Waru Express: The Empire Strikes Back

A Very Zahn New Year definitely helped make this project go much faster.  Except for the part where I drank my way through a certain book.  That’s right, folks, you get another spam of my face via reaction pictures.

Scoundrels

Please enjoy this picture of my Scoundrels cover Winter costume to make up for the lack of 2013 snark.
Please enjoy this picture of my Scoundrels cover Winter costume to make up for the lack of 2013 snark.

(Editor’s Note: Okay look.  I cheated when I did this the first time.  Or maybe I didn’t so much cheat as I didn’t reeeeally include Scoundrels in the Waru because I wrote a proper review for it.  Short version of the review is that I loved the hell out of Solo’s Eleven and not just because my girl Winter or because Kell Tainer was in it.  It kept me turning the page once I got it on my Nook at midnight until I was too tired to read anymore and I sat on the couch and did nothing but read until I finished the next morning.  If you’re wondering whether I think you should give this book a try, the answer is an emphatic yes.  Also stay spoiler free.  Trust me on this one.)

Allegiance
First things first.  Apparently I had completely managed to miss a piece of information the prior two times I read this book which is that Mara Jade is two years younger than Luke Skywalker.  Mind.  Blown.  I’d always assumed that she was older than him.  If it was anyone else but Zahn writing this book, I’d question it but since it is Zahn, I’ll have to stick with my surprise face. (Editor’s Note: Still don’t think it makes sense.)

I think that this might be one of my favorite Zahn books and it grows on me more and more every time I read it.  He does great work in the Original Trilogy era and I love his grasp on the characters in their early years.  Naïve Luke who doesn’t know when not to share information is adorable as is eye-rolling Han who just wants him to hush already.  (Editor’s Note: I think Fresh Off The Farmboy Luke is my favorite Luke.)  I especially love getting to read about a young Mara during her time as Emperor’s Hand.  Every conversation she has with Vader thrills me for some reason. Continue reading

Waru Express: Attack of the Clones

I took a few days off for Thanksgiving (and so I won’t completely kill Brian with my fast reading speed) (Editor’s Note: No seriously. I was concerning people.) but we’re back with more Prequel Era books!  This time, half of the books were obvious tie-ins to books from much further down the timeline and two of them were, well, Attack of the Clones based.  This one’s a bit more of a mixed bag than before.

Rogue Planet
Okay so you know how some people hate Boba Fett and get annoyed by how fans adore him and he gets all these appearances etc etc?  Yeah, that’s me except with Tarkin and the building of the Death Star.  Honestly, what is this obsession that EU authors have with him and the Death Star?  I mean, I know it was a cool looking space station that blew planets up but can we not credit everyone and their mother with its construction? (Editor’s Note: This is funny given how much I enjoyed reading James Luceno’s Tarkin. Not that it was my favorite but…)

Overall, the book’s okay but it’s so obviously there for the New Jedi Order that it feels far too much like an extended short story sometimes.  Character-wise, it’s good.  I actually really enjoyed getting some insight into the early years of Obi-Wan and Anakin’s Master/Padawan relationship.  (Editor’s Note: I think this could fit well with Charles Soule’s Obi-Wan and Anakin comic.)  I also rather enjoy Thracia Cho Leem because anyone who can out sass Mace Windu and still have his respect deserves your respect.  It’s too bad that she leaves the Jedi Order because wow is he going to need her in about a decade when Shatterpoint happens…  The only thing I’m really not fond of is getting beaten over the head with “Oooo Anakin’s going to fall to the Dark Side one day!”  I get what Greg Bear was doing but at times, it felt like a bit too much.  Also, I will be forever sad that Anakin didn’t get to keep his ship.  Poor baby. Continue reading