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!

Crosscurrent
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. Continue reading

Waru Express: Revenge of the Sith

Here we are.  At last, we’ve arrived at the book I’ve been dreading because it is just that good.  (Thanks for that, Matt Stover.)  In 2005, Del Rey published the novelization of Revenge of the Sith and two novels that take place on either side of it, forming an unofficial trilogy.   I’m also including another book in this post just because it needed a place to go.  This is also the review where I finally did post some reaction pictures so I could properly express my anguish.  (Enjoy the spam of my face.)  However, if you’re going to take nothing else away from this and the past few posts, take away that I would positively love to see both Stover and Luceno write more books in this era.  Please.  (Editor’s Note: Del Rey sorta listened to me? A few years later, Luceno wrote Tarkin. Not that I actually think DR listens to me, haha.)

Labyrinth of Evil
This is by far the prequel lead-in book that has the most to do with its film.  (So, in retrospect, my decision to go to the bookstore and read through this hardcover I couldn’t afford the day before the movie was released was a good one but then again 15 year old me probably should’ve had the good sense to get it from the library weeks before.)   Because it goes directly into the film, it ends up being one of the most worthwhile of the lead-in books to read.  Even though it’s a lead up, the book still has its own story to tell and that tale never really drags.  Luceno’s action sequences are well done and he has an excellent grasp of all the characters.

Speaking of which, no one writes Palpatine like James Luceno and no one has the ability to make the Prequels make more sense like him either.  He drops in some references (like the one to Plagueis that apparently went right over my head when I originally read that book) but had me nodding and going “ohhhhh” as I read it this time.  He also references tons of things from the rest of the Prequel books without it being heavy handed.  What’s even more impressive to me is that he manages to write the best Palpatine in a book that was still under the ‘LOLZ DON’T TELL ANYONE THAT SIDIOUS IS PALPS’ gag order.  That writing accolade obviously extends to how he writes Sidious.  Luceno keeps up the ruse for those who live under a rock and weren’t aware of Palpatine’s secret identity but he doesn’t sacrifice characterization to do so.  Applause all around really. Continue reading

Waru Express: The Phantom Menace

I finally gained a better grip on my sanity and decided to break these reviews into slightly smaller chunks so next up are the Phantom Menace related books!   The good news is that not only did I not hate any of them but I actually loved one of them.

Darth Plagueis
I have Sith Fatigue and apparently the only cure is more Sith!  (They’re like cowbell.)  Seriously though, I loved this book!  Granted, I’m a bit of a political junkie but there really wasn’t anything I disliked about this book except that I wanted another hundred pages of it.  (Editor’s Note: Much like that business on Cato Neimoidia, that doesn’t count.)  I positively loved how James Luceno took everything that happened in the Prequel Trilogy and wove together a background that not only made sense but helped flesh out the story.  It’s the Long Con, folks, and it pays off so gosh darn beautifully.  After reading this book, all of the questions I had about how Palpatine worked both sides of the Clone Wars were answered.

It wasn’t just the story line and the writing that I liked.  I was also rather intrigued by getting to see the characters we know from different angles.  In particular, I enjoyed the parts with Dooku and how his departure from the Jedi Order came about.  Palpatine himself was another character that I enjoyed getting to know better, much to my surprise.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker for a good descent into darkness tale.  (Editor’s Note: Sheeeeeeeeeeeeev!)  Continue reading