I make no secret of my Star Wars obsession - and yes - I'm counting the days till the next movie. (88 days if you're curious.) As the new trilogy approaches, Disney is firing up the marketing machine quite heavily. I'm fine with that. Sure - some things are a bit silly. (Star Wars themed coffee - um... ok.) But there's some pretty cool stuff too - including twenty new Star Wars books. I've read three of these new books and while I wasn't impressed with the first two, the last one I read was pretty freaking incredible. Here is a short review of the ones I've read so far.I'm a fan of the "Rebels" TV show, but this book was only so-so. I like seeing the early beginnings of the Rebellion, and the villain was pretty compelling, but overall though it just didn't do much for me. It was an OK book but forgettable. This would be a good book to borrow from your local library but I'd probably skip picking it up.
So while "A New Dawn" was so-so and forgettable, this one was a book I wish I could forget. It has a great premise: Luke right after "A New Hope" - a hero - but still not a Jedi - is sent on a mission to extract a cryptographer working for the Empire. But then you end up with scenes where Luke uses the force to move noodles. Yes, seriously, noodles. I mean, I get that at this point he has the bare minimum of exposure to the Force but the multiple (yes, multiple) scenes of him trying to move bits of food with the Force were painful to read. The ending was pretty bad too. About the only thing I really found interesting about this book was that after "A New Hope", Luke was a Lieutenant. Yes, I found that interesting.
And finally - a really, really good book in this new set. "Aftermath" takes place after the events of RotJ and we finally get a look at the universe leading up to the new movie. (To be clear, we had this years ago with the epic Thrawn series, but that's the past. ;) As to be expected, blowing up the second Death Star and killing Palpatine didn't just wipe out the rest of the Empire. In "Aftermath", the Empire is hurt, hurt bad, but not destroyed. The New Republic (the formal government power headed by the Rebellion) is in the process of setting up and trying to bring the galaxy together in peace. Those details were fascinating but alone wouldn't be enough to make a good book. Luckily, the book has some great characters. While older, familiar names are there, all of the main characters are new. (Ok, Wedge isn't new, but he felt more like a side character than a main character.) Sinjir, a former Imperial loyalty officer, is easily one of my favorite characters in the Star Wars universe. Before I began this book I heard a lot of people complaining about this book. The writing style is unique - but frankly - didn't bother me. (And by "unique" I mean a bit different, not crazy weird like "The Road" for example.) Also, apparently, some folks had a problem with the fact that a major character is gay, and apparently the female characters outnumber the male. Yeah, whatever. I mean, obviously the only reason to have a strong female character is to make some kind of liberal point, right? Ugh. I'm just glad I ignored the negative reviews and read it with an open mind because I thoroughly enjoyed the hell out of this book and strongly recommend it.
Finally, while they aren't books, I'm really enjoying all of the new Marvel comics right now - even the Lando one. If you read comics I'd definitely suggest picking them up.