Well, if we're gonna do a list. here's mine...
- Karen Traviss
- James Lucerno
- Jude Watson
- Matthew Stover
- Michael Stackpole
- Aaron Alston
Some honorable mentions for Ryder Windham for his various texts for everything from visual guides to comics, to Zahn for re-launching SW Lit again after that long dormant period (even if I find his books usually contain too many elements that are just too much for the SW universe for me..force salamanders, anyone?), Kevin J. Anderson for his short stories, John Ostrander for his engaging comic scripts and I'm sure i've missed some, but these are the folks that keep me coming back for more...
I decided to keep comics out of my list (not due to dislike, just that I don't read them as they come out). I think Stover and Keyes had just one book each, right? Wait... Stover's had at least two; my bad. Windham would've been #11, so I'll put Stover as #12. ADF's two SW books, Splinter of the Mind's Eye and The Approaching Storm were pretty good, IMHO. Stackpole's too technical for me; I much preferred Alston's X-Wing books over his. Perry and Reaves each had one book they wrote alone (SOTE and Darth Maul, respectively) that was great, but the MedStar books were good, too.
I finally got a copy of Invincible, the last (hooray?) book in the LOTF series; only took seven weeks. :rolleyes: The quotes at the beginning of each chapter can be annoying, but I think I know where Denning's going with it. Only two chaps. in right now, so I've got more to go.
I don't think I have ever been so confused by a SW novel before, as I was by reading Invincible. There were times that I thought I knew what was going to happen, or that I could follow the plot, then I'd get blindsided and have to re-read earlier passages.
I did not expect the two big "shocks" near the end.
Jacen dying was an eye-opener for me. Wonder how this will be handled in future books, 'cause you know there'll be more post-LOTF ones (Millennium Falcon, being one definitely). Allana not dying was also unexpected. As well as the way Isolder went. Is Zekk dead? Jagged as head of the Moffs, and Daala as new Chief of State?!? Wow. One thing I did like was the Fett curse, as it related to the planet Mandalore; tricky. This was also a very violent and sexually-innuendo'd book, perhaps the most of any SW novel. The close following of the OT and Prequels with this whole series was a bad idea; very little originality, IMO: Jacen/Caedus as Vader, Jaina as Luke savior, Jedi Council as "blinded" Prequel Masters, clones being referenced frequently, etc. Too many new force powers; the Jedi have become too godlike. Oh well, it's done. Hopefully.
Yeah, that pretty much seals the deal for me. The SW EU ends with the NJO.
Chux, I was thinking of you and your disillusionment with EU lately as I was reading the last half of the book. I never say this to anyone, but if you specifically read this, you'll forever swear off SW fiction. It's that bad.
Originally Posted by El Chuxter
I will still read EU, because not everything's bad in it, but I have a bad taste in my memory (see, they're mixing my own metaphors now :rolleyes: ) from this series. :(
I still haven't even gotten around to reading Allegiance, Death Star, or the first Darth Bane book. :(
My experience with the first Legacy was that it was boring. Rather poorly-written (which was a bit of a shocker, considering whose name was on it), and just dull. Maybe something about the heroes being geriatric geezers watching their kids do everything wasn't appealing at all. Not to mention the whole "Jacen goes Sith" was just not original, and did not at all jive with anything that had come before. (Yeah, it's repeating the past. Trouble is, Shmi wasn't telling Anakin about how his grandfather had become a genocidal maniac because he turned to the Dark Side. Leia was telling Jacen this.)
It's seeming to me that Star Wars is undergoing a "Trekkification" of sorts. You've got the Legacy novels with their dearth of originality. You've got the Clone Wars show looking like a desperate attempt to milk everything the saga is worth. And, whereas once Star Wars seemed more intelligent and less "fanboyish" because of silliness like the Bible being translated into Klingon, now you have Karen Traviss developing more and more Mandalorean language for every dull book she writes, and I have no doubt the Mandalorean translation of the Bible will be around within ten years.
No offense intended to any Trekkers. It just seemed to me that, until recently, there was a real difference between Trek fans and Wars fans.
And, yeah, the more Traviss I read, the more dull and formulaic she seems. It has nothing to do with her journalistic bent, as many of the best writers of all time have been journalists. It's more to do with her incredible inability to tell a story that doesn't fit within her prescribed formula. I never thought I'd pine for the days when Kevin J. Anderson wrote 3/4 of the Star Wars books.
Those three are some of the pretty good recent ones; get to them when you can.
Originally Posted by El Chuxter
I wholy agree with you on your 1st-3rd PPs.
I've always liked KJA's style (but there's no way it would work now, with SO much interlinking), but the Traviss comments are close to my views, too.
I am a SW fiction EU completist, and I want to remain in the loop on the stories, even if it feels more like being in the hoops I'm jumping through.
Allegiance and Death Star are two of the best SW books I've read in a long time. You definitely need to put them on your reading list, El Chuxter.
Originally Posted by El Chuxter
The first Darth Bane was a little slow in starting but it held my interest.
I really enjoy Traviss's books. I thought Triple Zero was a little disjointed and cumbersome at points but still enjoyed it.
Chux, I keep thinking you'll come back to the fold, and recently the books published have been pretty good. But then, every so often, there's one that confirms your sad views on EU.
Luke Skywalker & the Shadows of Mindor is one such book.
I have to put it in my all-time worst Star Wars books list (perhaps an actual list forthcoming?), and closer to the top (bottom?) of that one, too. The cover is cool; perhaps I should've stopped there? :rolleyes:
The last pages, in which the Epilogue is called "Debriefing" instead, but there's little of that; it really is just an ending chapter (i.e. Epilogue), I thought could save it, but somehow it made it worse. I've liked Stover's style in ROTS and Shatterpoint, but it almost seems as if he's actually mocking EU in how he writes. I thought his similes (and there were too many of them IMO) were bad, and a character in the plot even mentions that fact?!? :confused: Seriously, I believe Chewie was the best character, and we can't really ever figure out what he says.
I'll give Stover credit; since this is set in the just-after ROJ era, he tried to write it like the books that came out in that era (unfortunately, those were among the worstest of the bad EU). But it was disjointed, confusing, unclear, poorly constructed and developed, and I'd almost say incomplete.
Bad, bad, bad. Sorry.