Sunday, July 20, 2008

Clone Wars Countdown

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Review:Star Wars:Coruscant Nights:Jedi Twilight by Michael Reaves

Review of Star Wars:Coruscant Nights:Jedi Twilight by Michael Reaves

Publisher's Summary:
With the dark ascension of the Empire, and the Jedi Knights virtually wiped out, one Jedi who escaped the massacre is slated for a date with destiny–and a confrontation with Darth Vader.

Jax Pavan is one of the few Jedi Knights who miraculously survived the slaughter that followed Palpatine’s ruthless Order 66. Now, deep in Coruscant’s Blackpit Slums, Jax ekes out a living as a private investigator, trying to help people in need while concealing his Jedi identity and staying one step ahead of the killers out for Jedi blood. And they’re not the only ones in search of the elusive Jax. Hard-boiled reporter Den Dhur and his buddy, the highly unorthodox droid I-5YQ, have shocking news to bring Jax–about the father he never knew.
But when Jax learns that his old Jedi Master has been killed, leaving behind the request that Jax finish a mission critical to the resistance, Jax has no choice but to emerge from hiding–and risk detection by Darth Vader–to fulfill his Master’s dying wish.

I picked up Jedi Twilight simply because I needed something Star Wars to read-my nerd tendencies where driving through. I was excited for it. I like the prequel trilogy era and I thought that this was a cool concept for a Star Wars novel-the whole mystery, Jedi losing his powers ala Peter Parker in Spider-Man 2 feel. I like Michael Reaves work, his original characters are always very enjoyable-which leads us to our 1st topic-

The story pretty much revolves around Jax Pavan, one of the lucky Jedi to survive Order 66/Knightfall. Jax is the son of Lorn Pavan, a character introduced in another Reaves novel, Darth Maul:Shadow Hunter(highly recommended) We also get to see a more of I-5IQ and Dal Perhi(also introduced in DM:Shadow Hunter) Kaird is also in it(Medstar I:Battle Surgeon) as well as one of my favorite characters introduced in Shatterpoint-Nick Rostu, who wasn't as sharp as I remembered him it was still nice to see him. and of course, Prince Zizor( pronounced SHEE-ZOR, or that's what I've been told) himself from Shadows of the Empire. A new character introduced was Rhinann, who is Darth Vader's aide. He makes an interesting character-new characters sometimes scare me because they always have that potential to end up being stupid. But Rhinann makes a nice addition to the Coruscant Nights team.

To say the least, it was refreshing. Not the most intriguing story, but it was a good read and made for a nice filler to hold me over from Invincible to The Clone Wars and The Force Unleashed.I liked the whole pulp feel. And to be honest-I liked the prequel era. Especially the post Order 66/Knightfall but pre-Ep IV. I like the fact that it's all gone down hill. Yeah the surviving Jedi thing is kinda old(Rahm Kota, A'Shared Hett, Shaak Ti, Obi-Wan, Yoda and a slew of others) but's its still kinda cool. A little thing that bugged me was paladin Jedi. The concept is cool-all force, no lightsabers, but the name well......Samuel L. Jackson's crazy character Roland in Jumper was a "Paladin". They are completly different things but, I just kept thinking of Sam and his bleached hair every time I heard the word- just a little pet-peave

So In Conclusion: A good Star Wars novel, you can read it and not feel like you need to be on Suicide Watch like in Invincible(Stupid Denning and the Stupid Jacen jokes) So pick it up, it'll ease your excitement pre-The Clone Wars + The Force Unleashed.

Also-the next book,Street of Shadows, is being set up in my mind as very exciting. Spoilers ahead, 1st chapter is in the back of Jedi Twilight. Typho, Padme's head of security, is revealed to have been in love with her(I knew it

Friday, July 11, 2008

Review:The Art and Making of Star Wars:The Force Unleashed

Review of The Art and Making of Star Wars:The Force Unleashed by W. Haden Blackman and Brett Rector

Publishers Summary:
The Star Wars saga continues! The Force Unleashed: Art of the Game chronicles the four-year development of the anxiously awaited, action-packed video game (releasing April 2008) developed by LucasArts from conception to completion. The book reveals innovative game design concept and images, three-dimensional renders, and behind-the-scenes photos. The Force Unleashed game casts players as Darth Vader's "Secret Apprentice" and promises to unveil new revelations about the Star Wars galaxy. The expansive story, created under direction from George Lucas, is set during the unexplored era between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The game re-imagines the scope and scale of the Force by taking full advantage of new technologies that will be seen and experienced for the first time, such as Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) by Pixelux Entertainment and euphoria by NaturalMotion Ltd., paired with the powerful Havok Physics (TM) system. These new technologies create gameplay only possible on the new generation of consiles. DMM incorporates the physical properties of objects in the environment so that every element reacts exactly as it should--wood breaks like wood, glass shatters like glass, Felucian plants bend in their unique way, and more. Meanwhile, as a revolutionary behavioral-simulation engine, euphoria enables interactive characters to move, act, and even think like actual human beings, adapting their behavior and resulting in a different response every single time. Well before its release, The Force Unleashed game is already buzzing on blogs and gamer websites, at gamer conferences, and among Star Wars fans. LucasArts is fully backing the promotion of the game to the tens of millions of Star Wars fans around the world.

