Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Demonologist Review

The Demonologist
author Gerald Brittle with Ed & Lorraine Warren
Review by Nathan Neuharth

In this book Ed does his best to make sure all their cases are well documented and ordained clergy or exorcists are involved.  He is very concerned with the seriousness of the phenomenon he and his wife Lorraine combat.  They began investigations in the 1940s but the public was unaware of them until the 1970s

Ed was in the Navy and went to college for art.  He is an accomplished painter.

My summary is that the Warrens are good hearted people that fully believe in what they do.  Some of what they investigated may have been hoaxes but if there were hoaxes they were not perpetrated by the Warrens.  In those cases they Warrens would have been victims of hucksters, charlatans, and naivety.  They dedicated their lives to the investigation, study, and education of spiritual forces and the supernatural.

The couple are Christians and even though they dispute this I believe they unknowingly and humbly answered a calling.  Lorraine is a clairvoyant and light trance medium.  I think it is likely Ed was psychic as well via his paintings and supernatural experiences, but he was unaware and left the psychic talents to his wife.

Why read this book?  Those who have been following my online work for the last twenty years already know the answer to that question.  It is an interested and experience which makes me an authority on the subject.  This is said with confidence and no braggadocio.  I am very aware of the occult renaissance of the late 1960s and 1970s. in which the hippie peace love being spiritual revolution or at least a worthy attempt was made with the rediscovery of Aleister Crowley, Wicca, and a plethora of spiritual and religions new age systems.  There have been many rising and lower ebbs of interest and activity in the occult throughout history.

The Warrens came into the spotlight due to the Amityville case.  Murders took place in that house on Novemember 15, 1974.  Six family members killed with a rifle by an allegedly possessed eldest son.  The Lutz family fled the evil spirits in the house on January 15, 1976.

Another obvious reason for reading this book is the emergence of the Conjuring franchise based on the Warrens experiences.  Several movies have been released or are scheduled to be made:  The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, the Conjuring 3, Annabelle, Annabelle 2, and the Nun.

(Also people said put down the Star Wars books!  HA!  I read about 25+ books a year easily.  In one year I've read more novels than the average American.)

By my understanding when one becomes aware of the existence of the spirit world, the spirit world in turn becomes more experiential to the observer.  Cultures such as Native Americans grow up with the mindset that the spirit world is very real and therefore they tend to have more spiritual experiences with this realm and more readily accept it.  Their belief system is more accustomed to the spirit world.

The non-believer's brain represses and rationalizes the unexplained, unscientific experience, a reality glitch that does not fit nicely into their paradigm of reality.

"In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to leave!"  Ed Warren shouts at a blacker than black demonic cyclone.  The Warrens adhere to a Christian paradigm.  If the belief system is genuine, meaning the believer really believes, then it works.  A person who understands the belief system is a tool, a means to an end can use this knowledge to their advantage and just as easily call on Sgt. Pepper or Silent Bob or Mithra to do the same thing Ed asks Christ to do.  This esoteric knowledge is outside the realm of the Warren's paradigm.

They do a wonderful job differentiating between human and inhuman spirits, meaning human ghosts and demons who have never lived as humans.  The Warrens are professionals in their area of expertise.  The did not charge the people they helped beyond travel and lodging expenses.  They did charge for their lectures.

Do not look at any single source of a subject as the final word, but always as a single piece of a much larger puzzle.

Nathan Neuharth

Star Wars The Last Command Review

Star Wars
The Last Command
author Timothy Zahn
Review by Nathan Neuharth

This is the third novel in Zahn's groundbreaking Thrawn Trilogy.  It did not disappoint.  Some of the characters he created are so enjoyable to read and become major players in the future of the Expanded Universe.  Most notable is Mara Jade, the former Emperor's Hand, future Jedi and future wife of Luke Skywalker, although in the trilogy she struggles with the Emperor's last command which was to kill Luke Skywalker, spoiler, she does.  The young slicer (a computer hacker in the Star Wars universe) named Ghent is a fan favorite.  I hope to see more of him.  Talon Karrde plays later roles in many novels.  The Nogri are like serious stealthy and deadly hairless Ewoks.

