Waru Express: The Calm Between The Sith Storms

This was a much nicer trio of books to read between long series than my previous “palette cleanser.”  SO MUCH NICER.  All three are actually books that I haven’t had the chance to read yet and neither had I heard much about them so this was one giant blank slate for me.  The verdict?  Well, you’ll just have to read the post for that!

I had no idea what to expect from this book and yet I’m fairly sure that this wasn’t it.  I’m not saying that in a bad way.  I’m just saying it in a way where I tilt my head to the side and go “huh”.

For the most part, it’s an enjoyable book.  It took me a good 100 pages or so to really get into it though.  The start felt a bit slow but also jumbled with the introduction of a lot of new characters.  It took me a little while to keep everyone straight.  I’m also not sure how I feel about the time travel.  I liked the character of Jaden Korr though as well as Marr and Khedryn.  On the other hand, I’m really not sure what an Anzat looks like exactly but I don’t think I want to because they sound weird and a bit disgusting.

The clone thing was… different.  Although actually, I guess it doesn’t really surprise me that they would’ve tried to clone Jedi but I’m not entirely sure I buy mixing Jedi and Sith DNA.  It makes the choice between following the light or the dark like much less of a choice.  On the other hand, I absolutely buy that they’d be a bit crazy.  That part makes plenty of sense.

My biggest problem with the book is the lack of female characters.  Where were they?  I know it was a small cast but that doesn’t mean that every single one of them had to be male.  (Editor’s Note: Dicks! Dicks as far as the eye can seeeeeeeee!)

Mostly, I’m really just still head tilting at this book.  I’m wondering if a second read through might help but no time for that right now.  It is a good read though and it’s certainly a nice break from watching all of my favorite characters take stupid pills. (Editor’s Note: Honestly, I’ve completely forgotten what happened in this book and the sequel so it hardly stuck with me.)

Well apparently Paul Kemp anticipated my problem with this first book because he went right ahead and added two female characters to their list of dramatis personae.  So well done reading my mind from several years in the past, good sir.  (Editor’s Note: It’s really sad that there adding just two women in felt like a victory.  Honestly, this still really isn’t acceptable.)

There’s a lot of Jaden Korr in this book.  Get it?  It’s because there are three versions of him running around and… that’s okay.  I can laugh at my own lame joke.  I liked this book a lot better partially because it felt like a lot more happened.  It’s definitely a direct follow up to Crosscurrent though so you’d still want to read that first.  It’s a fast paced book that definitely kept me turning the page and I enjoyed reading it.

Riptide felt an awful lot like an Really Old Republic book though and that’s not a bad thing.  I could simply see Jaden as one of the Jedi from the time of Revan or Satele.  It’s probably the Rakatan aspect of the book that makes me feel this way but it’s still a neat story.  Although it’s another Jedi story, it’s a nice and a different addition to this time frame.

Everything with the clone body swap at the end blew my mind.  The short version is that Jaden dies and Marr puts his consciousness into the clone body that was grown by some Sith Lord.  It is exactly as crazy as it sounds.  Honestly, now I really want to see the ramifications of all this.  Jaden obviously picked up on the fact that something wasn’t right and it’d be interesting to see him confront Marr about it.  It would be a fascinating read to say the least.  (Editor’s Note: Too bad I don’t remember jackshit about this book either except that time travel was involved.  At least I think it was? Maybe? Oh well.)

Millennium Falcon
Wow.  This was a fun read and I enjoy nothing more than being able to say that I had fun reading a Star Wars book.  It’s a light-hearted adventure that touches upon galactic events without being bogged down in them.  Books like this are why I adore James Luceno.  I still think his strengths lie with the more politically minded Star Wars books but I have no major complaints with his writing here.  He seems to really get the characters and I am happy to wave off Agents of Chaos as an anomaly.  (Editor’s Note: *makes lots of heart hands at Luceno*)

The family dynamics between Han, Leia, and Allana are wonderful.  It’s still something relatively new for them but the love is clearly there.  Allana is clearly a Solo child seeing how she wandered off AND got captured by some bad guys in the book.  Honestly, it’s probably genetic.  (Editor’s Note: BUT ACTUALLY. Do you guys think Ben Organa Solo got kidnapped at some point too?)  Her ability to communicate with the Yuuzhan Vong was a neat touch as is her affinity with animals.  And now I want to just bash my head over Jacen dying again because he really should’ve and could’ve continued to be a good dad.

Speaking of which, it was nice to see Leia and Han actually feeling some regret in regards to everyone just deciding that their son wasn’t worth saving.  There were a few pages where Leia was reflecting on this and it made me punch the air and shout “YES SOMEONE FINALLY GETS IT AND IS WRITING THIS PROPERLY’.  I may mock the Solos for being bad parents like it’s my job but I don’t buy for a minute that they just wrote Jacen off completely at the end.  Just everything about these pages felt right.

The story itself is also fun and engaging.  It’s not a groundbreaking plot by any means but this is a character (and ship) driven story and that makes all the difference in the world.  It’s also much preferable to a plot forcing characters to act not like themselves.  (Editor’s Note: Sometimes, you just want a fun story about some of your favorite characters where they fly around the galaxy and dozens of people don’t die.)

I did get a little bit tired of all the short stories about the Falcon’s previous owners but that’s a fairly minor complaint.  They are rather par for the course for a book titled Millennium Falcon though.  It was a fun and fast read and I definitely enjoyed the book.

I don’t want to continue on.  Except that I am now so close to finishing this project.  And they’ve Allston-ed me again.  Del Rey, why must you always do this to me?

Originally posted to Tosche Station on May 16, 2013

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