Friday, September 11, 2020

Review: Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising by Timothy Zahn

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I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The word  Thrawn  can mean many things to many Star Wars fans. For me I think of the dark times in the 90's when there was little new Star Wars, content until Zahn gave us Heir To The Empire novel. For younger fans Thrawn's first appearance came through the Rebels television show, and another trilogy closely tied to the prequel and original trilogies.

With Thrawn Ascendancy we begin a new journey into Thrawn's past. Ascendancy gives us a central meeting point for two Thrawn's : the one from the Expanded Universe and the newer trilogy. By a meeting point I mean the adding of building blocks to Thrawn's history. Intertwined with this new info on Thrawn we are given a glimpse into the political and social landscape  of Thrawn's home world. 

Thrawn gives us this knowledge in the form of an investigation into an attack on the Chiss home world. What I love most about this book is how smoothly Zahn moves the reader into this new phase of Thrawn knowledge. The vastness of the Chiss home world and it's political structures are told through a strong core of characters, three of them female. 

Thrawn's interactions with them propel the story forward and reveal more insight into his tactical prowess.
Ar'alani especially comes very close to stealing every scene she is in. I really enjoyed that the pair are on a very solid and equal footing. Ar'alani looks at Thrawn's skills as something she potentially can learn for herself and Thrawn gently begins to see how his lack of political acumen.  Their combined skill set leads them on the path to discover a growing threat to the Ascendancy.

I also really enjoyed the pace of this story. The chapters unfold with a nice balance of action and character development and the memories sections give lots of insight to how Thrawn  formulates his observations.
Zahn's overall narrative skills also make you forget for awhile that you are reading a Star Wars novel. When the timestamp of when this story is set in regards to the Star Wars timeline it's a nice reveal (If you don't peek and find it in the books timeline).

I'm also fascinated by the female sky-walker navigators the Chiss Ascendancy has kept a secret to the outside world. 

Overall this book is an enjoyable start to the series. There isn't a sense of urgency to the story but I was continually engaged. It was hard to put down and I'm super excited for the next two volumes!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Star Wars Book Round Up 8/19/20

It's a great time to be a Star Wars book fan! There are several great books out this month. Here are some great books I've gotten review copies for or purchased:

Review Books:


I received a complimentary copy of these books in exchange for an honest Review.


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This book is a companion to the Myths and Fables and focuses on stories with a touch of the Dark Side. You can find my review HERE

Upcoming  Reviews

Here are some books I received review copies of this month:

Queen's Peril (Star Wars)

Poe Dameron: Free Fall

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Stories of Light and Dark


The last comic in the IDW Comics  Star Wars Adventures released with a great Finn story

The second and third issues of Clone Wars Battle Tales also Released. I really enjoyed the Padme story.

Are you reading anything from the galaxy ?

Monday, August 3, 2020

Review: School for Extraterrestrial Girls by Whitley & Noguchi

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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Papercutz  has been producing some really interesting graphic novels aimed at young readers but enjoyable for all.

I discovered the company when Jeremy Whitley sent me a copy of his latest creative work with them. The joy of getting an advanced copy of a book is you go in with no preconceptions. As a long time fan of Jeremy's I knew some of his narrative hallmarks would be in the story: representation, stellar female leads and humor.  What really surprised me was the exploration of anxiety and control through the lead Tara Smith's household.

Anxiety and stress are the hallmarks of a lot of young children's lives. Jeremy nails the balance of Tara's desire to be a good daughter and the emotional toll her parents strict rules are having on her. 

All it takes is one misstep to through Tara's entire world upside down and reveal the lies at the center of her world.  The current state of the world really had me tuned into the emotions Tara was feeling in this first arc. Even when she  does everything right she can't escape the pressure.

The minute Tara's truth is revealed the story moves forward quickly as Tara is placed in a new school to help her with her powers and her identity.

Once in school there was an expectation on my part that I knew where the story was going. However the creators really surprised me. Tara doesn't easily adapt to her circumstances and in fact she causes pain to those around her trying to offer help.

I really loved the supporting cast of this book and I'm really interested to see where the story goes.

Noguchi's art style fits the atmosphere of the story. Tara's emotions are easily readable in every panel and the representation of her true form has a smooth beauty to it. This is a nice book for young readers who like aliens and adventure as well as a nice family read.