This book takes place in the years between the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. While the description makes it sound likeThis book takes place in the years between the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. While the description makes it sound like Luke and Chewie are a big part of the story, they are not. Instead the focus is on Leia and Han as well as new characters who are members of the Alliance, the pirate crew, or the Empire.
I thought Razor's Edge was an entertaining book once the action got underway. Leia has to figure out how to walk a fine line in trying to save people's lives and bring the Alderaanian pirate crew over to the side of the Rebel Alliance. She also has to contend with a cunning enemy, a spy, and incompetent or uncontrollable team members. Han is the other main character and we get to read the story from both of their points of view.
It is fun to see Han and Leia interact and banter back and forth. Of course there is no romance as this story takes place before The Empire Strikes Back. I think the author managed to make the characters and their dialogue believable and authentic to the film version.
I will admit that I figured out the spy and thought it was rather obvious but what kept me entertained was the banter and quips by favorite characters as well as trying to figure out how Leia and Han would extricate themselves from sticky situations.
I liked that the author chose to look at the effects of the loss of Alderaan to its survivors. That is kind of glossed over in the grand and epic scope of the films. It was good to explore how Leia and others would have felt about losing their homeworld and families and how that might have impacted Leia's work with the Rebel Alliance. I think what I appreciated most was seeing the character development for Leia and understanding her motivations. It was also great fun to see favorite characters again in new adventures. While I think Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy is better at character development and world building and definitely more original, I enjoyed this little space adventure. I look forward to seeing what else Martha Wells does with the world of Star Wars....more
I thought this book started out really well and I actually enjoyed it until the last part. The idea of time travelers from the future arriving to tryI thought this book started out really well and I actually enjoyed it until the last part. The idea of time travelers from the future arriving to try and stop a dragon apocalypse really appealed to me. I have also really enjoyed dragon fiction in the past and I was curious to see where the author would take the story.
Connor and Caleb come from a brutal time when people live below the surface of Earth for their own safety. Dragons have destroyed the world with their fire. Hunters brave the surface to bring down the dragons though there is a small group of people who are in favor of dragon rights. The world is sort of in the mess it is in because of one person who rescued a dragon centuries before: a young woman named Trinity.
Trinity works for her grandfather in his curiosity museum in Texas. She has had a rough life since the death of her mom and even before that living in foster homes. Now she has some stability but her grandfather isn't exactly good with money and Trinity struggles to keep the business afloat. I found Trinity to be a likable protagonist. She has strength and courage but she is not without flaws.
The twins at first seemed to be flat characters but the author gives them interesting motivations and weaknesses that help to give them individuality. I did not care for the "love triangle" that seemed to be forming but by the end of the book it did look like Trinity knew which brother she cared for. It did bug me that she developed romantic feelings so quickly even when she wasn't sure whom to trust.
The story seems to have an animal rights vs. human rights kind of angle but nothing is black and white and neither side is completely right or without blame. The author presents both sides' viewpoints really well and in a way that enables the reader to sympathize with both Connor and Caleb and the groups they represent. I was however disappointed by the villain in Scorched and how the conclusion of the story played out.
I really liked Emmy (except for her behavior in one scene) and the dragon lore that we were presented with. There are still many things to be explained about dragons and I hope we will find out more in the second book.
Overall I think the positives outweighed any negatives. The book may have its flaws but I found it to be a page turner and I liked it enough to want to read the sequel....more
This book has been described as "Titanic in space" and while only the first part takes place in space, the comparison has some merit. Lilac and TarverThis book has been described as "Titanic in space" and while only the first part takes place in space, the comparison has some merit. Lilac and Tarver are from opposite social classes like Jack and Rose and the scenes where they first meet are reminiscent of Titanic. Of course the ship crashes too though it doesn't hit an iceberg in space. The comparisons stop after that point however and the story takes unexpected turns as Tarver and Lilac explore their new surroundings and try to stay alive.
