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  1. In Memory of LAJ_FETT: Please share your remembrances and condolences HERE

Books Servants of the Empire #2: Rebel in the Ranks by Jason Fry

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Hopeless, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. Endol

    Endol Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Just finished book 2. I really really enjoy this series. the first book was very enjoyable indeed and this continued its trend. I think because of the target audience there is more action straightaway and that helps. incidents come thick and fast but written in a way that you don't feel that its rushed.

    I found the Merei subplot fascinating and great cliffhanger. after all her work to cover tracks...... cant outsmart your mum!
     
  2. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Hope nothing too bad happens to Merei.
     
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  3. Hopeless

    Hopeless Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2006
    I'm assuming the Empire traces her hacking back to her home and assume her parents responsible.
    She might be under threat of re-education but if that did come true I suspect her father would realise what's really going on and take the blame to protect her.

    But that's purely speculation
     
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  4. jasonfry

    jasonfry VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Follks, I see the Kindle edition of Rebel in the Ranks is now up on AMZN. My apologies for the delay. This link supports the Jason Fry Beer & Mortgage Fund, if you're so inclined.

    And now back to writing Book 4. Merei's in a pickle, but oh man, poor Zare....
     
  5. Aphra

    Aphra Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 4, 2015
    *fist pump* *buys book*

    Never have I been so excited for a junior novel.

    And Amazon calls it a digital picture book, which is so confusing, but whatever. Given the awesomeness of the first one I would buy so many digital picture books in this series.
     
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  6. jasonfry

    jasonfry VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Aw, thank you. Hope you like this one too. One thing I'm happy about so far with this series is every book feels quite different.

    Yeah, I dunno what that "digital picture book" stuff is. Sounds cool, but bears no relationship to Rebel in the Ranks. Ah well. The world is a curious place.
     
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  7. Jo B1 Kenobi

    Jo B1 Kenobi Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2014
    I've read 'Edge of the Galaxy' and 'Rebel in the Ranks'. I thought they were both excellent. I'm a primary (in the US that would be 'elementary') school teacher (Year 6) and I've often found that tie-in books and spin-off books related to film frachises tend to be quite poorly written but these were quite the opposite. The writing was of good quality, fluid and easily accessible, the characterisations were believeable and really interesting, the situations in the stories brought out some deep feelings in me as I read the books and the techie computer / security stuff was really very well done indeed. I thought they were both fab. The only downside is having to wait for the next one!
     
  8. Cynical_Ben

    Cynical_Ben Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2013
    This is a fantastic book, just like the first one but even more so. It does what some of my favorite old-school EU stories did: take a minor side character from the films (or TV show now) and tell their story. Seeing Zare's perspective on Dev/Ezra and the antics they get into is fantastic and the book's detailing of the Academy's ins and outs gives what is otherwise a rather oddball episode of the show some rather valuable context. Rebel In the Ranks is a good episode, but this book makes it better. And seeing Sabine and Zeb, albeit briefly, makes me want a story about their stories all the much more.

    It's odd that the best books of the "NEU" have been the ones tying in to Rebels, between AND and this series. I can hardly wait for the next one, and to see whether they tie back into the show at all in Season 2. Keep it up, Jason, your books are as much "Must reads" now as anything else that's been coming out the past few months.
     
  9. Hamawald

    Hamawald Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2014
    I couldn't agree more! Also, the third book will feature the meeting between Zare and Ezra in Vision of Hope, or so I've heard. It will be interesting to see if they met each other any more times prior to the episode, I kind of got that feeling.
     
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  10. Aphra

    Aphra Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 4, 2015
    I just finished this over the weekend and it was excellent! Zare and Merei are both great characters. I loved getting, essentially, half a book about Merei and what she was up to while Zare was training. She doesn't suffer fools gladly. It was fun to see her butt heads with Sabine and then arrive at some kind of mutual respect. I'd love if she got to feature on a cover someday, because she certainly deserves it, but I suspect that won't happen.

    I have to admit I've had visions of Merei five or ten years down the line, running her own operation, either independently or with the Rebels. Being an all-around BAMF and bossing around people twice her age because she's just that good at what she does. And now I'm invested in her and praying nothing too bad happens to her because I want to see her pop up in future books.

    And Zare... oh, Zare. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. I have to admire his determination but I never felt he was in more danger than when he was talking to the Inquisitor. Zare felt sort of safe in this book, but in the next one I suspect I'm going to be fretting over him like a mother hen.

    tl;dr This book was awesome and I need Book 3, please and thank you.
     
  11. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Finished the book in rather short order, despite having a very busy weekend. Waited long enough to get it on kindle, and it was certainly worth the wait.

    I'll write up a fuller review on ETE, but my immediate reaction is: YAY. Give me more, right now! :p

    The book continues doing what the first book did well, which was write an ostensibly YA book with depth and characterization that makes it feel no different than the adult NEU novels. Actually, scratch that -- it's better than most of them.

    It's different in tone and focus for reasons that go beyond a very welcome split into two protagonists (I adore Merei). The first book features themes of colonialism and coming of age. This one is about camaraderie and teamwork -- from the book's dedication all the way to the end. It's about people and loyalties.

    Favorite bits:

    -- Zare thinking Ezra is annoying and troublesome

    -- Zare repeating the common refrain about Jedi being charlatans even while spending the entire book reminding himself he doesn't trust anything the Empire says. Just shows how deep the anti-Jedi undercurrent runs.

    -- Merei's conversations with her family. Can't really tell if they're aware of what she's doing or not, and neither can Merei. It was a great way to put the reader in her shoes.

