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Star Wars Novels/Graphical Novels 2


TheRevanchist
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1 hour ago, Ghostlydragon said:

Great. I actually started the first x wing book recently. It was so good. People who've called it Top Gun in space aren't lying. I've now got the first 7. I may pick the remaining three up one day but the jedi academy trilogy is next. I'm slowly getting towards the new jedi order series. That's gonna be brutal.

If you like Corran Horn from the X Wing series you should also consider reading 'I, Jedi' after the Jedi Academy Trilogy.

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11 hours ago, Ghostlydragon said:

I have that ready. Then the corellia han trilogy, hand of thrawn duo, then new jedi order and legacy of the force. 

Depending whether you like Anderson's trilogy you could also try 'Darksaber' afterwards. It continues the story of Admiral Daala from the TJA trilogy and also reintroduces Zahn's Pellaeon and continues his story.

It isn't strictly necessary to read that understand things, but it might be nice. The solo novel 'The New Rebellion' is also pretty good, having the New Republic under Leia face a terrorist uprising by people who feel abandoned harmed by the good guys. It also plays pretty nicely with the concept of Luke failing as a teacher.

The NJO is pretty great, all things considered, creating a vast threat that solely unfolds throughout the nineteen novels of the series, with very interesting things happening throughout.

I don't like LotF all that much, but it did handle the whole 'one of the good guys becomes a Sith Lord' much better than the ST.

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1 hour ago, Lord Varys said:

Depending whether you like Anderson's trilogy you could also try 'Darksaber' afterwards. It continues the story of Admiral Daala from the TJA trilogy and also reintroduces Zahn's Pellaeon and continues his story.

It isn't strictly necessary to read that understand things, but it might be nice. The solo novel 'The New Rebellion' is also pretty good, having the New Republic under Leia face a terrorist uprising by people who feel abandoned harmed by the good guys. It also plays pretty nicely with the concept of Luke failing as a teacher.

The NJO is pretty great, all things considered, creating a vast threat that solely unfolds throughout the nineteen novels of the series, with very interesting things happening throughout.

I don't like LotF all that much, but it did handle the whole 'one of the good guys becomes a Sith Lord' much better than the ST.

Oh thanks. I did like Paellon in the thrawn trilogy so seeing him again should be pretty good.

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  • 2 months later...

Ah shit, I'm an idiot. I recently finished Visions of the Future and now continued with Outbound flight. Several chapters in I start to get impatient and look up its wiki page and there read that you are supposed to read Survivor's Quest first and THEN Outbound Flight because Zahn wanted to have an Original Trilogy -> Prequel Trilogy anachronism where Outbound Flight reveals the mysteries shown in Survivor's Quest. Damn...

Sooo... anyone read them and thinks it's safe if I continue with Outbound Flight? I must admit, I'm surprised how fresh Zahn's writing style feels like in a Prequel era context. I was very amused to learn that the original C'Baoth is just as much of a pompous ass than his clone (and how he gets along stupidly well with Anakin because of it), I also really like poor C'Baoth's padawan, poor girl needs all the hugs. Thrawn is surprisingly fine, though I'm irritated about how Car'das is here somehow depicted as this super awesome prodigy with close ties to Thrawn when the book before made it clear he only became infamous after Yoda accidentally gave him premonition powers. Zahn really likes to make the universe stupidly small sometimes. I'm also very amused about Darth Sidious warning his minions to keep Chancellor Palpatine out of the loop in regards to their plans.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/18/2021 at 11:09 PM, Toth said:

Ah shit, I'm an idiot. I recently finished Visions of the Future and now continued with Outbound flight. Several chapters in I start to get impatient and look up its wiki page and there read that you are supposed to read Survivor's Quest first and THEN Outbound Flight because Zahn wanted to have an Original Trilogy -> Prequel Trilogy anachronism where Outbound Flight reveals the mysteries shown in Survivor's Quest. Damn...

Sooo... anyone read them and thinks it's safe if I continue with Outbound Flight? I must admit, I'm surprised how fresh Zahn's writing style feels like in a Prequel era context. I was very amused to learn that the original C'Baoth is just as much of a pompous ass than his clone (and how he gets along stupidly well with Anakin because of it), I also really like poor C'Baoth's padawan, poor girl needs all the hugs. Thrawn is surprisingly fine, though I'm irritated about how Car'das is here somehow depicted as this super awesome prodigy with close ties to Thrawn when the book before made it clear he only became infamous after Yoda accidentally gave him premonition powers. Zahn really likes to make the universe stupidly small sometimes. I'm also very amused about Darth Sidious warning his minions to keep Chancellor Palpatine out of the loop in regards to their plans.

I think you can continue/finish OF.

But it might also work if you stop and first read SQ.

