Press. LucasBooks and the Expanded Universe was highlighted in an article that appeared on the front page of Friday’s Wall Street Journal. (That’s the print version above.) It’s situated behind a paywall online, but there are ways around that. Writer Alexandra Alter appeared on NPR to talk further about it on Tuesday.
The Star Wars. J.W. Rinzler talks about the upcoming comic with CBR, while artist Mike Mayhew chats with Bleeding Cool.
Namesake corner. Mara again? Here’s a new piece of art from the new card game, by Anthony Foti. She also made the cover of the latest expansion, and you can see she’s on at least one more card there, too.
There’s no doubt that last week’s release, Crucible, has been a very polarizing Star Wars book. To call the reviews ‘mixed’ would be an understatement – this seems to be very much a love-it-or-hate book. You know what side I fall on, but here’s the rest of the Star Wars blogosphere. Accordingly, we’ll start with the negative and work our way up.
Please note almost all of these reviews contain big spoilers, to the point where I’ve only labeled the ones that don’t give away the ending.
Bryan at Big Shiny Robot calls it “nothing short of a boring, weird descent into things I just didn’t care to see in a Star Wars novel.”
The crew at Tosche Station were equally unimpressed. Brian’s review may be the most lengthy. He says it may be “the most disappointing EU book I’ve read.” Bria says “to call [the ending] ridiculous would be kind” and compare it to The Crystal Star. (She also did a hilarious Tumblr slideshow review.)
Kay at Fangirl Blog found the book “a painful read” and was disappointed by the book’s increasing galactic threat. Still, she felt it had some moments. Meanwhile, Tricia ponders who Crucible is for, exactly.
Aaron Goins at the Star Wars Report felt the book had a lot of wasted potential, saying “the story wasn’t that interesting and the strange factor was just way too high.” (Minor spoilers.)
The folks at Knights’ Archive were split. Megan thought the book “seemed to be trying too hard to check all the Star Wars boxes. Do all cantinas really remind Han of Chalmun’s?” Bryan Dean, on the other hand, was “hooked right from the first chapter” and says the book has “a lot of great moments and surprises.” (Minor spoilers.)
Nerdvana’s Jayson Peters liked the book, but thinks “it tries too hard to be an epic capstone for the major characters’ careers while relegating them to the sidelines for too much of the action.”
Lightsaber Rattling felt “Denning really nailed the characterization of both Han and Luke,” and says the conclusion is “both satisfying and logical,” but wishes the book had been “a little more grounded.” (Minor spoilers.)
William at EUCantina was “was pleasantly surprised” by the book and had a hard time putting it down. (Minor spoilers.)
NJOE’s Commander Cody liked the book, saying the characters “felt more human, as if their age had caught up to them.” (Spoiler-free.)
Roqoo Depot has been one of the most vocal supporters of the book. In their double review, Skuldren calls it “a wild and crazy ride, and possibly my new favorite Star Wars story,” while Geralyn says “there’s nothing about this story I didn’t like.”
So there you have it. It’s been out for almost a week now, so what did you think of Crucible?
I’m so glad there’s going to be a sequel trilogy, because I can only imagine how much more disappointed I’d be in Crucible if that wasn’t a factor.
It’s not that I was expected a masterpiece, mind you. I freely admit that Denning’s books have never been favorites of mine. But I was hoping for something a little bit different this time. Something at least a little fresher than what we’ve been getting in the ‘modern’ era of the Expanded Universe. Something that lets the Big 3 go off into retirement with one last fun adventure.
Crucible is not that book. It’s just more of same uninspired EU we’ve been getting far too much of in this era – very much a followup to Fate of the Jedi – trying too hard to be profound and failing.
Have a Kindle? Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire – the book that started the modern Expanded Universe! – is only $1.99 today. Buy it! Buy it like the wind! (Okay, Darth Plagueis, Path of Destruction and Tatooine Ghost are also $1.99 – and a bunch of comics are deeply discounted too – but trust me, it’s Heir to the Empire you should be voting for with your wallet buying.)
Knights’ Archive spotted that Troy Denning’s Crucible, the first Big 3 adventure set after Fate of the Jedi, now has a blurb in the Random House catalog.
When Han and Leia Solo arrive at Lando Calrissian’s Outer Rim mining operation to help him thwart a hostile takeover, their aim is just to even up the odds and lay down the law. Then monstrous aliens arrive with a message, and mere threats escalate into violent sabotage with mass fatalities. When the dust settles, what began as corporate warfare becomes a battle with much higher stakes—and far deadlier consequences.
Now Han, Leia, and Luke team up once again in a quest to defeat a dangerous adversary bent on galaxy-wide domination. Only this time, the Empire is not the enemy. It is a pair of ruthless geniuses with a lethal ally and a lifelong vendetta against Han Solo. They will stop at nothing to control the lucrative Outer Rim mining trade—and ultimately the entire galactic economy. And when the murderous duo gets the drop on Han, he finds himself outgunned in the fight of his life. To save him, and the galaxy, Luke and Leia must brave a gauntlet of treachery, terrorism, and the untold power of an enigmatic artifact capable of bending space, time, and even the Force itself into an apocalyptic nightmare.
Adjustments. The Han on the Crucible cover got a slight tweak. (Why yes, it is a slow week for EU news!) The important thing is, the release date remains the same: July 9.
Street dates. Speaking of upcoming releases, pencil in Joe Schreiber’s Maul: Lockdown for a January 21, 2014 release. Not because we don’t believe it’s coming, but because this far out, dates are subject to change. And on that note, 2014 is now an actual thing on our release schedule. Meanwhile, if you don’t want to wait most of a year to read about Maul, Aaron Goins has a list of 7 tales you can check out right now.
Dawn of the Jedi. Del Rey has posted a blurb for Tim Lebbon’s Into the Void, the first novel tie-in to the comic series. It reveals the novel’s protagonist, Je’daii Lanoree Brock. Always nice to see another female lead!
Release dates. Troy Denning’s Crucible has appeared in the Random House catalog with a date of July 9 – last we heard, it was the 2nd. But remember, we’re far enough out that it may still change again.