The original Thrawn trilogy (now Legends), by epic Sci-Fi/Fantasy author Timothy Zahn, are some of my favorite Star Wars books of all time. I’ve read every single Zahn Star Wars book and the new Thrawn is just as fantastic as expected. I’ve been looking forward to Disney adding Thrawn back into the official Canon and I plan on seeing what the Grand Admiral with the Blue Skin and red eyes is up to in the Star Wars Rebels TV show. This book follows the meteoric rise of Thrawn within the Imperial Navy as he and a fellow Imperial officer, Eli Vanto from the Outer Rim, make a name for themselves. Eli Vanto is one of my favorite new characters that I’ve met through the new Star Wars books. There was however a character in this book that I didn’t particularly care for at all. Arihnda Pryce. I kept thinking that she was going to play some super important role in the grand scheme of things, and she sort of did, but I never looked forward to reading her chapters. This is a first with me and the characters in the new Star Wars books, I’ve liked all of them up to this point, even the crazy droid Bones. My only other complaint about this book, which overall was really fantastic, was the time jumps. Maybe it was because I was listening to the audio book and not reading the physical copy but there were several instances where it was months or even a year later. It makes sense why there are time jumps it just confused me when they happened and there was no indication other than the characters reminiscing about how long they’d been at a particular post.
I haven’t gotten around to reading any Crichton lately, because I really haven’t been in the mood, but I still have been doing lots of reading and I have finished two books in the last few weeks. As I’ve gotten older I noticed that I tend to go through phases with reading, I will read a lot and want to read a lot for a few months or so and then I will not read at all for a while. I’m hoping that I can make this current reading phase that I am in last longer than a few months and finish up the initial draft of my novel while I’m at it. The wife and I are doing the camp Nanowrimo in July and if I can stick with it I will make my goal of 100k words total on my novel by the end of the camp. I already have several Alpha readers lined up and I am ready to start my first of many revisions, this ball needs to keep on a’ rollin. So with that this will be a two for one blog on Eragon and Scoundrels, fair warning there will be spoilers ahead for both of these books.
First a shot from my hotel room where I recently spent a week and a half in Kona Hawaii.
The epic views of the Pacific were a great setting to finish this book up and I look forward to reading the others in the series sometime soon. Overall I really enjoyed the book even though I have read many others that are set in high fantasy worlds with Dwarves, Elves, Dragons, Magic and the like. It was very much a YA fantasy novel, much in the same genre that I hope to market my own book. My book will have considerably less Dwarves, Elves, and Dragon riders. But I do plan on keeping at least some Dragons around, but there will be no riding of them allowed, maybe… Eragon is the name of the main character who, while out on a hunting trip in some mountains surrounding his tucked away little farm where he lives with his Uncle and Cousin, finds a mysterious stone that appears out of nowhere. He was looking for something to eat and not a strange glowing stone so promptly tries to trade it for a bunch of meat to help his family survive the winter. It does not go well at the butchers but the blacksmith swoops in and hooks him up in exchange for some help at the Forge over the next year. Eragon gladly accepts and heads back to his farm with the haul that will help them make it through some tough times. Everything seems to be going fairly fine until the strange rock decides to hatch one night and blammo, Eragon now has a full-fledged Dragon to look after. It grows really fast, making it hard to keep a secret and after asking the local old Curmudgeon in town about Dragons, Brom, gives him a list of all the previous Dragons names and keeps asking very pointed questions about Dragons. Eragon consults with the Dragon who he can now communicate with telepathically and they decide her name will be Saphira. Saphira is my favorite character in the book and as things keep happening at a fairly quick pace all throughout their adventures she seems to grow as a character along with Eragon of course. Lots of bad things happen very quickly, some bad guys come and kill his uncle and destroy his farm so Brom and Eragon head off after them seeking revenge. Along the way Eragon learns he can perform magic and also learns the finer points of fighting by practicing every day with Brom, he even learns how to read. Lots of other fun and interesting things happen along the way and I would greatly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy, especially YA fantasy. Next up Scoundrels! But first a picture of the best beach I have ever been on, Hapuna beach on the Kona side of Hawaii.
Scoundrels is the latest Timothy Zahn Star Wars Expanded Universe novel, since Disney has taken over the Star Wars franchise they gave the EU some sort of new name but I forget what it is. This isn’t my favorite Zahn novel in the Star Wars universe but after a slow start the book really picked up for me and had a really crazy twist ending I didn’t see coming. The book is framed around a Heist, think Oceans 11 but instead of Brad Pitt and George Clooney, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian are running the show. Chewbacca along with a bunch of other characters are thrown in to liven things up and we get a little more detail on exactly how Lando came into Cloud City and what the old beef between he and Han was. There was a prequel novella included at the back of the book which I didn’t get to until about halfway through the novel, I wish I would have read it first because it really helped set things up and introduce some of the other cast that appears in Scoundrels.
I decided to pick up Justin Cronin’s The Passage after I finished Scoundrels and I have not been the least bit disappointed. It has really been hard to put down and I look forward to reading more as soon as I finish up this blog post! After that I am thinking of finishing Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy to help myself get back into the Sci-Fi writing groove. I started Camp Nanowrimo today and have about half my word goal for the day completed, I will write a little more before bed. That is all for now, I will probably update the blog next when I get the Michael Crichton Experience timeline up to speed, hopefully soon. Also I am disappointed the USA team lost to Belgium today but glad that Soccer got a little bit of the headlines I love the World Cup and I have my own personalized USA jersey to prove it!
I was rooting around in my garage this weekend trying to get it more organized and just going through boxes of stuff in general when I came across this little bit of awesomeness.
Yeah that’s my ticket stub from the 12:01 showing of Star Wars Episode I, shown at the illustrious Edwards 21 cinema in Boise Idaho, on May 19th 1999. And yes it is in a 1/4 inch thick plastic case that is secured by screws, I don’t mess around protecting my Star Wars mementos, I guess. My friends and I camped out for over a week for that bad boy, this was in the days before you could buy your movie tickets on the internet, I think for Episode II we just bought them on the internet. I was super obsessed with Star Wars in High School, I collected all the toys and I had to buy boxes and boxes of the card game when they came out, my buddy and I had so many it was ridiculous. I even got kicked off the track team because I was camping out for Star Wars instead of showing up for track practice. We only lost the state championship in track by a couple of points that year too, points I probably would have gotten if I wouldn’t have been kicked off the team. Not that I’m bitter or anything, Star Wars rules! I remember when the show finally came we all had ridiculous Jedi costumes, my mom homemade mine, and practiced our lightsaber battles fiercely in the weeks leading up to the movie
When they finally let us into the theater we got our seats and then about half a dozen groups of people commenced to lightsaber fighting below the screen at the bottom of the theater. At one point my buddy wanted me to come down with him and lightsaber fight but I refused to do so, he eventually got the whole theater chanting my name to come down, it was really embarrassing and I didn’t go down, but one of my other friends stepped up and dueled with him, so the crowd was quelled. Ah to be 17 again, good times, I still love Star Wars the originals are my favorite trilogy of movies of all time.