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Lit New Jedi Order Advice

Discussion in 'Literature' started by De4dC3ll, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. De4dC3ll

    De4dC3ll Jedi Youngling

    Oct 31, 2012
    So after a few month break, Im back at reading the books again. I had left off at the end of the New Republic Era. And started Vector Prime, first book of NJO, last week. Finished it tonight, and loved it. While Chewie dieing was sad, im glad at least one of the main characters finally fell out of the invulnerability bubble they all exist in.

    Now seeing once again there are a CRAP ton of books to this series. And for whatever reason alot of really bad reviews for alot of them except Vector Prime. Im curious as to what are the essentials and the avoids of the NJO. Really enjoying the Yuuzhan Vong as a new antogonist. Sick and tired of all the super weapons involved in NR era.

    So if anyone has some opinions or guidance, its greatly appreciated.
  2. cthugha

    cthugha Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 24, 2010
    Read it all. It's totally worth it. Even the worse ones are A) few and B) not as bad as a lot of what came later. Also, you can get almost all the books second-hand from amazon for next to nothing.
    Rew and Force Smuggler like this.
  3. _Catherine_

    _Catherine_ Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 16, 2007
    There are 19 books in the series. I'd recommend you read all of them, but if you can't swing it the only ones I'd suggest skipping are Dark Journey and the Force Heretic trilogy. Unless you want to cut it down to like four or five books, everything else is pretty essential. The series really reads best when taken as a whole, though, or so I remember.
    RC-1991 and Manisphere like this.
  4. De4dC3ll

    De4dC3ll Jedi Youngling

    Oct 31, 2012
    Glad to hear it, I already purchased most of the series anyways lol. Glad I made sure to ask here and not rely on the random reviews ive read. Thanks guys.
  5. Cronal

    Cronal Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 17, 2009
    I would recommend reading it all, its quite good (some better then others though) in my opinion and really got me properly into the EU after getting bored with the countless Dark Jedi/Imperial Warlords/Superweapon plotlines that preceded it and of course the invulnerability bubble of the main cast. One suggestion I would add to Catherine's is that if you plan on skipping Force Heretic, just read the last Force Heretic book since there is something important there for the remaining novels. Only reason I'm saying that is things make a bit more sense in terms of continuity if you read that book.

    But really, I would say read all of it if you can.
  6. jedimaster203

    jedimaster203 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 19, 1999
    Read it all. Its possible to skip some books (I skipped the Luceno duology my first go around), but it detracts from the experience. Whatever you do, ABSOLUTELY Read Traitor.
  7. Silas Nightstalker

    Silas Nightstalker Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 7, 2012
    Definitely read the whole series. Totally worth it. Star By Star is one of the best entries, though heartbreaking.
  8. Manisphere

    Manisphere Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 25, 2007
    Whoa. Not true. There are really 4 books that I might recommend skipping. Just 4. The Force Heretic Trilogy and Dark Journey. The Dark Tide duology is one of my favorites in the series. The Edge of Victory books are truly fantastic that still resonate through the EU. The first in the Agents of Chaos duology novel, Hero's Trial is better than the second book, Jedi Eclipse. Balance Point is alright. Not my favorite in the series but it's hardly crap. Star by Star is an absolute must and the Enemy Lines duology is the most fun in the series. Traitor is the most literate and arguably the most well regarded book in the EU. Destiny's Way is hugely epic and pivotal. The Final Prophesy is a great little set up for The Unifying Force, which is monumental and possibly the height of the post Return of the Jedi EU.
  9. RC-1991

    RC-1991 Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 2, 2009
    The New Jedi Order is a rather divisive series within the fan community, even 10 years after it was concluded. Personally, I think that it's the bee's knees and one of my absolute favorite parts of the saga. I second the recommendation of skipping Force Heretic- it's boring, crappily-written filler, though Remnant was the best of the three- but I actually didn't mind Dark Journey. The NJO was the ultimate experiment in trying something new with Star Wars, and while the authors took the wrong lessons from it, it was still a phenomenal series. And _Catherine_ is right, the series does work best as a whole. I would recommend reading all but FH, as it is without a doubt an essential part of the EU and one hell of a read.
    GrandMasterKatarn and Blithe like this.
  10. MasterGhandalf