At first glance Lilac appears to be a spoiled and pampered princess type but once the disaster hits she shows her strength. Tarver may have gotten them to the escape pod but it is her quick thinking that saves their lives. On the planet she proves that she is capable of hard work and she doesn't give up easily. Tarver is equally admirable and the development of their friendship and romance is sweet and appealing.
With unexpected suspenseful twists, a detailed setting, and a satisfying romance, These Broken Stars is a page turner that took me by surprise. I think even readers who don't usually go for science fiction would find much to like here. Another bonus is that this is a standalone novel but there will be other companion novels set in the same universe....more
I loved Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, etc.) for its creativity and epic storytelling that was so similar to the original movies.I loved Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, etc.) for its creativity and epic storytelling that was so similar to the original movies. I was really excited when I found out about this new book even though the premise is so different. There have been a lot of comparisons between this book and the film Ocean's Eleven and I would have to say that I agree. The feel of this book is definitely more like a heist movie rather than the epic good vs. evil kind of story that we had with the Thrawn trilogy. There is a large cast of characters with only four familiar faces (Han, Chewie, Lando, and Winter, a character from the Thrawn books). Thankfully Zahn gives us a list of characters at the beginning of the book to help us remember who's who.
I thought the pacing started out kind of slow because we are introduced to all the different characters and we get the background story to set up the action. It did pick up once that was in place and the book captured my attention in the latter half. I enjoyed the familiar humor too though I really did miss the presence of Luke and Leia and the droids. While this was a fun book, I do prefer the Thrawn Trilogy because it is more like the movies (the originals and not the "prequels) and I love the struggle between good and evil and the complex characters. With this book, the story doesn't focus on what is going on between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance and we don't get to know the new characters (good or bad) all that well with such a large cast.
Overall, this is an entertaining book set in the Star Wars universe with some familiar characters and it offers some surprising plot twists and action even if the character development and pacing are not at their best. I think this book would appeal to a variety of Star Wars fans if they are patient with the pacing of the first part of the story and if they don't expect epic storytelling. If you like Ocean's Eleven and Star Wars, then strongly consider giving this book a try! If however you prefer the kind of good vs. evil story of Star Wars and haven't read the Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command) then definitely add that series to your TBR list....more
From cozy scenes of Darth Vader fixing Luke breakfast to Luke's tantrums when he can't go to Tosche Station, Darth Vader and Son imagines what it woulFrom cozy scenes of Darth Vader fixing Luke breakfast to Luke's tantrums when he can't go to Tosche Station, Darth Vader and Son imagines what it would be like if the Lord Vader was raising four year old Luke Skywalker (but not in an "I'm grooming you to be evil" kind of way).
I love the idea of this book and thought the illustrations were creative and cute. I enjoyed the way the author pays tribute to the films by his illustrations and quotes. One of my favorite scenes involves Luke refusing to clean up his room: "Luke, pick up your toys this instant. Luke, I am your father. Do you want a time-out?". The illustrations feature fun imagery from the movies and cameo appearances from other characters such as a young Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Lando Calrissian.
While I think kids would really like this book, it is probably adults who will most appreciate its charm. The book is more like a collection of Star Wars comics than a cohesive story but it is still a lot of fun to read and would be a great gift book especially for fathers who love Star Wars to share with their kids. ...more
I first read this book as a teenager who couldn't get enough of the Star Wars universe. I was curious when I saw that the book was being reissued in aI first read this book as a teenager who couldn't get enough of the Star Wars universe. I was curious when I saw that the book was being reissued in a 20th Anniversary edition and I decided to read it again to see if it would stand the test of time. Thankfully it did. I don't know if it was the passage of time or listening to the book on audio but I thoroughly enjoyed rereading Heir to the Empire. For fans of the original movies, Timothy Zahn does a great job in capturing the film characters in his book. It is not just a rehash of the same story five years later however. The standout part of the book was the creation of super-villain Grand Admiral Thrawn. He is shrewd and intelligent and has more depth than the average Star Wars villain. He reminded me of an evil version of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. There are also some interesting "gray area" characters like smuggler Talon Karrde and Mara Jade that add to the complexity of the story.
