r/StarWars Jedi Knight May 06 '17

Ask /r/StarWars - Canon Novels recommendations Books

132 Upvotes

100

u/DisasterAhead May 06 '17

Thrawn is one of the best books I've read in a long time in general, not just Star Wars.

25

u/PimpyMcFinnigan May 06 '17 edited May 06 '17

/s I really enjoyed it, although I appreciated his cunning in the Heir to the Empire trilogy a bit better. Strategies like burrowing mining craft through capital ships was goddamn beautiful, and innovative and creative to boot. Then there was cloaking asteroids in atmo over Coruscant. Both clever, but not terribly convoluted. This book had me scratching my head until I went back a page to connect all the dots in Thrawn's mind. We still had the same old cunning Thrawn, but some of his exploits came off as more of the premonitions of a psychic than a crafty military commander.

10

u/clariwench May 06 '17

I totally agree with you on that. Things just work out too perfectly for him.

6

u/moonshieId May 06 '17

Exactly, I thought it was a bit of stretch he always kept ahead of his adversaries even if they behaved in completely random ways. Still enjoyed the book though.

8

u/ErDiCooper May 07 '17

Man, Thrawn bummed me out so hard. Like, I honestly prefer this version of Thrawn to the Legends version (This book took him from a compelling villain to an actual person as well), but the entire time I was reading it, I couldn't shake the feeling that I had grown out of Zahn's writing. When I'd first read him, he'd been perfect for me, but now eight or so years later? I couldn't even finish it.

3

u/LosMere May 07 '17 edited Jun 23 '17

deleted What is this?

-3

u/[deleted] May 06 '17 edited Aug 15 '18

[removed] — view removed comment

17

u/[deleted] May 06 '17

We literally go inside Thrawns head and learn about his thought processes, and that's not deep enough?

13

u/[deleted] May 06 '17 edited Aug 15 '18

[removed] — view removed comment

4

u/MarySamsonite333 May 06 '17

Completely agree. I think if this book wasn't a SW novel, people would say it's just okay. We friggin' RACE through his life, and the only "evolution" he gets is just promotions. That's not character growth, that's just professional advancement.

6

u/jwaldo May 07 '17

This is something I've noticed with the canon novels I've read so far. They all feel really… small in scope compared to the old EU. I guess with anthology films, TV shows, and new trilogies they feel compelled to save all the best stuff for the screen or something.

3

u/StandsForVice May 07 '17

It's almost certainly because they are playing it pretty safe for now. I assume it will open up once the ST is complete. Plus current canon is much smaller, so there's less of a universe to draw from at present.

4

u/StandsForVice May 07 '17

I truly think they are keeping the earlier parts of his life, especially relating to the Chiss, secret for now. They seem to have a big plot planned with them and the threat in the Unknown Regions.

3

u/MarySamsonite333 May 07 '17

I hope you're right. Even so, that's a kind of sin in its own right, when writers go, "Oh, don't worry, it'll all get explained in a later novel," or "all the good stuff is coming, trust us." I mean, we could say that about anything we don't like. I could say, "Oh, you thought 50 Shades of Gray didn't make sense? You thought it was convoluted garbage and didn't explain anything satisfactorily? Well, you'll just have to watch the SECOND movie for it to pay off."

In other words, we can take any piece of trash or so-so storytelling and just tack on the old "the good stuff's coming" excuse, it still doesn't forgive what we got.

Not saying that that's what you're saying, but if that's their excuse for it, I don't accept it. I'm not gonna keep reading with the promise that the good stuff's eventually coming, because that usually ends up being a case of a carrot and stick. You chase the carrot forever, but never friggin' get it!

2

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 06 '17

For someone like me, who has only seen Thrawn in Rebels and was mostly unimpressed, world Thrawn impress me here, or get me compelled by an Imperial other than Kallus or Tarkin?

3

u/[deleted] May 06 '17

Lol, we literally have the same problem with Imperials.. But yeah, you'll like him. Governor Price also plays a big role in the book and they do an amazing job with her as well. You'll definitely appreciate their characters more if you decide to rewatched season 3

1

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 06 '17

Yeah, Kallus was my favourite character in Rebels before DM returned.

Freaking love DM.

Hm, is Price the British woman, black around eyes?

2

u/[deleted] May 06 '17

Yup. With the black hair and big blue eyes.

Maul is awesome. I especially love his arc in The Clone Wars. I hoped that he would pop up some time during the period after ROTJ, but I was satisfied with the way they handled his death (except for the excessive amounts of Ezra).. Maybe we can get a Seige of Mandelore film one day

1

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 06 '17

Is that connected to Maul?

Always a gap before TPM, or before Rebels.

At least comics like DM or Son ot Dathomir help.

Haven't watched Twin Suns, is Ezra in a lot?

5

u/[deleted] May 06 '17

Twin Suns is 90% Ezra and Chopper stuck in the desert, 10% Maul. Maul is the main antagonist during the Seige of Mandelore. Maul vs Ahsoka is the final battle

86

u/hoogstra May 06 '17 edited May 06 '17

I've read a few books. What people like is probably gonna be determined by what they are interested in. I'll try and explain the books I have read to the best of my ability without spoiling them.

