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The New Canon Books Thread


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Djo asked if there was a thread around for book discussion/recs, so I thought I'd start one.

 

I'm not sure how many people are even reading the books nowadays, but I always like to encourage people to start and help them find books they might enjoy.

 

(If you don't like the EU, great. If you don't like the new canon, fine. Please don't turn this thread into another debate/bashing session. Thanks!)

 

Unlike in the Legends era, there are two main publishing companies producing SW books content these days: Del Rey and Disney Press. Del Rey produces "adult" novels, whereas Disney produces "young reader." For the sake of this discussion, young reader means middle grade/young adult novels. Content and quality wise, there really isn't much of a difference between the Del Rey and Disney novels, except for the fact that the Disney novels tend to be about younger characters, the font size is bigger, and the book size is smaller.

 

So, where to begin? In the Legends era, I wouldn't even have to think about my answer. Now it's not so cut and dry. It depends on what eras you like, what characters you like, what you want to learn more about. Most of the novels today stand alone; you only need to have seen the movies to understand them. I'm going to try to go by era, and highlight the characters in each book and my overall thoughts of them. If you have other questions, fire at will!

 

Prequel Trilogy related content:

Lords of the Sith by Paul Kemp - I did not read this book. It's about Palpatine and Vader and also has some ties to the Clone Wars with Cham Syndulla.

 

The Clone Wars related content:

Dark Disciple by Christie Golden - An adaptation of scripts that were never produced before the show was cancelled. Involves a Quinlan Vos and Asajj Ventress team-up.

Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston - Ahsoka a year after Order 66. Shows how she became Fulcrum and made her white lightsabers.

Battlefront 2: Inferno Squad by Christie Golden - Background for the characters in the Battlefront 2 campaign story. Also ties up some loose ends from The Clone Wars.

 

Star Wars Rebels related content:

A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller - When Kanan Jarrus met Hera Syndulla. Also the first appearance of one of the best new canon characters, Imperial captain (later Grand Admiral) Rae Sloane.

Servants of the Empire quartet by Jason Fry - A middle grade series about Zare Leonis, a character who appears in Season 2 of Rebels. A great study of life on Lothal, and what it takes for someone to become a rebel. Jason is one of my favorite Star Wars authors and I will read anything he writes. Sidenote - he's writing The Last Jedi novelization.

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn - How Thrawn joined the Empire and rose to the rank of Grand Admiral. If you liked Zahn and Thrawn, this book is a no-brainer. It also features Ahrinda Pryce.

 

Rogue One related content:

Catalyst by James Luceno - Provides a lot of background on the relationship between Galen Erso, Lyra Erso, and Orson Krennic. Saw Gerrera also features. Kind of dry otherwise, but it makes you see the beginning of Rogue One in a new light.

Rebel Rising by Beth Revis - Depicts Jyn's life with Saw's Partisans and after he abandoned her. Young adult.

Guardians of the Whills by Greg Rucka - Depicts Chirrut and Baze working with Saw's group on Jedha. A really great character study. Middle grade.

Inferno Squad by Christie Golden - See previous description. Inferno Squad is sent to infiltrate the Dreamers, what's left of Saw's group after Jedha.

 

Original Trilogy era related content:

Tarkin by James Luceno - I did not read this book.

Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne - I did not like this book. If you want a good Luke novel, see below.

Aftermath Trilogy by Chuck Wendig - There's a lot of mixed opinions on this series, but I loved it. It stars a ragtag group of Rebels and depicts the year after the Battle of Endor through the Battle of Jakku. Want to know how the Empire truly ended? Here's the story. Also, Sinjir is my favorite character of the new canon. Rae Sloane returns as an admiral.

Lost Stars by Claudia Gray - The story of two friends who fall in love, but one stays with the Empire and the other defects to the Rebels. It's a really great story that shows the inner workings of the Empire, why people stayed with the Empire and why people defected, and spans from before the Original Trilogy through the Battle of Jakku. Young adult.

The Weapon of a Jedi by Jason Fry - The first of three middle grade novels about each of the Big Three. This is one of my favorite depictions of Luke Skywalker ever. Luke explores a Jedi temple a little after the Battle of Yavin.

Smuggler's Run by Greg Rucka - Rucka writes Han really, really well. It's Han, Chewie, and the Falcon. Really, what more do you want? Middle grade.

Moving Target by Cecil Castelluci and Jason Fry - A much-needed story about Leia as a leader in the Rebellion. This one takes place between Empire and Jedi. Middle grade.

Battlefront: Twilight Company by Alexander Freed - A tie-in to the first Battlefront video game. I didn't care for it, but a lot of people enjoyed the ensemble cast. It spans through the Original Trilogy.

Leia, Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray - The story of a young senator Leia learning her parents are working with the Rebellion. Claudia Gray writes a stellar Leia. The last line is a kick in the gut. This book also features Amilyn Holdo from The Last Jedi. Young adult.

From a Certain Point of View anthology - An anthology of forty short stories all taking place during A New Hope. This is a wonderful place to start with the new canon, as the stories span a wide variety of styles and characters so there's something for everyone.

 

Sequel Trilogy era related content:

Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka - The story of Finn, Rey, and Poe before The Force Awakens. The Poe story, especially, provides a lot of good information about the Resistance and the political landscape during the Sequel Trilogy. Middle grade.

Bloodline by Claudia Gray - One of my favorite new canon adult novels. Want to know about the creation of the First Order and how the galaxy at large learned Vader was Leia's father? This is that story.

Phasma by Delilah Dawson - How did Phasma join the First Order? This book has been described as Mad Max in space. It provides some more context to the First Order. (I would recommend reading Servants of the Empire and Aftermath before this one, so you get context about Brendol Hux, aka the worst father in the galaxy.)

The Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu - This is almost required reading in light of The Last Jedi. How did Luke Skywalker become a legend? What was going through his head during those final moments on Ahch-To? And just how exactly did he learn to spearfish? Did I mention I love this novel? Because I do. Ken Liu can write Star Wars, and Luke Skywalker, any day. Middle grade.

Canto Bight anthology - I have not read this yet. Four novellas that take place one night in Canto Bight. Features some really great SFF authors like Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire) and Saladin Ahmed.

Cobalt Squadron by Elizabeth Wein - I also haven't read this yet. A middle grade novel about Rose and Paige Tico.

 

 

 

So, where would I begin? Like I said, you can pretty much begin anywhere. But for simplicity's sake, here's my recommended starting points:

- From a Certain Point of View - Everyone has seen A New Hope.

- Bloodline - If you've seen The Force Awakens, this is all you need.

- Aftermath trilogy - Again, all you need is the movies, but this also kind of eases you into the world outside of the movies. If you don't like the writing style, go with Phasma.

 

And then, you can go from there.

 

Phew, that was a lot. Hopefully it's helpful. Any questions?

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Publication order is always a good option, then, so you don't miss any of the references.

 

I don't know if there will be a lot of issues though, as the new canon books stand alone a lot more than Legends ever did, which is both good and bad. Good because it's easier to jump in and not miss a lot of references, but bad because I like getting to see characters develop over many books.

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Thank you Mara! This is brilliant :)

 

I've just about finished Bloodline and I'm really enjoying it. Then I'm going to read 2 and 3 of Aftermath series. I'll read From a Certain Point of View after that because I loved the Legends "Tales from...".

 

Then I'm going to go back and read Servants of the Empire then Thrawn because I've always loved his character and I'm glad they brought him into the new EU.

 

Then I'll make my way through the Rogue One Era because they all sound interesting. I really like Rogue One and thin k there are a lot of in interesting characters there to keep exploring.

 

After that I'll pick and choose from the OT Era and work my way to the Sequel Era.

 

Thank goodness for electronic readers. We have no more room in our house for books. All our bookshelves are full and we have boxes of books (including 3 boxes of Legends EU that I just can't bring myself to donate) stored away. It also makes it much easier to buy. No sooner had you recommended Bloodline then I was onto Amazon buying it.

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I have actually incorporated a few new canon works into my EU (Legends) collection, placing them where they could conceivably fit. These include the Rogue One film, novelization, and comic adaptation; Guardians of the Whills; Rebel Dawn; Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel: Tarkin (reading that now); Thrawn; Lords of the Sith; A New Dawn; the Rebels TV show (haven't watched it yet; waiting till it wraps up so I can binge watch); several short stories; as well as the Kanan and Obi-Wan & Anakin comics. If it fits, I'm interested. The apologetics that come along with making it fit is also fun.

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Thank you Mara! This is brilliant :)

 

I've just about finished Bloodline and I'm really enjoying it. Then I'm going to read 2 and 3 of Aftermath series. I'll read From a Certain Point of View after that because I loved the Legends "Tales from...".

 

Then I'm going to go back and read Servants of the Empire then Thrawn because I've always loved his character and I'm glad they brought him into the new EU.

 

Then I'll make my way through the Rogue One Era because they all sound interesting. I really like Rogue One and thin k there are a lot of in interesting characters there to keep exploring.

 

After that I'll pick and choose from the OT Era and work my way to the Sequel Era.

 

Thank goodness for electronic readers. We have no more room in our house for books. All our bookshelves are full and we have boxes of books (including 3 boxes of Legends EU that I just can't bring myself to donate) stored away. It also makes it much easier to buy. No sooner had you recommended Bloodline then I was onto Amazon buying it.

You're welcome! I figure I might as well put my pointless knowledge to use. :)

 

If you liked Bloodline, I would recommend reading Leia, Princess of Alderaan right away. It was great reading about Leia in two different points of her life from the same author.

 

You'll be happy to know that there's another Thrawn book coming out in July! And this one will have Vader. :)

 

Guardians of the Whills was my favorite of the Rogue One books. Chirrut and Baze are the best.

 

I know what you mean about Kindle books. I get physical review copies of all the novels, otherwise I wouldn't bother buying hard copies except for books I want to get autographed. I still buy Kindle copies of the ones I'm really looking forward to, because I hate reading physical books nowadays. :p

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Maybe I"m just not far enough into it yet but I'm not digging the Leia, Princess of Alderaan. I'm not done yet so that could change.

 

This is an awesome list. I read A New Dawn and didn't even catch the Sloane tie in with the later novels! Of course, I'm not good at remembering names. I do good to remember my own....

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Guest El Chalupacabra

These are more like questions of curiosity, since I haven't really been into the EU novels (old and new) since really the Thrawn Trilogy, and I, Jedi:

1. Is there a new EU book (yet) that has any background on Snoke?

2. Are there any old EU authors who also wrote new EU novels?

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Really enjoyed Bloodline & Catalyst. . .both gave a good insight to the workings of the Empire & Republic and managed to tell a pretty good story too. Haven't been able to get into Aftermath. . .the writing didn't bother me that much but just couldn't get into it. Might give it another shot though. Thrawn I was really looking forward to reading but the copy I bought online was lost in the mail and I'm too bitter to buy it again.

 

Not the books but I've checked out a lot of the new Marvel comics and some of those are really good. The first Vader run was cool and I've good things about the new series. There also looks like there might be some resolution to Darth Maul's arc from the Clone Wars cartoon if I read the blurb correctly for one of his new series.

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Re: Aftermath - The common opinion is that the second and third books are better than the first. The first book is really "getting the team together" and the second and third have them actually on missions together.

 

Re: Thrawn - those bastards!

 

I'm not a comics reader, but a lot of people enjoy them. I did read Shattered Empire and highly recommend it. The Darth Maul comic is called Son of Dathomir.

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So Darth Maul is from Dathomir? My screen name comes from Tenenial Djo a witch of Dathomir. I cant even remember too much about the witches of Dathomir except that they were forced sensitive and and tamed Rancors.

 

BTW really enjoyed Bloodline and am now getting in to Aftermath 2. I'm actually going to buy Princess of Alderaan next week though so I might read that after I finish Afternath 2. I'm also interested in Catalyst so that might come after Princess...

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There was a more recent Darth Maul comic series published by Marvel. I read it and it was okay, but nothing especially interesting. It was one of the weaker series of the new comics. I've read almost all of them. The only series I stopped reading was the Kanan one. I read through the initial story arc that showed how he escaped from Order 66's implementation, but didn't care enough to continue after that.

 

I have enjoyed most of the series. Both Darth Vader series have been great. The first one introduced a character called Doctor Aphra, who is my favorite addition to Star Wars from all of the comics. Once that series ended, she got her own series that shares her name.

 

The main Star Wars book has been somewhat hit or miss. It has some nice arcs in it, but I am pretty tired of reading about the timeline between ANH and ESB, which it hasn't left, aside from flashbacks involving Obi-wan and Yoda.

 

The book that was consistently surprising to me was the Lando series. I don't want to give things away about it, but the story went places I did not expect for Lando.

 

The Poe Dameron comic is also hit or miss. I enjoy it because it is one of the few taking place near the ST, but it has been hampered by that timeline, too. It has had some great arcs and introduced a nice, new First Order villain, too.

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Yeah, Dathomir showed up on The Clone Wars tv show.

 

Looking forward to see what you think of Aftermath! Sinjir and Conder are my faaaaaaaaaaaavorites.

Oh Sinjar is quickly becoming one of my favourite flawed heroes of the Star Wars Universe :) along with the Wexley's...and Temmin has a little cameo in Bloodline as well, referred to as Snap Wexley. Then I discovered he made an appearance in The Force Awakens played by Heroes and Lost actor Greg Grunberg. Cool!

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