Author Archives: Erika

Book review: Christie Golden’s Fate of the Jedi: Ascension

Ascension is the second to the last in the Fate of the Jedi series. It picks up where Conviction left off: the Jedi coup that brought down Chief of State Natasi Daala has left a large hole temporarily filled by Wynn Dorvan, Senator Haydnat Treen, and Saba Sebatyne. This triumvirate, an emergency leadership put in place during a rough transition of power, was not meant to last long. Encouraged by the revolutionary group Freedom Flight and the efforts of the peaceful rebel leader Rokari Kem of Qaas, planets across the galaxy are abolishing slavery and clamoring to join the Galactic Alliance. In the midst of political meetings discussing which planets are ready to join, political rivals seeking to take power for themselves begin making plans that could have large repercussions for these mostly non-human worlds.

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Star Wars Reads Day at the Bay Area’s Vacaville Town Square Library

There were several Star Wars Reads Day events in the Bay Area. After bribing her with the chance to see special guest R2-D2, a friend and I made our way to the Vacaville Town Square Library around 10:30. There were children already outside of the entrance playing with neon colored poster board lightsabers, shouting all kinds of Star Wars things at each other. It was pretty darned cute.

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WonderCon report: The Clone Wars panel

Folks, WonderCon was, as always, awesome fun this year, but it was also the most crowded I’ve ever seen it (I hear tickets sold out for both Friday and Saturday). This is my 6th non consecutive year in attendance and I was hit by so many backpacks I’ve come to loathe them. Lucky for you, I survived a near fall into a vendor’s booth to bring you this vital information. Continue reading

Book review: Troy Denning’s Fate of the Jedi: Vortex

After teaming up in Allies, relations between the Lost Tribe and the Skywalkers have turned a bit sour. Abeloth has been defeated, but the two sides are determined to keep secrets and double cross one another (both are good stalling tactics, after all). Luke and Ben tread dangerous ground, but it isn’t long before the pair is forced to flee the planet when they discover Abeloth did not die after all. Taking Vestara with them again, the trio travels to the moon of Pydyr to track down and destroy her, hopefully for the last time.

On Coruscant, the secret mission intended to aid Luke and Ben, has been stalled. The Jedi Council is increasingly growing tired of Master Kenth Hamner’s stubbornness. It becomes apparent that there’s something he’s hiding and the other Jedi Masters are fed up. When young Jedi begin recovering from their strange psychosis and Daala refuses to acknowledge this progress, the Jedi Council is especially convinced that rescuing Valin and Jysella Horn will accomplish one of three things: reassert the Council’s autonomy, discredit Daala, and serve as a distraction while the Stealth X-Wings deploy for Pyrdyr. As it turns out, Daala is the least of their problems. An unexpected friction arises that threatens to unravel the Council Luke has worked so hard to achieve. Continue reading

Back off, guys: It’s our turn

The Her Universe booth at Celebration V. Photo by popculturegeek @ Flickr.

Attention male Star Wars fans around the world! I say this from the bottom of my heart because us nerd girls, we love you (I should know, I have my own nerd boy). We know that you mean well and sometimes what comes out of your mouths or through the keyboard is not necessarily what you mean to say, but rather can become a bit of a mess in translation and that’s okay. Lately, it’s not. Let me tell you why. Continue reading

Review: Karen Miller’s Clone Wars Gambit: Siege

Obi-Wan and Anakin are still stuck on Lanteeb, a planet far in the Outer Rim and of seeming little consequence. The Lanteebans pose no apparent strategic value to the Republic or Separatists; it’s an attitude that grossly misjudges the efforts of captured scientist Bant’ena Fhernan. She’s been hired to construct a virus to end all viruses, a massive biological weapon that will sway the war in Dooku’s favor, but getting materials for it isn’t easy. The key ingredient, damotite, lays deep within the sinuous mines of Lanteeb and Separatist overseer Lok Durd rides the locals hard with threats of drastic food and water rationing if his unreasonable quota and timetable aren’t met.