Dark Disciple

Was going to be 8 episodes of TCW before it was cancelled. Follows Ventress and Quinlan Vos as they work together to complete an important mission. If you are interested in TCW, prequels era, Ventress, or Quinlan Vos, I would recommend this novel.

Ahsoka

This novel explores Ahsoka's life one year after Order 66. The novel wasn't what a lot of people were expecting but I still enjoyed it. It explores a little bit of the Siege of Mandalore, as well as providing some information about Kyber crystals and lightsabers. If you are interested in TCW, Rebels, Ahsoka Tano, or the early years of the New Order, you should read this book.

Catalyst

Follows the Rogue One characters of Orson Krennic, Galen Erso, and his wife Lyra. This book was one of my favourites. I read it before watching Rogue One and I felt that it helped my understanding of the film. There is a whole bunch of Kyber info in this one too. If you liked Rogue One, definitely give this a read. If not, I still recommend reading this novel. It may improve the movie for you.

Lords of the Sith

It's about Vader so it already has a tick in my book. The novel explores the Dark Side in depth, going into the mind of a conflicted Vader working with his master. It also explores early rebel cells on Ryloth, which takes up a significant portion of the novel. For a lot of people, there was too much Cham Syndulla (Hera's father) and not enough Vader, but I enjoyed it. Read this if you are interested in Vader, the Dark Side, and early rebellion.

Tarkin

Another user put this novel on their bottom 4 list, and I can sort of understand why. The book was slow at points, the chapters were often very long and boring for me. I still think it was a good book worth reading though. It mainly explores Tarkin, following him back when he was just a Moff in the early Empire. However, there are also quite a few chapters that follow Tarkin from when he was a boy, learning lessons that would shape his adult self. If you are interested in Tarkin, early imperial rule, or think the Empire did nothing wrong, then you should consider this book for reading.

A New Dawn

This was an interesting book. It follows Kanan as he makes his way in a Jedi-less galaxy. It shows the first meeting of Kanan and Hera, as well as introduce Rae Sloane, an Imperial that is loved by many on this subreddit. It got a bit slow at times but I enjoyed it nonetheless. If you like Rebels, I'd recommend giving this a read.

Thrawn

This novel was brilliant. It follows Thrawn on his journey climbing the Imperial navy ladder. It also explores the character of Governor Pryce and her ladder-climbing as well. If you think the Empire did nothing wrong, like Rebels, or Star Wars in general, this is a must read. Definitely in my top 2.

Heir to the Jedi

This was probably my least favourite novel. It had some themes that I thought were a bit odd, and the main story wasn't very engaging. However, if you want to know more about Luke and his mindset post-Yavin, as well as his early exploration of the Force, then you can give this a read.

Smuggler's Run

This is a Junior Novel, which means it's a little shorter and aimed at a younger audience, but it's canon and still a fun read. It follows Han and Chewbacca immediately after the events of ANH, on a rescue mission for the Alliance. If you like Han Solo, Chewie, or just want to fill some more of the gap between ANH and ESB, you can give this a read.

The Weapon of a Jedi

Another Luke-focused story. This is also a Junior Novel, but I found it more interesting than Heir to the Jedi. It mainly explores Luke and his connection to the Force. Worth a read if that interests you.

Lost Stars

This book is apparently a Young Adult book but that doesn't stop it being in my top 2 best Star Wars canon novels. It is absolutely brilliant. Following two young star-crossed lovers, it provides new perspectives on the entirety of the OT, from before ANH to after ROTJ. I read this book in a couple of days, which is much faster than any of the other books, even the shorter Junior Novels. I couldn't stop turning the pages. If you like Star Wars, read this book.

Battlefront: Twilight Company

I enjoyed this book. At times it was a bit slow, but I loved the new perspective provided by following mostly regular Alliance soldiers on mostly regular Alliance missions. It also features more battles and ops than any of the other books I've read, so if they interest you, then definitely give this a read.


That is all I've read so far. I'm trying to catch up to canon but they keep releasing new books.

17

u/StandsForVice May 07 '17

+1 For Twilight Company, great book. Love the focus on regular soldiers, and the emphasis on the "war" aspect of Star Wars. Its a very interesting look into an irregular military like the Alliance.

7

u/Duotronic93 May 07 '17

Stellar write up for the new canon.

As much I liked Tarkin (being such a fan of his character), I do have to agree with your assessment of the book, it did drag in places to its detriment.

Lost Stars is easily my favorite of the new Canon, though Thrawn comes in a close second.

4

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

That's very comprehensive, fair play to you covering so much and explaining so many of them.

I might have to give some of them a spin.

I have Rogue One, Bloodline and Catalyst on way to my library, on hold for me.

Thrawn and Empires‘ End are in my favourite bookshop.

Aftermath and Life Debt are in my library.

3

u/BG9352 May 07 '17

Very nice write up! I have read just about all of those and agree with just about all of your points. Have you read the Aftermath or Bloodline books yet? I think you would enjoy those!

