part western, part Star Wars this book is great for any Obi-Wan fan.

I am going to preface the next section by saying that the following three books do not deserve the rating I gave them. The writing is fanfictiony in the worst way and the dialogue is laughable. Melodrama abounds and the plots are contrived at best. That being said, I did enjoy reading these books immensely and rated them on my enjoyment, not their objective quality. If I were to give them a fairer rating it would probably be around two stars each. Still, I enjoyed reading them and have enjoyed rereading them, so if fanfiction style writing is your thing you may enjoy them as well.


Wild Space by Karen Miller
4 stars out of 5
This is literally the only EU novel that features Bail Organa as a primary character and in this book he is in fine form. Bail and Obi-Wan go on a secret mission together and we finally get to see the man who raised Leia in action; and he is everything I could ask for. Bail has the sass and spunk that we see in Leia as well as being likable and shrewd. His character and Obi-Wan have some great moments together and it also fills in the some gaps in Episode III, like why Obi-Wan and Yoda trusted Bail enough to let him raise one of the twins. This is a fun book and is worth looking into if you like Bail or Obi-Wan.

Stealth and Siege by Karen Miller
4 stars out of 5
I’ll recommend these books together because they are really one story telling one continuous plot. Anakin and Obi-Wan go undercover in Separatist space. While this book is light on plot it give the reader a lot of interaction between Obi-Wan and Anakin. If you like those two characters and their relationship then these books are for you.

LegendsEU

These are books that continue the story of Star Wars after Return of the Jedi before LucasFilm was bought by Disney. They continue to tell the story of Luke, Leia, Han and the rest of the galaxy in a somewhat cohesive way continuing the adventure for many years.

The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zhan
5 stars out of 5
I’m going to go ahead and rate these as a set because the story is continuous throughout the three novels. Each book is a five star book for me. These books could easily be Episodes 7, 8, and 9. They capture the feel of Star Wars and suck you into the continued struggles of Leia, Luke and Han. These books also introduce the characters of Talon Karrde, Mara Jade, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Gilad Pellaeon, Winter and many, many other characters that have become staples in the EU. Zahn set the EU into motion with these books and should be on everyone’s Star Wars reading list.

Tatooine Ghost by Troy Denning
3 stars out of 5
While this book may not be as highly rated as some of the others on this list it is still a good read. This book tackles Leia and her relationship with Anakin, her perceptions of Vader, and her connections to the Skywalker family. If Leia is a character you like then this book might be just what you’re looking for.

Rogue Squadron by Micheal Stackpole
4 stars out of 5

This book is the continuing adventures of the Rebellion against the Empire. The story focuses around Wedge Antilles and the X-Wing pilots as they attempt to drive the Empire out of all corners of the galaxy. This book is entertaining and well written and a treat to read. This book is especially recommended for Wedge Antilles fans and fans of pilots.

NewEU

These are books published after Disney bought LucasFilm, and therefore tie into the new movies and have their own continuity that is different from all the books published before the Disney acquisition. I haven’t read many of the new books yet, so I only have one real recommendation in this category.

A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller
4 stars out of 5
If you are a fan of the show Rebels then you need to read this book. This book gives you the story of how Kanan and Hera first meet and how they decide to work together. It’s a fun story and a great plot and should be read by anyone who likes the characters of Hera and Kanan.

All these and more can be found at your local library!

Reviews

Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin, Review

Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin by Charles Soule

3 out of 5 stars

Set between Episode I and II, this book compiles issues 1-5 of the Obi-Wan & Anakin comic, and, for only being five issues long it tells not only one, but two stories using an interwoven timeline format. The main story is a straightforward adventure story. Anakin and Obi-Wan are stranded on a dsytopian planet engulfed in civil war. They have to keep their wits about them to stay alive, but also stay true to the Jedi code and try attempt to create a peace. The other story, the one that is the emotional centre of the story, is one where Anakin contemplates leaving the Jedi order, and his struggles to come to terms with what he wants, and what he thinks is expected of him.

This books is written with typical comic book style. It’s slick and goes over well. Obi-Wan and Anakin are more or less in character. The author does a particularly good job on depicting Anakin as a young teen who is beginning to question his life. The early teen years can be ones of great confusion and change for many adolescents, and the author conveys those feelings with believable care. Additionally, the author portrays Palpatine beginning to groom Anakin for the Dark Side in a careful and somewhat frightening way. This book does a lot of good for Anakin’s story, and fills in the inter-movie years quite well.

Obi-Wan is actually much more of a secondary character here, so if he’s the main attraction to reading this book, you may be disappointed. He plays a reasonable and sympathetic supporting role in driving the story along, but, like the movies, this is really Anakin’s story.

Finally, the art. The art throughout this book is excellent, absolutely no complaints here. It is a comic book, so the art is stylized to advance the story (and make the characters look cool) but everyone looks quite like themselves. I especially like how Anakin looks, it’s a good blend of child and teen. The action too is easy to follow and visually spectacular. Overall, this is a fun read.

As far as things I didn’t like, the main story leaves something to be desired. It’s a fairly dull story, there isn’t a lot of interest, and outside of Anakin being kidnapped, it has very little to keep the reader engaged. The secondary flashback storyline is far more intriguing making the primary story feel that much more bland.

