I've seen that several times in the local Waterstones, and I am considering picking it up after payday this month actually. I could do with some good new Star Wars stuff, and by then I might just have finished hacking my way through Peter F Hamilton's "Great North Road". (That's hacking as in "with a machete through the Bush" as opposed to "with an Ono-Sendai Cyberspace deck".)
I actually thought the story was better told in the novel though I think the tone used for the movie was right at this time. I don't think the tone of the novel would have been appropriate for a SW film this early into Disney's tenure. It would work down the line but not right now. It's hard to explain.
I thought the movie was great, though I felt more emotionally moved by the novel.
I finally got around to reading Kathy Tyer's the Truce at Bakura from 1994, after just 15 years of it sitting on my shelf. It's notable for being set immediately after Return of the Jedi and deals with some of the implications for the characters, and must have sold by the bucketload when it was published during the first Star Wars resurgence of the early-to-mid 90s. It's well written with a good understanding of the characters, though the story is a little cliche in places and drags towards the end. The cover jacket artwork is particularly excellent, with accurate representations of the actors and a suitably mystical/spacey colour scheme (much better in real life than it appears on web scans). I originally planned to read it before taking it to a charity shop, but I'm tempted to keep it for a bit longer as a reminder of the time period when it was published.
I honestly think Aftermath picks up in the second and third books, but the prose is it's own beast. The first book is really the weakest, but I enjoyed the trilogy.
Bloodline by Claudia Grey is probably one of the best in the 'New Timeline' EU novels. Phasma by Deliah Dawson is a good 'Star Wars does Mad Max' although I really wish we saw more of THAT PHasma in the books.
The only Star Wars book I’ve read so far this year is From a Certain Point of View, the collection of short stories set around the events of the original film. YMMV but for me the hit rate was high, and they are mostly well written. Very different to the expanded universe stuff though.
The main one that sticks in my head is “An Incident Report” which is the official complaint made by the chap that Vader force choked in the conference room, presumably to the empire’s HR department. There’s one brilliant line in it that I wouldn’t want to spoil...
I'm really enjoying reading Star Wars. Not only because Foster's prose style is gloriously overblown in places ("The odor of crisped insulation and corroded circuitry filled the clear desert air with a pungency redolent of mechanized death..."), but because it's nice to think this is the very beginning. Before the film came out, before the sequels - at the back end of 1976 this is all Star Wars was, everything known in the Star Wars universe is in this book. Including the cut scenes in the right places.
I also love the way the one page prologue is basically the plot of episodes 1&2. I think I knew that, but it's weird seeing that right at the very start. And small surprises, like Vader having glowing red eyes behind his mask.