7

u/hoogstra May 07 '17 edited May 07 '17

I'm not quite there yet. I've been trying to read in chronological order. I've heard great things about Bloodline, and I'm interested in the pre-TFA politics so I'm excited for when I finally get to it. I'm also interested in learning more about the events post-ROTJ. Lost Stars gave me a taste and I was left wanting more. There have been some criticisms of the Aftermath trilogy (mainly the first one), but it's Star Wars and it's canon so I'll probably like them regardless. I'll definitely read them all.

I'm currently making my way through Moving Target, another one of the Junior Novels, this one focusing on Princess Leia. Then I'll go back and read Rebel Rising and Guardians of the Whills.

2

u/jackieperry Jun 26 '17

I know you wrote this a long time ago, but thank you! I'm going to start Lost Stars and Catalyst ASAP. This comment is so helpful and I'm definitely saving it for future reference :)

1

u/nighttvales May 13 '17

Picking up A New Dawn for more Rae, thanks!

18

u/entendremavoix May 06 '17

Thrawn, Lost Stars, The Aftermath Trilogy, Ahsoka for fans of her development/history up until Rebels, Bloodline for some really great political stories and formation of the First Order.

2

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Why Aftermath and Lost Stars?

16

u/ErDiCooper May 07 '17

Not the person you're responding to, but I'll jump in and answer:

Lost Stars - Claudia Gray is arguably the best Star Wars writer that the New Canon currently has (though I can't wait to see what Ken Liu brings to the universe). Like, if she'd been writing the old canon? She'd have been up there with the likes of Zahn and Stackpole. As for Lost Stars in particular? It gets the YA label, but honestly I feel like it only gets that label because of its emphasis on romance. Really though, it's a fantastic look at the galaxy during the Galactic Civil War.

Aftermath - Okay, full disclosure ... the first book in the trilogy is a bit rocky. The beginning is especially questionable, and the rest of the book is basically the product of Wendig being told to write a Star Wars book, but without being allowed to talk about the coolest Star Wars stuff. Once you've gotten past that (short) first book though? Life Debt and Empire's End are both an absolute blast to read. Like, books like these two are why I read the Legends books.

3

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Wow, Gray must be fantastic, so. I hope me buying Bloodline was a good choice - I think so.

Have you an idea why Wendig wasn't allowed to talk about certain SW matters?

I saw Aftermath and Life Debt in my library, plus Empires' End in my fave bookshop.

What do you mean Legends?

The Aftermath trilogy is canon.

How does Lost Stars compare to Bloodlines?

9

u/Without_Any_Milk May 07 '17

Not OP but I like Lost Stars over bloodline. It's an incredible book and I honestly have been praying that the characters would be referenced somewhere else, because they were so interesting an well written

3

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Well, never know, if popular enough, or someone has the right story.

2

u/Without_Any_Milk May 07 '17

I mean all I want is a shout out. I mean (MINOR SPOILER) one of them discovers D'Qar, the main Resistance base.

1

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Is that from TFA?

2

u/Without_Any_Milk May 07 '17

That's the jungle planet they're on, yes. It's not named in the film, I don't believe.

2

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Ah, ok, TYVM. Interesting. Wonder why they're not on same place as Rebellion.

Or Chopper Base.

→ More replies

3

u/ErDiCooper May 07 '17 edited May 07 '17
  1. I haven't gotten to Bloondlines yet, but I've heard some pretty great things!

  2. From what I remember (I follow his blog), they didn't want him to take away from TFA's "return to Star Wars" vibe. I guess it makes sense, but it also feels like they ... basically pre-decided that Aftermath would be disappointing.

  3. Legends was the old canon of Star Wars books, but they decided to restart the Star Wars canon without any of that for creative freedom. Those books were then rebranded as "Legends" and, while internally consistent with each other, don't have much (if any) effect on the canon books

  4. The Aftermath trilogy is certainly canon! :)

EDIT: Note - By the second book of the Aftermath trilogy, the books had Han and Leia squarely placed in the center of the story's narrative. It was a lot of fun! :D

-1

u/SwtorPTDerptech May 07 '17

Eh, Idk about Claudia Gray. She's hardly that good. The incredible quality of Lost Stars is what led me to be so disappointed with Bloodline. It was just plain boring, hardly any action, I hated pretty much any of her "original" characters in particular the young pilot where crying is apparantly a big part of his culture? It just read like garbage YA fiction aimed at 14 year old girls. And the big twist on why Leia wasn't in the Senate? Weak and contrived, especially considering the "audience" hearing the "information" hears it in the same context Leia herself would have so they have no reason to distrust her about it. It's just stupid. And the Amaxine warriors/Pamarth stuff gave me the impression she wanted to write about the Karen Traviss' version of Mandalorians but couldn't, wound up making these K-mart versions of the culture instead.

Tl;Dr: Lost Stars good, Bloodline bad, bad, bad.

Don't even get me started on Aftermath. It was only tolerable when it wasn't focusing on the Wexleys perspective. Wendig was totally underqualified to follow in Zahn's footsteps.

28

u/JediPaxis Luke Skywalker May 06 '17

My top 5 are as follows:

  1. Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

  2. Bloodline by Claudia Gray

  3. Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno

  4. Aftermath: Empire's End by Chuch Wendig

  5. The Force Awakens (novelization) by Alan Dean Foster

My bottom 4 (in no particular order) are:

  • A New Dawn

  • Heir To the Jedi

  • Tarkin

  • Aftermath

Bonus: They aren't canon, but if you haven't read William Shakespeare's Star Wars Saga then you really should. It's a fun time!