    -- Merei thinking about how the stuck-up rich kids on Lothal were favoring a fashion trend that was current on Corulag like two years ago. Even though those provincials are wealthier, she's a Core Worlder dammit.

    -- actually, her whole undercover adventure is fantastic

    -- Merei's interaction with the Spectres was a great chance to see the characters from another PoV. We're used to the crew as our friends by now, but Sabine's initial hostility to Merei was great. Even better was that Zeb of all people was the friendly one! Mereihas no idea why that's so funny.

    -- Back to Zare for the moment. His interactions with Chiron were great. I'm hoping we see more of that in the future. It might be too much to hope that Chiron convinces Zare that what the Empire really needs is a good man like him to stay on, but we'll see :p

    -- lastly, every time Grint and Aresko showed up in this book, I kept visualizing their last scene in Rebels. They're unlikable, but yikes...

    More please! And I'm sure Merei can bluff her way out of any pickle. And rescue Zare in the process!


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
     
  12. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Zeb being the friendly one instead of Sabine was hilarious.
     
  13. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Makes perfect sense though. Zeb and Ezra bunk together and they both are fighters, so there's rivalry there.

    Sabine is naturally suspicious and dismissive of somebody who shares part of her skill set -- slicing.

    Oh. That reminds me. Thank goodness the term slicing survived. Some spacey things are awkward, but slicing is a good one.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
     
  14. StoryWorthTelling

    StoryWorthTelling Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2015
    I've been loving this series. I think I like the first book the most right now, and it's all because of grav-ball. I love that Star Wars is getting its sports world fleshed out a little bit

    As far as this book goes, it was great. I couldn't put it down--and not just because there aren't standard chapter breaks. The suspense is gripping. I love how seamlessly this ties into and builds the world of Rebels. It makes me think that Zare and Merei might be my favorite characters on Lothal, including the Ghost crew. These are great characters in intense situations. I really want to see how they (if they?) make it through. This really is starting to feel like a Galactic Civil War. The conflict is splitting families.
     
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  15. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Still thought that Zeb might have been annoyed that Ezra got them (the Specters) involved in some Imperial mess.
    And good to see slicing survived as well.
     
  16. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    In a 24hr span, I convinced two people to pick up this series. I wonder how many I can get before the day is out.... :p
     
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  17. IG_2000

    IG_2000 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 5, 2008
    I'll probably pick up the first book next paycheck or so.
     
  18. SilentGuy66

    SilentGuy66 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Just ordered this book plus the first one off amazon.

    If I enjoy them I might end up picking up the road to force awakens YR novel when they're released.
     
  19. Kablob

    Kablob Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2014
    Dang it I read this and now I'm worried about these kids too.

    The mental image of that drill sergeant yelling at Ezra gives me life.

    And now we've got an equivalent of "big walking carpet" for Zeb. "Big slab of purple beef". [face_laugh]
     
  20. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 5, 2004
    Dear jasonfry,

    If you kill Merei, I will be very, very, VERY disappointed in you.

    Sincerely,
    Nanci

    P.S. I really liked this book. Moar pls!
     
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  21. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Co-sign.


    Missa ab iPhona mea est.
     
  22. Kablob

    Kablob Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2014
    And my axe! I mean, co-sign.
     
  23. Orman Tagge

    Orman Tagge Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2014
    I just read both the Servants of the Empire books in as many days. Really, really, really good stuff. More in depth thoughts are below...

    The epilogue with the Inquisitor was the most intimidating I've ever found him to be, by far, and when Zare lies to get to his sister...man, I can't wait to see where that ends up.

    I really can't get over how good that was! I mean, just from a characterization and worldbuilding perspective it was fascinating, and it was very well paced. I expected it to be better than average for a YA novel, but that was better than "Tarkin" WHICH I ENJOYED!

    Some highlights for me...the flawless transitions into following the actual dialogue of the corresponding episode and then flowing back into the rest of the story. It was actually infuriating when it would get to a part that wasn't in the episode, because Rebels (a show I love!) could've done so much more if it'd followed these books! Ah well.

    Harvester is absolutely fascinating, to me. I'm curious if it'll tie into the upcoming Darth Vader #5 events, but that does seem unlikely. Maybe more probable is an expansion of the whole Inquisitor idea, for Season 2? Really be nice to see it have a bigger impact on the world as a whole.

    Laughed at Merei's mom saying "wrath of the empire" at the end. If it hadn't been the last line of the book I would've rolled my eyes, but it worked.

    Are there other canon EU YA novels sort of written at this level? I can never tell in the stores if it's going to be a YA book like this, or if it'll be, well, more of a chapter book.
     
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  24. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy, also by Jason Fry, might count. It's a recap of TCW Season 4-5 from Maul's point of view. It's technically Legends at the moment - but it's so "TCW-episode-centric" that it really should be carried over.
     
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  25. jasonfry

    jasonfry VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Not to derail the thread, but when folks ask what's different about working with Story Group this is something I can point them to. Shadow Conspiracy was written from scripts, with fight descriptions that were essentially placeholders, important changes to episodes after the book wrapped, and limited art reference. For Rebel in the Ranks I got to watch a nearly-complete version of "Breaking Ranks," which meant I had a sense of how action scenes worked and also the "feel" of scenes. If all you have is a description of the Inquisitor standing in a room with Kallus, Aresko and Zare you'll miss the moonlight, the way his posture communicates the rage he's holding in, the expression on the others' faces, etc.

    Not to say that Shadow Conspiracy was a bad experience as a writer or that I think it's a lousy book -- it was a lot of fun to do, everyone at LFL was as accommodating as they could be, and I think it's a good read. But the additional level of access and assistance helped make Rebel in the Ranks, IMHO, a much better book.