Star Wars novels: What to read?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JD, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Adventures of Lando Calrissian trilogy, not your typical Star Wars novels, they are a bit more out there, but the author captured who a young Lando would be fantastically.

    The Black Fleet Crisis is a great series as well, full of great military action, adventure and politics. However, one of the plot lines involves Luke looking for his mother and the prequels does remove the mystery that was originally there.

    For the comic, I'd recommend reading the Dark Empire series (I, II, Empire's End). A lot of important stuff happens within the series, though I'm sure someone will come along and slam the series because they didn't like it.

    If you are going to get into Legacy of the Force and later Fate of the Jedi. I think you'd benefit from reading the Jedi Academy trilogy and Darksaber as they do a lot of work in building who Daala is and as well as Kyp Durron.
     
  2. Capt_Pickirk

    Capt_Pickirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Read The Thrawn trilogy and Tales of Mos eisley.


    Don't read Shadows of the Empire. It's Crap
     
  3. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I loved the Darth Bane books :). I thought they painted a pretty compelling portrait of a Sith Lord, and it was cool to tell the story from the other side. Though I was initially thrown off by the cartoony style of the Jedi v. Sith graphic novel, I did wind up liking the story. JvS isn't essential to reading the Bane trilogy, however it does make it a more enjoyable total experience. If inclined, recommend reading JvS first, because it would serve as a prequel, of sorts, to the Bane trilogy. At latest, read it between Path of Destruction and The Rule of Two. From my recollection, JvS only covers roughly the end of the first Bane novel (PoD) and the beginning of the second (RoT). Most of the events in RoT take place after JvS, so the graphic novel is not completely telling the same story. Also, the final Bane novel, Dynasty of Evil is not too tied to JvS at all.

    When I think about it Vin Diesel would make for an awesome Bane; though Michael Clarke Duncan was in my head when I was reading them.

    Regarding the Sith-focused books, I recommend Decieved, which featured Darth Malgus, the main Sith from the Old Republic game trailers. I was pleasantly surprised by how much dimension was added to the guy, making him even more badass. There's also Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, which is a prequel to The Phantom Menace, and it is something of a fix for those who thought Maul got short shrift in TPM.

    Someone mentioned the novel Crosscurrent, which takes place around the time of the Legacy of the Force series, it isn't a standalone; there's a follow-up novel coming out either this summer or fall. Though fandom is probably mixed on the Star Wars zombie novels, I enjoyed both Deathtroopers and Red Harvest; especially Deathtroopers which takes place during the OT; Harvest takes place during the Old Republic era.

    Since the OP has read Dark Nest I guess you could venture into Legacy of the Force. Definitely read Legacy of the Force before you get into the ongoing Fate of the Jedi series. I think the reaction though with both Legacy and Fate has been very mixed. The New Jedi Order didn't sit well with some fans, though I got the impression that it was better received than either Legacy or Fate. So, I too recommend exploring the NJO more, though I only read about half the books: Vector Prime, Dark Tide duology, Edge of Victory duology, Star By Star, Destiny's Way, and The Unifying Force. Have Traitor, which many fans have recommended, but haven't read it yet. I'm not that big into the writer Matt Stover. But many SW fans swear by him.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  4. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Coruscant Nights was so-so, And Darth Bane was enjoyable.

    I read Truce at Bakura, the Correllian trilogy, and Shadows of the Empire back in the 1990's, and all I remember about them is that I read them.
     
  5. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's funny you should say that since I heard that Crosscurrent is actually the beginning of a trilogy. At least, that's why I haven't read it yet. I'm waiting for the whole thing to be available.
     
  6. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    I kind of hated that trilogy. It's not as bad as the Black Fleet Crisis, but aside from the bits with Fett and Dengar, it was just boring. The chapters with Xizor are the only bits of a Star Wars book I've skimmed over without really reading.

    Surprisingly good for YA books.
     
  7. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Revenge of the Sith novelization. Episode III done right.
     
  8. Capt_Pickirk

    Capt_Pickirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Red Harvest.

    Avoid at all costs. I've never read a worse piece of trash
     
  9. Yevetha

    Yevetha Commodore

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    Agree.

    You should give a shot to the Deathtropers audiobook though, its really good.
     