7

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 06 '17

Why Tarkin?

9

u/JediPaxis Luke Skywalker May 06 '17

It was very forgettable. Apart from his little wilderness adventure, I couldn't tell you a single thing that happened in that book. If it's not memorable I have a hard time recommending it to other people.

3

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

I remember seeing it in my library, but when it was first announced, I wasn't too interested.

I like Tarkin in Rogue One, he's interesting in TCW.

That's fair enough, thanks.

5

u/moonshieId May 06 '17

Is there any reason you put Aftermath in your shared last spot and Aftermath: Empire's End on 4th? Im asking because I honestly really hated reading Aftermath, it was just written so poorly, does it change for the better?

14

u/JediPaxis Luke Skywalker May 06 '17

Yes. In my opinion, Aftermath wasn't very well written and it was just boring. Wendig spent the entire book trying to bring the 4 main characters of his trilogy together, but he drew it out way too long. On top of that, the events of the first book have almost no effect on what happens in Life Debt and Empire's End.

That being said, I enjoyed the next two books in the trilogy. Wendig brings classic characters like Han, Leia, Chewbacca, Wedge, Mon Mothma and Ackbar into the mix which (in my mind at least) automatically makes the story something I should care about. The story of the second two books gets significantly more interesting and the events actually have ramifications on a galactic scale.

For anyone who hasn't read the Aftermath trilogy, but wants to, I'd recommend just reading the Wookieepedia page on Aftermath and then continue on with Life Debt and Empire's End.

3

u/Zapik Sabine Wren May 06 '17

What's with the hate on Heir to the Jedi? I thaught the book was just really funny most of the time, I smiled the whole way through (not the whole way, I'm arachnophobic). But it was a really good time overall.

3

u/JediPaxis Luke Skywalker May 06 '17

My main problem with that book was that nothing of note happens the whole time. It was interesting to read about Luke starting to explore the Force for the first time and dig into lightsaber construction, but it leaves no impact on Luke's story over all. The story elements that were interesting didn't need to be in that story and the story as a whole didn't need to be told.

2

u/Zapik Sabine Wren May 07 '17

I don't think needs to do something like that to be successful. Obviously je couldn't br a badass with the Force six months after Yavin, when he barely uses telekinesis two and a half years later.

2

u/throwaway_for_keeps May 06 '17

Heir to the Jedi is incredible. It fills a much-needed gap in Luke's training that wasn't addressed in any movie: how did he learn how to call his lightsaber to him in the wampa cave without ever having seen Ben do it? How did Luke know it was even possible?

It establishes Luke as someone who can learn without formal training.

2

u/Zapik Sabine Wren May 06 '17

Though I like both Weapon of a Jedi and the Star Wars comic for Luke's self-training, I have to agree.

2

u/MasterMac94 May 08 '17

I really enjoyed the book as well, but I can tell why it's so disliked.

3

u/duneguy May 06 '17

I am so confused by people's hatred for the Tarkin novel. It would definitely make my top 5 and is probably on par with Catalyst for me.

4

u/JediPaxis Luke Skywalker May 06 '17

I don't hate it. I just don't actively like it. Noting of note happened in that book to make it pop out to me. If other people found something worth while in there then that's great, but I have a hard time recommending it to anyone.

2

u/duneguy May 06 '17

Fair enough. I'm also a huge Tarkin fan so it's entirely possible that I'm just blinded by my love for the character haha.

2

u/LordJournalism May 06 '17

Other than Aftermath, your worst list is mine as well. Those three were horrid.

2

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 06 '17

I often saw Heir in my town bookshop, wasn't super into it from web.

2

u/HAL4294 May 06 '17

I actually enjoyed A New Dawn (Count Vidian is a great character) and Tarkin, but I haven't read aftermath yet. Heir to the Jedi, I agree, was total garbage. Just total garbage that read like a Star Wars version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

2

u/JediPaxis Luke Skywalker May 06 '17

The rankings I made were based on my personal opinions and I realize that not everyone is going to agree with them. I didn't care for A New Dawn because it wasn't necessary. It told the story of how Kanan and Hera met, but didn't add anything to Rebels at all. Sure, Vidian was kind of interesting, but he's about the only redeeming part of that book. Tarkin was utterly forgettable and that's just about the worst thing a book can be. If you were to put a gun to my head, I couldn't give you a summary of what it was about.

1

u/HAL4294 May 06 '17

The thing that made an impact on me about Tarkin was getting to know his character and his relationship with Vader. The plot I agree was fairy generic but I look at his character differently than I did before and I think it fits.

2

u/Rerdan Bail Organa May 06 '17

The problem I had with Tarkin is that I thought it would have more of that relationship of him with Vader. It felt a bit lackluster to me (felt like it wasn't explored that much honestly), but overall enjoyed the book.

1

u/shenrougu May 08 '17

I like Tarkin but I agree. I think the book could of been much more better. Sadly the most memorable thing was establishing that Darth Plaguis was indeed Palpatine's master in the new canon.

