(I had assumed this would easily all fit into one post. Once I got to 1,000 words without even having spoken about the book series I was planning on writing about I decided to make this a two-parter. If it takes me five hours to write it’ll probably take you two hours to read. I don’t know too many people who want to read 3,000+ words about Star Wars books in one sitting. If you are one of those people I apologize, and feel your pain. “Too long, didn’t read” is the worst thing you can say to someone who busted their ass writing something so I try to edit myself when necessary. It became very necessary with Star Wars books because I’ve been reading so many for so long.)
Okay they were “young adult” books, but it amounts to the same thing. I love Star Wars, and I love reading. When my Kindle Unlimited feed showed that there were free Star Wars books available I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t look too hard into the reviews or even wonder why they were so short. I just assumed that they were shorter books because they were free. That happens a lot with free book series. I also know that I read really fast so didn’t even think about them being that short at first. There are so many excuses I could try to make, but I’m not trying to justify myself or apologize here. I actually thought some of them were pretty good. I seriously had no clue Ahsoka was meant for younger readers. I just wanted to know how she got from The Clone Wars to Rebels. That, and where she got those bad-ass white lightsabers from. It was only after I got into a Darth Vader book that I noticed I was reading something written for children. I’ll give you the title of that book later so that you can stay away. If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription then you should at least try a few of them. If you don’t have one then it’s at least worth the $10 price of a month to check some out. You can easily breeze through one or two of these book series before your month runs out.
My love of Star Wars goes back so long and is embedded so deep that it would really be a whole separate post if I were to get in to all that right now. I’m more here to talk about Star Wars books and how I found myself in this slightly awkward situation. I first started reading Star Wars books back with the original Thrawn trilogy Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn back in the very early 90’s. I loved (and still love) those books so I went on to read Star Wars books by Kevin J. Anderson, Alan Dean Foster, and many others. I’ll admit that I fell out of touch for a while. Yet another thing I blame the prequels for. I also blame the retconning of all those beloved books, but again that’s a different post. When Star Wars was starting it’s (seemingly) heroic comeback I saw new books coming out. I bought Before the Awakening and the novelization of The Force Awakens. I also bought the first of the new Thrawn series as soon as it came out. Back in 2014 I got to interview Timothy Zahn at Dragon Con. He had no idea at the time (or if he did he was playing it really damn close) that he would ever be writing anything canon ever again. Suddenly we have Thrawn showing up in Rebels and then a new book that was to kick off a new trilogy. I’ve wanted a second interview with him ever since, but it has yet to be. Maybe someday. I couldn’t get into Tarkin because it was just too much about the lines of his uniform for me, and I could not for the life of me get past the writing style of the first book of the Aftermath trilogy. Not that I’m I real writer by any means, but-does-every-sentence-have-to-look-like-this? I might be exaggerating, but it was so annoying that I didn’t even finish the sample. I may play fast and loose with grammar here, but this ain’t a novel. Maybe I’d like it better as an audio book.
Speaking of audio books: I was at a party a few years ago, when a friend asked me if I’d read Phasma. I hadn’t, but was intrigued since she seemed like she should have been a cooler character than she was allowed to be in the movies. Darth Maul all over again, but maybe I’m also just slightly biased towards Brienne of Tarth. He told me that he’d gotten an Audible trial and used that as his free book. I didn’t know then that you could have multiple free trials, and had used up what I thought was my only free book on Tim Robbins reading Fahrenheit 451. But every once in a while you’ll get offers for more trials, and once I saw that I could I sure as shit did. I got Phasma, and was recently offered 3 months of Audible for $7 a month. If you don’t use Audible that’s way cheaper than the usual subscription price, and a hell of a lot less than outright buying an audio book from them. I now have 2 more Star Wars audio books to go when I finish the second book of the new Thrawn trilogy (Kenobi and Bloodlines if you were wondering). I used to think audio books were for for little old ladies whose eyes have gone bad, but I spend almost 2 hours a day in traffic. I love having a book to listen to so that I don’t murder every idiot on the roads around Atlanta. But I do wear glasses and have two cats. I might be more of a little old lady than I’m ready to admit. Dave said he couldn’t get in to Phasma. It’s not perfect. Hell, it’s not even great. Having characters bitch about sand being irritating and getting everywhere did not make me laugh. It wasn’t bad though, and I liked having the story of a good character that we’ll never know anything else about in the movies. One thing I think really helps with a lot of those books is the music and sound effects that they put in with the audio versions. I know you can (and if you’re anything like me, do) add some sounds in your head when you’re reading, but the narrator has information we don’t about the story and characters. Is a dude doing Padme’s voice as kind of weak and whiny good for Thrawn: Alliances? Maybe not the best choice, but he’s so great at doing Thrawn’s voice that I can’t complain too much. And the thing is that I shouldn’t have to be annoyed by a man doing Padme’s voice because a book about Grand Admiral Thrawn shouldn’t have that much Padme in it. The book is called Thrawn: Alliances, and is about him and Anakin/Vader teaming up at two different times in their lives. It isn’t Padme: Alliances for damn sure. The galaxy has three or four good female characters, and she’s not one of them. Have a little Padme if you must. Don’t have multiple chapters with her that don’t feature your two main characters at all. I miss Eli Vanto from the last book so much right now. The good thing is that I hear he’ll be back for the next book that’s due out later this year. The audio actually works even better in Phasma since you don’t really know what most of the characters, besides her, are supposed to sound like. The point of all this is that you should go get you some audio books. If you’re super stingy you can find some on YouTube, but you can’t save your place or control the quality of the recording or anything useful.
But past the audio-books are the vast number of actual books you can get for (almost) free with Kindle Unlimited. There are tons of comics too, but this thing is already going to be too long without me going there. I super pinky swear I’ll be back next week with the real reason I started writing this whole thing in the first place. YA Star Wars that’s worth your time, and some that very much isn’t.