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View Full Version : Advice wanted from the book reading vets! (What SW book should I read next?)



mrmiller
05-10-2004, 12:28 AM
I just started reading the Star Wars books, and have never before read any of them. I'm one for the movies being cannon, but decided to get into the novels and have been hooked now.

I started with the Zahn Trilogy, and just finished it. I was going to go back and read Truce at Bakura and the Courtship of Princess Leia, then move forward from the Zahn Trilogy. The deal is, I want to get on to the New Jedi order as fast as possible (I hear it's great), and want to know the steps I should take.

I've seen the timelines, but I know that I don't need to read every bit in between, so I'm turning to those of you who may have read all the books and know how I should procede. My ideas are:

Jedi Academy Trilogy
Hand of Thrawn
The other Zhan boooks (Judges Call? and Survivors Quest)
New Jedi Order

Would that be acceptable, or would I miss out on some important stuff? Should I read the Young Jedi Knights series after the Zahn books and before the New Jedi Order? Are there any other key books I need to read that would set the others up?

I actually plan on reading all the books at one time or another, but many of the novels seem to be fairly self contained stories that don't build on the previous and later books, so I can read those anytime. I just want to get a flow for the books and get to the New Jedi Order.

Any help would be Great! Thanks!

=MATT=

elvandrik
05-10-2004, 09:55 AM
I kinda think most of the books suck, especially the NJO. I mean, the Yuzhan Vong are basically the bilogical version of the Borg from Star Trek. It doesn't even seem like Star Wars anymore. Also, they do way too many plotlines involving Han and Leia, and their kids. Honestly, there is no reason to keep rehashing the same characters. I wish they would write some stories about totally new characters. I mean, it's a big galaxy, why not explore some other inhabitants??
I thought shadows of the empire was ok. I'd say the best one I've read so far was Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter. That dealt with alot of fresh characters in the lead roles. Another thing I despise about the books with Luke, Leia, and han is that you know that there is no way that they are going to die, so there is no suspense whatsoever. I kind stand reading a story about a character who has overall script immunity. I compare it to watching a Harlem Globetrotters game. The other team might possibly win, but Don't bet the farm.

Rocketboy
05-10-2004, 10:52 AM
I say skip 'em all except Shadows of the Empire, the only one worth reading, IMO.
Shadows owns.

elvandrik
05-10-2004, 11:18 AM
I thought the Zahn trilogy really sucked. Most of the newer comic books from Dark Horse blow the novels away. Is it me, or is Grand Admiral Thrawn like some kind of cheesy James Bond Villain!?!??!

sith_killer_99
05-10-2004, 12:08 PM
It must be you.

Zahn is a teriffic writter. He weaves an intricate storyline and does a fantastic job with character development. But that's just my opinion. Some people don't like EU period, and some don't like the liberties that Zahn takes with the Star Wars universe. Admittedly, some of it is over the top, but overall good stuff.

I recommend following up with Spectre of the Past and Vision of the Future then on to Vector Prime if you wanna get to NJO as fast as possible.

Kidhuman
05-10-2004, 01:00 PM
I gotta back SK99 up on this one. The Zahn Trilogy actually got me into reading EU. I was always skeptical about it, but I was at the local Library and it was there so I picked it up. I have started reading Spectres and Visions and plan to move on from there. I read some of the NJO series, but stopped because I was kind of lost and went back to read the in betweens. You are on the right path Mr. Miller. Stray not or forever journey into the dark side of illiteracy. :beard:

Deoxyribonucleic
05-10-2004, 01:49 PM
Zahn's other books, "Specter of the Past" and "Vision of the Future" are really good too. I'd read those next after reading the Zahn Trilogy itself.

Some other really great books that got me more hooked on reading star wars are Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina and Tales from Jabba's Palace...all short stories about what's going on behind the scenes with the background characters...their point of view on certain events that take place in Star Wars and ROTJ.

There are some books that aren't as good as others and rather than just say "they sucked" and give no detail why, I'd have to say that the courtship of princess leia was one of the "not so good" books simply because the story/plot "jumped the shark" in my opinion. It was truly a ridiculous plot that to me belonged in a romance novel. I'd save that one for last, if at all.