Zahn's weirdo choice to have a guy - Kinman Doriana - serve both Palpatine and Sidious without realizing that the two are one and the same is a decision I don't like all that much. That makes both the guy and the setting stupid, since Palpatine could have never pulled of his plans if a trusted cabal of loyal minions - his inner circle - wouldn't have been aware of his plans and who the hell he actually was.

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17 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I think you can continue/finish OF.

But it might also work if you stop and first read SQ.

Well, against my usual glacial reading pace I already finished Outbound Flight and am now almost finished with Survivor's Quest (I guess it helps to read it during the loading times of Total War Warhammer 2 on my potato PC XD).

Honestly I think that in the end it doesn't matter too much because there weren't any specific riddles posed in Survivor's Quest aside the characters making some totally wrong assumptions about the sequence of events leading up to Outbound Flight's destruction. For that the story has been far too focused on the Whodunnit nature of this curious group of strangers with mysterious motivations as their trip gets struck by sabotage and thefts. That's quite the contrast to Outbound Flight's tone as a tragedy full of very interesting characters with pronounced flaws. And yet I'm curious whether reading it in the opposite order would have affected me on an emotional level. Seeing the Survivor's Quest characters have all these very cynical takes on the events and how they'll never find out the truth is quite a gut punch when knowing the details, the other way around I don't think I would have paid attention to the bitter irony here and there.

Some more random observations:
- I like sarcastic lovebirds Mara and Luke cuddling two years into their marriage a whole lot more than their super rushed "We just met again after 10 years of barely interacting, now had a life-or-death-situation, will you marry me?" bullshit.
- Lorana is absolutely a cinnamon roll who deserved better
- then I again, I think the story would have been more tidy if Lorana and Thrass had more time to spend with each other, especially not when both had been extremely busy in the hours they were on the same ship.
- Zahn must have had a ball writing C'Baoth as outrageous as he did.
- Outbound Flight also definitely gave Thrawn his best space battles in anything, ever. I liked that his maneuvers were given lots of foreshadowing by having him investigating each opponent's weaknesses onscreen, so it avoided coming off as Deus ex Machinas, but maybe the solutions were too often too much on the technical side, with his opponents having some glaring  convenient design flaw he instantly catches on and exploits.

18 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Zahn's weirdo choice to have a guy - Kinman Doriana - serve both Palpatine and Sidious without realizing that the two are one and the same is a decision I don't like all that much. That makes both the guy and the setting stupid, since Palpatine could have never pulled of his plans if a trusted cabal of loyal minions - his inner circle - wouldn't have been aware of his plans and who the hell he actually was.

To be fair, I judge Palpatine as the kind of person who'd do this solely to screw with Doriana (and maybe see how far he can push his Clark Kent certified disguise).

In all seriousness though, my impression is he only lets his Sith apprentices Maul and Dooku in on his public self. Doriana is just a minion, definitely not just part of any kind of inner circle, so letting him know is just asking for trouble if he gets captured on his missions.

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  • 8 months later...

Finished Vector Prime, now on to Dark Tide I: Onslaught!

Vector Prime definitely is a really good start into the Vong storyline. What I particularly liked (though I'm not sure that wasn't already seeded in their young adult novels that I don't know) is the dynamics of the archetypes of the Solo children. It seems like they all got one aspect of Anakin's skillset that they excel in. Jacen being the one with the incredible force powers (though notably being at odds with how Luke goes about it), Jaina being the ace pilot, Anakin Jr. being the one with the most impressive dueling skills.

The Vong themselves are also strange with their extremely alien technology. The Coral Skippers are portrayed as nearly untouchable thanks to their space warping abilities and can easily smash bigger corvettes into each other, but in other scenes get easily plucked out of the sky just like any other starfighter. The Vong warriors on the ground being as skilled as a Jedi and absolutely immune to blaster fire thanks to their armor also sounds very annoying to deal with and all but forces the Jedi into a frontline position again. At the same time three Vong warriors die by Danni and Miko just grabbing them from behind and pulling their armor off (while underwater in a frozen ocean), so they have their moments of idiocy. I'm also looking forward to see more of Danni, though I have been warned that after Salvatore introducing her as the (apparently even force sensitive) key scientist in uncovering the inner workings of the Vong, the other authors will eventually quietly drop her. I hope not... Granted, I was a little taken aback at how much he instantly went on to ship her with Jacen when they met and he kept gushing about her beauty and they ended up hugging each other barely clothed while cramped in a tiny drill ship (and somehow doing a mission briefing with the rest of the cast while in that position).

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26 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Just wait until future books (including and beyond NJO) has different authors trying to ship Jaina with three different guys

Well, yeah, kind of makes sense. They seem to have tried to ship Luke with others and Mara with Lando of all people before Zahn brought them together, though I'm still not sure I like how haphazard that turned out.

