Review: Legacy of the Force

Legacy of the Force is a nine book series set decades after the original Star Wars films.  The aim of the series is to recapture some of the magic, drama and characterization that made the original film series so memorable.  Ultimately, Legacy of the Force delivers a tale that is poorly paced but also compelling and entertaining, with a whole lot of Boba Fett thrown in for good measure.

Much like the previously published New Jedi Order, the Legacy of the Force series is a collaborative effort between multiple different authors.  Whereas The New Jedi Order had several different authors with a wide variety of literary backgrounds, Legacy of the Force is written only by three.   Continue reading

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Review: Intensity

For the last couple of years, I have dedicated the majority of my reading time to that wonderful “master of horror,” Stephen King.  Lately, I have felt the need to branch out from Stephen King, but still stay firmly within the horror genre (I love being scared).  A couple of years ago a friend of mine recommended I read a Dean Koontz novel titled Intensity.  It sat on my shelf collecting dust until just recently.  I have never read anything by Koontz as far as I can remember, but his name frequently comes up when discussing horror fiction.  After reading Intensity, I understand why.
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Day 7: Revenge of the Sith – The Novel

Revenge of the Sith was a pretty darn good movie in comparison to The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, but unfortunately it failed to deliver on some of the most important events and promises that had been made since the production of episodes I-III was announced.  There were certain things that Star Wars fans desperately wanted to see that were not shown, and other things that simply failed to live up to the enormous expectations that had been set.  This comes as even more of a disappointment when fans began to realize that all of these things were originally planned to be in the film, but were cut for reasons beyond our individual comprehension.  Fortunately, the novelization of Revenge of the Sith exists and tells the story that the film fails to do.

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Day 5: The Thrawn Trilogy

Go to your local bookstore’s science-fiction or fantasy section and you will find hundreds of movie and video game inspired spin-offs. You will see shelves riddled with sub-par plots and writing that can usually be described as “glorified fan-fiction.” While that may be a little harsh to the authors who have put their hearts, souls and massive amounts of time into creating these novelizations or adaptations of films, I doubt anyone would argue that these books are representative of literary genius. There are, however, a few exceptions, and Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy sits on the top of this list. Continue reading

Day 1: Shadows of the Empire

With the birth of the Prequel Trilogy, Star Wars novels have exploded into the world like a super nova.  Unfortunately, a vast number of those novels are utter garbage and do nothing but tell an unnecessary story in the Star Wars universe that only a middle school fan could possibly care about.  However, amidst the garbage there are a few gems to be found.  One such gem was written by Steve Perry in 1996 as part of a massive push by Lucasfilm to bring Star Wars back into the public eye.  This push included the novel, comic books, a video game release, a soundtrack release, action figures, trading cards and even a trailer.  All of this centered on a new story in the Star Wars universe: Shadows of the Empire! Continue reading

Cage Match: Jurassic Park (Crichton) vs. Jurassic Park (Spielberg)

Jurassic Park PosterSeeing Jurassic Park in theaters is one of my oldest and most precious memories; I can still vividly recall seeing it as the second half of a double feature which also featured Sleepless in Seattle, of all things. As a kid, I even loved Jurassic Park – The Ride despite my crippling fear of heights. In spite of all this, however, I had never read the Michael Crichton book upon which my favorite movie of all time is based.

Seeking to fix a glaring blindspot in my Jurassic Park fandom, I decided it was finally time to read the Crichton original. Unsurprisingly, I absolutely loved it; diving deeper into one of my favorite stories of all time brought me back to my childhood and reminded me just how much I love the story. Given the age of both works and considering how near and dear the subject material is to my heart, I decided that, in lieu of a formal review, I would rewatch Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park and compare the two head-to-head in a few key categories. So, prepare yourself for the definitive (well, at least my definitive) head-to-head showdown between the Crichton classic Jurassic Park and Spielberg’s subsequent adaptation. Be advised that SPOILERS will follow!

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Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Austen and Grahame-Smith)

By the nature of its title alone, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies primarily attracts two incredibly disparate audiences: those who have read, and to this day still treasure, the Austen original and those who picked it up simply because of the promise of zombie fun. As someone who fits nicely into the latter category, was Grahame-Smith’s update to the Austen classic Pride and Prejudice successful, or did it leave me wishing I too had succumbed to the plague of unmentionables which hath befallen His Majesty’s kingdom?

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies centers on the Bennets, a simple family of meager means in Hertfordshire, England in the midst of a fifty-five year long zombie outbreak. While Mr. Bennet, always the pragmatist, raises his five girls, Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, Kitty, and Mary, to be warriors in defense of Hertfordshire and His Majesty’s kingdom, the greatest achievement his wife Mrs. Bennet aspires to in life is to see all her daughters married off to men of substantial means. It is precisely this dichotomy of philosophies which exists within the psyches of many of the novel’s most important characters and for which Austen’s original Pride and Prejudice has been hailed many times over as a preeminent tale of young love’s perseverance against all odds.

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