Author Topic: n00b that's behind by about 10 years, that's me (as usual)  (Read 1010 times)

Offline Mitsukara

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Okay, I just finished reading the Thrawn trilogy for the first time a couple months ago, and I absolutely loved it! The writing style wasn't bad at all, and the storyline was quite interesting. Like most who've read these books I think, it left me wanting for more though, not because it was lacking but because it basically opens up the storyline possibilities instead of coming to an entirely grand close.

That said, these are the only EU books I've read... I've (from several years ago) come into posession of copies of Showdown at Centerpoint and Before the Storm, but while the Corellian trilogy sounds very interesting, I really should read it from the beginning when I read it. Before the Storm, I haven't yet felt enthusiastic enough to read.

So I'm wondering what I should read next. There are many equally valid choices from what I can tell. Shadows of the Empire sounds interesting on account of how it ties in to ESB and ROTJ so directly, The Truce at Bakura sounds somewhat interesting, The Courtship of Princess Leia sounds pretty fun, Splinter of the Mind's eye sounds a bit on the wacky side but is interesting... and then there's the matter of reading things set after the Thrawn trilogy, too.

I really don't feel a desire to read the New Jedi Order books nor the Swarm War books, because while there is some appeal in the concept, they sound pretty dark and depressing and that's really not my forte. I like lighter stories, or dramatic stories that end well (Perhaps I should point out Return of the Jedi is my favorite out of all six movies, with ESB second). I really enjoy romantic comedies if they aren't dull, as well (mostly I read manga of this type rather than watching movies and such).

I do, however, want to read more about Mara Jade and our movie heroes (Luke/Leia/Han/Lando/Chewbacca/R2D2/C3PO) and the Solo children. I really liked Thrawn's character so I'm eager to read some pieces that tie into him and some where he actually appears (eventually I might read Outbound Flight primarily for the sake of reading Thrawn with Anakin and Obi Wan appearances as a bonus, unless the book is like really awful somehow). Survivor's Quest sounds like a pretty interesting book, but I don't think I'm ready for it storyline-wise.

I've thought about the Jedi Academy trilogy; I thought it sounded interesting in a way, but I've yet to see a review that didn't dismiss it as bantha poodoo. And on top of that I can't even figure out what "I, Jedi" is about nor how it ties in, nor if it meshes with the other EU books...

The Corellian Trilogy as I said sounds interesting, but like Survivor's Quest, I feel a need to read more backstory from books in between there and the Thrawn trilogy before I'm ready to jump in with it.

Anyway, at the moment I'm hoping to buy a novel in a couple weeks when I get a chance to go to a nice bookstore; so I'm wondering if anyone has some recommendations or advice on what I should read/what order to read it in. Thanks to anyone who can help!

Offline Angry Ewok

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Re: n00b that's behind by about 10 years, that's me (as usual)
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2006, 10:55 AM »
My advice is to first read Shadows of the Empire. This is one of the earliest EU books, and still standing as one of the greatest. Because it's inbedded inbetween ESB and ROTJ, it still uses the main OT cast without butchering them up the way alot of the post-Thrawn books have done.

Secondly, just skip out on The Truce at Bakura. To me, it was just boring as hell. I can't remember much about the book, except that it took alot of effort to finish it. I wouldn't have if I wasn't a completetist in that sense.

You might want to try to read Splinter of the Mind's eye... because you may like it, but you may also find it incredibly lame... I found it to be somewhat disapointing, but probably because it tried to spin itself like the Thrawn trilogy - if you go into the book knowing that it's nowhere near the same level as the Thrawn trilogy, you may enjoy it more than I did. There's your forewarning.

You didn't mention the Rogue Squadron books, so I'm guessing you haven't heard of these. Please, for the love of god, go and pick up the first book of the Rogue Squad series, titled X-Wing: Rogue Squadron (I've always thought that its lame they titled the entire series X-Wing). If I remember correctly, there are about 8 books in this series, all of them involving the Rogue Squadron (lead by Wedge Antilles) and their fight against the crumbling Empire. Some of the latter books get kinda shoddy, but for the most part, the series is very sound.

If you're not scared - try some of the Young Jedi Knight books. They're pretty good, even though directed towards a much younger audience. I believe there are 13 of these books, all of them involve the teenage Solo kids and Luke Skywalker's re-building of the Jedi Order.

Have you thought about reading any prequel era books?

If so, definately read Shatterpoint first. Shatterpoint is like 'Heart of Darkness' meets Mace Windu.

Also read Republic Commando.

Stay away from most others, although I enjoyed most the Clone Wars Medic two-part story.



Maybe this has helped.



Offline Mitsukara

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Re: n00b that's behind by about 10 years, that's me (as usual)
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2006, 03:00 PM »
Thanks! This advice does help quite a bit. I'd heard a little about the X Wing/Rogue Squadron books but kinda forgot to look into them much. I should, though...

At the moment, I think I'm leaning on The Courtship of Princess Leia, Shadows of the Empire, or Splinter of the Mind's Eye as my next purchase. I'll have to decide when I get to the bookstore I suppose ^^

By the way- does a paperback version of the Courtship of Princess Leia exist with the original cover (with the wedding outfits/Prince Isolder/star destroyers in the background as opposed to the endor-type gear and the Rancor), or was that only on the hardbound? Used hardbounds sell for cheaper than paperbacks anyway, so if I feel comfortable holding the book to read it I might buy that version instead (whenever I buy it).

The prequel era is kind of interesting, but not something I'm really looking to get into yet. I'm pretty enchanted with the "New Republic Era" thanks to the Thrawn trilogy and in part to a love for Return of the Jedi, but I'll have to see as I read more books.

One of my primary disappointments, though, in my choices of what to read next is that I'll be seeing no progression at all with Mara Jade's storyline. I'm really kinda eager to read what comes next there...

I suspect I'll read The Truce at Bakura eventually, but I'm not just itching to get to it either. I'll probably have time for it sometime...

The Jedi Academy trilogy doesn't sound all that good, but it has the virtue of being next (I think?) after the Thrawn trilogy, beginning Luke's efforts to rebuild the Jedi Order, and I think Mara Jade appears in the third book. Is this series skippable or something that should be choked down if you really want to know this part of the storyline? Or maybe even something good that's underrated?

Eventually I might read the Young Jedi Knights series...

EDIT: I totally forgot to mention it, buy I have copies of the Lando Calrissian Adventures (you know, "The Mindharp of Sharu" and such) and the first book of the "Han Solo Trilogy" ("The Paradise Snare"). Perhaps I should read those sometime? I think there was also a book similar to the Lando Calrissian Adventures that had to do with Han and Chewie in the few years preceeding ANH. I don't know much about it- does anyone have some reccomendations on that?
« Last Edit: March 27, 2006, 03:06 PM by Mitsukara »

Offline Clone Commander

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Re: n00b that's behind by about 10 years, that's me (as usual)
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2006, 06:34 PM »
Read Shadows of the Empire!
Its awesome!  ;D
Clone Commander Appo.

Offline Mitsukara

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Re: n00b that's behind by about 10 years, that's me (as usual)
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2006, 09:41 PM »
Hmm... I think I'll put off buying Splinter of the Mind's Eye and go for The Courtship of Princess Leia and Shadows of the Empire first. Maybe if they still have the cheaper hardbout of COPL (nice abbreviation) I can afford to buy both... we'll see.

Thanks again for your reccomendations!

Offline Jesse James

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Re: n00b that's behind by about 10 years, that's me (as usual)
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2006, 11:21 PM »
See now, to me SOTE is a weaker effort than the Zahn trilogy...  I felt that anything that implied in it what it did (I'm trying not to spoil it for you) was a really bad way to take the story...  I didn't care for that.

That said I thought some of the new characters were interesting, I thought it did fill a gap...  I was mostly irritated with only a single aspect of the story rather than anything overall. 

I found SOTE to be mediocre...  OK, not something you felt ripped off after you read it, but ok...

Some stuff I found good reads...

-X-Wing (Comics & Novels)...  There's a number of these, they're good reads...  If you're really military oriented though may I suggest picking up the strategy guide to the original X-Wing and TIE Fighter PC games.  The guides are also the stories of the main pilot characters in both books (The "Farlander Papers" and "Steele Chronicles" are the actual names of the stories).  They're sort of their own thing, set aside from the X-Wing Rogue Squad books/comics but worth picking up with those IMO.  Hell, play the games, they're part of the story too. :)  The TIE Fighter story is interesting in particular because it integrates the story of Thrawn and how he goes from Vice Admiral in the Imperial Fleet to Grand Admiral...  You'll like it I think, though he's not a "main" character in the story.  It expounds a little on the "Secret Order" of assassins, and such that work under the Emperor's PERSONAL guidance...  Force adepts are more abundant in the galaxy than you might think, and Mara  isn't the only instrument the Emperor weilds...  I'll leave it at that. ;)

-Kyle Katarn's Story...  Kinda like the above with the games, Katarn's got 3 books dedicated to him and of course his games (Dark Forces and Jedi Knight being the integral parts of his story with 2 latter games and the add-on Mysteries of the Sith also adding to it but later in his life).  The Katarn story is, in my opinion, one of the best EU stories in all of Star Wars.  The story in the games is superior to the books, but you'll have that sometimes.  They're short reads though, very small, so they're worth it.

-Star Wars: Empire...  It's a recent, and still going, comic series.  I buy them when they put them all in one volume (trade paperback?  Graphic Novel?  Whatever they call them), and I found them highly enjoyable.  The one where the Empire are fighting the Amanin (Amanaman's species) is great...  It's like the Michael Caine movie about Rourke's Drift...  Very cool story, and really the whole Empire series is interesting to me.

-Star Wars: Tales...  This was just cancelled I guess but it was great while it was alive.  The comic series was neat because it was a number of short stories in one issue.  I got into it later so there's a lot I didn't read.  I need to buy these when they're all bound in one book or a number of "volumes" like Empire gets.  There were some ****** stories but some were pretty fantastic too.

-Republic Commando...  I haven't read the latest book, and to be honest I haven't read the first book, but I hear nothing but praise for the first with some mixed reviews on the second.  I highly suggest picking up Republic Commando though as it's on my to-read list.

-Tales of _______...  The "Tales of" series (Cantina, Jabba's Palace) is considered pretty good.  It has some flawed stories in it in my opinion.  With some weak attempts to ALWAYS tie main characters and things to basically "nothing", I think it exemplifies some negatives to EU IMO...  At the same time there's some cooler elements worth reading.  Most I know have picked these up.

-New Jedi Order...  It's a big series, and honestly I'm not a huge fan of it but I know others are.  It'd be irresponsible of me to say skip it then.  It's about the only way to read up on what happens to the Solo's and Skywalkers.  Other characters sneak into it too including (drum roll) Kyle Katarn and Keyan Farlander from 2 of the video games I mentioned...  Bit parts though as I understand it.

NJO is filled with some positives (IE: The NJO itself and how Skywalker reforms the Jedi Knights and Academy), and some not-so-positives (IE: Killing Chewbacca as a selling point rather than plot, other random killings to sell books, The Vong which I view as Star Trek rip-offs, etc.).  It's a popular series though so I think it's worth looking into...

I do NOT recommend Splinter of the Mind's Eye, Truce At Bakura, or Courtship...  I've read all 3, all 3 were disappointing to me in many ways.  Also I'd highly suggest not reading Dark Empire II...  Dark Empire I is eh...  Dark Empire II was corny and cheap.

I'm pretty picky though...  I like a lot of EU but for every good bit I enjoy there's probably 5 things I can't stand.  EU has an uncanny knack for trying to tie the main characters to every passer-by seen in the films or made up in books.  It's annoying really...  Add to that dumb stuff like the "Bantha Bar & Grill", or keeping EVERY character alive despite their assumed deaths in the films, and you can get into some annoyi8ng crap.

With that said...  The Boba Fett comics of the 90's aren't bad reads...  To be honest I even have been converted from a guy who HATED the idea of Fett "surviving" the Sarlaac to now actually digging that the Mandalorian one didn't necessarilly die...  if you like EU that is. ;)  Lucas says he died...  Armies of Fett Fanboys say otherwise, so that's the great hting about EU.  YOu can pick and choose what to believe.

I used to hate the notion and now I kind of dig seeing Fett resurface...  As old as he must be at that point, haha.  At some point the guy's gotta hang up the gauntlets though you figure. ;)
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Offline Mitsukara

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Re: n00b that's behind by about 10 years, that's me (as usual)
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2006, 12:03 AM »
Hmm... there's quite a few of those I hadn't really heard much about, and I'm pretty curious about it. And now you've got me all worried about what SOTE tries to imply...

I've noticed a lot of mixed opinion on pretty much every piece of EU I've seen reviewed except the Thrawn Trilogy, so I'm well aware of the gray areas I'm looking to delve into. Which is why hearing more opinions helps, certainly...

I suspect the Courtship of Princess Leia isn't so much a great and deep story, so much as the novel overall sounds like fun and I'm interested to see the missing link between Han and Leia's relationship in ROTJ and their married life in the Thrawn Trilogy. I might decide it sucks, but it sounds worth looking into.