In terms of Jaina I have only heard of Jagged Fel and on paper find the idea quite funny and an interesting mirror to Luke and Mara.

Also just finished the Senate scene in Onslaught... Fuck, the author is portraying the New Republic so hilariously evil and useless and racist that it makes you think Palpatine had a point.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Finished Onslaught. Yes, I have been doing lots of reading because it's far too hot to do much of anything else.

Wow. That was... really not how expected this to turn out. The whole flight of the ever dwindling refugees, the horrific torture chambers, the slave armies, Rogue squadron pretty much wiped out... that sure took a grim turn right away. I guess Han can feel lucky that the story parked him at a Coruscant bar and never bothered to pick him up again.

I should note that I'm reading NJO in part because I have been thinking about writing a story about a returned to the light side Anakin Skywalker navigating the Vong invasion and bloody hell, I'm now not entirely sure he'd be able to remain on the light side witnessing how they treat their slaves.

The only thing aside Han that irritated me is Luke. What's the deal with him having so little stamina when using his Force powers? Don't misunderstand me, I don't expect him to be a reality-warping superhuman slaughtering whole armies on his own, but him leaning on Jacen after dispatching just two Vong warriors and passing out after destroying a Vong troop transport with the Force... it's quite a bit odd how the story puts such seemingly arbitrary limits on his Force feats, which is especially jarring when those limits don't exist for other characters. Much the opposite even. Anakin restricting himself in his Force usage is portrayed as a good thing that allows him to use the Force much more impressively and decisively when it really matters. Given that holding back his usage of the Force is Luke's entire thing here, you'd think the advantages from that would also count for him. But nah. He seems almost as nerfed as Mara.

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21 hours ago, Toth said:

Finished Onslaught. Yes, I have been doing lots of reading because it's far too hot to do much of anything else.

Wow. That was... really not how expected this to turn out. The whole flight of the ever dwindling refugees, the horrific torture chambers, the slave armies, Rogue squadron pretty much wiped out... that sure took a grim turn right away. I guess Han can feel lucky that the story parked him at a Coruscant bar and never bothered to pick him up again.

I should note that I'm reading NJO in part because I have been thinking about writing a story about a returned to the light side Anakin Skywalker navigating the Vong invasion and bloody hell, I'm now not entirely sure he'd be able to remain on the light side witnessing how they treat their slaves.

The only thing aside Han that irritated me is Luke. What's the deal with him having so little stamina when using his Force powers? Don't misunderstand me, I don't expect him to be a reality-warping superhuman slaughtering whole armies on his own, but him leaning on Jacen after dispatching just two Vong warriors and passing out after destroying a Vong troop transport with the Force... it's quite a bit odd how the story puts such seemingly arbitrary limits on his Force feats, which is especially jarring when those limits don't exist for other characters. Much the opposite even. Anakin restricting himself in his Force usage is portrayed as a good thing that allows him to use the Force much more impressively and decisively when it really matters. Given that holding back his usage of the Force is Luke's entire thing here, you'd think the advantages from that would also count for him. But nah. He seems almost as nerfed as Mara.

Ahh! Han Solo’s six month bender.

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20 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

Ahh! Han Solo’s six month bender.

.... uh... will it last that long? Since Onslaught states that almost a month passed from beginning to end, at this pace Han will be out of commission for the next 5.

Granted I have the suspicion that Stackpole maybe also isn't certain how to write him, given that it is indeed quite difficult to get his tone right.

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On 8/7/2022 at 2:52 PM, Toth said:

.... uh... will it last that long? Since Onslaught states that almost a month passed from beginning to end, at this pace Han will be out of commission for the next 5.

Granted I have the suspicion that Stackpole maybe also isn't certain how to write him, given that it is indeed quite difficult to get his tone right.

Han’s back and is the star of the Agents of Chaos duology which are books 4 and 5 of NJO. 
They are set 6 minths after Vector Prime

Edited by Derfel Cadarn
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On 7/11/2022 at 8:58 AM, Toth said:

Finished Vector Prime, now on to Dark Tide I: Onslaught!

Vector Prime definitely is a really good start into the Vong storyline. What I particularly liked (though I'm not sure that wasn't already seeded in their young adult novels that I don't know) is the dynamics of the archetypes of the Solo children. It seems like they all got one aspect of Anakin's skillset that they excel in. Jacen being the one with the incredible force powers (though notably being at odds with how Luke goes about it), Jaina being the ace pilot, Anakin Jr. being the one with the most impressive dueling skills.

It has been a long time since I read Vector Prime but I remember the scenes with the weird test ships with shields and I think asteroids where the solo kids were having a competition on who is the better pilot. Then Han and Chewie survive doing it without shields by being clever and Luke comes to rescue them and is of course the best.  I don't remember much else about the book besides the Vong needing a planet to take out the true hero of Star Wars but I did like it.

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