Shadows was alright, but the NJO is much better IMO because there are some core characters who bite the dust so unlike someone else's POV, there is suspense in these here books because anyone is game for dying. Also, characters that you really get to know during the series, well, let's just say you never know what's going to happen to them.

I have never read any of the young jedi knights or young readers star wars books so I can't give my opinion on them, but I know there are others here on the boards that have and hopefully they'll let you know.

"Rogue Planet" by greg bear might be a good one to read before you start the NJO. It introduces some concepts/worlds/characters that come back in NJO.

"Point of Deception" by james luceno who also wrote the last book in the NJO series is also great and introduces the characters Luminara Unduli and Bariss Offee plus many others.

Last, I really enjoyed Tatooine Ghost by Troy Denning...it's some extra adventures that take place not too long after ROTJ with all the usual suspects.

Have fun with whichever ones you decide to read.

:)

El Chuxter
05-10-2004, 03:15 PM
You can safely skip over the Young Jedi Knights and Junior Jedi Knights books, but I'd recommend picking up The New Essential Guide to Characters (as well as the old one, which may or may not still be in print but has several characters not in the new version) and The Essential Chronology if you skip 'em. (Of course, you should pick them up eventually either way, but they'll help you understand who Tahiri and Tenel Ka and Ikrit and some of the other characters who roll over from the kids' series into the NJO are.)

You should definitely read Rogue Planet before you start the NJO, or at least before you start the second book. You'll get lost very, very quickly otherwise.

Corran Horn is a pretty major player in the NJO, so I'd recommend reading I, Jedi immediately after the Jedi Academy trilogy. But if you're in a hurry to get to the NJO, it's not a must. Just remember he's the coolest dude to ever swing a lightsaber. Well, maybe second to Mister Fisto. :D

The latest two books by Zahn (Survivor's Quest and the unpublished Outbound Flight (???)) aren't must-reads prior to the NJO.

The Chewbacca graphic novel is a highly recommended NJO tie-in, too, but do not read it before Vector Prime.

Most of the other stuff from the NJO that refers to other books that take place in years prior does a pretty good job of summing up what happened, so you can go back to it later.

Just be warned that the NJO is very hit and miss. Some books are incredible, and others you'll have to struggle through. The solo Jaina book is especially dreary.

Rocketboy
05-10-2004, 03:35 PM
Some other really great books that got me more hooked on reading star wars are Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina and Tales from Jabba's Palace...all short stories about what's going on behind the scenes with the background characters...their point of view on certain events that take place in Star Wars and ROTJ.I forgot about the Tales books. Jabba's Palace is a good one, with a subplot running through most of the short stories.


"Rogue Planet" by greg bear might be a good one to read before you start the NJO. It introduces some concepts/worlds/characters that come back in NJO.Rogue Planet is the book that killed any remaining hope I had for staying even remotely interested in the EU. There is only 1 memorable moment, in terms of character development, and the rest of the book was soo amazingly dull.
But for me it was the NJO that changed my feelings on whether or not the EU should even be considered part of the Star Wars universe. After the events of Vector Prime, with the exception of Shadows, it was a rock solid NO.

I did read the first 3 Jedi Apprentice books. Even though they were written for teens, they weren't too bad. At the time, I picked them up to see how Obi-wan became Qui-Gon's apprentice.

dr_evazan22
05-10-2004, 04:00 PM
Some good recommendations there for other SW books to read. And not to discount the comics, one of the major players in the NJO makes an appearance in Crimson Empire. The same character makes another appearance in ?Planet Of Twilight? ... Is that right guys?

mrmiller
05-10-2004, 10:58 PM
You should definitely read Rogue Planet before you start the NJO, or at least before you start the second book. You'll get lost very, very quickly otherwise.

