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Dave Green's Read Alerts

My hobbies include just about anything, really...except reading, I hate reading! Kidding of course, reading is my favorite hobby! I love not only reading, but creative writing as well. I'm currently working on a novel about a group of paranormal social workers who try to help creatures like themselves cope with being different while also protecting humanity from the more malevolent beings. Other hobbies include music, yoga, comedy clubs, movies, and video games. I read from just about any genre, but my favorites are fantasy/urban fantasy, mystery, science fiction, and graphic novels (that's what us comic-book geeks call them to try to sound more sophisticated). In my secret identity, I work as an accountant for a nonprofit organization . I know...accounting and creative writing don't exactly go together...what can I say, I'm full of contradictions! My rating system: 5 STARS - I absolutely loved this book! I couldn't wait to finish it, yet I also never wanted it to end! 4 STARS - I liked this book an awful lot! It would have been perfect, except for some minor issue or issues that detracted from my overall enjoyment. 3 STARS - I liked this book, but found it somewhat flawed. Probably would not read again, but might still give the author and/or series a second chance. 2 STARS - Overall, a disappointing read for me. It had its moments, but sadly the bad outweighed the good. 1 STAR - I hate the part of my brain that convinced me to read this book!

Currently reading

Queen and Country: A Gentleman's Game
Greg Rucka
Heir to the Empire - Timothy Zahn “The Force is strong with this book!” (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Like many people, I loved Star Wars growing up, and also like many people, the prequel movies pretty much killed any interest I still had in the franchise! But all the talk of Disney producing new Stars Wars movies inspired me to give the novel considered the “official continuation” of the series a chance, and I am so glad I did! Timothy Zahn does a masterful job recapturing the magic of the original three movies. The classic characters all talked and acted like their big-screen counterparts (although I did feel Zahn overdid Han Solo’s cockiness a tad), and Zahn even gives us compelling new characters like the mysterious Mara Jade. Zahn also described the battle sequences beautifully, particularly one fight featuring a group of aliens who wield very original weaponry. And even better, there’s a deeper story at play here than what the films usually gave us…granted, that’s not saying much… let’s face it, not too many people go to Star Wars movies expecting a thought-provoking story!

One of the things I most enjoyed about this book was the lead villain, Grand Admiral Thrawn. Since Darth Vader is such an iconic villain, most writers would have simply tried to give us Vader 2.0, but Zahn goes for a completely different approach. While Vader was far more bold and quick to anger, Thrawn is cool and calculating (except for one key moment where Thrawn does briefly show some Vader-like tendencies). Thrawn’s greatest strength comes from his being a master tactician, and I loved watching his multi-facted scheme methodically unfold. The only gripe I had with him is that Zahn made it a point to have a character question what would have happened if Thrawn led the battle of Endor instead of Vader…c’mon, Zahn, your writing has more than enough merit, there was no need to resort to such straw man tactics!

While I loved most of this book, I couldn’t give it a perfect score, as some parts dragged a little too much for my liking. While I respect Zahn’s attention to detail, I felt he had a tendency to go overboard…for example, in once scene where a character is imprisoned, Zahn spends several pages detailing how the person orchestrates their escape. I could forgive this, but then someone else finds the empty prison, and as they recreate the scene to figure out what happened, Zahn spends several pages detailing the exact same escape plan for a SECOND time!

Pacing problems aside, I still highly recommend this book for even the most casual of Star Wars fans! I had so much fun reading “Heir To The Empire”, it almost made up for the awful Episode 1 thru 3 prequels! Almost…