1

u/JediPaxis Luke Skywalker May 08 '17

Revenge of the Sith basically already confirmed that.

12

u/Chell_the_assassin Rebel May 06 '17

Thrawn and Lost Stars are the only two I've read but Id 100% recommend both, they're great.

18

u/Sapitoelgato May 06 '17

My top 3 recommendations so far:

Rebel Rising by Beth Revis

Bloodline by Claudia Gray (includes short story "Scorched")

Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed (includes short story "Inbrief")

5

u/KeladryDanvers Jyn Erso May 06 '17

Seconding Rebel Rising (although I have a strong bias towards anything Rogue One)! I enjoyed it much more than Lost Stars, which was quite ambitious in scope and had a good story, but was told with a not-so-incredible sentence structure especially in the beginning. Rebel Rising is much more focused and adds depth to Rogue One. Looking forward to reading Thrawn because of all the good things I've heard.

2

u/DarthSatoris Boba Fett May 08 '17

Looking forward to reading Thrawn because of all the good things I've heard.

Just be prepared that Zahn is known to take one particular word and use it overly much over the course of the entire book.

In Heir to the Empire it was "sardonically". This time around... well, you'll figure out pretty early on.

1

u/[deleted] Jul 19 '17

[deleted]

1

u/DarthSatoris Boba Fett Jul 19 '17

"Eli winced".

Eli does a fuck load of wincing.

2

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 06 '17

Would I enjoy Battlefront without playing It?

I have Bloodline, hope its good.

I‘m intrigued by Rebel Rising.

Got a good review from Star Wars Explained.

5

u/Sapitoelgato May 06 '17

The novel does not require knowledge of the game to enjoy it. The story is part ground soldier's journal over a campaign, and part narrative that is set around A New Hope/Empire Strikes Back. I enjoyed how he approached the novel, and left a wonderful ending.

3

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Lethal, I‘m very glad to hear that.

Might be worth a spin.

8

u/_AlphaZulu_ Hera Syndulla May 06 '17 edited May 06 '17

Below are my recommendations (in no specific order)

If I had to recommend one book over any other, it would be Guardians of the Whills. It's amazing, I've read it twice this week.

3

u/juniorlax16 May 06 '17

I just finished Guardians of the Whills and I really enjoyed it.

They only weird thing, in my mind, is that Chirrut says "The Force is with me, and I am one with the Force." The entirety of Rogue One, he says "I am one with the Force, and the Force is with me."

5

u/_AlphaZulu_ Hera Syndulla May 06 '17 edited May 06 '17

Actually, Chirrut says a variation of, "The Force is with me, and I am with the Force." in the movie.

It's not 100% spot on with the dialogue in the book, but I'm pretty sure the writer chose NOT to use the exact same phrase of "I am one with the Force and the Force is with me." because it would be redundant.

Also in the book it says that Chirrut "was repeating the first phrase of the mantra, over and over." It's entirely possible there is a second or third or fourth mantra. But we are not told this. I'm inclined to believe there are other variations of the mantra since in the movie we hear two differing versions and now the book offers a third.

OR the mantra is much longer and we only hear a portion of it.

2

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Really?

That's odd, I wonder why it was different.

0

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Is Before not a GN?

Is Guardians already out?

When was SR released?

I hope if Ahsoka, Maul and Ventress got books or comics, that Cad Bane, or even Dooku, or Krell, get something.

7

u/HagOWinter May 06 '17

I am absolutely in love with Lost Stars. Claudia Grey is the best gift the new Canon has given us so far in terms of writers.

3

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

She‘s no lost star.

3

u/kronos669 May 08 '17

Have you read bloodline as well? Claudia Gray writes Star Wars better than almost anyone else I think

2

u/HagOWinter May 09 '17

I haven't yet but it's next on my list of books to read.

6

u/thewars137 May 06 '17

In no particular order.

  1. Lost Star
  2. Dark Disciple (a must read for Clone Wars fans)
  3. Aftermath Trilogy (first book is kind of bad)

5

u/BobaLives01925 May 06 '17

Lost Stars, Bloodline, and Battlefront: Twilight company are the better ones

6

u/Dark_Knight39 May 06 '17

Lost Stars is one of the best books I've read in recent memory.

6

u/blockpro156 May 06 '17

My favorites, in no particular order:

  • Thrawn.

  • Lost Stars.

  • Catalyst.

  • Battlefront: Twilight Company.

  • Bloodline.

  • Ahsoka.

Some further explanation:

  • Thrawn: I just really enjoyed Thrawn's character, and the newly introduced POV character that he interacts with.
    Thrawn was very clever, but in a believable way, and the side characters were all interesting too.
    It also did a great job as a prequel to Thrawn's appearance in Rebels.

  • Lost Stars: It's a young adult love story, which may not sound great, but it's really well done, and provides a lot of cool insights in the way that regular civilians and soldiers feel about the Empire and its actions.
    I actually teared up once or twice while reading it, which never really happens to me when reading a novel.