Corran Horn is a pretty major player in the NJO, so I'd recommend reading I, Jedi immediately after the Jedi Academy trilogy. But if you're in a hurry to get to the NJO, it's not a must. Just remember he's the coolest dude to ever swing a lightsaber. Well, maybe second to Mister Fisto. :D


So I guess I should read the Jedi Academy Trilogy huh? I'll probably read that, I Jedi next, then the Hand of Thrawn series (Specter of the Past, Vision of the Future), lastly Rogue Planet, and then finally on to the NJO. I can read a book in about 2 days, so it will not take me too long to get there. After NJO I'll go back and do the others like the "Tales" books and other Zahn Novels. I'm just looking to build on the information, and not be confused when reading another book- like I missed something somewhere (I actually had a friend who went to see Return Of The King without seeing the other 2 movies :crazed: , and asked me 101 questions about them- I refuesd to answer and loaned him my extended DVD's :rolleyes: ).

Thanks for your help? Any other suggestions are greatly welcome, as I have about a week before I get through the Jedi Academy trilogy (which I think is next in the timeline anyhow).

Oh yea, are there book versions of Dark Empire and Crimson Empire? I'd like to get those too, but finding the comics now might be difficult. I guess there is proably a "graphic novel" of them out now with all the stories combined, but who knows if I can find that either.

=MATT=

Dr Zoltar
05-11-2004, 02:27 PM
I thought the Zahn trilogy really sucked. Most of the newer comic books from Dark Horse blow the novels away. Is it me, or is Grand Admiral Thrawn like some kind of cheesy James Bond Villain!?!??!
It's not just you. I thought the initial Zahn trilogy was awful. I got through the first book and part of the second and gave up. It was bad, really bad.

I might give the Shadows of the Empire book a try though.

mrmiller
05-11-2004, 09:55 PM
I liked the Zahn books, and the last one was the best. It was worth reading by far, so now I'm hooked.

On the comics- What is Empire's End? Is it the end of the Dark Empire series? I can't seem to find it anywhere. I can fing the graphic novels of Dark Empire and Dark Empire 2, as well as the individual comics, but I see nothing on Empire's End. Is it a must read?

=MATT=

Deoxyribonucleic
05-12-2004, 03:11 AM
I liked the Zahn books, and the last one was the best. It was worth reading by far, so now I'm hooked.

On the comics- What is Empire's End? Is it the end of the Dark Empire series? I can't seem to find it anywhere. I can fing the graphic novels of Dark Empire and Dark Empire 2, as well as the individual comics, but I see nothing on Empire's End. Is it a must read?

=MATT=

I think I might have an extra copy of each of Empire's End, I'll get back to you on that and if I find them, you are more than welcome to them!!

QLD
05-12-2004, 11:22 AM
Personally, I love the Zahn books. There aren't TOO many EU books I don't like, however. Unless they are written by Barbara Hambley (ugh!).

I may suggest reading the X-Wing/Rogue Squadron series. There are a lot of characters from that series in the NJO series of books as well.

El Chuxter
05-12-2004, 01:08 PM
Personally, I love the Zahn books. There aren't TOO many EU books I don't like, however. Unless they are written by Barbara Hambley (ugh!).

Or Vonda McIntyre. :eek: Seriously, if you only avoid one EU book, make it The Crystal Star. It's the kids getting kidnapped and repeatedly saying stupid cutesy things like, "Why you got be so mean?" And Luke Skywalker battles--I swear I'm not making this up--a gigantic sentient chunk of meat from another dimension.

Though it would've been kinda cool if it had somehow come out during the NJO that Waru only thought that's what he was, and he was actually the result of early experiments by the Yuuzhan Vong in the SW galaxy trying to bioengineer native species. . . .

mrmiller
05-12-2004, 01:10 PM
I think I might have an extra copy of each of Empire's End, I'll get back to you on that and if I find them, you are more than welcome to them!!
Man, I wish I would have got back to this thread sooner- I just baought them on EBAY. Doh!

I've started The Jedi Acadamay already, and they talked about the return of the Emperor. SO should I hold off until reading the Dark Empire Series? What I'm really getting at is: Does Luke's strugle with the Dark Side come into play? Do they refer to it a lot, or the Emperor? So far it was just a short bit saying something like, "And the Republic has overcome the return of the Emperor." So it wasn't that important, but made me curious.

Like I said before, I'll probably read everyting unless I here some "avoid at all costs" type responses, I just want to read what is important to the keep the flow correct.