Writing

New Fanfiction

I’ve been working on a Star Wars: Rebels fanfiction for over a month now, and I finally finished the last edit tonight. The story focuses on Kanan learning to trust Hera in the early days of their relationship. I’ve really enjoyed the deep trust and mutual respect the characters in the show have for each other, and I wanted to write about how they got to that point. So, if you like Kanan and Hera, or enjoy Star Wars: Rebels fanfic, this story may just be for you.

This Day on AO3

This Day on FF.net

Enjoy!

Writing

This Day, Sneak Peek

sneak-peek

The following is an excerpt from my current Star Wars: Rebels fanfiction.

“Kanan was keenly aware that he had dropped his own blaster when he had used the Force against the speeder bike. He was also aware that he was out in the open, with no cover, and nothing to protect him.

Hera was suddenly between him and the soldiers.”

This story will be published shortly on both FanFiction.net and Archive of Our Own.

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Reviews

Star Wars: A New Dawn, Review

Star Wars: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller

4 stars out of 5

John Jackson Miller may be new to writing for Star Wars, but his writing doesn’t show it. A New Dawn is a great adventure featuring Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla from the show Star Wars: Rebels. This story takes place years before the show begins, and it only features Kanan and Hera, so, if you’re a big Ezra or Sabine fan, you’ll be disappointed. If, like me, you are a fan of Kanan and Hera and their relationship, then this book is worth checking out.

The story is a straightforward adventure story. The Empire is evil, people are oppressed and exploited, Kanan and Hera join together to save the day. Miller does a great job writing the characters we know from the show, and he also introduces the reader to new and likable characters in story. Miller did a good job crafting a fun adventure story and bringing together Kanan and Hera for the first time.

The only real caveat I have about this story is that it goes better with the show. It can stand alone, but part of what makes it so enjoyable to read is knowing where these characters end up by the time the show starts. This book fits in smoothly with the show and the NewEU, so if you are interested in learning more about Kanan and Hera from Star Wars: Rebels, pick this book up.

I also listened to this book as an audiobook, and I have to say it’s excellent. The narrator, Marc Thompson, is the same one who does Scoundrels and he deftly handles the reading of this book. This is a top notch audio performance and certainly worth looking into.

Reviews

Star Wars: Scoundrels, Review

(Edited and re-posted from elsewhere)

Star Wars: Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

5 out of 5 stars

Timothy Zahn is a solid Star Wars storyteller and this book is no exception. The story is exactly what it says on the tin: Ocean’s Eleven done Star Wars style. If you aren’t interested in reading a self-contained heist novel then this book might not be for you. However, if a Star Wars bank heist led by Han Solo sounds like something you might be interested in then this book delivers.

The story is a straightforward heist story but Zahn throws in plenty of twists and turns throughout. There are several interweaving plotlines that add to the intrigue and keep the action going. The story is fast paced and a lot of fun. This book handles a large cast extremely well and every character has a chance to shine. Not only are there plenty of Original Trilogy and Legends Expanded Universe (LegendsEU) favorites in this book, but plenty of new characters to learn and love too.

Zahn is one of the best writers to grace the Star Wars Expanded Universe and this story is one of his best. The book is a real page turner once the plot kicks in. It was one of those books that when I got to the end I wanted to go back to the beginning and start all over again. The story is a fun action tale from start to finish.

If you are a fan of the Original Trilogy, the character of Han Solo, or just interested in a standalone LegendsEU story this book is something you’ll want to check out. The characters are great, the plot is excellent and the action never stops. Scoundrels is an excellent adventure and is a great addition to the Star Wars universe. I will add that this is a LegendsEU book which means that it was published before Disney bought LucasFilm, so the story may not fully mesh with newer material. However, that shouldn’t stop you from reading this book.

On a side note, the audio book is also excellently done. Often the voice acting in Star Wars audio books leaves something to be desired, but not so for this one. The voices are well done and all of the characters can easily be distinguished from each other by the sound of their voice. If audio books are your thing this one is worth checking out.

Reviews

Luke Skywalker Can’t Read, Review

Luke Skywalker Can’t Read: And Other Geeky Truths by Ryan Britt

1.5 stars out of 5

I listened to this on CD, and I do apologize to the voice actor in advance because I will forever associate the reader’s voice with the pretentious arrogance of the author.

This book is a collection of essays that really don’t have much to do with each other aside from the fact that they are all on some type of “geeky” subject. I think the trend of editing a blog into a book is one that is really hit and miss, and this book was a big miss.

The author claims to be a “bad geek” yet he constantly goes out of his way to prove his “geek cred” on the topic he’s talking about. He really wants the reader to know that he knows All The Stuff. The collected essays are irreverent in the typical I’m-a-blogger-and-not-at-all-stuffy fashion that seems to be the norm for geeky blogs. And, while some of his thoughts were interesting, in most of his essays both his premise and analysis were shoddy and pompous.

If a person is interested in reading a book that analyzes various geeky subjects or themes, this really isn’t going to be what you’re looking for. I say, give this book a pass and don’t waste your time.