  10. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It is? It does have dangling threads, and there is a sequel coming, but it works perfectly on its own. I have never heard that it's part of a trilogy.
     
  11. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Nope, I misremembered. I looked again, and it's a duology, not a trilogy, but I see you already knew that. If so, why did you call it a standalone?
     
  12. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    'Cause it is one. It's two stories that are linked, not one two-part story. It has a beginning, middle, and end; you could never read Riptide and be fine, unlike, say, Spectre of the Past and Vision of the Future. Riptide wasn't even commissioned until after Crosscurrent had been written and delivered.
     
  13. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Coruscant Nights was awful, a total waste of time. And I am *VERY* forgiving of Star Wars books. I loved Legacy of the Force, I'm liking Fate of the Jedi, and I sorta liked most of NJO :p

    I haven't read Bounty Hunter Wars since it first came out, but I remember absolutely loving the first book and not liking the next two.

    I liked Deathtroopers and Red Harvest! They were awesomely creepy and horrific, which was a very original thing for a SW book.
     
  14. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I bought the first CN book a while ago but still haven't gotten around to it. Based on your thoughts here, I might not bother ever reading it at this point. Such issues would frustrate me quite a bit. Hell, some ambiguous timeline phrasing in the "Lost Tribe of the Sith" eBook series was annoying me, and those are free!

    (If anyone hasn't read those and is curious to what I'm referring, it sometimes seemed in the first couple eBooks that the Great Hyperspace War was a longer conflict than portrayed in its original appearances in Tales of the Jedi.)


    For the thread, my recommendations:

    Rise of the Empire Era

    • Rogue Planet (if you plan to read The New Jedi Order; I don't recall liking this book all that much back when it was released)
    • Republic Commando series (you better like Mandalorians, though - also, Imperial Commando 501st is the last novel featuring these characters)
    • Shatterpoint
    • Labyrinth of Evil
    • Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
    • The Han Solo Trilogy
    • The Adventures of Lando Calrissian
    • The Han Solo Adventures (Brian Daley's works, which I recall as being fun as hell, though I haven't read them since my early teens - there's also, if I recall correctly, a point in A.C. Crispin's Han Solo Trilogy where its story takes a sort of "break" where one could then easily read these books)
    Rebellion Era

    • Splinter of the Mind's Eye (this was the first non-novelization SW novel; it may not be a great novel by itself, but I think it's interesting to read based on that alone)
    • Shadows of the Empire
    New Republic Era

    • X-Wing series (keeping in mind that the last two books - Isard's Revenge and Starfighters of Adumar - take place following books outside this series)
    • The Courtship of Princess Leia (I don't recall much about the quality of this one, but it is pretty important as far as the future of the EU goes from this point on)
    • The Thrawn Trilogy (pretty much a must - the first post-ROTJ novels published, though some time has passed since ROTJ)
    • The Jedi Academy Trilogy (not great stuff, but pretty important for the establishment of Luke's new Jedi Order)
    • I, Jedi (just fantastic, and a great companion piece to both the X-Wing series and the Jedi Academy Trilogy)
    • Darksaber (again, no recollection on quality, but some important characterizations here for later works - at one point, I had a copy signed by Kevin J. Anderson but no clue where it's at these days)
    • The Corellian Trilogy (I do recall enjoy these books, and some events here are important in later books as well)
    • The Hand of Thrawn Duology (more Zahn work, based on his earlier Thrawn Trilogy - good stuff, as I recall, plus important in later books)
    • Young Jedi Knights series (I echo Lindley's opinion that they are "surprisingly good" for YA books, though I've only read the first six; also, they introduce and flesh out many characters who are important in the NJO and beyond)
    New Jedi Order Era

    • The New Jedi Order series (some of it is average, some is good / very good, some is great; my favorite SW novel period - Traitor - is in this series)
    • The Dark Nest Trilogy (I enjoyed it well enough, plus some events are very important in LOTF)
    Legacy Era

    • Legacy of the Force (I enjoyed most of it, but I do agree with some criticisms that I've seen that parts of it feel as if the series was too long, too drawn out)
    • Crosscurrent (pretty fun; worth noting that it focuses on a Jedi introduced in the Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy video game, and features none of the original and/or other popular EU characters)
    • Millennium Falcon (pretty fun, plus worth it to spend some time "alone" with Han & Leia following the tragic events in LOTF)
    • Fate of the Jedi (read the first five so far, and enjoying it; worth noting that one might want to consider reading the "Lost Tribe of the Sith" eBooks either prior to or in conjunction with this, as they spell out some of the history of the Sith in this series)
    If I haven't mentioned a post-ROTJ book above, then odds are it wasn't worth reading (if published back in the Bantam days) or it was published after I wasn't reading SW novels quite as voraciously as I once did (i.e., some of Zahn's newer stuff, Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, etc.). As for books set in the Clone Wars, I haven't read most of those, nor have I read any of the books in the Old Republic Era yet.