=MATT=

QLD
05-12-2004, 01:12 PM
Honestly, in my opinion, it might just be best to read the books in the order of the timeline. Most of them are pertinent to the NJO series in one way or another. SOme of them are easily skippable (Hambley or McIntyre), but that is the best way to go, IMO. Because honestly, as much as I LIKE NJO, it is not the pinnacle of the reading.

El Chuxter
05-12-2004, 01:14 PM
I may be in a minority on this, but Dark Empire/Dark Empire II/Empire's End are definite skippers. It's like a bad Marvel comic from the 90s, only with SW characters. You get clones of the Emperor ad nauseum, bounty hunters coming back from the dead in droves (Boba, IG-88, and Dengar--let's not forget that Mara blew his head off in the Zahn books and someone had to come up with explanation that it was an impostor chasing her). All you need to know is Luke tried to defeat the Dark Side from within, failed, and was brought back to the light by Leia; then Han Solo completely undermined the power of Vader's destruction of the Emperor by simply shooting the 4,829th clone of Palpatine in the head.

mastermatt24
06-08-2004, 05:06 PM
Beings that you read so fast you might want to take a day or two and read the junior jedi knights series. (they are before the JA's) I was going to say look on ebay.. But you allready found them. I really like the NJO, even if they didnt kill off core characters (besides a few).Keep reading!

mrmiller
06-09-2004, 01:32 PM
I just finished the New Rebelion, and I thought that was a great book. maybe I need to go abck and read some threads, but I don't remember anyone reccomending that one too me. I'm Still trying to get to the NJO as soon as possible, so far I've read:

The Zahn Triliogy
Jedi Acadamy Triliogy
(what I call the Calisita trilogy) Children of the jedi, Dark Saber, and Planet of Twilight
The New Rebelion,
and am now starting The Hand of Thrawn stuff (I'm like on chapter 5 of specter)

So far I have really enjoyed the books, and it really makes the Star Wars universe "expand". really, anyone who likes Star Wars and likes to read should read them all. This is great. I hope to get into the NJO where there are many more new characters but we still have our core characters as well.

So far 2 of my Favorites have been DarkSaber and The New Rebellion. My least favorites were Children of the Jedi (the Han/Leia story was great, the Luke/threepio story started out good but got really old and really bad really fast) and Planet of Twilight (another book that the first 2/3rds were great to only have it runied with the other force sensitive "beings").

Now I skiped the Black Fleet Crisis and Corellian Trilogies, should I go back and read them? Heck I might read the Young Jedi Knights before NJO. I had only planed on the Hand of Thrawn and Survivors quest before, but I hit stuff in other books that refrence stuff I missed from earlier books (Truce at Bakura and Courtship mainly) and it's just buggs me like I missed out or am not in on the conversation.

Right now I'm still reading and loving it- why did I wait so long? *slaps forehead* Now I've read 11 books (and one comic series) in less than a month!

=MATT=

El Chuxter
06-09-2004, 03:21 PM
I just finished the New Rebelion, and I thought that was a great book. maybe I need to go abck and read some threads, but I don't remember anyone reccomending that one too me.

Kinda interesting. I found it not to be a bad book, but far less memorable than a lot of others. It was a great read, but in the end I felt it didn't quite hold up to some other stuff.


Jedi Acadamy Triliogy

If you have a chance, definitely read I, Jedi for a story that unfolds at the same time (and some of the same locations, including the Academy).


(what I call the Calisita trilogy) Children of the jedi, Dark Saber, and Planet of Twilight

I'm so sorry. :D I actually rather liked Darksaber, much moreso than any of Anderson's other books. I was especially shocked by Madine becoming the first movie character to die in the books (at least that stayed dead). But Callista is the worse character to ever be introduced into the SW galaxy (a million times worse than Jar Jar Binks could dream of being), and the woman who wrote the other two books (I've blocked out her name) just doesn't fit in SW.

Also, AOTC states that Jedi don't have kids, so LFL's done quite a bit of backtracking to make Callista a sort of rogue Jedi and the children very young Padawans.

Not to mention someone at LFL should've caught all the Gamorreans speaking Basic, which every single source says they're not physically able to do.