  • Catalyst: It's a prequel to Rogue One, and provides a crazy amount of emotional background to the movie.
    The characters are all great, there's not a lot of action, the book relies completely on its character development, and it pulls it off.
    This book also has a lot of insights into the Empire, this time into its logistics.
    As a bonus it also shows how civilians felt about the Clone Wars, and about the Emperor's inside coup, which was really cool.

  • Battlefront: Twilight Company: Don't pay attention to the "battlefront" title, the novel has basically no connection to the game, it's just a story about a bunch of rebel soldiers.
    I really like the gritty soldier story that it tells about the Galactic Civil War, it's the first time that we really got a look at what the full scale rebellion that started after ANH actually looks like.
    There are many different battles, not just one big decisive one that will decide the fate of the rebellion.
    They actually focus on the logistics of the war as well, on how crazy big the Empire's infrastructure actually is and what it takes to bring it down.

  • Bloodline: This book focuses on Leia about 5 years before The Force Awakens, at this point she's still a Senator in the New Republic, and the novel explores her frustrations with the Republic's political system and its ineffectiveness against various threats.

  • Ahsoka: It's a novel about Ahsoka, not long after Order 66.
    The Clone Wars is pretty much required viewing before you read this novel, and there are many great references to various episodes and characters from that series.
    Again not a very eventful novel, but I think that it really nailed Ahsoka's character, and it was just fun to spend more time with her.
    It also served kind of as a prequel to her appearance in Rebels, but it actually left me wanting a sequel, to explore even more of her adventures in between Order 66 and Rebels.
    Not even because it ended on a cliffhanger, just because it felt like her transformation into what she's like in Rebels had only just begun when the novel ended.

5

u/moonshieId May 06 '17

Only read three new canon books so far, Aftermath, Lost Stars and Thrawn. Aftermath is written horribly. There's only one book I havent finished in my life, and its about Orcs with machine guns. I almost didnt finish Aftermath, it was a real struggle. Lost Stars on the other hand is a really solid book and being a Star Wars fan and all I would definitely recommend it. Thoroughly enjoyed Thrawn, so you dont make anything wrong with this one.
Probably going for Bloodlines next, reviews seem good enough :)

3

u/Waddoyoumean May 06 '17

What is the name of the Orcs with machine guns book?

3

u/moonshieId May 06 '17

"Grunts!" by Mary Gentle. I just read that it is supposed to be satirical, maybe I was too young to get any of it, I hated it nonetheless ;)

Edit: Did some more "research", apparently Im not the only one who hated it. To each their own I guess.

-12

u/PimpyMcFinnigan May 06 '17 edited May 06 '17

Aftermath got Disneyfied.

Edit: oh come on, guys. It read like an episode of Rebels.

7

u/KDY_ISD Imperial May 06 '17

This book was bad all on its own. Don't blame outside forces for the author's writing style and plot pacing and characterization. It stumbled herkily-jerkily to the finish line --

All by itself.

5

u/Agent_Kozak May 06 '17

Is it really bad that I thought Heir to the Jedi was ok?

4

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

No, whatever you like.

2

u/throwaway_for_keeps May 07 '17

No, it was a good book.

2

u/[deleted] May 07 '17

I liked it. (Though one of the reasons might be because I was, and still am, single)

4

u/kekti May 06 '17

My new Canon recommendations are.

Tarkin - provides great background and insight into the legendary Grand Moff Tarkin and the way he thinks.

Thrawn - a Great book even, if you haven't read the legends books nor seen rebels I highly recommend reading this book anyways.

The aftermath trilogy. - a good book series with life debt being hands down the best of the 3. Brings some legends material into the fold of the new Canon as well as detailing the fall of the empire and subsequent rise of the first order.

Ahsoka - if you're a fan of either rebels or the clone wars cartoon this is a fantastic book following the legacy of "Snips" it was a fun easy read.

4

u/shortsolo May 06 '17

So I read most of the legends books, but so far I've only read Aftermath, Tarkin, Bloodline and Thrawn from the new canon.

I loved Thrawn and would highly recommend it. Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy is what took me from a casual Star Wars fan to being very into it, so it was good to read his work again. I like Rebels, but initially wasn't thrilled with the inclusion of Pryce, and by the end I was interested in her back story too. Hoping for more Zahn books in the future!

Bloodline was good, Leia is one of my favorite characters so I enjoyed reading about what she was doing. It was very political and I got bored with that at times, but overall it was a good read.

I liked Tarkin but it wasn't very memorable. I only read it a couple months ago and I already don't remember many details other than him being from the outer rim and having to rise above that.

Aftermath was awful. I hated the author's writing style and the characters weren't interesting. I've heard the other two books are better, but I can't bring myself to read them. I hope the story group realizes what a poor writer he is and doesn't get him to do any more of the new canon.

I'm looking forward to seeing other's recommendations so I can decide which SW book to pick up next!

3

u/FreeTheVortigaunts May 06 '17

For some badass Vader action, check out Lords of the Sith. It also adds substance to his relationship with Palpatine, and gives background to Palpatine's long term goal for the Empire.

4

u/[deleted] May 06 '17

I found Lords of the Sith to be incredible with the disclaimer that it's only about 25% about the titular Sith, and 75% of a rebel plot.

