Friday, December 18, 2009

Tyrant's Test

I really like this time of year...for the time off of work :)  I really get to play, and try to dodge the hunny-do list if at all possible.  Actually I don't even mind that too much because I have plenty of leisure time to get in my serious play time.

Tyrant's Test is the third book of a Star Wars trilogy written by Michael P. Kube-McDowell.  According to the "About the Author" page, this is actually the pen name of Michael Paul McDowell.  I understand why authors use different pen names to keep from being typecast with a certain genre but I'm not sure how they came up with the mouthfull for this one.  Oh well.  This trilogy take place about twelve years after the "Return of the Jedi" and was written in the still early days of the first group of Star Wars fiction.  Consequently, it suffers, I believe with having to rely on plot development, filling in the "what happened next" syndrome and just doesn't have to time to really expand on the characters.  Most of us know a lot about Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, Lando, etc. but do we really?  The plot of this one is fairly straight forward.  Each of the main characters I just mentioned plus some bad guys have their own sub plots and that's really too many to fully develop in a 350 page paperback book, especially when all of the sub plots need to be wrapped up.  I thought Luke's plot was especially contrived because it turned out he was just being lied to the whole time and nothing came of it.  But somehow at the end, that experience had substantially changed him and his outlook.  Hmmm...  Han didn't play a big role throughout the trilogy, just uncharacteristically being captured and having to be rescued.  Didn't ring true.

All in all, this trilogy has some of the worst reviews I've seen for SW books.  It wasn't that bad in my opinion but still, I am glad to see it come to an end.

Louis L'Amour, on the other hand, once again provided a wonderful traditional western reading experience in his short story, "The Marshal of Sentinel".  This time we have a very serious protagonist, the marshal himself, who has to defend his town against an outlaw gang of bank robbers whose method is to use an inside man to assassinate the marshall up front and thereby leave the bank as easy pickins.  I'm sure liking this collection but unfortunately, only one more story to go in The Strong Shall Live.

Next up: finishing off yet another trilogy with Inkdeath, by Cornelia Funke.


  1. My kiddos are loving Cornella right now.

  2. I think these books are best when read aloud to children, especially by somebody who can do all kinds of voices for the roles. Alas my kids are mostly grown now so I don't get to do that anymore.


Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire