Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bookworming: Heir to the Empire

Heir to the Empire, Timothy Zahn, ***
I am not particularly interested in novels which expand series from other media. Nevertheless, they can be hard to resist for properties one is invested in. I have occasionally wandered down that road over the years for Robotech, Babylon 5, Star Trek, and, as in this case, Star Wars. As one might expect, it has been a very, very mixed bag. Which brings me to the subject of today's review.

Long before "The Force Awakens" there was another what-happened-next Star Wars story. This one started five years after the events of "Return of the Jedi", bringing back the major characters and introducing new ones into the mix. Personally, I think the novel does an excellent job of evoking the trappings of the Star Wars universe without being bound entirely by the differences in storytelling between movies and books. However, the differences do show up. This is a 400 page novel, not a two hour movie, and even though there a several set-piece action scenes, the pacing is quite a bit more languid than one might associate with Star Wars. And as you would expect, there is no introduction to the old characters or their universe. It is also the first in a trilogy, and the usual tropes apply. Still, this is widely hailed as one of the best Star Wars novels, and if that is what you are after, and if you don't mind that it now lives outside the cannon, then give it a go.

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