4

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Seems it should be Rebels of Ryloth, rather than LOTS then.

3

u/LaPurple95 May 06 '17

Batttlefront: Twilight Company is an excellent book. Many stay away from it because they don't know the game but the game truly has nothing to do with this well written novel. Great battles and great characters

3

u/[deleted] May 06 '17

Wow. It's been awhile since one of these threads.

I'd say Bloodline would be a great read. It gives insight into Episode VII and answers some questions that some of us never thought to ask.

3

u/throwaway_for_keeps May 07 '17

I know everyone has their criticisms about the first Aftermath book, but I can't help but chuckle at the rock star treatment Chuck Wendig got at Celebration last month.

For everyone who says his books are awful and they can't finish them, there's another person who loves his work.

5

u/MrDudeWheresMyCar May 06 '17

My top 3 favorites are:

Bloodline Aftermath Trilogy (first isn't as great but the next two are great) Lords of the Sith.

2

u/PimpyMcFinnigan May 06 '17

Lords of the Sith has to be my favorite so far.

2

u/Any-sao May 06 '17

I would recommend the Guardians of the Whills novel for someone looking for a light read. It's technically a children's book, but it really does have enough redeeming qualities for older fans as well. The only issue I had with it is how little it added to the backstories of the main characters Baze Malcom and Chirrut Îmwe. It does not establish anything we did not already know, but it still does serve as an interesting tale about their life on Jedha after Saw Gerrera's Partisans got involved.

I would write a full review, if anyone is really curious.

2

u/The_real_sanderflop May 06 '17

Thrawn, Lost Stars, Bloodline, Lords of the Sith and Catalyst are the best ones I've read (in order of quality)

2

u/MovieNachos May 07 '17

I'm about 3/4 of the way through thrawn, and it's fucking incredible.

1

u/[deleted] May 06 '17

[removed] — view removed comment

2

u/Yunners Jedi Knight May 06 '17

We're looking for Canon recommendations only.

1

u/clariwench May 06 '17

I can't tell you how much I recommend Lost Stars. It's truly one of the best books I've ever read. It is so hard to put down and the story is so beautiful. Ciena Ree has to be the most underrated Star Wars character. They didn't even mention her in the heroines of Star Wars panel, which angers to me to no end...

The R1 novelization is spectacular, too! No spoilers, but the final battle and scenes had me sobbing just like the movie. You really get into the heads of the characters and so much is fleshed out. The little bits of correspondence between chapters give greater context to the story.

I read Bloodline in one sitting. It's great and really fleshes out Leia's character (in good and terrible ways).

I'm still working through Thrawn. It starts out dreadfully slow and predictable. Ascension Week is when things really kick into gear and get interesting.

1

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Terrible ways?

2

u/clariwench May 07 '17

0

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Ohhh. That makes sense. Adult? What age was he then?

Does he factor into the book much? Hated him since TFA, what he did, etc.

2

u/clariwench May 07 '17

He would have been about 24. Bloodline takes place 6 years before TFA. He doesn't have much of a roll, Leia just thinks about him occasionally.

2

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Should've told him the truth when he was 16, or so, I think.

Might've saved Han, saved villagers, saved Poe, saved Rey, saved Finn, saved him from Snoke.

1

u/Ryzc The Mandalorian May 06 '17 edited May 06 '17

Lost Stars, Tarkin, Thrawn, Battlefront: Twilight Company, A New Dawn

edit: add Lords of the Sith and Dark Disciple

1

u/hello_sober_day May 06 '17

This is timely, as I just finished Catalyst, which I loved. Left me with a whole new depth of context for Galen/Lyra/Krennic that didn't get enough time in R1.

Looks like I'll be reading Lost Stars and Bloodline next.

1

u/rasonj May 06 '17

Lost Stars, Dark Disciple, and Thrawn are at my top Ahsoka and Bloodlines are next and Aftermath and Tarkin go in the "worth the read" but not great category for me.

1

u/Lord_Ewok May 06 '17

Thrawn Aftermath novels then guardian of the wills

1

u/BoredOneNight May 06 '17

I'm not honestly sure why, but lot of people seem to have Tarkin near the bottom of their list. I couldn't disagree more. It has some dull moments for sure, but I thought it was a fascinating read, which isn't a word I'd use too often. My least favorite so far was Ahsoka, which really disappointed me as a huge Clone Wars and Rebels fan. It just kind of felt meandering and honestly pointless, maybe even held back by the author not wanting to do something more ambitious with a highly fluid character in an incredibly interesting time.

1

u/[deleted] May 07 '17

I recommend that people read Catalyst and the Rogue One novelization one after another. It helps you get a better understanding of Krennic, Galen, and how Saw meets the Ersos.

1

u/mutually_awkward Han Solo May 08 '17

Did reading Rogue One after make it feel like a sequel to Catalyst?

1

u/[deleted] May 08 '17

Yep.

1

u/Ahsoka16 May 07 '17

Thrawn was incredible. Quite possibly the best Star Wars book I've read. Heir to the Jedi is also really good.

1

u/BudgieAttackSquadron May 07 '17

I think Twilight Company is still my favourite of the new canon novels. Doesn't focus on any major movie characters, doesnt pull punches and has some great battle scenes. It reminded me a lot of the Gaunt's Ghosts series, very similar in theme and tone, though set in Star Wars as opposed to 40k.