Now I skiped the Black Fleet Crisis and Corellian Trilogies, should I go back and read them? Heck I might read the Young Jedi Knights before NJO. I had only planed on the Hand of Thrawn and Survivors quest before, but I hit stuff in other books that refrence stuff I missed from earlier books (Truce at Bakura and Courtship mainly) and it's just buggs me like I missed out or am not in on the conversation.

Courtship I sorta liked, although most folks didn't. (I think it's mainly all the rancors running around. :D) Bakura really wussifies Han Solo and doesn't do a whole lot, but it might be useful to read prior to the NJO because there are several books that pick up in that area of the galaxy many years later.

Black Fleet Crisis is pretty icky. Luke is way out of character throughout, and there's a big promise to the reader made in the first book that never pans out. Without spoiling too much, Luke meets this lame-o girl who claims to know where his mother is. . . but since the book was written long before TPM, the author wasn't allowed to give out (or probably even have access to) any information about Padme. There are two other plots going on that would actually be quite good without this third of the story, so it's not completely worthless. There are some minor details that play out in the NJO, but they're explained pretty well when they pop up.

The Corellian Trilogy is a better read and comes a little more into play in the NJO, so it wouldn't hurt to read it. Not absolutely necessary, though.

InsaneJediGirl
06-14-2004, 08:47 PM
Corellian Trilogy was not too bad of a read.I,Jedi is one of my absoulte favorites.To me it gives a better perspective on the new Academy training then the entire Jedi Academy series.Corran Horn is a good character as well.If you havent read it yet,Spectre and Visions are awesome reads.

As for young readers/teenage books,I am quite a fan of the Jedi Apprentice Series.Short reads,but with a lot of plots and steady drama/action.It is also nice to see what Kenobi was like in his younger years(a few suprises there) and get to know more about Qui-Gon.Going back somewhat,Shatterpoint I found to be an awesome novel in this "pre-OT" catagory.

Comics,those are hit and miss as well.Some of the Clone Wars comics are great (Jedi : Aayla,Battle of Jabbiim(sp?).) then again others are not.

pegger
09-21-2006, 02:37 PM
Hey guys - I've recently starting reading some of the SW books. I've so far read the Thrawn trilogy and i just finished the Rouge Squadron series (all 9 of them).

Any recommendations on what to read next?

El Chuxter
09-21-2006, 03:09 PM
First, I'd read The Hand of Thrawn duology: Spectre of the Past & Vision of the Future. These take place about 10 (?) years after the Thrawn Trilogy and are just as good.

Then read Survivor's Quest, which starts to fill in the gaps about Outbound Flight.

Then, the "Prequel Saga," several books that, although technically not a mini-series, give a much better view of the story when read together:

Cloak of Deception
Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
The Phantom Menace
Rogue Planet (not especially great, and more a prelude to the NJO, but some really important developments)
The Approaching Storm
Attack of the Clones
Shatterpoint
Dark Rendezvous
Jedi Trial (again, not great, but find out how Anakin became a Knight)
Labyrinth of Evil
Revenge of the Sith
Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader

Finally, Outbound Flight, which is the next book to fill in gaps from Zahn's other books. (Hopefully, there are more on the way, since there are still several major holes.)

They're out of print, but if you can track them down, the entire Jedi Apprentice series is well worth reading, as is the Episode I Journal: Darth Maul.

Rocketboy
09-21-2006, 03:40 PM
My personal favorite - Shadows of the Empire

Dark Lord was pretty good.
And Tales from Jabba's Palace and Tales of the Bounty Hunters are fun (sometimes downright absurd), and many don't fit in to the timeline anymore (like Boba Fett's story in TotBH and the Rebo Band's story in TfJP).

Deoxyribonucleic
09-22-2006, 02:16 AM
Tales of mos eisley cantina

tales of jabbas palace

tales of the bounty hunters

ALL of these are absolutely fantastic! Gosh I've read so many star wars book and have enjoy 99% of em ('cept this last series the swarm war, those were AWFUL!) so I dunno really, just have fun. Whoever mentioned the thrawn duology, that's a good idea for the next reads, then onto tales... ;)