    MasterGhandalf Jedi Knight star 3

    Oct 25, 2009
    I would not recommend skipping Force Heretic, myself. The a-plots involving Luke, Jacen, Han, and Leia range from fairly uninteresting to direly dull, but Nom Anor and Tahiri's subplots are pretty much required if you care at all about those characters' arcs (admittedly, I'm speaking as a fan of both) and it includes a few scenes of Pellaeon trolling a Yuuzhan Vong commander in the most epic way. Looking at the NJO as a whole, it certainly had its ups and downs and is still pretty divisive in the fanbase as a whole, but I personally count myself a fan and make time to reread it every few years- for all its flaws, it's quite possibly the most epic storyline in the entire franchise, and certainly blows pretty much everything that comes after it chronologically (except the Legacy comics) out of the water (looking at LOTF specifically, here). Read it all, if you have the time and resources.
  11. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Soliloquist of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
    In addition to what others have mentioned, I would also you read Rogue Planet. It's just a nice little adventure novel with Obi-Wan and Anakin set not too long after Episode 1, but it ties directly into this series. I'd recommend reading it before reading the Force Heretic trilogy, if you do read those books. (they're not horrible, and they have key plots, but they drag a little bit)

    Traitor and The Unifying Force are universally accepted as some two of the best SW books ever, Star by Star and Destiny's Way to a slightly lesser extent. But if you're tired of superweapons, you'll really like this one passage in Destiny's Way. I'll say nothing more on that. ;)

    The NJO is a fantastic series, and has so many memorable characters and plots. I'm sure you'll enjoy every minute of reading it, De4dC3ll.
    mulberry and Zeta1127 like this.
  12. Jedi_Glover

    Jedi_Glover Jedi Padawan star 1

    Oct 30, 2012
    Enjoy all of the books. the series that really started it all for me.
  13. MasterGhandalf

    MasterGhandalf Jedi Knight star 3

    Oct 25, 2009
    Now that I have a bit more time, my take on the various standalones/miniseries of the NJO:

    Vector Prime: Decent setup, some inconsistencies (Vong shapers being called alchemists, most notably, which is probably a remnant of their original pitch as exiled Sith, and they don't seem to have the caste system later books establish, since we've got Da'gara (a high-ranking intendet) bossing around a bunch of warriors) but overall a good read, and I like, but don't love, it. If you did love it, I think the series as a whole is probably right up your alley. And while it did kill Chewie, it gave him an epic sendoff.

    Dark Tide I and II: I quite enjoy these; they really get the ball rolling on the war and build up the relentless pace that characterizes the first half of the series. They do have a lot of Corran, who I know is a character some people don't like, but while he's not one of my favorites, I've never had a problem with them.

    Agents of Chaos I and II: Eh, important for Han's personal arc, but the wider stuff is fairly meh; there's no single clear Vong leader in these, and the Vong as a whole feel a lot more mundane and less scary than Salvatore or Stackpole wrote them. They're okay, but I'm not a huge fan of them. They do introduce the Peace Brigade and Viqi Shesh, though, which will set up some important stuff down the line.

    Balance Point: Probably the weakest of the major standalone hardbacks, and one of my least favorites in the series. Spends a lot of time building up a battle we really don't see enough of. Still got some very important plot developments here, though, and it formally introduces Tsavong Lah, who'll be sticking around for a while as the face of the enemy.

    Edge of Victory I and II: Love them. Some of my favorites in the series, introducing or further developing some of my favorite characters (Anakin gets development, Tahiri and Nen Yim get introduced) and really fleshes out the Vong as more than inter-galactic killing machines. I is better than II, but don't miss either.

    Star by Star: This is the ESB of the NJO. It includes some plot points I don't like, but it's also got some of the most powerful writing in the series and isn't to be missed. Easily the best thing Denning ever did, I would say.

    Dark Journey: Probably my least favorite book in the series; it mostly feels like half epilogue to Star by Star, half setup for Enemy lines, with little time to do its own thing- and when it does do its own thing, it doesn't have much impact on the rest of the series. Weirdly, I'm a fan of the author's Forgotten Realms work, so I'm not sure what happened here. It's worth reading mostly for setting up the "Jaina the Trickster" arc.

    Enemy Lines I and II: Allston always delivers, and these books are no exception; they're right below Edge of Victory for being my favorite miniseries. Definitely read it.

    Traitor: Brilliant. 'Nuff said. Seriously, Stover can be a bit artsy and it's totally unlike anything else in the series, but there's a reason I've seen it nicknamed "The Star Wars Bible". I wouldn't call it the best thing in the EU, but it's certainly up there, and its only real competition is some of Stover's other stuff.

    Destiny's Way: This one- I'm torn on this one. It's big, it's epic, and you have to read it, but I've heard that the author was largely unfamiliar with the EU and it shows, with terms being used weirdly and characters acting very odd (Tsavong Lah seems to have lost a bunch of braincells since his last appearance, Tahiri hates the Vong a lot more than she should based on her actions in other books, and Vergere is oddly forthright by her standards). Still, I fall on the side of "like" overall.

    Force Heretic I, II, and III: Here I'm also torn. As I mentioned above, tedious a-plots, fascinating b-plots. About the only thing of import that happens to the main characters is that they find Sekot, but it's a must-read if you care at all about Tahiri, Nom Anor, or the Empire. I'll always have a special place in my heart for these because they were coming out when I first started reading the series, but objectively, they're not that great.

