Remnant – Sean Williams & Shane Dix

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Author: Sean Williams & Shane Dix
Series: Star Wars: The New Jedi Order #15 / Force Heretic #1
Pages: 413

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As the bloodied and weary galaxy faces battle once more, the Jedi take on the formidable task of bringing the last of the Empire into the light…

From the ashes of the New Republic—torn to shreds by the savage Yuuzhan Vong forces—the newly formed Galactic Alliance has risen, determined to bring peace to the entire galaxy. But first the Yuuzhan Vong must be contained once and for all. And so Luke Skywalker seeks a world long lost to legend: Zonama Sekot, a sentient planet believed to have repelled an invasion by the Yuuzhan Vong decades ago. Deciphering the enigmatic secrets of Zonama Sekot just might turn the tides of a relentless war.

Aboard the Jade Shadow, Luke, his wife Mara, Jacen Solo, and other Jedi head off into the Unknown Regions, where rumors and clues suggest Zonama Sekot might be found. Yet the mission has barely begun when the searchers stumble into a horrific battle. The Imperial Remnant, in retreat from the mighty Yuuzhan Vong, is about to be destroyed. It would seem those aboard the Jade Shadow have little choice but to leave the Empire to its fate. But these are no ordinary space travelers, they are Jedi…

Will 2019 be the year I finally end this Star Wars saga? I want to, but I think I would bet on the opposite. Too many books catch my eye everyday and my TBR is becoming a crazy monster. One I will need two or three more lives to slay!!

In this book we have two stories, following two groups of heroes. The mission to discover what is happening with the communications in Galantos with Han, Leia, Jaina, Jag and Tahiri. And the mission to find the living planet Zonama Sekot in the Unknown Regions with Luke, Mara, Jacen, Danni, Saba and Tekli. Both of them are plagued by the Yuuzhan Vong.

I have liked the book, but I have also found it pretty much unnecessary for the big schema of the figth against the Yuuzhan Vong. Or, at least, half the book feels like that. The mission to Galantos is obviously important, but it has zero appeal for the reader. It is salvagable thanks to the slow romance between Jaina and Jag and the mysteries sorrounding Tahiri. The rest is just a bunch of paragraphs to fill the book. Not boring, though. It’s just that I don’t see the point in telling us this story so far into the saga.

The other mission is way more interesting. That group has to hunt the planet Zonama Sekot through the Unknown Regions and the Remnant Empire are the ones closest to it. So is just logical to think that they must have some kind of intel. The diplomatic mission turns pretty soon into a military one, because the Impirial Capital is under attack by the Yuuzhan Vong. Here we have lots of crazy action, interesting dialogues exchange with the Empire and also a bit of romance thanks to Jacen and Danni. I’ve been shipping for those two for ages!! This mission is much more enjoyable and feels like it holds some real weight for the future. It also gifts the reader with some epic moments. You don’t read everyday a Grand Admiral defending a group of Jedis.

This trilogy inside the New Jedi Order saga looks like is going to be a journey through memory lane for Han, Leia and their group. Their first step in Galantos has served to refresh the crisis with the Yevetha and for the second book they are all headed to Bakura (home of another old glaactic crisis). At least I’m glad the Yuuzhan Vong are not making allies among the scum of that faraway Galaxy… Let’s hope the stop in Bakura is more eventful. I’m very curious about the mysterious stranger that knows too much about everything…

I don’t have anything else to say about the book. It’s correct but lacks the epicness that has been a constant for this saga. I guess the following books will be much better now that the first steps are over.

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2019 – Book Gallery

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Ylesia – Walter Jon Williams

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Author: Walter Jon Williams
Series: Star Wars: The New Jedi Order #14.5
Pages: 121

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RIPE FOR THE PLUCKING

That’s Jedi Knight Kyp Durron’s opinion about the planet Ylesia, home base of the so-called Peace Brigade, a group of traitors dedicated to hindering the war efforts of the New Republic and hastening the ultimate victory of the merciless Yuuzhan Vong. Kyp’s plan calls for a lightning-fast strike, backed with overwhelming force, to destroy the Brigade’s offensive capabilities and teach prospective traitors that betrayal carries a heavy price. But young Jacen Solo, still bearing the scars of his imprisonment by the Yuuzhan Vong, has a better idea: a daring raid into the heart of Ylesia’s capital, with the objective of capturing the Brigade’s top leaders—including the newly sworn-in President, Thrackan Sal-Solo, cousin to Jacen and his twin, Jaina.

But unknown to the Jedi and the New Republic forces, Supreme Overlord Shimrra of the Yuuzhan Vong has dispatched reinforcements to the Ylesia system. Instead of a swift surgical strike, Jaina, Jacen, Kyp, and their comrades are about to find themselves locked in a desperate battle for survival, with the odds stacked against them and time running out…

There is not much to tell about this book. It’s a short story that takes place in the middle of the previous book, so the reader has to adapt their internal timetable to not get lost with this tale.