    For some examples of those that I consider not worth reading: Children of the Jedi; Planet of Twilight; The Crystal Star; The Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy; and The New Rebellion. Unfortunately, there is a rather important mention during the FOTJ series of one character who is in a few of those books, but one would probably be okay to still skip those. Of course, she also appears in Darksaber, so it could be odd to have her show up in that one without the context of her first appearance and the ones after Darksaber...

    For comic recommendations (out of the many comics series that have been published, I have unfortunately read very few, so I'm not going to bother separating these into eras):


    • Tales of the Jedi (nicely collected in two Dark Horse Omnibus editions)
    • X-Wing Rogue Squadron (chronologically take place prior to the X-Wing novels, and introduce some characters important in those novels - collected in three DH Omnibus editions)
    • Dark Empire Trilogy (Dark Empire, Dark Empire II, Empire's End)
    • Legacy (currently up to trade paperback #4 and enjoying it)
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  15. Set Harth

    Set Harth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Of the three books, the issues are least prevalent in the first one. I didn't even really notice the timeline error when it appeared in that book, because it showed up in the dialogue of a character who I suspected was meant to be seen as unreliable on such matters anyway. By way of comparison I noticed the corresponding problems in the second and third books immediately. As chance would have it, I never got around to reading Shadows of the Empire until the same year that Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight came out, and the latter has a subplot which serves as kind of a prequel of the former. It's about Xizor plotting to take over Black Sun by using as-yet-unperfected human replica droid technology. There's also a great moment in the book when Nick Rostu from Shatterpoint is brought before Vader ( who is underused and often delegates his objectives to his minions later on in CN ). Like Dark Lord, the book features a Jedi character who seems to be losing his ability to connect to the Force.
     
  16. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    I've always been a bit bugged by Human Replica Droids showing up in the mainstream continuity, since I think they were first introduced in the Glove of Darth Vader series, which is very clearly not in the mainstream EU. Nevertheless, every now and then one of the mainstream books makes some reference to something from there.
     
  17. Set Harth

    Set Harth Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There are good things and bad things about the CN books. There is a fair amount of tedium as the protagonists sit around their hideout ( kind of like the Taris apartments in KOTOR ) and plot their next move. This dynamic becomes somewhat more interesting in the third book because there's a mystery involved which allows the characters to play off against one another. There are some decent battle scenes, including an epic Force combat in the third book, and the series portrays Vader as quite powerful, even more powerful than Anakin.
     
  18. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Quite the recurring theme for me, then, right now, as I've just recently gotten around to finally playing KOTOR II: The Sith Lords, and I just read Dark Lord last week. Reading some more of your thoughts on CN in your last two posts has me thinking I might as well go ahead and read at least the first book since I already own it, though not until after I've read FOTJ: Vortex and Conviction, and probably not until I've gotten caught up on Legacy either (of which I currently own all but trade paperback #10 and "War").

    At least the mainstream does a fairly good job at keeping HRDs as being rather rare.
     
  19. Yevetha

    Yevetha Commodore

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    Psychopere posted:
    Just use a little wookipedia while reading it.
     
  20. PsychoPere

    PsychoPere Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The specific issue was in how LTotS: Precipice seemed to imply that the Great Hyperspace War was an ongoing conflict while the Omen and Harbinger were supposed to be delivering their cargos to Kirrek. But based on the way the war was portrayed in its original appearance in Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire, which I had finished reading only days before reading "Precipice." Wookiepedia wouldn't really be of any help in that situation.

    Crosscurrent did a better job, I thought, of more accurately describing that Harbinger and Omen were going to meet Naga Sadow's fleet at Kirrek as the assault on the Republic began.
     

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