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Star Wars Novels/Graphical Novels 2

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Lost Stars by Claudia Gray is highly recommendable. It's a stand-alone book, and it's just so goddamn good. 

I've read every New Canon book that's come out, and hers is exceptionally good and is a book that I always keep both on my iPad (via the Kindle store) and on my bookshelves. It's one of those books that I very much loved enough to buy multiple times because I *knew* I'd be rereading it. 

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Well I'm going to Star Wars Celebration in a few weeks so I thought I'd get myself geared up by reading some of the recentish SWs novels.  It hasn't started well.  I tried one of the Claudia Gray Leia novels - Bloodlines - which I got on special for $1.99 sometime last year.  How do you make a novel about Leia boring?  Well Bloodlines is incredibly boring.  I can't say its the politics or endless senate procedures because I wasn't bored when I read any of the prequels with their endless trade negotiations and politics.  But after the first few chapters of Bloodlines, I was forcing myself to read it and it was painful and I finally skipped ahead and read the last few chapters and I just don't care about what happens in between so I guess I'm done with that one.  It could be I'm just not a fan of Grey's writing as I wasn't a fan of Lost Stars either - although I was not bored to death by that one.  But I'm not sure I will continue with any others before Celebration after this bad start.

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2 hours ago, lady narcissa said:

It could be I'm just not a fan of Grey's writing as I wasn't a fan of Lost Stars either - although I was not bored to death by that one.

It's no one's fault really, Lady Narcissa. Something either works for you and speaks to you, or it doesn't. 

I found Bloodlines highly compelling due to Leia's relationship with Ransolm. I enjoyed the arc his character went through as a result of his interactions with Leia. 

But as always: de gustibus non est disputandum. 

 

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I thought that Bloodlines book might be interesting at the time they released it, but found it very dull as well, the samples I read.

In April there is Gray's Qui Gonn and Obi Wan novel...

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So Star Wars Celebration is this week and I must deal with my biggest problem which is while I am normally a very cheap book buyer - as in I try and wait till I can get an ebook on offer for $1.99 - everything gets thrown out the window when confronted with authors in person and the ability to get autographed books.  So I might have waited till I could get the Claudia Grey Star Wars ebooks I've read until they were $1.99 and I might not have liked either of them but I just know when I see her there with the special Celebration hardback edition of her newest book I will get sucked into her signing like there is a tractor beam pulling me in.  And I really have no interest in reading the Padme YA book but again I'll see EK Johnston sitting there with her special edition of that book and...*doomed*

On the other hand, I'm considering dusting off my old Heir to the Empire hardback and having Timothy Zahn sign it.  This would sound frugal except for the fact I must purchase a new book of his in order to get the old book signed.  And I already own them all as ebooks.

So egg me on or reign me in...what would you do book buying/signing wise if you were going to Celebration?   

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Posted (edited)

Might be nice to have HttE signed, but otherwise I wouldn’t want physical copies of anything they have on sale there, that I know of. I have somewhat of a collector mentality, but limited shelf space and a limited budget. I don’t own any physical Star Wars books newer than 1999.

But I also don’t feel the allure of signed books, that you feel, at all.

Edited by Falconer

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I bought one Star Wars novel out of curiosity while waiting for a flight one time. It was called "Tarkin" and it was awful. I thought it would be interesting to read about a minor character and his backstory/motivations, but the writing was pretty bad and it killed my interest in Star Wars novels. Of course, I may have randomly picked a bad apple in a barrel of quality stories, but it was a rotten apple to be sure. haha

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I had always heard that the Thrawn and X-Wing books from the 90s were the best. I finally read them a few years ago, and boy did I love them. Especially the Thrawn series, which really hit the sweet spot of the OT, if you ever wished there were more episodes in the Adventures of Luke Skywalker.

I would generally avoid backstories. The exception is Brian Daley’s excellent Han Solo Adventures from the 70s, because they nail the character, and avoid the trap of foreshadowing his destiny every five seconds. They’re just exactly the kind of swashbuckling pulp adventures that Han Solo would have gotten into before running into Luke Skywalker. Brian Daley also wrote the excellent Radio Dramatizations of the OT, which are fun listens which fill out the story of the OT and also iron out a lot of its issues.

