Chuck Wendig’s final entry in the Aftermath trilogy, Aftermath: Empire’s End has been released, and completes the adventures of Norra Wexley and her mismatched group of miscreants. The reader journeys with Norra Wexley and bounty hunter Jas Emari in their pursuit of Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, but that is only one focal point of the narrative. We also follow Temin (“Snap”) Wexley, his wonderfully terrifying droid, Mr. Bones, and recovering Imperial Loyalty Officer, Sinjir Rath Velus as they desperately try to convince the New Republic that they must journey to Jakku (no spoilers here; once you read the book, you will understand why) for a number of reasons that are critical, both personally, as well as on a galactic scale. While it does not reach the staggering heights of Life Debt, Empire’s End is a worthy bookend to the Aftermath trilogy.
Paul S. Kemp, author of Lords of the Sith, has a new book scheduled for release January 24. A Conversation in Blood is the third entry in Kemp’s Egil & Nix fantasy series, and I had the pleasure of being able to read and review the book.
Here is an excerpt from my review, which can be found in full on Goodreads.
So, this was a new experience! I’ve never reviewed a coloring book before, and I don’t think I’ve actually colored since I was in grammar school. And that was many decades ago. When presented with the opportunity to review Art of Coloring: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (recommended ages 18-99), I was pretty excited. I went to the store, bought a box of Crayola crayons (64 colors, sharpener included!) and got to work.
I had forgotten how time-consuming coloring can be. I had also forgotten how soothing it can be. I understand now the recent trend toward adult coloring books. Sometimes you just need to let your mind go, focus on something a bit creative, and relax. Not to get too personal, but I received some very bad news this week. I was in a fair amount of distress, but in the time I was coloring, I felt better. Honestly!
After much anticipation and patience we have finally been given the back story for the Death Star, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story! At the same time the movie was released the novel and audiobook were put on the market for our enjoyment. For an old-school EU/Legends guy like myself there is something comforting and reassuring about the fact that narrators like Marc Thompson, and in this case Jonathan Davis, have been retained as readers of Star Wars novels. Davis uses his powerful pros reading voice, and vast collection of character voices to bring this amazing story even more to life.
Up front, I love books about concept art for films. Love them! Last year, I read The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and was blown away. This year, I’m happy to report I’ve had the same reaction to The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The all-encompassing beauty of the concept art, and the informative text combine for a thrilling experience perfectly in keeping with the movie itself.
The Art of Rogue One is written by Josh Kushins, and features forewords by concept artists Doug Chiang and Neil Lamont, and by Rogue One’s director, Gareth Edwards. These are folks with a clear love for Star Wars that goes back to their earliest days, and that fact shines through in this book. As a Star Wars fan from way back myself, I’m appreciative. Fans sharing their exceptional work with other fans elevates the whole Star Wars experience.
If you’re anything like me, the first thing you want to do after you’ve seen an amazing movie is immerse yourself in that world. Watch everything, read everything, devour everything. I go through that cycle with each new Star Wars film, and with Rogue One it’s no different. I love the movie, so I want to soak in all there is to know. The best way to do that is to read! Fortunately, there’s no shortage of Star Wars related books.
One of the tie-ins to Rogue One is Star Wars Rogue One: Rebel Dossier by Jason Fry. While intended for a younger audience (ages 9-12), Rebel Dossier can be appreciated by any Star Wars fan of any age. It’s a fast read, but it’s also a resource you can revisit time and again. I plan on seeing Rogue One again (naturally), and I always find reference materials like this only enrich my subsequent viewings.
Narrative Equality in Star Wars Galactic Maps
Please note, the following article has mild spoilers for several Star Wars canon books and comics, including but not limited to Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, Lords of the Sith, Lost Stars, and Shattered Empire.
The excitement around new Star Wars narratives seems in direct proportion to the narrative weight that we as fans give those stories. A new Star Wars film is typically seen as the pinnacle of storytelling, with the animated television shows coming behind, also with a lot of excitement and media coverage. New novels are a milestone in their own right while comics fizzle in and out. Short stories often find themselves lacking coverage and reference books rarely make a dent. But… entertain me for a minute, as we explore how a particular reference book, Star Wars Galactic Maps by Emil Fortune and Tim McDonagh, a brand new “Illustrated Atlas of the Star Wars Universe,” brings to light elements from all these mediums in one single printed history of the galaxy, providing some narrative equality across all storytelling vehicles.
For many Star Wars fans, Carrie Fisher has been a fixture for 40 years. Princess Leia made her an icon (or was it the other way around?). However, way back in 1976 London, Carrie Fisher was a young woman nearing the end of her teen years, trying to find her way as an adult, and in the process of creating what would go on to become a worldwide phenomenon.
In her new book, The Princess Diarist, Fisher seeks to shed light upon her experiences on the set of Star Wars and off. Turns out, much of her time off set involved her older co-star, Harrison Ford. It’s a topic she has hinted at and danced around previously, but is now confirmed. For the three months they were filming Star Wars in London, Fisher had a secret affair with Ford, who was married with two young children at the time.
I have been co-hosting the Legends Library Podcast on the Coffee With Kenobi Network for two years now. The Legends timeline is completely immersive for me, but each time a new canon book is released it gives me the opportunity to swim to the surface, pop my head up and see what adventures our heroes both new and old are experiencing. This week I did just that, as I basically consumed the newest release from the Star Wars story group and Del Rey, Catalyst.
While there were no new Star Wars releases from Marvel this week, you can still get your fix with the latest Comic Book Galaxy from Coffee With Kenobi co-host Dan Z. This week, Dan looks back at Star Wars #24 and Poe Dameron #7, and takes a closer look at Darth Vader #25, the final issue in that series.
Check out a brief excerpt below: