Continuing the Adult Summer Read program:
4. Star Wars Fate of the Jedi: Conviction by Aaron Allston. Book 7 of a 9 book series penned by 3 different authors. Actually, I've not been a big fan of Star Wars books -- I generally get about 7 pages into them and then quit due to the crappy writing. But I was reading the free short stories on Kindle -- Lost Tribe of the Sith -- that tied into this series, and decided to give the books a try. Very, very fluffly and fun. Here it is 30 or 40 years after A New Hope, and Han and Leia, now married, are still going on about things that happened when they met. Hee.
I will say that you can't read book 7 without reading books 1-6. I've been blasting through them, getting them from the library. Don't worry about the new characters you've never heard of -- you can look it up on the Star Wars Wiki if you really care. I find myself skipping through certain story lines because I'm not invested in the characters and I think they're boring -- like the babe on the cover of this particular book, who I think is named Tahiri, is on trial for something or other that happened in an earlier series, and, really, I don't care ... so I just sort of skim those parts. The babe on the back cover? I looked her up on the Wookipedia, and, wow, what an incredibly absurd life she's had -- glad I missed THOSE books. Also glad there's not much about her in this book, since her very existence seems silly. I think her picture is on the cover to appeal to the Star Wars groupies.
Longtime fans seem to hate the series, probably because they've read too many books in the Star Wars universe for too many years, and are starting to realize that they've been at this too long and need to get a life. This series isn't so bad if you skip all the intervening stuff. Plus by skipping all the preceding books and series I was unphased by continuity issues -- I've no clue what Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker's been getting up to in the past 30 years, and don't much care if his character is consistent (or redundant) with earlier stuff. He's still reminiscing about hanging out with Yoda, and that's good enough for me.
5. Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Brennan. I kept thinking there was something or other I read BEFORE I read the Star Wars book this week, but was totally blank on what it could've been. Then I found this book in a stack -- aha, that's it. And that sort of sums up the book for me -- very forgettable. I had it on my to-be-read list after seeing a review of it on someone's blog a couple of years ago. Wow, I'm so glad I didn't run out and buy it, even though it's been on my Amazon wishlist all this time. For one thing, the US hardback cover is incredibly, embarrassingly dorky (the cover shown on Amazon is much better).
And, frankly, the book is sort of repetitive and predictable. I had read a bunch of reviews of it (I love book reviews) which all mentioned The Big Plot Twist, so I thought, "Okay, this thing I've figured out about a third of the way through the book? That was pretty obvious because the author foreshadows it on about every single frickin' page? That must not be The Big Plot Twist, because it's easy to figure out." But, alas, it WAS the Big Plot Twist. Disappointing. I had checked out the second book in the series from the library, but can't bring myself to read it because the characters were so very dippy.
So, 50% if the books read, about 33% of the time elapsed. No clue what to read next -- too much drivel in too short of time, and I'm starting to get sick of it. The next Star Wars Fate of the Jedi book isn't due out until mid-August. I might have to switch over to something thought-provoking, heaven forbid.