Discussion in 'Literature' started by Big Bad Yoda Daddy, Sep 4, 2013.
I disagree about Anakin's turn, but I agree about Traitor!
I mean the specific moment where he joins Sidious. Stover does a much better job building up to that moment in the book than the movie does, but it still makes no sense for Anakin, whose only motivation for joining Palpatine is to save his wife, to abruptly go *click* I'm evil now and start killing all his friends and murdering children after Palpatine tells him that he can't actually save his wife.
Like I really would have liked to get inside Anakin's head when Palpatine's talking to him in that scene but it's just written as a back-and-forth dialogue with no introspection on what Palpatine's actually saying.
It's been said once, and I will support it:
The Han Solo Trilogy, can't go wrong with that.
Anakin hacking up seperatists left and right with witty one liners does seem more in line with OT Vader and his black sense of humour (perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them) rather than little orphan pyscho Annie hacking up children and being mad at Obi-wan for being a meanie head
And at least the Obi-wan/Anakin duel ends far better than simply due to Obi-wan "having the high ground" and Anakin being an idiot. Nor is Obi-wan so sadistic as just standing and watching "his brother" burn to death.
I also give credit for Stoover for at least attempting to make the Jedi seem semi intelligent, with there motivations, rather than just as a group of disorganised hippies running a war.
I just love this passage. I even once used it for a dramatic reading in my class once.
Going to have to vote for the Thrawn Trilogy.
I don't think it's so much that Anakin is positively motivated by the fact that Palpatine maybe can save his wife, but he's negatively motivated by the fact that he just helped Palpatine kill Mace Windu so he kinda burned that bridge and anyway at least there's some hope to save Padme with Palpatine rather than no hope with the Jedi.
Since the OP is a Star Wars book hater, read Gambit: Siege.
It's the best evah.
If you're looking for something that might be considered good literature, you're better off looking outside of genre fiction entirely. Going all the way to tie-in genre fiction is even worse. I guess you could read Shatterpoint, which is a Star Wars skin on top of Heart of Darkness, but that's about the only option. If, however, you're just looking for a well written, enjoyable read in the Star Wars universe, that opens things up quite a bit. I'd look for a standalone book by an author well regarded by the community here. Bonus points if he/she has enjoyable books outside of the SW universe. So, in my mind, that leaves us with:
Shatterpoint: mentioned above.
ROTS: He might have worked wonders with the novelization, but it's still saddled with the awful plot of the movie. Also definitely not a standalone novel, as it requires PT knowledge.
Shadows of Mindor: He stated when writing it that he was going for the pulpy feel of the old Lando and Han novels and he managed that pretty well. The book did a great job of capturing the adventurous nature of those older novels, but for me it fell down in two areas: 1) his characterization of Luke was waaaaay off, and 2) the number of similes in the text started to get on my nerves by the end. Overall still enjoyable, and if you're looking for pulpy adventures, this has to be near the top of the list.
Traitor: Admittedly I never made it this far in the NJO, but it's disqualified for taking place well into a long series of novels.
Rogue Squadron or I, Jedi. I'm wary of recommending anything that I read and enjoyed as a teenager but haven't yet gotten to in my SW re-read, but Stackpole is generally well-regarded and he's got non SW books that have received solid reviews. From what I remember, I, Jedi is the better bet to qualify as 'well written', but they both seemed enjoyable at the time.
Heir to the Empire: Zahn gets knocked (probably a bit too much, IMO) for some writing ticks and the way he treats some characters, but none of that stuff is going to be noticeable to you if this is your first Zahn novel. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this book held up during my recent SW re-read. Many of the books that I enjoyed when I first read them as a teenager seem terrible now that I'm quite a bit older. Shadows of the Empire, for example was almost bad enough to make me put it down, and Jedi Search has taken me way too long to fight my way through. The entire Thrawn Trilogy, on the other hand, I blew through in less than a week.
Outbound Flight: I was going to leave this in as a recommendation, but upon thinking about it some more, I realize that it probably requires as much PT knowledge as ROTS does and it's probably more enjoyable if you know who Thrawn, C'baoth, and Car'das are.
Scoundrels: If not for Lando and Han, this book would be fairly unrecognizable as a Star Wars novel to anyone without familiarity with the EU. Fun little heist novel. Thinking about it a bit more, maybe it's too detached from the rest of the universe to be a good intro into the EU. If that sort of setting is appealing, though, I'll also throw Shadow Games out there as an enjoyable, non-traditional SW novel that has little connection to the rest of the EU.
I can't speak to any of the pre-OT books other than Shatterpoint, as I haven't read them. I'm sure there are some good/enjoyable books there, but that era doesn't remotely interest me. As for the Han Solo trilogyby A.C. Crispin that I've seen mentioned a few times: it fared better in my re-read than most, but it's still complete pulp. Which is fine - given the author's desire to tie the story in with the older Han Solo novels, the style fits perfectly. I probably wouldn't recommend it to someone skeptical of EU quality, though.