Against all impossibilities, the Lanteeban’s work furiously every day, risking damotite poisoning to please Durd. When Anakin and Obi-Wan crash their vehicle and end up stranded in the mining city responsible for churning out the dangerous material, the two are welcomed only as long as the villagers don’t know they’re Jedi. Naturally, an invading droid army and a failing shield barrier that forces the pair to use the Force for self preservation were probably unavoidable inevitabilities. Continue reading

Review: Christie Golden’s Fate of the Jedi: Allies

Luke and Ben are forced to confront a group of Sith ships floating above Dathomir when all they really want to do is get back to business. Luke not only wants to exonerate himself, but thinks following Jacen’s path to darkness may give him the insight he needs to prevent another Jedi from falling to the Dark Side. But these Sith have some information that Luke might be interested in—information regarding Sith who may be succumbing to the same dementia plaguing young Jedi across worlds.

Could the very fate of the galaxy now depend on an alliance that goes against Ben’s training? Can Sith and Jedi really get along? Or has Luke doomed himself and the life of his son on an idealistic treaty that could turn traitorous at any moment? The good news is, Luke’s betting on treachery. And when betrayal is expected, it seems easier to spot, but only if you know where to look. Continue reading

Review: Karen Miller’s Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth

Karen Miller’s high regard and curiosity concerning Obi-Wan Kenobi is quite charming. In her second Star Wars book, Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth, every character has a lot to shoulder in the war, even (and especially) Obi-Wan.

Ahsoka has more to consider as Anakin’s Padawan than the teachings of the Jedi Order. She cares for his well-being and has learned how to read her Master’s emotions to help herself navigate and deal with his temperament. Anakin struggles with the responsibilities of being the Chosen One. What he feels they should do, what he should do as such a prominent figure, conflicts often with the wider doctrine of the Jedi, not to mention how delicately he juggles his forbidden relationship with Padmé. Obi-Wan still wrestles with his misgivings as a teacher and his emotions over the health of a dear friend. It’s clear, though, that as Bail Organa brings a frightening new element in the war to the Jedi’s attention, this cast of extraordinary beings have rather ordinary problems.

All things considered: Obi-Wan and Anakin, for as much as they remain larger than life figures, symbolic of the Jedi Order and its potential, are still forced to deal with their very human emotions and drama. After a harrowing skirmish on Kothlis, Anakin and Obi-Wan are forced to realize they both need some much needed rest. Obi-Wan is still running a bit ragged from his encounter on Zigoola; Anakin and the entire galaxy agree. The pair are sent to Lanteeb anyway–a planet of no consequence until recent Separatist actions pique the Republic’s curiosity. Their physical wounds may be healed, but Anakin and Obi-Wan learn the hard way: some scars never go away. Continue reading

Review: Aaron Allston’s Fate of the Jedi: Backlash

Luke and Ben seemed to have abandoned their mission to uncover the murky truth of Jacen’s turn to the Dark Side during the third FOTJ book, Abyss, when a weird new tribe of Sith caught their attention. In Backlash, the adventure continues.

Luke’s on the prowl, metaphorically sniffing out Vestara Kai like some crazy bad ass Jedi hunting dog. With his blood splattered on her person after a lightsaber battle that ended with the death of her Master, Vestara is unaware she’s even being tracked, but you can bet she’s looking for a place to hide. Ben, aware of his father’s exhaustion and despite Luke’s protests, elicits the help of the Jedi via an encrypted, sneaky, and very under-the-radar message intended to make absolutely clear it isn’t Luke who’s asking (which would violate the terms of his parole.) Eager to help and reminding us the “good thing about the Solos and Skywalkers” is they “never run out of things to do” (p. 6), Han and Leia pack Allana and her pet nexu aboard the Falcon and head to the place Luke and Ben guess is the most likely location Vestara would land: Dathomir. And here, ladies and gentlemen, is where the fun begins. What follows is a witty and wild adventure in which Daala realizes she’s in over her head, Han gets a flamethrower, and a nexu manages to elicit more pathos out of me than Allana ever will. Continue reading