Lit A request from a novel hater.

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Big Bad Yoda Daddy, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. Big Bad Yoda Daddy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2000
    star 4
    I'm a teacher. My students know I'm really into reading, and Star Wars, and so they automatically assume I'm into the Star Wars novels. I'm not. I think they're pretty awful, to tell you the truth. When I mention that, I'm always asked "well have you read them?"

    My usual reaction is "Yes, I don't knock something without trying it."

    I was about to get down this road again recently, and then I realized - "have you read them?" is a loaded question. I'm guessing very few people have read them ALL. I bring this up because, any time I do mention one I have specifically read, the reply is always "Well that one isn't very good, you need to try this one."

    Today I say, fine. Convert me. Go ahead. If this thread can come to a consensus on what the absolute best EU novel is, I'll go out and read it as to be better informed. I'm asking those of you who are into this kind of thing to show me what the fuss is all about. So that you may know my tastes in literature, my absolute favorite novel is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. And for point of reference, the last SW novel I read was Fatal Alliance, and oh man, it was like slugging through internet fan fiction. Sorry, that's an insult to internet fan fiction.
  2. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Generally, "Heir to the Empire", "Dark Force Rising", and "The Last Command" are considered the best.

    Also, they're the easiest to get into for non-novel fans.

    Ditto "Shatterpoint."
  3. squir1y Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2003
    star 2
    The Han Solo trilogy: The Paradise Snare, The Hutt Gambit and Rebel Dawn are my faves.
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  4. squir1y Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2003
    star 2
    The Han Solo trilogy: The Paradise Snare, The Hutt Gambit and Rebel Dawn are my faves.
    Force Smuggler likes this.
  5. s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 7
    We did a survey here a few years ago and ranked the top 100 EU works. These were the top 10. So if you're looking for non-movie the Thrawn Triology by Zahn is the highest ranked.


    10. X-wing: Wraith Squadron arc - And the top ten kicks off with more Allston fun . . . he's owned the 10-19 bracket.

    9. Shatterpoint - And Stover owns the top ten.

    7. (tie) X-wing: Rogue Squadron arc - Stackpole pulls ahead of Allston in the X-wing race.

    7. (tie) Legacy: Broken - The highest-ranking comic on the list.

    6. The Hand of Thrawn Duology - Zahn's second set of Star Wars novels ranks nearly as high as his first.

    5. Knights of the Old Republic - The highest-ranking video game, KOTOR kicks off the top five.

    4. The New Jedi Order: Star by Star - And they said no one likes the NJO.

    3. The New Jedi Order: Traitor - And they said no one likes the NJO, Jacen, or Vergere.

    2. The Thrawn Trilogy - 100% classic.

    1. Revenge of the Sith novelization - This was on nearly everyone's list. High on nearly everyone's list.
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  6. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    What would you be looking for in a SW novel? I haven't read Neverwhere. Do you want depth? A quality story?
  7. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    If you're looking for "literate" Star Wars novels, Matthew Stover is easily the best choice. I'd recommend the Revenge of the Sith novelization; nothing less than a master display on how quality of prose can completely change and benefit a story.
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  8. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Anything by Stover, Luceno or Keyes.

    I'm personally not a Thrawn fan but a lot of people do like the Zahn novels.
  9. GrandAdmiralJello Community and Lit moderator person

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Yeah, if you're looking to be convinced, read Revenge of the Sith or Yoda: Dark Rendezvous. The Thrawn books are popular, but they're also flawed and there are plenty of people who can't stand them. I am not at all confident of their ability to sway someone who's not into the novels.
  10. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    So, I was just having this conversation this year with someone who blindly hates EU things. Turned to me "Man, I still hate the EU but Darth Plagueis was kind of awesome."

    So you might be okay with the Revenge of the Sith novelization, that and then, if you want very early / pulpy-feeling, different feeling Star Wars books, dig up the Han Solo Adventures -- his time basically just before the events of A New Hope...
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  11. Jeff_Ferguson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2006
    star 4
    Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor. It's by the aforementioned Stover and is the best SW book written within the past... eight? years.
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  12. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    What are you counting back to, Revenge of the Sith, also by Stover?
  13. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    So you tell these kids that all Star Wars novels are bad based on the one that you have read? Am I reading that right?

    Edit: Never mind, I see that I read that wrong.

    It might be easier to tell you what you may enjoy if we know what you didn't.
    Last edited by Robimus, Sep 4, 2013
  14. BoromirsFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2010
    star 4
    Add Kenobi to the list of EU gems that must be unearthed.
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  15. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Shadows of Mindor is fantastic, but I'm not sure it's the best conversion novel. It's deliberately styled as a pulp adventure, a very weird pulp adventure, and one that I feel is far better if you've at least read Shatterpoint first.

    I'm still gonna stick with either Revenge of the Sith or, as Jello recommend, Yoda: Dark Rendezvous. Both standalone, both accessible, both fantastic.
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  16. Jeff_Ferguson Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2006
    star 4

    But of course!
  17. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 1999
    star 6
    My personal favorites are the Thrawn Trilogy, the Hand of Thrawn duo, the X-Wing novels including I, Jedi, and Traitor. I haven't read the ROTS novel but apparently it's very well done. Meaning, actually written well. I am sort of assuming that that's your complaint: that the actual quality of the prose isn't generally up to snuff. That may be a fair criticism - I haven't read any of those listed 'favorites' in years, besides Traitor (which is written well) - but there are some that are good, and your definition of 'good writing' may vary anyway.
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  18. jmf4 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 1
    To echo what other people have said: Darth Plagueis, Shatterpoint, Revenge of the Sith, Kenobi, or Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor. If you don't enjoy any of those, then you probably will never enjoy Star Wars novels.
    Jeff_Ferguson likes this.
  19. DarthJenari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4
    @Big Bad Yoda Daddy Can you list for us the Star Wars novels you have read? Because there are some that take place many years after the movies that I could think of recommending, but i'm hesitant to do so if you haven't read anything coming before or after them for reference.

    Without knowing anything i'd recommend, and note that many people above me have suggested the same:

    Darth Plagueis

    Shatterpoint

    Shadows of the Empire

    Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor

    Revenge of the Sith novelization


    All of these would work because they're each standalone's, so you really only need the knowledge from the 6 films to read and enjoy them. If you've ever read the Jedi Academy Trilogy, i'd also throw in I, Jedi.
  20. Revanfan1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Without a doubt, go for Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, the ROTS novel, Plagueis, and Shadows of Mindor. If you don't like them, there's no help for you.
    mes520 likes this.
  21. _Catherine_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    There are a lot of good Star Wars books but with the caveat of being good Star Wars books. If you want the best book that just happens to have "Star Wars" printed on the cover, read all four of Matthew Stover's books, Yoda: Dark Rendezvous by Sean Stewart, and Rogue Planet by Greg Bear. Tbh I would probably draw the line right there.
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  22. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    This is gonna sound dumb, but...

    Shadow Hunter. It got my mom into the EU and she doesn't even like scifi.

    And if you like Gaiman @Big Bad Yoda Daddy, you'll like Stover. Read Shatterpoint. Maybe Shadows of Mindor if you're into trippy stuff.
  23. BoromirsFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2010
    star 4
    Rogue Planet? You trying to scare OP off? :D :p
  24. son_of_skywalker03 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2003
    star 4
    Hell, to be convinced one need only read the opening to Revenge of the Sith.
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  25. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    I still stand by the opening epigraph and introduction to the RotS novelization doing more to enhance RotS and the PT in general than almost any EU work has enhanced any of the films.
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