Turn Back 10: BETRAYAL by Aaron Allston (Arrow)

TurnBackTimeClockIn this second edition of Turn Back 10, I’m taking a look at an early Star Wars novel review. In the first few months of CR, I read and reviewed a lot of Star Wars fiction. Not long before I started the blog, I had picked up a couple of newer novels in the series, having stepped away for quite some time. I can’t remember what it was that made me re-start, but I did and I got sucked into it in a big way.

They were among some of the first novels I received from a publisher for review. I think this may have coloured my reviews — I didn’t lie about what I liked, but I think I did (in the very early months) focus more on what I liked than what I didn’t. I don’t think I am alone among reviewers to have done that, not that I would ever recommend it. I also think I read many of the Star Wars novels while still in the glow of renewed fandom. This loyalty would slowly wane as ever-more novels in ever-more convoluted series-within-series were published. My interest in reading SW novels cratered in 2013, as I tried four and finished none. With the The Force Awakened behind us, and a new era in SW fiction and movies upon us, though, who knows if my interest will be reignited?

Anyway, here’s my review of Betrayal by Aaron Allston — the first in the nine-book Legacy of the Force series — from a time when the now-“Legends” novels were still pretty great…

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AllstonA-LotF1-BetrayalBETRAYAL by Aaron Allston (Arrow)

This is the era of Luke Skywalker’s legacy: the Jedi Master has unified the order into a cohesive group of powerful Jedi Knights. However, as this era begins, planetary interests threaten to disrupt this time of relative peace and Luke is plagued by visions of an approaching darkness.

Melding the galaxy into one cohesive political whole after the savage war with the Yuuzhan Vong is not the easiest task, and already some worlds are chafing under the demands of the new government. Civil war may be brewing, and the Skywalker-Solo clan find that they might not all be on the same side. Meanwhile, evil is rising again — out of the best intentions — and it looks like the legacy of the Skywalkers may come full circle…

Betrayal is the beginning of the latest Star Wars series, which ushers in (yet another) dark time for Luke Skywalker and his expanding clan of family and friends. This time, the darkness doesn’t come from beyond the galactic rim. This time, its source is far closer to home. Continue reading

New Books (August-September)

HIMYM-MarshallCocktailWide

Featuring: Paul Cornell, Patrick DeWitt, John French, John Grisham, Garth Risk Hallberg, Lauren Holmes, Chrissie Hynde, Michael Livingston, Jonathan Maberry, Joel McIver, Patrick Ness, Nnedi Okorafor, K.J. Parker, Daniel Polansky, Alter S. Reiss, Geoff Renoff, Anthony Reynolds, Jeffrey Rotter, F. Wesley Schneider, Angela Slatter, A.J. Smith, Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, Patrick S. Tomlinson, Michael R. Underwood, Matt Wallace, Chuck Wendig, Kai Ashante Wilson, Tom Wood, Sunil Yapa

LokiOooh Continue reading

Upcoming: Star Wars EMPIRE & REBELLION (Lucas Books/Random House)

The first novel in this series was announced quite a while ago, I think (super-excited for it, and I already have an ARC!). Today, however, I stumbled across some bare-bones preliminary information about book two, which has just ratcheted up my interest in the series to new heights. Here’s what I know so far…

Wells-SW-RazorsEdgeThe first novel, RAZOR’S EDGE, is written by critically acclaimed author Martha Wells, an author who has been on my radar for ages – and yet, as is becoming ever-more the case with me, still unread. With my long-held love for all things Star Wars, I can see this being my introduction to Wells’s writing. Here’s the synopsis…

Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance. Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth. So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an Alliance delegation to negotiate a deal.

But when treachery forces the rebel ship to flee into territory controlled by pirates, Leia makes a shocking discovery: the fierce marauders come from Leia’s homeworld of Alderaan, recently destroyed by the Death Star. These refugees have turned to pillaging and plundering to survive — and they are in debt to a pirate armada, which will gladly ransom the princess to the vengeful Empire… if they find out her true identity.

Struggling with intense feelings of guilt, loyalty, and betrayal, Leia is determined to help her wayward kinspeople, even as Imperial forces are closing in on her own crippled ship. Trapped between lethal cutthroats and brutal oppressors, Leia and Han, along with Luke, Chewbacca, and a battle-ready crew, must defy death — or embrace it — to keep the rebellion alive.

Corey-SW-HonorAmongThievesToday, I stumbled across the cover for the second novel in this series: HONOR AMONG THIEVES, which will be written by James S.A. Corey (the pen name for Daniel Abraham and Ty Frank). This novel is due for publication around March 2014, but I wasn’t able to find much more other than the cover on the internet (Random House’s page for the novel is effectively blank). I did find this nugget from the Star Wars Books Facebook page

The book, set in the classic era, is a stand alone adventure and is scheduled for publication in Spring ’14. Our editor-at-large, Shelly Shapiro, received the manuscript last week and posted on this page the other day “I am super enjoying the Star Wars manuscript I’m reading right now.” I loved Corey’s LEVIATHAN WAKES so I’m very excited to read this Han and Chewie romp through the GFFA.

All-in-all, I think we’re in for some great new Star Wars novels. Colour me utterly intrigued and impatient…