Kill Team (Galaxy’s Edge #3) ★★★★☆

killteam (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Kill Team
Series: Galaxy’s Edge #3
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF/Space Opera
Pages: 340
Words: 85K

 

Synopsis:

From Galaxysedge.fandom.com

The Battle of Kublar rages while Victory company is extracted by the Mercutio. On the destroyer’s hangar deck the remains of Doomsday Squad spy an assault shuttle preparing to attack the Ohio-class ship bombarding the planet. Chhun, Exo, Wraith, and Specialist Kags convince the shuttle crew to let them join the assault. The marines agree, and the Ohio-class ship is boarded and captured by the legionnaires and Republic marines. The boarding parties recover snippets of data regarding who planned and executed the MCR attack.

Two months earlier, X, leader of the Nether Ops office known as the Carnivale, is preparing a new assignment known as Operation Ghost Hunter. X explains the mission to an operative code-named Tom Delo. Tom’s mission is to infiltrate the illegal arms market on Ankalor and follow the chain of contacts to the supplier who is providing the Mid Core Rebellion with their weapons.

Tom discovers the man behind the supply is known as Scarpia and begins to track him. His first contact is a local enforcer known as Frogg, who leads him to a talkative reported named Steadron. On the way to the Night Market, they are attacked by Zhee, humanoid aliens with a long history of religious zealotry. At the Night Market, Tom learns that the bombs that destroyed the Chaism and Camp Forge were MAROs, portable anti-matter bombs, and finds the republic officer going by the street name Abo can sell him two for three million credits each. On the way to the delivery site, Tom learns more about Frogg, who was once a legionnaire who was so uncontrollably violent that he was dishonorably discharged from the legion.

Frogg takes Tom to meet Scarpia, who gives Tom a mission: plant one of the acquired MAROs on the Chiasm and the other at Camp Forge. Tom goes through with the mission in order to secure his place in Scarpia’s inner circle, but increasingly chafes against his orders from X. Still, orders are orders, and Tom continues in his undercover role.

Lt. Chhun and Captain Ford get their first bit of down-time on the Mercutio and are introduced to Legion Commander Keller, who confirms the permanence of their new ranks and introduces to Captain Ellek Owens. Owens works for Dark Ops, a clandestine office that specializes in assassinations and spycraft. Owens is creating a Kill Team to go after the MCR rebels who destroyed the Chiasm and invites Chhun and Wraith to be part of it. Both accept.

Their first mission is on Kublar, along with Andien Broxin who they now learn works for Nether Ops. Andien retrieves a data cell from the Chiasm that reveals that the ship was destroyed with a MARO, difficult to get except through the illegal arms market.

Back aboard the Merutio, Owens, Chhun, and Wraith start picking troops for their squad, including Kags, Twenties, Masters, and Exo. Getting ahold of Exo is difficult as Capt. Devers has ordered Exo to be court-martialed for assaulting him on Kublar. Owens visits Devers in sick bay and violently convinces him to release Exo from the proceedings which Devers does.

Tom takes the freighter Hoplyte to meet Scarpia at Smuggler’s End, his private estate on Pthalo, with Illuria, his concubine, and attendant friends and staff. Over the next days, Scarpia alludes to a much bigger plan, one to sell the leaders of the MCR the equipment they need to launch a major attack against the Republic, while Tom and Illuria spend time together and grow closer.

Owens’ kill team travels to Utopion and locate Exo, who agrees to join the team. Their trail leads them to the various links in Tom Delo’s chain of contacts who are intercepted and interrogated one by one.

Back on Pthalo, Scarpia finally tells Tom the big plan: loading up a stolen republic corvette with crustbuster bombs and crashing it into the House of Reason on Utopion. Tom is taken aback by the magnitude of the plan but stays with his cover, agreeing to be part of it. A preliminary mission is to kill the officer who sold the MAROs to Tom back on Ankalor. Tom and Frogg take the Hoplyte to Ootani Station and succeed in killing Abo, but Frog loses control and kills three legionnaires as well. Tom arranges an escape for them aboard a life pod.

On Ankalor, Owen’s kill team is sent to interrogate the Zhee militia leader who knows the whole story of the MCR attack on Kublar and the weapons deals leading from and up to it. Missing the Zhee, they do locate Steadron who tells them the Zhee’s name: Jarref Varuud. Andien contacts Varuud who reveals Scarpia’s place in the sales and Owens declares that bringing in Scarpia is now the kill team’s primary objective.

Tom tries to figure out how to deal with the new situation; he can’t let the House of reason be destroyed as it would mean the destruction of the republic, but he can’t blow his cover, either. His relationship with Illuria deepens and she tells him the rendezvous point for the corvette-bomb: Makchuria, and also agrees to send a coded message to X via RepubNet when she heads off world on a shopping trip the next day.

Now that the location and nature of the attack is known, Owens’ team begins to train for it aboard the Intrepid, Owens’ base destroyer. They fail repeatedly using standard legionnaire doctrine and agree they need to change their tactics to board the corvette in time to avert the attack.

The day of the rendezvous, legion super-destroyers gather at Makchuria but no corvette is in sight. Tom learns from Scarpia that he merely told the MCR leaders he was on board with their plan but has actually sold the corvette to the Zhee who have a different plan in mind, a suicide mission. The corvette is actually going to Ankalor to board a battalion of Zhee fanatics and then head to Utopion. The Intrepid detects the corvette jump in above Ankalor, and changes course to pursue without the support fleet at Makchuria.

Over Utopion, Owens’ kill team boards the MCR corvette while Tom Delo takes over the bridge, and together they kill the zhee rebels and avert the attack.

Back at the Carnivale, X closes the book on Operation Ghost Hunter and Tom returns to his wife, and his daughter, Prisma.

 

My Thoughts:

Good stuff! Star Wars lives again.

I am getting really strong Karen Traviss and the Republic Commando vibes here. Except it is all good, not mixed with hatred like Traviss had for Star Wars. These Legionnaires are what the 501st should have been like instead of thugs for Vader. It is GOOD to see some heroism.

That being said, I can afford to have some complaints. First, I still mix characters up. Between first names, last names, code names and nick names, half the time I am not keeping track of who is who. Kind of annoying. Second, and bigger for me, is how the authors have chosen to skip around in time. In this book we return to the aftermath of the first book AND a timeline leading up to the first book AND a timeline leading up to the second book. I can understand why the authors wrote it this way (it keeps things moving and keeps the readers interested and doesn’t get caught up in sloggy moments) but I really like moving from Point A to Point B to Point C in a straight line. None of this connect the dots for me, thank you very much.

I wasn’t excited while I was reading but I was completely satisfied by the end. To put this in food terms (here’s a shoutout to Lashaan who always ribs me (ha!) for these food analogies), this was like a serving of Cheesecake Factory Loaded Baked Potato Tots.

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Those suckers are good! I always get them when we go to the Cheesecake Factory for our anniversary and to be honest, I’ve thought about ordering 2 or 3 servings and making that my main dish. Dipped in the sriracha sauce, mmmhmmmm! It’s not like the cheesecake, but it is warm, satisfying and filling.

I continue to be happy with these books and how the authors are handling everything (even if I don’t like how the timeline is handled). There are 9 books in this series, several spin off series and a standalone novel or two. Thank goodness it is all listed over at the Fandom page! As long as the quality stays up to par, I should have plenty more adventures in this Dumpster Fire of a Galaxy Far, Far Away!

★★★★☆

 

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Galactic Outlaws (Galaxy’s Edge #2) ★★★★☆

galacticoutlaws (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Galactic Outlaws
Series: Galaxy’s Edge #2
Author: Jason Anspach & Nick Cole
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF / Space Opera
Pages: 422
Words: 105.5K

 

Synopsis:

Galaxysedge.Fandom.com

The Battle of Kublar rages while Victory Company is extracted by the Mercutio.

7 years later…

Prisma Maydoon and her warbot/droid servant, KRS-88 (Crash) arrive on Ackabar aboard the Viridian Cyclops, a freighter piloted by Captain Hogus and his Wobanki co-pilot, Skrizz. Ackabar is in the midst of a Republic police action, but despite the obvious danger Prisma is focused on finding a bounty hunter. During the fighting, Crash helps Prisma locate Tyrus Rechs, an ill-reputed bounty hunter in the port city. Conflating reputation with competence, Prisma and Crash head through the battle find Tyrus Rechs. Rechs for his part is in the field hunting a pirate known as Junga Doobantu and wondering about the choices he’s made in life.

Meanwhile Aeson Keel, captain of the Indelible VI and his holographic co-pilot Ravi land on Bantam Prime. Keel intends to pose as the bounty hunter Wraith to deliver a number of Mid-Core Rebel prisoners to the local republic legion company. However, Keel isn’t entirely forthcoming with the legionnaires: he is smuggling princess Leenah of Endura and her escort, General Lem Parrish in the ship’s secure hold, both of whom are deeply involved in the Mid-Core Rebellion against the Republic. Keel heads away from the ship to contact the local legion and poses as Wraith to find the legionnaires only to kill them when things go badly. The legion responds by sending reinforcements (including a tank) after the Indelible VI.

After a brief firefight, Keel manages a parley with legionnaire Lt. Lynne Pratell. He convinces her through clever misdirection to pay him (as Wraith) for the prisoners who he actually releases (as Keel) and avoid retribution for killing her legionnaires. Too late, one of the dying legionnaires informs her about the double cross and she vows to destroy Keel, one way or another. A flight of Preyhunter fighters pursue the freighter as it tries to achieve orbit, and the freighter escapes with some damage.

Keel allows Leenah and Parrish the run of the ship while in hyperspace. It turns out that Leenah is a skilled ship’s mechanic and she repairs the Indelible VI’s damaged shields. Arriving at Pellek, Keel contacts local pirate king Lao Pak, but not before he kills several of Pak’s men. Keel is surprised to learn that there’s no bounty or ransom for Leenah, as everyone on Endura has the title of Prince or Princess due to a local custom. He’s less surprised to learn that the Republic has a bounty on his head, courtesy of Lt. Pratell, for his actions on Bantam Prime. Pak tells him about the real prize these days, a 250 million credit bounty on a warlord known as Goth Sullus, for killing the Maydoon family. Keel keeps Leenah on board and abandons Parrish with Lao Pak, who tells him where to find his pet hacker, Garret Glover.

Still on Ackabar, Prisma and Crash locate Rechs just as another firefight breaks out between him and Junga’s crew Rechs grabs the girl and escapes on his ship the Obsidian Crow, with Crash (and Skrizz) following.

On Pellek, Keel heads to Tannespa spaceport and convinces Garret to come along on his new mission. As they talk, Garret recounts a job reprogramming a warbot for the wealthy and well-connected Maydoon family. Keel does the math and puts Garret up to talking to his contact at Trident Corp., the company which sponsored Maydoon’s reprogramming work, in hopes of planning a next move, or lining up a new job. At the Trident offices they meet Aldo Kimer (and his bodyguard/receptionist, Sentrella) who claims he knows nothing and shoos them away. A short time later, Keel, posing as Wraith, forces, Kimer to admit that he did reprogram the warbot for Maydoon’s child and that the warbot can be tracked, and that he subsequently told Goth Sullus everything to save his life. Keel gets Garret to track Crash across the galaxy, as Leenah completes repairs Keel’s ship.

Rechs, with Skrizz, Prisma and Crash in tow, jump into hyperspace to escape a fighter attack. During the lull, Prisma tells him about to her vow to seek revenge against Goth Sullus, the warlord who recently had her father, Kael Maydoon killed on the planet Wayste. She tells him about the Maydoon family’s last days on Wayste, after Kael Maydoon took the post of sector defense minister and how Sullus’s black armored mercenaries destroyed an entire settlement to make sure he died. Rechs, convinced that the girl’s intentions will literally ruin her life, decides on another path for her. Rechs decides his next destination is En Shakar.

En Shakar is an ice world, the home of Mother Ree, who Rechs (aka General Rex of the Republic Legion) rescued from the hands of the Cybar and the Republic’s political machine many years ago. It’s Rechs’s intention to leave Prisma with Ree and her monastic disciples but the girl refuses to be left behind. Rechs tries to describe the soul-killing evil of hunting people for profit but she will not be dissuaded from the path she’s chosen. Rechs accepts that hunting Goth Sullus will cement a relationship between them and rid the galaxy of a true evil. The bounty on Sullus is real enough and Rechs figures he might as well go big as he heads toward the end of his career (and probably his life). In their parting moments on the planet, Mother Ree tells Rechs that the mercenaries who work with Goth Sullus are from the Brotherhood of Vengeance and he can find them on Telos, the site of a huge campaign toward the end of the Savage Wars.

Heading to Telos, Rechs picks up more resistance from pirates and shows Prisma how to use the gun turrets in the Obsidian Crow to shoot them down. From that point on, he takes her under his wing, teaching her what he knows about tactics, equipment, and fighting.

Keel arrives on En Shakar after Rechs has gone, and Mother Ree tell him where Rechs is headed, but also that Keel will eventually have to choose whether to follow Wraith’s path or Aeson Keel’s. Finally she tell him that the Maydoon girl is to be found on Tusca.

At Telos, Rechs contacts the Brotherhood and uses a combination of psychology and extreme violence to convince several of the mercs to tell him all they know about Goth Sullus and the troops who accompany him. All Sullus’s shock troopers are former legionnaires, expert soldiers who kill without remorse. It’s a mobile operation, but their last known base was on Andalore, the site of another great battle that Rechs fought.

At Andalore, a Republic sector capitol, Rechs finds that they’ve jumped into a tense battle between Republic legionnaires and Brotherhood mercenaries. Rechs, Skrizz, Crash, and Prisma fight their way into the guarded compound to find Wraith, Leenah, Garret, and Ravi heading them off. Rechs orders Crash to shoot, but Garret’s remote programming prevents Crash from carrying out the order and temporarily scatters the pursuing legionnaires.

Wraith/Keel and Rechs put their cards on the table and exchange information. A Republic Admiral, Silas Devers, is on his way to meet Sullus. Wraith wants to kill Devers and Rechs has agreed to kill Sullus, so an alliance of sorts is called for. As the discussion closes, Rechs declares that both teams now work for him.

As fighting between the Brotherhood and the legionnaires resumes, Rechs sees a black-robed and hooded figure escaping with a data core, a device that houses the memory for the sector defense computers but can’t figure out why a thug like Sullus would want it. Rechs concludes that Sullus is a much bigger player than he thought, and gets the idea that he knows who Sullus is. Sullus escapes in his ship, Siren of Titan, and Rechs is left wondering how he’s going to fight off the legion troops.

Keel meanwhile is leading his new and expanded crew back toward the Indelible VI, and tricks a legion patrol into thinking Wraith is taking away prisoners. The ruse is discovered however and the legionnaires open fire, forcing Keel’s crew to fight through the ruined compound to escape. Prisma responds badly to the new surroundings and people on the ship, but Rechs and Keel work together to bracket the Siren of Titan as Rechs pays Keel the bounty for Sullus.

On Tusca, Keel sets a trap for Devers, intending to snipe at him from cover while Siren of Titan is docked at the spaceport, and confirms the presence of the ship but not Sullus himself. More legionnaires arrive and a firefight ensues. Rechs learns from a Brotherhood merc that Sullus has already left while a heavy mech begins a counter-attack. Rechs tells Keel to take Prisma and leave the system as Devers arrives. Keel agrees after ground fire chases Devers’s shuttle off.

Aboard his ship, Keel prepares for his assassination of Admiral Devers, donning his old legion gear as he leaves the ship and takes Twenties’ old N-18 sniper rifle with him. But as he prepares to make the shot, he is discovered by legion patrols, who attempt to capture Prisma. Ravi defends her but “dies” after absorbing multiple blaster hits.

Rechs, sensing the problem, draws the legionnaires and mercenaries to his position, calls the Obsidian Crow to him, and activates a distortion bubble in his armor as his ship detonates a Romula nuclear mine. Keel gives up his dream of revenge and escapes with his crew as Rechs, barely alive, confronts Goth Sullus. He learns that Sullus is after the War-Mind, a swarm of automated war drones, the key to which is stored in Prisma’s DNA, triggered by the data globe he took. Sullus reveals that he’s not out to fix the Republic, just to destroy it.

Sullus finally meets Devers and several other Republic admirals and tell them they may begin their attack.

 

My Thoughts:

For the record, that synopsis is over 1600 words long. Somebody is a real fan of the series to have taken the time to think that out and type it up. Thank goodness that my power as Dr. Lord Bookstooge allows me to copy/paste effortlessly now that No-Internet has been banished.

When I started reading this I have to admit I was taken off guard, as this was not the MilSF I had gotten in the first book. The tone was different, the characters were all new to me (at first) and it wasn’t about the Legions doing Legion’y things. This was about outlaws and bounty hunters and a princess and a rebellion and a little girl looking for revenge and killer robots, etc, etc.

Then it clicked with me. The first book was pure setup, the prequel book as it were. This book was what the series is meant to be like. It was meant for fans of Star Wars just like me, who had been burned and turned their back on the franchise for a variety of reasons.

Everywhere I turned was another reminder of Star Wars. The thing is, it didn’t turn me off. It was executed in such a way that it made me happy. It was what I expected from Star Wars. There is even a mysterious, robed figure with the name Goth Sullus.

I loved this story. The only downside for me was near the end, when a LOT was going on, that it felt very disjointed. I’d think I was going to read about Characters X,Y & Z in a spaceship and then when we’d switch over to their viewpoint they’d be on the ground and I was wondering how it happened.

The first book hooked me with the promise of generic MilSF, but this book has gotten its claws in me. While I’m pretty bitter about Star Wars, I feel like this can fill that void, or at least soften that hardness inside. You can’t ask for more than that for any franchise.

★★★★☆

 

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Bookstooge & Star Wars: A Tragedy of Shakespearian Proportion

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Last month (or so) Ola and Pio from Re-Enchantment of the World, did a Nostalgia post on Star Wars.  If you haven’t read it and have any love of Star Wars, I highly recommend their post, it was fantastic! It also reminded me that I had been a big fan of Star Wars for a very long time.

I know that now whenever Star Wars is now mentioned I’m pretty negative about it. I don’t keep that a secret, whether it is about the books or new movies. But it wasn’t always that way.

I was born in the late 70’s and by the time Return of the Jedi had come out I was aware enough of Star Wars to know how awesome it was. Of course, that was mainly because a neighbor boy had almost all the toys.  But I became very well versed in the Star Wars lore based on those toys.  As time passed I watched the movies from the library, on vhs.  You might say I was as much a naive farm boy was Luke ever was.

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When the Special Edition vhs editions came out in ’97, I bought them and me and my siblings and some friends had a Star Wars party. I don’t remember what everyone dressed up as, but it was cool. We were pretty cool in fact and we loved Star Wars. Even now, when I don’t have a vhs player or anyway to watch these, I’m not giving them away. They have Memory Value to me, big time.

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After that, I began to devour the Star Wars Extended Universe books. The Thrawn Trilogy was my gateway, like for so many other people and it just went on from there. The EU was really expanding and a new Star Wars book would come out every couple of months it seemed like. Even with the bad ones I felt like I was swimming in gravy. When you’re 19, a year is a long time and anything from a niche cult classic was good.

I bought, played and beat the Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight video game on both Light and Dark paths.

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I bought the boxset of the audio tracks for the original trilogy too.

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Then the prequels came out. I can remember how EXCITED I was for Episode One.  I remember hearing someone say they didn’t think it was that great and I distinctly know the word “blasphemy” sped across my mind. I was convinced it was going to be so great.  On one of our field trips I saw the book in a bookshop and spent some of my very precious cash on it. I sat in the van the rest of the afternoon reading it instead of going on tours and seeing the Washington Monument and other such useless things. Star Wars was more important. Then I watched it with a group of guys at Bibleschool.  I enjoyed it immensely but deep down inside I realized exactly what that person who spoke blasphemy meant. It was not “Great” with a capital “G”.