Finally - two off-the-wall recommendations: 1) Return of the Jedi: The ROTJ novelization does as much to enhance a thin plot as ROTS does. The other OT novelizations were bad enough that getting to ROTJ was somewhat of a revelation. 2) The Han Solo Adventures by Brian Daley: captures the feel of Han Solo as well as the A.C. Crispin trilogy, but I found the writing to be better here despite retaining the pulpy feel of the movies.
In the end, I guess the best recommendation is either Shatterpoint or Heir to the Empire. They'reboth examples of good writing and enjoyable stories in the SW universe. If you're ok with the more pulpy stuff, which you should be if you're going to read many of the SW novels, then you've got a lot more options.
yeah this is moving a bit away from the point of the thread but I've always thought Revenge of the Sith was actually Stover's weakest (star wars) novel, mostly for the reasons _Catherine_ pointed out.
still definitely worth reading though of course.
I liked the ROTS novel except for that page about the protocol droid I tore out and burned like a jedi funeral.
I fear my welcome in this forum has now been spent.
I also give my vote to Shatterpoint. My girlfriend likes the OT but not really anything else Star Wars. I lent her my copy of Shatterpoint to read, and despite initially dreading it, she ended up liking it a lot.
Of course, she also didn't remember Mace Windu was a movie character, so she was surprised there was an entire Star Wars novel centered around an original character
Samuel L. Jackson on the cover didn't break this illusion?
I like Shatterpoint, but I think that Mindor is better. Shatterpoint has something which I can't really get into, I don't know.
I haven't read Mindor but I loved Shatterpoint.
Mindor is much more lighthearted than Shatterpoint. But then most every other SW book is. Stover had to work really hard not to make it too grim, as is his style. He pointed out in an interview (with Stackpole, no less) that the distinction between writing the Big 3 and the other books which he wrote was that even in the OT, there's a lot of dark and grim stuff going on, whether it be Alderaan blowing up, Han, Leia, and Chewbacca being tortured on Cloud City, Luke getting his hand cut off, Han being frozen in carbonite, Leia being chained to Jabba the Hutt, etc., but it doesn't feel dark and grim because the heroes are always optimistic and behave as if things will work out. As an aside, I think this feeling is what is missing from recent books...
He also had a pretty funny description about the ending of Shatterpoint being grim, something along the lines of Mace telling Yoda and Palpatine that "Well, it could have been worse!"
Ok, now that I have a little more time in my hands, I would like to elaborate a little on why I consider The Han Solo Trilogy as my favorite book series in the EU:
1) Firstly, most of the Star Wars books are "force-centric", and by that I mean that they focus too much on Jedi or Sith characters. Jedi and Sith may be an important part of Star Wars, but it's not the only important or interesting thing about it (the lack of a likeable non-force user character in the PT is one of the things that I don't like about it). In this series, we have contact with great characters that aren't Force-users (I'm not talking only about Han, Chewie and Lando), regular guys being awesome without the need of doing something spetacular with the Force. Smugglers, Bounty Hunter, Pirates, Thieves, Gamblers and all the colorful characters you would expect to find in the Star Wars Underworld.
2) The story is not a Galactic changing event, like in most of the other novels. There's no super weapon or galactical crisis. It doens't mean, however, that the story isn't good or worth reading, quite the contrary: It's one of the best around. Crispin manages to write a series consistent with the Star Wars Universe, making it seem huge and full of things going on all around it.
3) It's Han Solo! Heck, who could possibly not like Han? Learn how he became a pilot, a smuggler, how he met Chewie, Lando, Boba Fett and Jabba, how he won the Falcon, why he didn't like religions much, why he don't want to get involved with the rebellion (or with rebel girls) and a whole lot more.
4) The best of Hutts, if you like then. There's a lot of Hutt intrigues and culture.
Guess that's it, from memory at least.
Revenge of the Sith. Its the "push" that made me pursue the EU as a whole. Because of ROTS novel and film, I am slowly getting every star wars comic omnibus and the very best star wars books.
all the steve perry michael reaves books are good with the exeption of the death star one.
shadows of the empire
coruscant knights trilogy
darth bane path of destruction (one of my favorites, haven't read the other 2 cause my ***hole freind spoiled the ending of the trilogy)
Well I wouldn't say dislike but I thought he was both boring and pointless in RTJ (with Ford obviously phoning it in) and not a patch on the Han of ANH and ESB.
I thought the scenes on Endor had him be very much his usual snarky self:
"Somehow I get the feeling that didn't help us very much!"
It seems to me the OP isn't really asking "what are the best books" as much as, "what am I least likely to hate?" A lot of the suggestions in here are generally considered great books, but still have vocal detractors, or at least people who think they're overrated.
Dark Rendezvous is as boring as Traitor!
Ignore him, he's on drugs.
For me Shatterpoint was great until the either the second half or the last third. I just got lost towards the end of Shatterpoint and it ruined the enjoyment for me.
I will have to give it another go in the future