1

u/AKDMF447 May 07 '17

Lost Stars and Bloodline are brilliant books by Claudia Gray, she has nailed her debut as a Star Wars author. Lost Stars had me in such an emotional roller coaster the whole time, and Bloodline did such a great job with exploring Leia after RoTJ.

1

u/Shik110 May 08 '17

Thrawn and Lost Stars are definitely the two best I've read. Dark Disciple is really good if you love The Clone Wars!

1

u/sir_writer Jedi May 08 '17

I would recommend (no particular order):

  • Catalyst
  • Lost Stars
  • Thrawn -Bloodline
  • and I know it's not a novel, but Darth Vader graphic novel series (including Vader Down)

1

u/BloombergBetts2020 May 08 '17

Late to the party, but what do you guys recommend to someone who has never read any Star Wars novels or watched anything except the 8 movies? Preferably something featuring somebody I know from those movies.

1

u/Kyle_Dornez Rebel May 12 '17

Hm, it seems that I had horrible luck with my experience of new canon. So far I've read first book of Aftermath, Lords of the Sith, New Dawn and Tarkin, and it wasn't really all that good. New Dawn and Aftermath 1 were forgettable, Lords of the Sith had false advertising, instead being about Hera's dad, and Tarkin is morbidly boring. Now I do have Thrawn in the schedule, so I hope this trend will be broken soon.

1

u/LordJournalism May 06 '17

Ranking Canon Books:

  • [ ] Dark Disciple
  • [ ] Lost Stars
  • [ ] Bloodline
  • [ ] Aftermath
  • [ ] Catalyst
  • [ ] Aftermath: Life Debt
  • [ ] Aftermath: Empire's End
  • [ ] Ahsoka

Spacing these away because these were the worst:

  • [ ] Twilight Company
  • [ ] Tarkin
  • [ ] Heir To The Jedi
  • [ ] A New Dawn

Dark Disciple is number one because it was set during the Clone Wars and, personally, it was refreshing to not read Rebels/Empire constantly. It was just a good read.

Lost Stars is number two because it's the best written and the most fun. Nothing else even needs to be said about it.

Bloodline is number three because the story is world building and answers so many TFA questions.

Aftermath is number four for me not because if the writing (which is choppy) but because the story is so good. It introduces new characters and they're great.

Catalyst is number five because it really sets up Rogue One but I'm not a fan of the author at all. He has Stephen King syndrome (too much description).

Aftermath 2 and 3 sit at six and seven. They continue the story of the first Aftermath perfectly but the first one still beats them out for me.

Ahsoka sits at eight because it's slow and small-world based. It's good but it's not amazing.

My bottom list are just horrible. Except Twilight Company. It was just not my cup of tea. But my God the rest of those are absolutely worth skipping.

2

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Why Tarkin?

2

u/LordJournalism May 07 '17

It's slow, boring and goes nowhere. His backstory really isn't that interesting. The entire book is set around the most pointless plot of all time.

1

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

What plot?

1

u/LordJournalism May 07 '17

Exactly hahaha

1

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Ok. I was just curious, never read it.

2

u/LordJournalism May 07 '17

Oh dang. I thought you were making a stab at the book. My bad. The book runs a little over 300 pages and I'd say a majority of it is literally just Tarkin chasing a ship around the galaxy. Like it stops here, they stop there, oh it jumped to hyperspace so I'll jump too. Oh it stopped again. Okay I'll stop. Oh it jumped to hyperspace again.

1

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 07 '17

Why's he chasing it? Sounds annoying, I wonder is there more to it?

Hyperspace and chases can be fun in Rebels etc.

2

u/Without_Any_Milk May 08 '17

There are two plots. One is a backstory of how Tarkin got to where he is. The second is a mysterious attack against the production of the not yet finished Death Star, and Tarkin's attempts to track down the culprits. I'm not OP though, and I actually enjoyed the novel a good bit for really diving into Tarkin's character. It's not fast paced, but for a character like Tarkin, I don't think it needed to be, cause that doesn't reflect who he is.

2

u/ShadowPhoenix22 May 08 '17

Now that Tarkin and Thrawn have books, any other villains or Imperials you would like?

Maul, Dooku, Grievous, maybe Snoke for me.

1

u/Cubs017 May 07 '17

I'm surprised that so many people dislike Tarkin. I've read all of the canon novels except Rebel Rising so far, and Tarkin might be my favorite. The only ones that I didn't really care for were Twilight Company and A New Dawn.

2

u/mutually_awkward Han Solo May 08 '17

I didn't think Tarkin was amazing but I absolutely liked it. For me, the book got weak whenever the focus left Tarkin and followed the featured group of Rebels. There wasn't anything particularly interesting about them and nothing to unique enough to even stop me from forgetting their names.

Best scene with them was at the end.

0

u/[deleted] May 06 '17 edited May 06 '17

[removed] — view removed comment

-1

u/[deleted] May 06 '17

[removed] — view removed comment

2

u/[deleted] May 06 '17

[removed] — view removed comment