I was expecting Luke to turn to the dark side and to see the clone of Emperor Sheev Palpatine but it didn't happen in this novel  I haven't researched it but that story must take place in another of medium of the Expanded Universe.  I like the alien race called Defel, or nicknamed Wraith's.  They are like living shadows.  Delta Source is a mystery throughout the trilogy and is finally revealed in this novel.  Delta Source is Grand Admiral Thrawn's intelligence source on Courscant and located in the capital of Imperial City.  It is a surprise to discover Delta Source.

The trilogy as a whole brought up some questions for me, such as how many Emperor's Hands were there and why did the Emperor stop using clones.  Thrawn begins cloning stormtroopers in the trilogy.  The answers to both those questions required research outside the trilogy.  The answers are there is an indefinite number of Emperor's Hands, at least ten if not more, and the cloning stopped due to clone revolts and clones that would go insane when grown to fast.

I will tell you the end the novel is truly the climax of the entire trilogy and well worth the wait.  Zahn delivers a first rate ending, exciting, unable to put the book down style ending.  We get many surprises and we see the deserved fates of the blue skinned, red eyed, alien Chis, Grand Admiral Thrawn; the insane Jedi clone Joruus C'Baoth; and Luuke Skywalker (Not a typo!).

The trilogy meets expectations, which is difficult because it has such a respected reputation as being the novels that resurrected the Star Wars franchise.  If you love Star Wars and only read one story from the Expanded Universe you wouldn't go wrong choosing this tale.
Nathan Neuharth

Star Wars Dark Force Rising Review

Star Wars
Dark Force Rising
Book Two of the Thrawn Trilogy
Review by Nathan Neuharth


Dark Force Rising is the seond novel in Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy and opens with the same cast of characters we left off with in the previous groundbreaking novel. The movie characters (Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa Solo, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, Admiral Ackbar, Mon Motha, Wedge Antilles) and the now familiar Expanded Universe characters such as Winter of Alderaan, the smuggler Talon Karrde and his crew, the former Emperor's Hand Mara Jade, Grand Admiral Thrawn of the Chiss, an apprentice of Thrawn, Captain Pellaeon, and insane Jedi clone Joruus C'Baoth. Zahn does a terrific job bringing the characters to life. Their personalities are believable. It packs a punch. Suspense, mystery, action, and adventure. Things a Jedi does not seek. Each character is unique with their own traits and quirks. Han Solo doesn't like droids but has to get used to golden rod because Leia likes C-3PO. He has a lopsided grin, a cocky attitude, and loves his wife and children. Chewbacca is his best friend next to Luke and Lando. Winter helps Leia take care of the twins, Jaina and Jacen Solo. She has known Leia since they were children and has a photographic memory. Wedge Antilles, survivor of the battles of Yavin, Hoth, and Endor is Captain of Rogue Squadron (the best pilots the New Republic have).

Data record: Jorus C'Baoth was a muscular human born in Reithcas on Bortras. He attended the Mirnic University and was a student of the Jedi training center on Kamparas. He, a Jedi named Tra's M'ins, and four other Jedi participated in the classified Outbound Flight Project. (I can't wait to read this novel!)

I'm watching the last episode of season two of the Clone Wars as I write this. A lot of new planets show up in this book if you're nerd for this kind of thing like I am: Nkllon, Jomark, Kothlis, Bothawui, Palanhi, Bimmisaari, New Cov, Linuri, Honoghr, Wayland, and Bpfassh.

The dark diminutive noble warrior race of the Noghri have grown on me. I hadn't liked them or Talon Karrde in the past when I read novels in which they had cameo appearances. In these novels they are both very likable. Ghent, a slicer that works for Karrde is a favorite.

I find myself settling into a every Star Wars novels, fully immersed and drifting into a galaxy far, far away. Long ago. There are some inconsistencies I prefer to ignore. Mountains on Coruscant when the planet is supposed to be covered in all city. And Leia's memory of her mother, which is an inconsistency in the movie Return of the Jedi as well. My answer to correct that would be to say she was a Force sensitive child and some how sensed her mother's presence and image. Something like that.

The Dark Force is the legendary lost Katana fleet. It disappeared 50 years ago. The Katana fleet consists of 200 Dreadnaut Cruisers. The main drive of the story (tangled with several interesting subplots) is a race between the New Republic and the Thrawn Empire to find the fleet first.

This trilogy had a lot to live up to and set the standard for Star Wars novels for years to come. Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, Rogue Squadron will all have pivotal roles in some of the future novels.

Nathan Neuharth

Friday, October 14, 2016

Star Wars Challenge

The Star Wars challenge is a personal goal I have set for myself for a variety of reasons.  One is my love of the Star Wars mythology.  Two it is an act of rebellion against the Star Wars Expanded Universe becoming the Legends universe.  There is too much good work to discard from cannon.  I started with reading one of the new Star Wars novels, the first novel of the Aftermath trilogy.  I'm not saying it was a bad novel, not at all.  But I can't let go of Talon Karrde, Mara Jade, Corran Horn, Kyp Durron, Admiral Daala, and so many other interesting characters from the Expanded Universe

I have compiled a chronological list of the 150 Expanded Universe books that have been scrapped from cannon.  Since I've started I now own 142 of those books.  The goal is to read and review every one of the 150 books excluding comics, young/teen readers, and children's books.

The books highlighted have already been read (Some novels were read previously which are not highlighted because I want to start fresh and experience the universe as a whole interactive unit).

Here is the list of everything in chronological order:

The Pre-Republic Era

25,793 Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void by Tim Lebbon
The Old Republic Era
5,000-2,975 Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories by John Jackson Miller        
3,954-3,950 The Old Republic: Revan by Drew Karpyshyn        
3,653 The Old Republic: Deceived by Paul S. Kemp       
3,645 Red Harvest by Joe Schreiber        
3,643 The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams        
3,640 The Old Republic: Annihilation by Drew Karpyshyn       
1,032 Knight Errant by John Jackson Miller        
1,003-1,000 Darth Bane: Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn        
1,000-990 Darth Bane: Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn        
980 Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil by Drew Karpyshyn 
The Prequel Era

67-32 Darth Plagueis by James Luceno       
33 Maul: Lockdown by Joe Schreiber       
32 Cloak of Deception by James Luceno       
32 Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter by Michael Reaves       
32 Episode I: The Phantom Menace movie novelization by Terry Brooks 
29 Rogue Planet by Greg Bear       
27 Outbound Flight by Timothy Zahn        
22 The Approaching Storm by Alan Dean Foster       
22 Episode II: Attack of the Clones movie novelization by R. A. Salvatore 
22 The Cestus Deception by Steven Barnes**        
22 Jedi Trial by David Sherman & Dan Cragg**        
22 Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie novelization by Karen Traviss 
22 The Clone Wars: Wild Space by Karen Miller*        
22 Republic Commando: Hard Contact by Karen Traviss        
22 Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover        
22 The Clone Wars: No Prisoners by Karen Traviss*        
21 Republic Commando: Triple Zero by Karen Traviss        
21 The Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth by Karen Miller*        
21 The Clone Wars Gambit: Siege by Karen Miller*        
21 Republic Commando: True Colors by Karen Traviss        
20 Medstar I: Battle Surgeons by Michael Reaves & Steve Perry        
20 Medstar II: Jedi Healer by Michael Reaves & Steve Perry        
19 Yoda: Dark Rendezvous by Sean Stewart 
19 Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno        
19 Episode III: Revenge of the Sith movie novelization by Matthew Stover 
19 Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel by Karen Traviss        
19 Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno        
19 Imperial Commando: 501st by Karen Traviss        
19 Kenobi by John Jackson Miller       
19 Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight by Michael Reaves        
18 Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows by Michael Reaves        
18 Coruscant Nights III: Patterns of Force by Michael Reaves        
17 The Last Jedi by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff

The Classic Era

10 The Han Solo Trilogy: The Paradise Snare by A. C. Crispin
5-4 The Han Solo Trilogy: The Hutt Gambit by A. C. Crispin
3 Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu by L. Neil Smith        
3 Lando Calrissian and the Flamewind of Oseon by L. Neil Smith       
2 Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of ThonBoka by L. Neil Smith       
2 Han Solo at Stars' End by Brian Daley       
2 Han Solo's Revenge by Brian Daley       
2 Han Solo and the Lost Legacy by Brian Daley       
2-0 The Han Solo Trilogy: Rebel Dawn by A. C. Crispin       
3-1 The Force Unleashed by Sean Williams       
1 The Force Unleashed II by Sean Williams        
1 Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber 
3-0 Death Star by Michael Reaves & Steve Perry 
0 Shadow Games by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff        
0 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope movie novelization by George Lucas (ghost-written by Alan Dean Foster; originally titled Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker)
0 Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina by various authors
0 Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn       
0.5 Allegiance by Timothy Zahn        
0.7 Choices of One by Timothy Zahn       
1 Honor Among Thieves by James S.A. Correy       
1.5 Galaxies: The Ruins of Dantooine by Voronica Whitney-Robinson w/ Haden Blackman
2 Splinter of the Mind's Eye by Alan Dean Foster       
2 Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge by Martha Wells       
3 Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back movie novelization by Donald F. Glut 
3 Tales of the Bounty Hunters by various authors       
3.5 Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry       
4 Episode VI: Return of the Jedi movie novelization by James Kahn 
4 Tales from Jabba's Palace by various authors        
4 The Bounty Hunter Wars: The Mandalorian Armor by K. W. Jeter       
4 The Bounty Hunter Wars: Slave Ship by K. W. Jeter        
4 The Bounty Hunter Wars: Hard Merchandise by K. W. Jeter       
(various) Tales from the Empire by various authors