Yes, Virginia- I am reviewing a Star Wars book in advance. This book happens to be The Art and Making of Star Wars:The Force Unleashed, covering the art and production of this long-pushed back and very anticipated game. What was once hailed as "The Star Wars event of 07" has now been pushed back to an early September release.

The story, if you live under a rock and don't know, follows Darth Vader's Secret Apprentice. Often described as the photo-negative of Luke Skywalker, this should make for an interesting game.

Now onto the book itself. It is obviously, see the word Art in there, has a lot of concept art in it, ranging from things in the game, all the way to crazy ideas for the game that never came to be. I wish I could talk about these ideas, but I don't know what is allowed or not as far as content goes on this, which leads us to our next topic.......

Spoilers. Yes, words fans either crave or fear. Don't worry-no spoilers here. No spoilers allowed to be here. Everything is really top-secret, so obviously don't keep sending me emails asking me to tell you what happens. Honestly, it's harder knowing now. My inner fangirl wants to talk about it so badly, but........alas, there is a reason why I can't, all will be revealed in due time. and then I can talk about it w/ my fellow fans.

Honesty, the game looks awesome and this book furthers my ideas on that. Hearing W. Haden Blackman and Brett Rector talk about the project is really humbling, both where very devoted and cared for the project as much as any fan would. I really hope this game isn't pushed to the side because of The Clone Wars. I mean I'm as excited for both of them, but somehow I wish it wasn't like *bam* The Clone Wars *bam* The Force Unleashed.....

Does anyone else think it's ironic that Anakin gets a padawan and Vader gets an apprentice all in the same year- Ironic.

In Conclusion: all fans excited for the game should pick this up. It's fresh and gives a great insight into the game and gives us fans an insight into what could of been. And the eye candy ain't too bad either

In Addition: Speaking of eyecandy.......Hayden Christensen wrote the foreword. His picture..I mean foreword was very nice to look at.... I mean read. All joking aside, it's a very nice foreword-I agree Hayden, Star Wars is Forever

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Review:The Last Plague by Glen E. Page, MD

Review of The Last Plague by Glen E. Page, MD

Publisher's Summary:
A young girl is brought into Dr. Douglas Hunter's ER one night with her abdomen ripped open. One of her ovaries has been stolen; the other is as hard and black as coal. When the bodies of more young girls are discovered, their ovaries also missing, Dr. Hunter and his family of adopted misfits find themselves unwittingly drawn into a dark plot of government intrigue and biblical prophecy. As Dr. Hunter investigates the cause behind this mysterious plague, he and his family uncover unsettling connections, not only between their own painful pasts, but to war crimes in Nazi Germany and even events from the days of Christ. The investigation attracts the attention of a group of ruthless people with mysterious powers who are determined to keep the plague a secret. But as more secrets come to light, Dr. Hunter realizes his family may be facing the last plague, the beginnings of the Apocalypse.

The Last Plague is a gripping exciting tale. A mystery story set to the backdrop of religious and mythological events, the tale makes for a no-sleeper. It's characters are interesting but they are over shadowed by the ever evolving story.

The writing is different. While not too descriptive or action packed, the story keeps a steady pace, but doesn't lose any suspense or wonder.

The story itself is quite odd and the cliff hanger is a a killer. I will be eagerly awaiting the 2nd book in the Apocalypse series.

In conclusion: An awesome religious supernatural read. Recommended for my questioners :) Actually recommended to all who have ever honestly thought about a divine(no nuclear weapons or giant asteroid) apocalypse.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Review:The Emerald Tablet by P.J. Hoover

Review of the Emerald Tablet by P.J. Hoover(October 28)

Publisher's Synopsis:
Benjamin and his best friend Andy love being different from the other kids. They like being able to read each others minds and using their telekinesis to play tricks on other kids. In fact, they are getting all set to spend their entire summer doing just that when Benjamin's mirror starts talking. Suddenly, he's looking at eight weeks of summer school someplace that can only be reached by a teleporter in his basement's coat closet. And that's the most normal thing he does that summer.

The Emerald Tablet is a sweeping story about a group of friends who discover that their Summer is not going to go exactly as expected. Being a Sci-Fi story, it has plenty of twists and turns in it.

The book is a middle grade story; so unfortunately, you loose some suspense due to this. Comparing it to other middle grade novels, It is very well written. Middle Grades, well, let’s just say I have a love/hate relationship with them. Most of the time, the author writes it likes a very long children’s book, where frustrates me so. Luckily, Ms. Hoover dodged that.

The story itself is very good. As previously states-it’s a sci-fi. Science Fiction is a dying genre. Why do I say so? Because it is. What was considered sci-fi in the 70s is now a reality, and interest has been dropping in “new” sci-fi material. I am a huge sci-fi fan, a little obsession that began with a small film, you’ve probably never heard of it, called Star Wars. The Emerald Tablet follows a common theme with Atlantis, but Ms. Hoover plays with it making you feel like you have not heard about it before.

In Conclusion: The Emerald Tablet is a nice, easy read. One of the better Middle Grade books I’ve read. I recommend it to all of my younger readers who may be struggling with Young Adult still