The book narrates the battle of Ylesia. The Yuuzhan Von obliterated the hutts living there and now the planet is controlled by the Peace Brigade (a.k.a. Vong Puppets). The new leader of that Brigade is not other than Thrackan Sal-Solo, cousin of Jacen and Jaina Solo. They are not friendly with each other… The New Republic has a plan to capture the Brigades’s leaders and make their trials public to rise the moral among the loyal followers of the New Republic. Obviously, nothing is simple when there are Vongs involved…

It’s an easy and well-paced read. Nothing remarkable, but a nice peek to that huge Universe that is Star Wars. Thankfully, the author doesn’t waste time trying to sell the plan to the readers with lots of political and military meetings (as in other books of this saga) and gets his hands dirty pretty fast. Not boring at all, but far from memorable. I guess I will remember that I have read this because it will forever saved on my Goodreads list…

In this okayish book there is a bright light that I have really enjoyed. Maybe it’s because I’m a huge fan of romance books, so the nods to Jaina’s relationship with Jagged Fel has made me smile from ear to ear. Han’s and Leia’s daughter is one of my favourite Star Wars characters. I was so pissed after the last book due to what Luke told her… I’m glad she is getting a bit of happines from the Imperial pilot. Let’s hope it last!! Romance and Star Wars are not usually best friends…

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2018 – Book Gallery

Destiny’s Way – Walter Jon Williams

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Author: Walter Jon Williams
Series: Star Wars: The New Jedi Order #14
Pages: 480

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In the war against the ruthless Yuuzhan Vong, the fall of Coruscant leaves the New Republic divided by internal strife and on their verge of bowing to conquest. But those who refuse to surrender – Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo and their children and comrades-in-arms are determined to seize victory against overwhelming odds.

Can I rant for a little while? Being this my blog, I guess I don’t need permission, so… rant it is!! My love for Star Wars started a long time ago in a very close place: the cinema next to my home. About 15 years ago, I started reading books and comics of this huge Universe. I didn’t know a word in English back then, so I had to wait for the Spanish translation. Even though I learned English (I get by at least), I kept buying Star Wars books in Spanish to support the awesome publisher called Alberto Santos. They made a great effort to bring us many Star Wars books in the best quality possible. For reasons unknown, they lost the rights to publish those books. Planeta DeAgostini (a huge publisher) got them and started publishing them thorugh their Timun Mas editorial. The nightmare began.

Albert Santos only could publish four or five books of The New Jedi Order saga before losing the rights. Planeta DeAgostini, instead of releasing the rest in bookshops, thought it would be “funnier” to publish the rest as a weekly kiosk collection… I got a few, but I missed most of them. The service to get back issues was crap :(. I cried a little bit. I love The New Jedi Order books so much!! I wanted them in Spanish so my brother could read them, too. I felt backstabbed, but I put my faith on the new releases by Timun Mas. BIIIIIIG mistake!! The quality of the books was shameful. Horrible translations. Grammatical mistakes in every single page. I even have a book where, during a whole chapter, Padme is treated as a man and Palpatine as a woman… They killed this collector of Star Wars books in Spanish. That moment is when I decided to read them in English and ignore Timun Mas’ shenanigans.

Buuut Disney bought Star Wars and took the decision to put the whole Expanded Universe in a Legacy box and make it non-official. I know I shouldn’t, but I felt cheated. It’s a pretty clever move to give them some freedom and the books are still there, but I felt I was loving a Star Wars of a parallel universe and my interest for the Star Wars books (old and new) decreased to almost nothing. I need to get my mojo back, and what better than the New Jedi Order to achieve that? I have yet several books to read to know how they defeat the Yuuzhan Vong (if they defeat them!!).

This books tells the next step of the war against the Yuuzhan Vong. Jacen and Vergere have escaped, Jaina is leaving behind her dark moments and the New Republic is about to build a new government in Mon Calamari. In that planet, the former Admiral Ackbar comes with a plan to defeat the Yuuzhan Vong once and for all. Or at least to put a big dent in their military resources. That plan need a bait: Jaina. She doesn’t know that part of the plan, by the way. Everything is being kept very secret.

I won’t spoil the end of the battle, but I must say this is maybe the happiest book so far. There are not big deaths that make you cry for days as in previous books. The list of casualties is so long… I can barely keep track of all the awesome characters that have met they end during this conflict.

This book has a bit of everything. The worst are all the space battles before the big one. All those fights against the Yuuzhan Vong feel the same. The New Republic doesn’t have many tactics to avoid the dovin basals of the enemy, so the description of them is rather repetitive. That’s not the fault of the writer. It has been like that for several books already. I enjoyed the most the political part, even though our beloved heroes have some behaviours that make me a bit angry. The blackmail to influence the election results… That is going to come back viciously!!

I have to confess that I kind of hate Luke in this book. The way he moves his former students as if they were mere chess pieces… Man, that’s cold. Jaina and Jacen are family!!! And the words he says to Jaina during the Jedi graduation… I was speechless. I wanted to punch him so hard!!! He has to be extra-nice in the next books if he wants my forgiveness!!

I’m also a bit scared with myself. I didn’t dislike the Alpha Red solution and I know I should. The Yuuzhan have brought so much pain to the galaxy that my empathy for them is non-existent.

I’ll keep reading this saga, because I need to know how they defeat the Yuuzhan Vong. I don’t know if I will read more books of the Legacy box after the New Jedi Order. It will all depend  on the reanimation of my inner Star Wars fanboy.

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2018 – Book Gallery