Author Topic: Best OT-era Novels/Books?  (Read 1846 times)

Offline Brian

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Best OT-era Novels/Books?
« on: May 2, 2008, 04:15 PM »
I was just curious if anyone here could recommend some good OT-era books.  I have the Thrawn trilogy, which I'm in the process of re-reading, but beyond that I know next to nothing about what is good out there.  There are so many books at this point, its hard to keep track.  Anyways, are there any books (or book series) in particular that you might recommend?  I think I've heard positive things about X-Wing books (featuring Wedge?), and some other ones as well.  Although I'm sure there are a lot of great books from throughout all time periods, I guess I find myself most interested in reading in the OT-time frame - or at least about those characters that began in the Original Trilogy.  Anyways, sorry for my lack of knowledge on these books overall - I'm kind of just dipping into the "EU" books for the first time outside of Thrawn and the Han Solo Trilogy - but does anyone have any recommendations?

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Best OT-era Novels/Books?
« Reply #1 on: May 5, 2008, 03:52 PM »
The "Tales Of...." books are OT based for the most part...  They're ok.  A mix of good/mediocre/bad stories ultimately.  Probably more good/mdiocre.

Shadows of the Empire is a must-read but there's aspects of it I dislike.

Zahn just wrote a new OT-era book that I believe takes place post-ANH, and it's on sale at my Borders so it probably is at yours too.  I'd give that a shot though considering he's a pretty good author.

The X-Wing novels I'm trying to recall now if they're OT or post-OT.  I'm thinking they're post-OT like the Zahn Trilogy is.  Give them a go though.  They're decent if you're into piloting/action stuff.  I think some of their storylines get a little out there, but some are pretty nice.

As EU goes I find more "fun" in some of the comics than novels actually...  I've been enjoying the Rep. Commando series of late though, not that it's OT or anything.  It's still good and now I need to find the 2nd book to buy.
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Offline Muftak

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Re: Best OT-era Novels/Books?
« Reply #2 on: May 5, 2008, 05:37 PM »
Running stuff down off the top of my head. Some of this stuff I read quite some time ago, so I can't give more than my "ten years later" impressions...

Hand of Thrawn duology...Zahn closed the Ballantine era with these two books, tying up a lot of the unanswered questions from his trilogy. It's an easy pick up ten years or so after the Last Command, and I really like the fact that while it references EU from in the meantime, you don't need to have read any of it to get into the story. It just picks up Zahn's characters (and the OT heroes, of course) and keeps the story going. Not as good as the original, but a nice ending to the story.

X-Wing series...I'd say read 'em, there's a good long series between Stackpole's Rogue Squadron books and Allston's Wraith Squadron books. Probably the two best Star Wars authors, right up there with Zahn's early stuff. Wraith Squadron doesn't get nearly the credit it deserves, it really is a fun and engaging series. Allston is the only Star Wars author to make me laugh out loud at least once a novel.

Jedi Academy series...pass on this one. Anderson's writing is pretty much god-awful. The rebuilding of the Jedi order begins here, though, so there are some fairly "important" EU developments. I'd suggest reading "I, Jedi" instead, as it covers the same ground from an X-Wing character's first-person point of view as one of the new Jedi and actually is a lot more believable.

Courtship of Princess Leia...I found this book to be very enjoyable. Of the early EU novels, this one feels the most like a movie sequel. Opinions here vary wildly, some hate it as much as I hate the Academy books.

I'd avoid the rest of the old Ballantine stuff, it is just not neccessary and not all that much fun.

Zahn's more recent stuff...Survivor's Quest, Outbound Flight, and Alliegance were just okay. Outbound Flight is a retcon of the Outbound Flight (led by Jorus C'Baoth) into the prequel era as we now know it. It is interesting, but set in the PT era and not really fitting your requirements here. Allegiance was not what I was expecting at all, in a bad way unfortunately. It was written well, I guess, but not really the story I thought I would be getting. It's set between ANH and ESB, and it does have Luke, Han and Leia of that era, but it's not about the OT heroes.

There was also a recent novel about the building of the Death Star (called Death Star) that you can skip, unless you're a fan of those 70's disaster movies (seriously, the book is Towering Inferno in Space.) Shadows of the Empire was not a fun read, though it has aspects I found to enrich my enjoyment of the OT.

To sum up (sorry!) my suggested reading list would go like this:

--reread Zahn trilogy
--X-wing: Rogue Squadron series (Michael Stackpole)
--X:Wing: Wraith Squadron series (Aaron Allston)
--I, Jedi (Michael Stackpole)
--Hand of Thrawn duology (Timothy Zahn)
--The Courtship of Princess Leia (Dave Wolverton)

Offline Brian

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Re: Best OT-era Novels/Books?
« Reply #3 on: May 6, 2008, 11:26 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions and info guys.  Its not that I'm against prequel EU or anything, as I'm sure there are a lot more of those books from the past 10 years or so, but I seem to enjoy the OT-based stuff better.  It doesn't necessarily have to fit within the three movies timeframe (ANH to ROTJ), but involves the same basic characters of that era (like the Zahn trilogy does).  I've just been looking to branch out into Star Wars books a bit more, and thought I'd start with the OT.  Thanks so much for the suggestions, I'll have to look into some of those.  There's so much out there, and I wasn't sure where to start.  I've never read things like "Splinter of the Mind's Eye", and opinions seem to vary on that.  I have the Han Solo trilogy (partially finished), but haven't picked up anything else like that yet either.  Anyways, thanks again.

Offline Keonobi

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Re: Best OT-era Novels/Books?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2008, 04:56 PM »
I read the Boba Fett triology a couple years ago.  Basically Boba doesn't die in the Rancor, gets saved by Dengar and then takes down the bounty hunter guild.  I found it kind of hard to follow and a bit out there.  I'd skip that one.

The X-Wing books drew me in and were good reading.  I'd recommend those.

Timothy Zahn books tend to be very safe bets, though some are better than others.

Muftak is right, don't read the Jedi Academy series expecting it to be like the Thrawn trilogy, its not.  Though I read I, Jedi before I read the Jedi Academy series and it seemed to kind of speed through some of the slower parts.
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