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1 hour ago, Falconer said:

The exception is Brian Daley’s excellent Han Solo Adventures from the 70s, because they nail the character, and avoid the trap of foreshadowing his destiny every five seconds.

Brian Daley's Han Solo Adventures, curiously enough, were the texts that Matthew Stover cited as being a source of inspiration for his Star Wars book Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor. Which is also excellent. (It's hard to go wrong with any of Stover's book, Star Wars or otherwise - he pours a lot of heart, sweat, and brains into his books, and it shows.)

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Well I got my Heir to the Empire trilogy signed by Zahn and I've got to say he is the nicest.  Such a professional.  Most other authors are just doing hour signings here and there.  He is signing every day for a couple of hours but even then starts early and will stay until the last person in line has gotten their books signed.  And he is just friendly and attentive to everyone.  His staff is great too.  This might sound like its as it should be but I've been to a lot of book signings and its not always the case.  Especially when there are so many people in line and so many books to sign.  Really positive experience!

Of course when I went through the chunk of my line was all people my age with their original HTTE hardbacks.  We are all Gen-X lemons.

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Lemons..lol...spell check is not my friend!  Think I will just leave as is, however.  I rather like being a lemon and not a lemming...

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2 hours ago, lady narcissa said:

He is signing every day for a couple of hours but even then starts early and will stay until the last person in line has gotten their books signed.  And he is just friendly and attentive to everyone.  His staff is great too.

This is the best kind of personalised recommendation and promotion an author can receive. Because no matter what their book(s) might be like, knowing that the author is also a wonderfully kind and considerate person makes me want to read their books. Because who would want to recommend someone that's a total wankhole to others, right?

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On 4/12/2019 at 11:10 PM, IlyaP said:

This is the best kind of personalised recommendation and promotion an author can receive. Because no matter what their book(s) might be like, knowing that the author is also a wonderfully kind and considerate person makes me want to read their books.

I totally agree!  Except then there is nothing worse than really liking an author as a person - maybe from seeing them like this at a convention or from their posts on social media - and then trying their books and disliking the books!  (There are a number of authors with whom this has happened to me with.  I still follow them but I don't read their books!)  So its a magical combination when you find an author where you like both the books and the person.

Zahn continued to be the winner of the weekend at Star Wars Celebration.  Saw a story on Del Ray's twitter today about a very sad woman who had missed out on all his signings and he magically appeared at her side to sign a book for her.

I did end up with a copy of Master and Apprentice so I will give that a look some time.  Third time is the charm is it not?!?  Or its a strike out with Grey for me!

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I totally agree!  Except then there is nothing worse than really liking an author as a person - maybe from seeing them like this at a convention or from their posts on social media - and then trying their books and disliking the books!  (There are a number of authors with whom this has happened to me with.  I still follow them but I don't read their books!)  So its a magical combination when you find an author where you like both the books and the person. 

Author behaviour is, at least to me, of incredible importance. If you're grumpy, tired, jet-lagged - most likely people will get that, provided you communicate it. And if you don't, and it causes some negative feedback - explain to people where you were at, own your behaviour, and strive to do better in the future. Remind people you're human, but that you're willing to continue developing as a person. 

Zahn continued to be the winner of the weekend at Star Wars Celebration.  Saw a story on Del Ray's twitter today about a very sad woman who had missed out on all his signings and he magically appeared at her side to sign a book for her. 

See, that's just...the best. 

I did end up with a copy of Master and Apprentice so I will give that a look some time.  Third time is the charm is it not?!?  Or its a strike out with Grey for me! 

Good luck with Grey! I hope this one works for you! Not all books work for everyone, and that's pretty normal. But I've found her books to be incredibly fun and engaging! Lost Stars in particular is very close to my heart. Can't quite explain why, but it hits a lot of the right buttons for me, and her writing is never too vague or too baroque. 

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