Waru Express: After Endor

The Waru Express is moving once more!  Did you miss my weekly descent into madness?  (Editor’s Note: Probably should’ve taken more than a week off but oh well.)  I return to my journey through the Star Wars universe with the two books that take place right after the Battle of Endor.  The Empire defeated just because the Death Star blew up again and some people tore down some statues?  Hardly!  (Editor’s Note: I’m amused that this has stayed true in the new canon.)

The Truce at Bakura
It may not make my Top Ten list but I definitely enjoy reading Truce at Bakura every time I pick it up.  It’s a fun read that could work quite well as a starting point for a new reader to the Expanded Universe.  Even though the Rebels and the Empire have a very tentative truce against a common enemy, it still has a very Star Wars feel to it.  It feels like the logical next part of our heroes’ adventures.  The more I think about it, the more I like that Kathy Tyers chose to write an immediate sequel but had them facing a different enemy while simultaneously having to keep an eye on the Empire.  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 Clone Wars

We’re neck deep in the Clone War books now and in case there was any doubt, the war really sucked but at least we got some pretty great books out of it.  This week, I started a love letter to Matt Stover, continued the one to Barriss Offee, flailed over Yoda, and there were two other books that got lost in the middle.  Oops.

Shatterpoint
This book is one of my favorite books in not only the entire Expanded Universe but of all time.  Why?  Two words: Matthew Stover.

Matthew Stover… How do I begin to explain Matthew Stover?  Matthew Stover is flawless.  I hear his writing hand is insured for $10,000.  I hear he does lightsaber commercials… on Coruscant.  His favorite movie is ‘How To Destroy A Reader In 300 Pages’.  One time he met GRRM on a plane and he told Stover that he was good at killing people’s emotions.  Lots of times he punched us in the feels… it was awesome.

Mean Girls joke out of the way, I positively adore Shatterpoint because this is the book that really establishes Mace Windu as an incredibly powerful Jedi Master who should not be messed with.  The best part?  It has absolutely nothing to do with SLJ playing him.  Mace Windu is a force to be reckoned with and he is going to get his former Padawan off Haruun Kal or else.  He’s also going to deal with this war and secure the planet for the Republic but that’s just quick task for after lunch. Continue reading