The New Republic Era

4 The Truce at Bakura by Kathy Tyers 
5 Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor by Matthew Stover
6.5 X-Wing: Rogue Squadron by Michael Stackpole        
7 X-Wing: Wedge's Gamble by Michael Stackpole        
7 X-Wing: The Krytos Trap by Michael Stackpole        
7.5 X-Wing: The Bacta War by Michael Stackpole        
7.5 X-Wing: Wraith Squadron by Aaron Allston        
7.5 X-Wing: Iron Fist by Aaron Allston        
7.5 X-Wing: Solo Command by Aaron Allston        
8 The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton        
8.5 Tatooine Ghost by Troy Denning        
9 Heir to the Empire, book 1 of the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn        
9 Dark Force Rising, book 2 of the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn        
9 The Last Command, book 3 of the Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn
9.5 X-Wing: Isard's Revenge by Michael Stackpole       
11 The Jedi Academy Trilogy: Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson        
11 The Jedi Academy Trilogy: Dark Apprentice by Kevin J. Anderson        
11 The Jedi Academy Trilogy: Champions of the Force by Kevin J. Anderson       
11 I, Jedi by Michael Stackpole        
12 Children of the Jedi by  Barbara Hambly        
12.5 Darksaber by Kevin J. Anderson
13 X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar by Aaron Allston       
13 Planet of Twilight by Barbara Hambly        
14 The Crystal Star by Vonda McIntyre
16 The Black Fleet Crisis: Before the Storm by Michael P. Kube-McDowell       
16 The Black Fleet Crisis: Shield of Lies by Michael P. Kube-McDowell       
16 The Black Fleet Crisis: Tyrant's Test by Michael P. Kube-McDowell       
17 The New Rebellion by Kristine Kathryn Rusch       
18 The Corellian Trilogy: Ambush at Corellia by Roger McBride Allen       
18 The Corellian Trilogy: Assault at Selonia by Roger McBride Allen        
18 The Corellian Trilogy: Showdown at Centerpoint by Roger McBride Allen       
19 The Hand of Thrawn: Specter of the Past by Timothy Zahn       
19 The Hand of Thrawn: Vision of the Future by Timothy Zahn        
19 Scourge by Jeff Grubb        
22 Survivor's Quest by Timothy Zahn        
(various) Tales From the New Republic by various authors

The New Jedi Order Era

25 Vector Prime by R. A. Salvatore        
25 Dark Tide I: Onslaught by Michael Stackpole       
25 Dark Tide II: Ruin by Michael Stackpole       
25 Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial by James Luceno       
25 Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse by James Luceno       
26 Balance Point by Kathy Tyers       
26 Edge of Victory I: Conquest by Greg Keyes       
26 Edge of Victory II: Rebirth by Greg Keyes       
27 Star by Star by Troy Denning       
27 Dark Journey by Elaine Cunningham       
27 Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream by Aaron Allston       
27 Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand by Aaron Allston       
27 Traitor by Matthew Stover
28 Destiny's Way by Walter Jon Williams 
28 Force Heretic I: Remnant by Sean Williams and Shane Dix        
28 Force Heretic II: Refugee by Sean Williams and Shane Dix         
28 Force Heretic III: Reunion by Sean Williams and Shane Dix        
28 The Final Prophecy by Greg Keyes        
29 The Unifying Force by James Luceno 

The Dark Nest Trilogy
35 The Joiner King by Troy Denning        
36 The Unseen Queen by Troy Denning        
36 The Swarm War by Troy Denning 