Everything else I'm kind of muddling along on really, although SOTE's ominous following/marketing/timeline placement make me curious enough to want to see what it's about. Rather I'll like it or not... who knows.

Splinter of the Mind's Eye sounds corny as heck, and as such I suspect I'll get a kick out of it. A quasi-hokey continuation of ANH with no knowledge of any other Star Wars and a lot of key parts missing (that mostly directed at Han and Chewie) do not sound to a deep and powerful continuation make, but the very title and plot overviews sound funny, and thus it sparks my curiousity.

The NJO, I just really don't think I'd like because of how dark it seems to be. I don't really want to read about Chewbacca and others dying needlessly at the hands of horrible super-aliens (who are supposedly like Borg ripoffs anyway), with the New Republic we're supposed to care about in previous books getting ripped apart and Coruscant essentially destroyed. Alcoholic Han Solo? Anakin Solo dying? And everyone who survives the mayhem constantly stressed and struggling for survival? It all sounds about as much fun as a hole in the head to me, even with the New Jedi Order itself and the progression with Luke and Mara and all the other important storyline points, sorry :( It's kind of like having another episode III after the original trilogy and the rest of the EU, and that's no fun.

Cheesy or unrealistic as it may be of me, also, I don't really like to imagine the main characters of the Star Wars movies growing old only to enjoy another huge war worse than "the big one." It's not that I need them to ride off into the sunset; I like the Thrawn Trilogy, how it puts things in peril and the characters face some pretty big personal challenges and a lot of progression in their lives, but it doesn't screw things up. The NJO screws things up forever, pure and simple.

Fett is awesome, and I can definately swallow him surviving. Palpatine is another story, and while it sounds like it might be enjoyable to read, Dark Empire sounds kind of bogus to me storyline-wise.

The X-Wing books I need to look into, or at least the first one, but right at the moment I'm looking for more original main charachter-motivated stories, so I don't think I'll pick that up next, just before long.

I'm still puzzled though- all the interesting pre-Thrawn trilogy stuff aside, what the heck should I read next in line after the Thrawn Trilogy, if I'm wanting to go timeline-wise? The Jedi Academy trilogy, or skip it and move on to something later? I still might read the Jedi Academy trilogy even if it is horrible, if it contains some kind of vital plot points forwarding the series.

And I do eventually want to read Timothy Zahn's other books I think- the mediocrely recieved "Hand of Thrawn" duology, Survivor's Quest, and probably Outbound Flight. I pretty much liked his storyline style and I love the charachter of Thrawn so I'd probably be interested in the vague and direct tie-ins with him. And a focus on Mara Jade is likely a good thing too

And, as I said, I'd kinda like to get to the Corellian Trilogy someday...

Offline Angry Ewok

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Re: n00b that's behind by about 10 years, that's me (as usual)
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2006, 07:05 PM »
Tales of _______...  The "Tales of" series (Cantina, Jabba's Palace) is considered pretty good.  It has some flawed stories in it in my opinion.  With some weak attempts to ALWAYS tie main characters and things to basically "nothing", I think it exemplifies some negatives to EU IMO...  At the same time there's some cooler elements worth reading.  Most I know have picked these up.

There is also Tales of the New Republic. And yes, while there are several horrible stories in these, thankfully there are several that are well worth reading - redeeming? I don't know.

I'd like to again stress that the Hand of Thrawn duo is pretty disapointing.

Oh, and let us know how you like Courtship of Princess Leia - I never did get that one.

Offline Mitsukara

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Re: n00b that's behind by about 10 years, that's me (as usual)
« Reply #8 on: April 6, 2006, 08:47 PM »
Well, I didn't wind up buying what I'd planned entirely: I got The Courtship of Princess Leia, Jedi Search (Jedi Academy trilogy book 1), and a used (and thus half-priced, but it's in good condition) copy of Specter of the Past (Hand of Thrawn 1). I'm planning to read either Courtship or Jedi Search next; I've kind of researched Dark Empire so I know some of the general plot points there, so Jedi Search shouldn't lose me too much hopefully.

At the moment I'm actually reading The Lando Calrissian Adventures... it's quite funny, sometimes in unintended ways, but I'm enjoying it overall. I can see where people say the book is nonsense, but it's enjoyable if you don't take it too seriously :)

Thank you for your reccomendations! I'll get to other books someday when I get a chance. I'll also say what I think of some of these books once I've read them.