Out this week: The Jedi Doth Return

jedi-dothYou have a reason to go to the bookstore today! Out now is William Shakespeare’s The Jedi Doth Return by Ian Doescher and Crucible by Troy Denning in paperback, though I can’t exactly recommend the latter. Still, we now know for sure that it’s the last gasp of the old (post-ROTJ) EU, so if you’re a completist, might as well go for it. Or not. I’ve done enough judging on that book.

As for the former, Cnet has a look at a few of the images.

Wednesday brings the hardcover collection of Darth Vader and the Cry of Shadows to comic shops.

EUbits: Lucasbooks get some serious ink

Below the fold, but hey.

Before we get any deeper into the SDCC madness…

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.

Crucible. There’s another Troy Denning interview at Lightsaber Rattling. Shockingly enough, not everyone agrees with what he had to say about Jaina Solo. And here’s a video that features Denning talking last week in Minnesota.

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.

Love it? Hate it? Here are the Crucible reviews

Crucible 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?

Review: Denning’s Crucible is just more of the same

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.

(Yes, there are spoilers beyond this point.)

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