The Legacy Era

40 Betrayal by Aaron Allston        
40 Bloodlines by Karen Traviss        
40 Tempest by Troy Denning        
40 Exile by Aaron Allston        
40 Sacrifice by Karen Traviss        
40 Inferno by Troy Denning        
40 Fury by Aaron Allston        
41 Revelation by Karen Traviss        
41.5 Invincible by Troy Denning        
Stand-alone novels:
41.5 Crosscurrent by Paul S. Kemp        
41.5 Riptide by Paul S. Kemp        
43.5 Millennium Falcon by James Luceno        
The Fate of the Jedi series:
43.5 Outcast by Aaron Allston        
43.5 Omen by Christie Golden        
43.5 Abyss by Troy Denning       
43.5 Backlash by Aaron Allston        
44 Allies by Christie Golden        
44 Vortex by Troy Denning        
44 Conviction by Aaron Allston        
44 Ascension by Christie Golden        
44 Apocalypse by Troy Denning
Stand-alone novels
44 X-Wing: Mercy Kill by Aaron Allston       
45 Crucible by Troy Denning
Nathan Neuharth

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Star Wars Heir to the Empire Review

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire
author Timothy Zahn
review by Nathnan Neuharth


I'm very excited to get started on the Thrawn Trilogy! Star Wars was dying off in the late 1980s. This novel brought the franchise back to life. I read the 20th Anniversary Edition. I enjoyed reading the comments in the margins. Very entertaining.  It also includes a short novella at the end called Crisis of Faith by Zahn showing Thrawn's shining military genius.

Zahn has created so many new, interesting, long lasting characters in the novel, opening the door to an entire new view of the galaxy. He succeeds in bringing out the personalities of the characters from the movies and makes them seem like believable people. We meet Imperial Captain Pallaeon. He is in awe of this new Grand Admiral's ways and learning from him. Winter, a servant of Leia, from Alderaan. The Grand Admiral Thrawn an alien Chiss who has returned from the Unknown Regions with blue skin and red glowing eyes. A genius military tactician, he studies the art of alien cultures to understand them. He is always calm, cool, collected, observant, and one step ahead of everyone else. We meet the mad Jedi clone Joruus C'Boath. He was one of six Jedi from something called the Outbound Flight Project. I am tempted to step out of the chronological order again and read the Outbound Flight novel by Timothy Zahn. Borsk Fey'lya is power hungry Bothan politician who wants Admiral Ackbar out of the political and military picture.

The alien Noghri are short, fierce, gray skinned warriors loyal to Darth Vader, being used by Thrawn to hunt the Skywalker twins, Luke and Leia. The Ysalamri are lizards that attach themselves to a tree branch and dampen the Force in a sphere around them. They are indigenous to the planet Myrkr (the base of operations of Talon Karrde).

We also meet Mara Jade, the red haired beauty who once served as the Emperor's Hand but now works for the quick witted, sharp smuggler Talon Karrde. Mara hates Luke Skywalker. Wedge Antilles is the leader of Rogue Squadron. Both become major, pivotal characters in the Expanded Universe.

Leia is pregnant with twins. She has been doing a little Jedi training exercises Luke taught her and has a lightsaber now. Chewbacca takes her to his home planet of Kashyyk to hide and protect her from kidnapping attempts by the Noghri. The Noghri call Leia, Lady Vader, and one of them agrees to let her come and meet them alone on their world.

Luke barely escapes Thrawn and the Star Destroyer Chimaera only to be captured by Talon Karrde and Mara Jade. They all fight to escape Thrawn. A cool point is when we get to see Space Troopers in action. It is a classic. It is well written. It pumped life back into Star Wars. All the major film characters are present and likable: Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo, Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C3-PO, Wedge Antilles, Mon Motha, and Admiral Ackbar.

Nathan Neuharth

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Star Wars Tattooine Ghost Review

Star Wars: Tattooine Ghost
author Troy Denning
Review by Nathan Neuharth

8.5 ABY

Leia has a Force vision aboard the Millennium Falcon that reminds her of the vision she had five years ago on the planet Bakura of her father Anakin Skywalker bringing warnings of the dark side and asking forgiveness. She is looking at the twin suns of the Tatoo System when it happens. She and Han Solo are newly weds, married just six months. Chewbacca and C3-P0 are aboard the modified freighter as well.

Commander Gilad Pellaeon of the Imperial Star Destroyer Chimaera is apparently in command of the Empire now and seems to be more formidable than the bickering Imperial warlords and seems to be making the first steps to bring the Empire back to power, but he is still a mystery at this point. This is foreshadowing for the next novel in chronological order with the rise of Grand Admiral Thrawn.

The purpose of the trip to the desert world of dual stars is to obtain a piece of artwork that survived the destruction of Alderaan. It is called Killik Twilight and will be auctioned in Mos Espa. The painting is made of living vegetation and contains a secret cipher for rebel codes that they do not want the Empire to learn of. It is called the Shadowcast Code. (This is the second novel I've read that was published after the Prequel Trilogy was released. I've taken a count and there are 150 now non-canon books or what Disney now calls Legends. I own a 130 so far in this galactic quest. However many book reviews is the number of novels I've read to date.)

Leia and Han flirt enough to annoy Chewbacca. Han has a speeder bike on the Millennium Falcon. At the auction they end up with a holocube recording of Anakin Skywalker as a child having just won the Boonta Eve Classic. The first human to do so. It is owned by his childhood friend, Kitster Banai. The entire novel is a race across Tattooine to retrieve the painting from Kitster. That is the action of the novel, but the meat of the story is Leia learning of her heritage. Seeing Anakin Skywalker through the eyes of others before his fall to the dark side, before he became the evil Darth Vader. She meets the Rodian Wald who was friends with Anakin and she ends up with a data pad holo journal of her grandmother Shmi Skywalker. Luke only puts in a brief appearance in this story. The also stay a night at the Darklighter moisture farm, which used to belong to Owen and Beru Lars. Owen was Shmi's stepson. Cliegg Lars is the man who freed Shmi from the Toydarian junk seller Watto.

During all the survival in the desert heat they end up working with a group of small, witty, mischievous furry aliens called Squibs. It is a coming of age story for Leia Organa Solo. She pays a visit to the former home of Obi-wan Kenobi and to the Tuskan Raider village where Anakin Skywalker killed all the villagers to avenge the torturous death of his mother.

Leia has been afraid of having children because she doesn't want them to follow the path of Anakin Skywalker. Han Solo had agreed to this when they married, but now wants children. The novel ends with the successful retrieval of the artwork and Leia Organa Solo agreeing to have children with Han.

Nathan Neuharth

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Star Wars The Courtship of Princess Leia Book Review

Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia
author Dave Wolverton
Book Review by Nathan Neuharth

Spoiler Alert!!!

This is another novel I was resistant in reading because the title was not aesthetically appealing to me. The title sounded boring. I was very wrong in making that assumption. We are introduced to many new characters and places that place larger roles in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. In this novel we are introduced to the planet Dathomir (home to the witches of Dathomir and the Nightsisters). We meet Prince Isolder of the Hapan System and their similar but much more advanced matriarchal culture. Hapan Battle Dragons are war ships that can go toe to toe with Star Destroyers.
Isolder proposes marriage to Princess Leia. She seriously considers it. I don’t like Isolder at first but in the end he proves to be a pretty cool hero who ends up marrying the Dathomir witch Teneniel of the Singing Mountain Clan (Luke offers to train their future child as a Jedi). Han actually kidnaps Leia to prevent her from marrying Isolder and takes her to Dathomir (he won the planet gambling, he gives the deed to the witch Augwynne in the end). We see Isolder mature as a character. This novel is filled with true heroics concerning all the protagonists.

Luke spends time searching for lost Jedi records and finds some at the end of the story. The massive battle between Imperials, our small group of heroes, and the Nightsisters is epic. For the first time I get to experience the threat I've often heard, Chewbacca the Wookie rips someone’s arm off!
I enjoy the brief philosophical discussions of bloodlines and eugenics.

Prince Isolder has become one of my favorite non-movie characters (along with Kyp Durron, Corran Horn, Callista, Fenn Shysa, and the witches of Dathomir). 
Luke shows off his skills and there is no doubt by this point that he is a Jedi Knight, he is a warrior, fighting with both lightsaber and blaster. By this time his Jedi skills are becoming more refined and remarkable. It is clear he is one of the greatest Jedi of all time.

We briefly meet the witch Kirana Ti who will one day join Luke’s Jedi Academy, or Jedi Praexium. I definitely recommend this novel to Star Wars fans.

Nathan Neuharth