But it didn’t matter because more and more books were coming out. Prequel books, Clone War era books, then the massive 21 books series collectively known as the New Jedi Order.  More and more and more books. The rest of the prequel movies came out as well and that was when everyone realized Lucas wasn’t the genius behind the original trilogy. We got lucky he didn’t direct them. But I still loved Star Wars.

Star Wars had moved from the Niche Cult Classic into the Main Stream and I was a fan. I watched Star Wars, I read Star Wars, I played Star Wars, I listened to Star Wars.

**STRONG AND PROFANE LANGUAGE. I APOLOGIZE AHEAD OF TIME**

Sadly, the prequels were the first small step onto my journey towards becoming a Non-Fan. When Lucas released the original trilogy on dvd for the first time, he fucked every fan in the ass with no lube, laughed at us and told us to shut the fuck up and ask for more. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please feel free to ask in the comments.

***END STRONG AND PROFANE LANGUAGE***

But the books kept on rolling out. The EU was growing. New characters were trying to emerge. Then the next big hit came. In 2014 the EU was declared Non-Canon. It was unceremoniously chucked out the window to make room for Disney, which Lucas had sold Star Wars to. Star Wars was now a common franchise whore. No longer a precious jewel to be cherished by her fans but a wildly successful money maker. George Lucas knew no shame and Disney never had any.

My hope, while just an ember, was still producing heat. The Force Awakens would surely redeem all these business decisions, right? Then I watched the movie and my final flame of hope flickered out.  Star Wars was now nothing but grey ash that greedy bullies had pissed all over.  A literal lifetime of fandom was dead. The only lesson I learned was to never become too invested in something you don’t control, because some jerk will eventually destroy it. Thus my Journey from Farmboy Jones to Darth Bookstooge was completed. (Man, I’m depressing myself here. Sorry about that.)

There is no happy ending for me here. The best I can do is to try to not rain on other peoples’ blogs when they go on about new Star Wars books and even then I know I’m not successful. See, I told you this was a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare.

 

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ps,

My apologies for dragging Ola and Pio’s wonderfully upbeat post into such a sad one.

♪How do you solve a problem ♪like♪ Star Wars♪? (Parto Seiso)

After the NJO, Jacen Solo, aka Darth Cadeus, becomes head of the Galactic Alliance and begins to secretly recruit Ben Skywalker as his apprentice. Ben is having none of it though. Cadeus openly reveals himself as Sith and begins to follow in his Grandfather’s footsteps. Jaina, as Sword of the Jedi, cuts him down like a two dollar box of cardboard. This is the Legacy of the Force.

Next up was Fate of the Jedi. Luke has withdrawn after his complete failure with Jacen and it is up to the other Jedi to keep the Academy running. Unfortunately, Jedi begin going mad on Coruscant and killing until brought down and sedated. Admiral Daala becomes head of the GA and outlaws the Jedi and institutes a hunt that makes Order 66 look like childs play.

Now if certain ideas sound familiar, that is because the new movies stole ideas left and right from the old EU books. Of course, they stole all the crap and produced crap films.  By the end of FotJ, I was done. When a whole planet of Sith was revealed, I just gave up.  Then Lucas Arts announced that the EU books were no longer canon and everything that I had been following was now just fan-fic. Stabbed in the back by Lucas himself.

 

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Traviss keeps her Mando story going. Interesting, until it was simply shut down. Bleh.

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Han and Leia have seen one child die and another turn to the darkside. Oh, and that darksider? He kills Mara, Luke’s wife. What a guy!

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Han and Leia now have to watch their daughter kill their son. How much misery does this poor couple have to endure?

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The Jedi go crazy and Luke and Ben try to figure out why

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Admiral Daala, former Imperial, is now in charge. And a planet of Sith are revealed.

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At this point I don’t remember the storyline, except that all the characters who were meant to carry the Star Wars Torch have fallen by the wayside. Bad writing, bad planning, bad ideas

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The last 3 Star Wars books I bought. Even as I bought them I knew they couldn’t save my interest. A drowning man’s final desperate grasp onto a sinking straw. In other words, doomed to failure.

 

So there you have it folks. 6 days of Star Wars covers. What am I supposed to do with them all? I simply don’t want them any more and worst case, I’ll throw them away. Second worst case is I donate them to a fundraiser my cousin’s stepson regularly participates in. Best case is I sell them for free on Craigslist and score some cash.

Well, whatever. I’m over my reading funk by sheer dint of being bored out of my skull.  Tomorrow I am going to read all day and make a Survival Saturday post. A good book by Adrian Tchaikovsky and some “interesting” food, sounds like a perfect way to spend my Saturday.

 

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♪How do you solve a problem ♪like♪ Star Wars♪? (Parto Fiveo)

In the deep depths of space, there is only war, continual war…

…..

Oh wait, wrong franchise.

Sadly, someone should have told that to the editors crafting the next series of Star Wars books. The New Jedi Order was 20+ books long and was nothing but the Star Wars Galaxy fighting off an alien invasion. It delved deeply into grim territory. Back in the Correllian Trilogy and other books, Luke and Mara had a son named Ben. Han and Leia had 3 kids, Jacen, Jain and Anakin. These series were meant to pass on the story torch to a new generation. Sadly, hardly one author could do so and the storylines after NJO became even more convoluted and outlandish. The Star Wars torch began to gutter out.

 

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The Yuuhzon Vong invade. They worship pain and are outside the Force

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Also, they are a complete culture of warriors. And Chewie dies.

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Jaina begins her training as Sword of the Jedi while Jacen begins flirting with the Dark Side

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Anakin sacrifices himself and Luke brings the Yuuzhon Vong into the Force

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Bugs and a wicked bad storyline

 

Folks, there was simply nothing good about these books. Redemption was swept aside and carnage, on a planetary scale, was the name of the game. Surely things will get better from here every fan asked…

 

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♪How do you solve a problem ♪like♪ Star Wars♪? (Parto Cuatroo)

These books show some of the best of the EU and some of the worst. Writers, while not quite having a blank check, did not have a lot of backstory to worry about or future story to worry about. It was a wide open range and they wrote with all the vigor of a herd of buffalos. Some of the writings smelled like a herd of buffalos had camped too. Win some and lose some I guess.

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We’re keeping the X-Wing books.

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Stackpole wrote well….

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…and Allston wrote funny

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One of these books wa a real stinker. Hint- it wasn’t the one where Han woos Leia…

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Anderson wrote a hack trilogy

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Before there was Mara Jade, there was Callista. She was supposed to be a love interest for Luke. Didn’t work out.

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Only a Star Wars Completist would read either of these!

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Thus the taming of Star Wars was complete

 

After these books, the Star Wars EU entered into real Franchise territory, with large storylines being plotted out by editors and multiple authors taking up the mantle. Honestly, the Powers that Be wanted Star Wars to be edgier, grittier and darker. I feel that these books here, no matter how badly written, still captured the spirit of hope and redemption that was showcased in the original movies. Prepare yourselves for dark times ahead.

 

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♪How do you solve a problem ♪like♪ Star Wars♪? (Parto Treso)

Ok, it is only Wednesday and I’ve already watched way more Youtube than I ever want to for the rest of my life. I feel like my brain has inhaled whole bottles of spray cheese.

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Poodles are to Dogs what Easy Cheese is to Cheese

Ughh. How do people DO this? I think I’m ready to read just about anything, even a romance! *shudder*

 

Ok, now we are moving on to books immediately surrounding the first movie trilogy, with Luke, Han and Leia taking centerstage, as they should.

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A treso of trilogies. Han Solo Adventures are WAY better than the Han Solo Trilogy

 

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The Han Solo Adventures in individual hardcovers. Written in 1979 and 1980. Awesome baby!

 

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Yoda was BLUE in the novelization. Weird huh?

