Star Wars: Aftermath Out Now

Force Friday is over, and many of the new Star Wars toys and goodies were unveiled, and since we know that all comics, books and video games from this point forward are all official canon, Disney are revealing lots of products ready for December’s new film, The Force Awakens.

Chuck Wendig’s book focuses on events after Return of the Jedi and is available now, and you can read an excerpt here.

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The second Death Star has been destroyed, the Emperor killed, and Darth Vader struck down. Devastating blows against the Empire, and major victories for the Rebel Alliance. But the battle for freedom is far from over.

As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance-now a fledgling New Republic-presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate. But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding. Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but he’s taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.

Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, former rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world-war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place. But when Norra intercepts Wedge Antilles’s urgent distress call, she realizes her time as a freedom fighter is not yet over. What she doesn’t know is just how close the enemy is-or how decisive and dangerous her new mission will be.

Determined to preserve the Empire’s power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit-to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike. But they haven’t reckoned on Norra and her newfound allies-her technical-genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate Imperial defector-who are prepared to do whatever they must to end the Empire’s oppressive reign once and for all.

The Devotion of Suspect X

I’ve been trying to read more novels lately. Here’s a brief review of the latest one.

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I picked up The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino as it was a recommendation from the owner of a small bookstore owner. (I always like to support the non-chain bookstores).

I did notice a handful of grammatical issues, especially in the early pages of the book, which I found surprising. Sure, it’s been translated from Japanese, but this 2011 English version has also been nominated for two awards for its translation.

Set in contemporary Japan, it focuses on Yasuko, a quiet single mother who has moved to escape her former husband. However, when he shows up at her apartment one night, it doesn’t end well for anyone, and when her neighbour Tetsuya Ishigami offers his genius-level maths approach to assisting the young family, the stakes are raised, and the plot becomes complicated, but thankfully, still easy to follow.

It’s the third book featuring the Detective Galileo character, known as Manabu Yukawa, who is an old college friend of Ishigami and whose investigation, coupled with his knowledge of Ishigami’s eccentric behaviour, leads to the novel’s intensity in the latter half. I haven’t read the other two books featuring the detective, and it wasn’t an issue. This is a stand-alone novel that you can delve right in to.

The first half is a bit slow, but it certainly picks up in the last half, and as I got down to the final chapters, I couldn’t wait to finish it. There are surprising developments which work splendidly in raising questions about various characters’ integrity and true motivations.

There are two film adaptations out already, (a Japanese, and South Korean version), with a third American remake on the way. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of one novel spawning that many international adaptations in such a short amount of time.

Although there are crime elements, seeing as it is a murder mystery, it never becomes gory or gruesome. It is a story about murder, sure, but it is more about the exploration of unusual relationships, the line between respect and romance, and the depths one can sink to to rationalise horrific acts, as well as the effects of loneliness and social isolation.

The Dark Communion

My friend Joey Ruff has just published his first novel, and it’s now available on Amazon, with the Kindle version landing soon. The Dark Communion (Volume 1) is a massive 408 page supernatural thriller. I read an early draft and it was rather intriguing I must say. You can buy the book on Amazon right here (it’s only $15) and it will be available to order through libraries and Barnes and Noble stores soon.

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Star Wars Reads Day

There is such a thing? Yep! It sounds like Read Comics In Public Day, which is held in August every year, but this event is obviously focused on George Lucas’ greatest creation. You can find more details right here.

Find a Star Wars Reads Day Event Near You

On October 6th, 2012, fans will come together to celebrate reading and Star Wars. Join in the fun by finding an event near you in the map provided below. All events will have giveaways and a raffle. Select events will have authors and/or costumed characters on hand from the 501st Legion, the Rebel Legion, the Mandalorian Mercs and the R2 Builders Club.

Relentless Novel for Free

For a limited time, you can grab a digital copy form Amazon of author Robin Parrish’s book, Relentless. This over 400 page novel is the first in Parrish’s Dominion trilogy and has been widely praised.

Grab a free copy here, and keep your eye out for his latest book from Stonehouse Ink, Corridor, which is described thusly:

THE ONLY WAY OUT IS TO RUN.

On the eve of his seventeenth birthday, Troy Goggin finds himself inexplicably transported to an impossibly huge, miles-long structure called the Corridor. But what is the Corridor, and why was he brought to it?

It’s a place of mystery, wonder, and heart-stopping danger. It will test him and push him both mentally and physically. His only companion is the girl whose voice he hears inside his head, explaining the rules he must follow if he hopes to escape.

But there is much more to this extraordinary place than Troy could ever imagine. The Corridor’s true purpose — the biggest mystery of all — is revealed only to those who make it to the end.

Amazon Novel Contest

From January 25 until February 7 you can enter your unpublished novel in the General Fiction or Young Adult Fiction categories. It’s all part of the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and you can win $15 000 and a publishing contract with Penguin USA. It’s a great opportunity if you have a novel sitting on your desktop ready for the world to see. Go here to get the full lowdown.

Offworld Signing

Novelist Robin Parrish (The Dominion Trilogy) will be signing his brand spanking new book, entitled Offworld on Saturday, June 27. We have an interview with Robin in the next issue of Extra Sequential (yes, it’s coming). Offworld has a rather intriguing set-up, as described here;

Christopher Burke and his crew of NASA astronauts are the first human beings to walk on the surface of Mars. Their return to Earth was supposed to be a momentous day. But a surprise is waiting for them there that’s beyond imagining.

Safe after a treacherous landing in Florida, the crew emerges to find the unthinkable: every man, woman, child, and animal has vanished without a trace.

If you’d like to see Robin and grab your copy off the novel, details of the signing are below.

Date:
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Time:
3:00pm – 5:00pm
Location:
Barnes & Noble of High Point
Street:
906 Mall Loop Road
City/Town:
High Point, NC

You can also read the entire first chapter of the novel here.

Offworld

Gotta admit – that’s a great cover.