For whatever reason I have been on a Star Wars kick lately. My friend had recommended me the Timothy Zahn books and I have devoured them all (all the Thrawn books plus the few others he wrote) as well as I,Jedi. I was wondering if anyone else had some recommendations for any books they feel are really good, or add something to the overall Star Wars universe or story. Also, I know there are some comics available, too. Does anyone read those, and if so which ones are good and which trades should I check out (if any)?
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I've read all the books up until the Unifying Force multiple times, so I know a little bit about this stuff. As in a lot. I have a couple of suggestions if you don't mind....
The X-Wing Series: 1-9. I'm in the small minority when it comes to people my age (and older), in that Zahn didn't get me hooked. It was Stackpole and his writing of the Rogue Squadron which drew me into the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Specifically, Wedge Antilles. In Book #1, the Alliance realizes that they need to revamp the Rogue Squadron, as they have suffered heavy casualities and turnover of late. You see the introduction of Gavin Darklighter and Corran Horn, specifically. Tycho Celchu is fleshed out as well. The quality of the series did not drop when Aaron Alliston took over with Wraith Squadron. His writing style is very different, but very very good. Wraith Squadron is interesting, in that we see a villian taken from a previous book (the Courtship of Princess Leia) and he becomes fleshed out and well liked. Overall, I can't suggest these books hughly enough. Lots of synergy and continuity with Zahn's books as well. You cannot go wrong with any of these books, although to properly enjoy them you should read 1-4, then 4-7. 8 picks up RIGHT after the Thrawn trilogy, but you REALLY need to read 1-4 to fully appreciate it. Actually, you also need something else to as well.....
"Star Wars Omnibus": Rogue Squadron (I believe there are two volumes). These volumes contain the ENTIRE Stackpole Dark Horse comic book run. See Wedge, Tycho, Wes, Hobbie and others. You also get the story of Baron Fel (his orgin and how he came over to the New Republic). These series tell the story of Rogue Squadron RIGHT after the Battle at Endor, all the way almost up to the first X-Wing novel. X-Wing #8 ties up some loose ends.
The New Jedi Order is also very good. You can cut some trim off the fat though. I would consider the following to be the essential materials to the storyline, with an * denoting the good ones (IMHO).
- Vector Prime* - Agents of Chaos - Tratior* - ENERMY LINES***** - Star by Star - Force Heritic trilogy* - Destiny's Way* - The Final Prophecy* - The Unifying Force*****
(edited by El Nastio on 12.1.09 1503) You know, I really don't know what to put here. Close your eyes and thank of something funny!
The best Expanded Universe book in my opinion is Shadows of the Empire (Amazon.com). Not sure if it's true, but I've always heard that Lucas himself felt that this was the best piece of EU material out there. Plus, it takes place in between "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi," which is my favorite Star Wars period.
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While the Vong war was going on it was good, but in hindsight not so much. The idea was great to have an overall epic string of books, but it didn't need be this long and the end is meh. My friend said Death Star is a good book. I would recommend the current Legacy books. I would also recommend Star Wars: Legacy comic books. I will also second Shadows as a great book. The Jedi Academy trilogy with Darksaber isn't a bad trilogy either, Kyp is annoying though.
I think as long as you stay away from Kevin J. Anderson, you're OK. I've also heard that "Children of the Jedi" and "The Crystal Star" were awful (I took my friends' advice and didn't read them). It's been many, many years since I've read any SW books, so I can't comment on anything that came after "Specter of the Past" and "Vision of the Future".
I actually prefer "Gospel" by Wilton Barnhardt to either of these books, as a thriller/mystery devoting large sections of text to church history and conspiracy theory. There's more fun to be had in that book.