    The Final Prophecy: Love it- though admittedly, I'm a big Tahiri, Nen Yim, and Nom Anor fan, and since these three carry the bulk of the plot I'm all there. Not coincidentally, it's written by the same guy who did Edge of Victory.

    The Unifying Force: I have my quibbles with how certain characters were used, but on the whole, this is an outstanding ending and is one of my favorite books of the series, something I know I'm not alone in thinking. Really, really epic stuff here. As far as I'm concerned, TUF is the grand finale of the EU and everything after it until the Legacy comics is just a bad dream (I may make room for Dark Nest, the trilogy that immediately follows the NJO, on days I'm feeling generous).

    So there you have it. There are books in this series I love, ones I like, and ones I'm indifferent to, but there's nothing here I really hate, which neither LOTF or FOTJ can say. Overall, I definitely rec this series to any Star Wars fan with an open mind and a lot of free time.
    Manisphere and Zeta1127 like this.
  14. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Sep 2, 2012
    Read the whole series and decide for for yourself.

    WIERD_GREEN_MAN Jedi Knight star 4

    Dec 16, 2010
  16. MasterGhandalf

    MasterGhandalf Jedi Knight star 3

    Oct 25, 2009
    ... Last I checked, that dealt with time-displaced Jedi and Sith from the Great Hyperspace War, an Anzati assassin, a bunch of crazed clones, and Jaden Korr. It's got nothing whatsoever to do with the NJO.
  17. darthjulian777

    darthjulian777 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 28, 2008
    I would definitely suggest reading it. I know that a lot of people think it's not "star wars-y" and I agree with them, it has a completely different feel. The original star wars is about the adventure, it's about rags to riches and everything turning out for the best. The NJO on the other hand is the opposite. It's about pain, struggle and the fact that sometimes everything goes wrong, and sometimes people suffer and die. It's so much more dark than the rest of star wars and in a way that's so much more appealing to me. It's easy to write something that feels good, that you can stand behind and say, "hey! they all turn out for the best." It's a lot harder to force yourself to say, "no, it's really not," and as such it leads to more mature writing I believe, and thus better novels. Just make sure you read them in order, I read them out of order (with Star by Star being my first :() if I could go back and re-read them in order with no memory of them I would do it in a heartbeat.
  18. DarthJenari

    DarthJenari Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 17, 2011
    I suggest you read it all at some point. However in terms of what's essential:

    Vector Prime
    Edge of Victory Duology
    Balance Point
    Star by Star
    Enemy Lines Duology
    Destiny's Way
    The Unifying Force

  19. mattman8907

    mattman8907 Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 17, 2012
    would i need to read all of the NJO books to read the LOTF books?
  20. Manisphere

    Manisphere Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 25, 2007
    Edit: above post changed and so with it, my response.
  21. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    I would echo the sentiment that Dark Journey and Force Heretic are the most skippable. Additionally, you don't have to read Rogue Planet- Traitor summarizes everything you need to know about that book's plot in about half a page or so.
  22. RC-1991

    RC-1991 Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 2, 2009
    I actually enjoyed Dark Journey, for the most part. It definitely suffers from being sandwiched in between powerhouses like Star by Star, Enemy Lines and Traitor, but it's not a bad novel in and of itself.
  23. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    The actual captured-ship element is kinda interesting, but no novel has better highlighted why the Hapans are horrible to read about than DJ. Galactic civilization has fallen and, effectively, the world around them is about to end. But, really, we must focus such importance on petty royal court intrigue. Yes. This is a people with their priorities straight.

    If not for Denning's continuously stubborn efforts to redeem them, they'd remain my least favorite faction/large element of the EU.
  24. Havac

    Havac Former Moderator star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 29, 2005
    Well, frankly, they wouldn't be a large element or major faction without Denning pushing them. In COPL, they were a big deal because the balance of power was so tight, in DJ they were just another location. It's only with the Denning books that they've become an enormous, crucial galactic power, the single most important component of the GA. Before DN, they were just a faction that showed up in about three stories. Since DN, they've been a critical pivot in all the wars and an unparalleled galactic military power.
  25. Gorefiend

    Gorefiend Chosen One star 5

    Oct 23, 2004
    Hapes is at least insanely rich and has a huge independent fleet, whilst it happens to be run by a Jedi queen, so it makes for a good pool of warships and soldiers from the storytelling point of view, as otherwise they would have had to come from other worlds or the Republic/Alliance themselves to provide these, which would be harder to explain. Though yes they have been getting a lot of overexposure, but at least you can take Hapan forces and culture kind of serious, unlike another author’s favorite pet group . [face_whistling]