Your basic Dwarf+Giant Overview is a comprehensive survey of an author or series. It is not an in-depth analysis, nor is it a summary. Think of it as a buying or reading guide, telling you what’s out there, what’s essential, what to avoid and so forth.
Editor’s intro: This is the eighth post in our Star Wars novels Overview. For brief introductory notes, please see Star Wars Overview: The Old Republic.
*** Indicates the Best.
** Indicates Good.
* Indicates not the best, but still Star Wars, so not bad either.
You can buy most of these from us by clicking on the title! Yeah, support an indie bookstore from the comfort of your X Wing cockpit.
Also, since we’re putting Dwarf+Giant on mothballs for the foreseeable future, we are abruptly halting our Star Wars Overview mid-flight. As a result, this particular post is a ragtag band of legend books in our chronological coverage and newer canonical books.
NEW JEDI ORDER
Boba Fett: A Practical Man **
This is a quick read, though it is ominous. It is setting the stage for the next 20-odd books, which is a scary thought. I’m not crazy about the enemy they’re setting up.
Don’t get me wrong, the way they handle Boba Fett and the Mandalorians is amazing, and the writing is good, but the centerpiece of the entire book, the antagonists for the next 20 something books, are almost laughable. Stay tuned to see how it’s working out.
So torn on this book. The book itself is well written, compelling, and in any other situation I would be highly recommending it. It’s really a fun book. Not a necessary classic to read, but a really fun book. Except…
The new enemy. Oh my god, the new enemy. In an effort to create a completely new and terrifying foe, they’ve also created a completely nonsensical enemy. I’m going to write an example, spoiler alert (though you’ll find out in the first 40 pages). The new bad guys use all organic technology, from clothing to intergalactic (not interstellar, intergalactic) ships. They believe inorganic technology is blasphemous. It’s explained by saying that the culture used genetic engineering to create the symbiotic organisms. But how does one do genetic engineering without inorganic technology? Spend generations selectively breeding an animal to spin super fast to create a centrifuge? The basic premise of their entire existence is nonsensical, and I am really nervous for the next 20 books….
New Jedi Order – Dark Tide 1: Onslaught **
Same issue, well-written and all around a really great book. Except the entire premise of the new enemy. But I will say, as I am reading, the premise is becoming just a background annoyance, like tinnitus, that you can eventually ignore.
It’s such a waste, because the writing is so good, but the plot line created for this entire series is just silly. It’s so far from canon right now that I would say only read it if you have nothing else to do.
I don’t want to give too much away here. It’s set up as a Young Adult Novel, though I have to say some of the material leans more adult than young. I recommend this book for two reasons:
Just trust me, read it.
In the same way Rogue One had a very different feel than the other movies, this book has a very different feel than even the other Canon books I’ve read. It seems to start a little slowly, but that may be due to the fact that the tension in this book is largely mental and emotional. There are no battle scenes, and so the closest book I can liken this one to is Darth Plagueis, where everything is setting the stage for what is to come.
I don’t think Catalyst is quite as gripping as Plagueis, but if you like the Erso family, this book is a wonderful resource to find out more about them. I have to say that even though this wasn’t my favorite book, I can’t wait to rewatch Rogue One knowing what I know now.
I’ve only read Ahsoka and Catalyst up to this point, but man, this is by far the best book I’ve read in the canon.
They brought in the creator of Thrawn, Timothy Zahn, to write this, and he did not disappoint. The artwork analysis is still there, but now it’s combined with a brilliance for finding patterns everywhere, so it’s a quirky piece in a brilliant puzzle, instead of a racially based lynch-pin.
We also learn how Governor Pryce, from the animated show Rebels, came to be who she is, and I gotta say, she becomes a very sympathetic, and ruthless, woman. I was actually rooting for her, believe it or not.
This is one not to miss.
That’s it for now, rebels. Maybe we’ll come back to this work at some point, maybe we won’t. May the Force be with you. Always.