I am an incredibly picky audio book listener and I was mostly pleased with this one aside from a couple of annoying voices for minor characters. The unabridged audio book is read by Marc Thompson who does a fantastic job with most of the voices. His portrayals of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker sound a lot like the film characters. The addition of sound effects and excerpts from the movie soundtracks at emotional or action driven moments added to the listening experience for me. For those looking for all the additional footnotes and information in the 20th Anniversary Edition book-they are not on the audio book but have to be purchased as a separate audio. I did take a look at the e-book and print versions (I checked them out from the library for comparison) and while I liked learning some of the facts in the footnotes, it wasn't as important for me as the actual story and I could do without it.
Overall, I thought that this was an excellent listening experience and just as much fun to read the second time around. Now they need to release unabridged audio editions of the other books in the trilogy! If you are a fan of the original Star Wars films and haven't tried any of the books, this would be the series I would suggest. I only wish it wasn't too late to make it into a movie with Timothy Zahn writing the script......more
This retelling of Cinderella takes the familiar story and sets it on a futuristic Earth complete with science fiction elements like cyborgs, androids,This retelling of Cinderella takes the familiar story and sets it on a futuristic Earth complete with science fiction elements like cyborgs, androids, hovercraft, and alien beings who live on the moon. Cinder herself is a cyborg and a mechanic. Adding to the story is a plague that is devastating the populace and the threat of war with a powerful alien nation.
I love fairy tales retold but I was hesitant about reading Cinder. For one thing I wasn't a fan of the cover. I also was concerned about the science fiction part of the book. I've never read about cyborgs or androids (aside from Lt. Commander Data in Star Trek novelizations) and I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. Thankfully I found Cinder to be a thoroughly engrossing novel and the science fiction aspect blended very well with the traditional story. It is not an exact retelling of Cinderella either which added to my enjoyment.
I liked that Cinder is a mechanic and that she is not just a helpless victim the way Cinderella was portrayed. Cinder has spunk, she is unselfish, and she is intelligent. Her relationship with her younger stepsister Peony was especially touching and I loved the banter with Iko, an android and Cinder's best friend. The world that Cinder lives in is a place that undervalues cyborgs and androids, treating them as second class citizens or worse. Cyborgs are used as test subjects for plague cures and live at the whim of their masters. Cinder does her best to hide her cyborg identity from outsiders like Prince Kai. She may be spunky but Cinder does deal with issues of low self esteem because of the way she is treated by her "family". While a romance later develops between Cinder and Prince Kai, it is not the main focus of the story. As a love interest Prince Kai is a genuinely nice guy. He has a lot of weight on his shoulders but he tries to make the best decisions.
Overall I thought Cinder was a fantastic book. I did find one particular plot twist to be very obvious but that did not detract from my reading experience. Cinder is very creatively told and a fast paced read. At the same time the book explores deeper themes like family relationships and prejudice. I think Cinder sets the bar high for other YA speculative fiction debuts and I can't wait to read the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series, Scarlet.
Readalikes: Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Note: I received an e-ARC courtesy of NetGalley for review purposes but I ended up loving the book so much that before I was halfway through it, I bought a copy...more
I thought this was a strong sequel. The first book had a lot of setup and explaining the rules of the steampunk world but this book gets right to theI thought this was a strong sequel. The first book had a lot of setup and explaining the rules of the steampunk world but this book gets right to the story and the focus is on mystery and romance. I enjoyed the unexpected twists and the action scenes. Finley proves again that she is a strong force to be reckoned with as she goes undercover with Dalton's gang. I liked her character more this time around. The absence of Jack Dandy allowed Finley and Griffin to become closer and to explore their feelings for each other. Jasper was an interesting character but he seemed a little too naive which made him annoying.
The scientist Nicola Tesla, a real historical figure, is also involved in the plot and it will be interesting to see how that plays out. An unsolved mystery remains at the end of the book involving the aether and a potentially deadly enemy for Griffin. Overall, I really enjoyed this book perhaps more than The Girl in the Steel Corset. There was plenty of mystery and romance and steampunk elements that made it a fun reading experience.
Readalikes: The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee...more