 

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I call these the Miquels, as they take place in the Middle of the trilogy between the main events

 

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These “Tales” books were good, except for the Bounty Hunter Wars. That was bad.

 

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Quite possibly the worst Star Wars book I ever read.  Tied with The Crystal Star, which will be in another post

Alien reptiles in robot bodies that eat the Force. THAT is the quality of story you got in one of these books. I doubt you have to guess very hard which one. You can’t fake this folks, it really was written about and worked into the now defunct EU canon. This was the beginning of the Wild West Era of Star Wars. Luke smashed moons together, Han flew the galaxy. Leia, well, honestly, she didn’t do a whole lot yet. But don’t worry, her heyday is just around the corner.

 

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♪How do you solve a problem ♪like♪ Star Wars♪? (Parto Doso)

Since the last couple of reads I’ve had just plain stank, I’m taking a week long break from reading and posting reviews. I’m wasting my time on Youtube, so that I can feel ever so superior once I stop next week and posting book covers to keep my blog alive.

Self-Righteous Nihilism without apology. And anger. Because Star Wars used to be great (even if the stories were terrible, and let me tell you, some of them were B-A-D!!!!!) and now it’s drunk and puking in the gutters, begging for spare change from any passing stranger. Even Forgotten Realms has more dignity these days.

So hearken back with me to the glory days when we all thought Star Wars could be great again.

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Traviss could write, but man, did she hate the very idea of the Jedi and she let that hatred shine on through in her writing

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Half of these books were pretty good and the other half really stank

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The novelization of the Revenge of the Sith was probably one of the best Star Wars books I have ever read. If the movie had been half as good, it would have been the best Star Wars movie anyone had ever seen

 

And this brings us up to the Infamous Episode 3.  That movie was a dagger in the heart of a lot of fans. Not the story necessarily, but the poor acting, poor writing and poor directing. Lucas is squarely to blame.  It took a lot of “I love Star Wars” for me to buy some of these back in the day.

 

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♪How do you solve a problem ♪like♪ Star Wars♪? (Parto Uno)

What with having 4 books in a row just be beyond stinkers, I’m taking a break from reading for a week.

I used to be a huge star wars fan. But that fandom began its death back in ’12 or so and its death throes happened when I watched The Force Awakens. I had been collecting Star Wars books ever since the 90’s though and continued to buy them in hardcover from the Science Fiction Book Club up until I bought  Kenobi near the end of ’13.  I have accumulated a lot of Star Wars novels, with most of them being in hardcover. They take up 3 shelves, double stacked, on one of my book shelves and honestly, it is time for them to go. Mrs B wants to keep the X-Wing books as they are just good adventure stories, star wars or no star wars.

I don’t know what to do with them all now. So before I make any decisions, I’m just going to do a couple of posts showcasing them all so if I ever feel regret once they’re gone, I can simply look at these posts and be all good.

 

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From the very failed Old Republic video game novel tie-ins

 

 

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Darth Bane Trilogy

 

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Prequels leading up to Episode One aka The Phantom Menace

 

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All 4 variant covers for Episode One.

 

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Prequels leading up to Episode Two, aka Attack of the Clones

 

 

 

I’ve tried to group my books together by Era, which seems the best way. I believe it is all chronological, but with them no longer being canon, who knows.  14 books, with about 90+ more to go. Hope you all like Star Wars covers 😉

 

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The Jedi Doth Return (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars #3)

5fd17a25cc4b7d74e6ea8ccc06138926This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Jedi Doth Return

Series: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

Author: Ian Doescher

Rating: 4 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: SFF

Minutes: 215

Format: Audio book

 

 

 

Synopsis:

No summary, why bother? I know this story beyond what I care about.

 

My Thoughts:

I ended up listening to half of this while working at the office the other weekend. And that was a problem. I knew this story, so I didn’t feel it necessary to actually listen to this and hence I would simply zone out and miss huge chunks of the story.

Which was ok since I knew the story.

But if this had been another book, it would have been a complete failure and I would have missed so much that nothing would have made sense. It did make me realize that I can only listen to audiobooks while driving to and from work.