Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown Review

This book ended up being the final novel released in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, aka Legends, timeline.
I have no clue if Joe Schreiber knew at the time he was writing it that he was the penning the swan song for an entire line of continuity or not, but none the less he was swinging for the fences.
The question at this point is did he get it over the wall or did he swing wild and fling his bat at the pitcher, slamming him in the face and unleashing a torrent of blood, causing a bench clearing brawl the likes of which have never been seen before or since that will go down in history as…I may have gotten carried away just then, and I don’t even like baseball, but I think you see my point…let’s answer that question in less gory detail.

Consider this your official ***Spoiler Alert***

Sidious sends Maul undercover into a prison to meet with a mysterious weapons dealer to get a device to further one of his many secret plans and bring forth the Sith takeover we all know is coming.
Through algorithmic match making, this prison is a hub of fights and high stakes betting that brings the attention of the galaxy and some of its more seedy underworldy types.

This is the 3rd and final of Joe Schreiber’s Star Wars novels and I’m trying to decide if this is better than the 1st or not.
The race is so damn tight.
Death Troopers brilliantly handled Han & Chewie appearances while mixing in some kickass Zombie attacks.
This has Maul, Sidious, Plagueis, and Jabba in Pre-Phantom Menace action.
He has a way of dealing with these legacy characters that makes them feel less like untouchable art pieces and more like action figures that are going to get beat up and thrown back in the toy box for the next writer to take out and toss around for a bit, and I mean that in the best possible way.

His handling of Maul is great, displaying the pure stoicism of this brutal fighter is spot on.
Sidious takes lightsabers and the Force out of the arsenal of the horn headed apprentice, to keep his dark side allegiance secret, and it gives us a great insight into how his mind works and how he has been trained to adapt.
We see a new detective side to him as well as we follow him chasing down leads and rumors in the prison, hunting the arms dealer and coming to multiple deadends.
He almost comes off like The Punisher in that respect, and I loved it.

There are twists aplenty, and not a one had that all too familiar feeling of “are you seriously gonna try this hokey shit?” that can often be found in books/story that try to be too clever or deep for their own good.
They all have an air of “aw hell, why didn’t I see that coming?” to them.
One unexpected twist I’ll share is when Darth Plagueis shows up and starts undermining the plans of Sidious, confronting him about it to pretty much let him know he’s aware of the ongoing shenanigans, and then he cooly moves past it to discuss the grand plan for the approaching Sith takeover.
It’s tense as hell and almost worth the price of admission alone.

Tip to tail, this is a damn good book.
And while I enjoy the new main continuity, I hope at some point in the future that Disney/Del Rey will open the door and let the EU/Legends continuity thrive again.
Because if this is the level of story they were pumping out at the end, there were plenty more great stories to come.

Share this post on Twitter with the Hashtag #TNBBookReview.

Special thanks to @ACFerrell1976 for her editorial assistance.

Advertisements

Walpurgis III Press Release

From WordFire Press…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Who is more dangerous, the man who kills from compulsion? Or the man who kills from calculation?

Monument, Colorado. WordFire Press is proud to announce the release of Walpurgis III, by Hugo and Nebula Winning Author, Mike Resnick!

Conrad Bland has slaughtered tens of millions, a butcher vastly worse than Hitler. He has never considered not killing anyone who stood in his way.

He takes refuge on Walpurgis III, a planet settled by various cults of devil worshippers. He is the manifestation of the evil they revere, but now that they have come face-to-face with their beliefs, the cults desperately want Bland to be removed from their lives, their world, and entirely from existence.

So Walpurgis III contacts Jericho, the greatest assassin in the galaxy, to rid them of Conrad Bland. But once the assassin arrives and begins to make his bloody way toward Bland’s headquarters, the people—especially John Sable, the top policeman on the planet—must face an excruciating choice.

About the author:

Mike Resnick is, according to Locus, the all-time leading award winner for short science fiction. He is the winner of 5 Hugos (from a record 37 nominations), plus other major awards in the USA, France, Poland, Catalonia, Croatia, Spain, Japan, and China (where he recently won an award as Most Popular Foreign Author). Mike is the author of 78 novels, 10 books of non-fiction, close to 300 short stories, and three screenplays. He has edited 43 anthologies, and is currently the editor of both Galaxy’s Edge magazine and Stellar Guild books. He was the Worldcon Guest of Honor in 2012.

Walpurgis III

Trade paperback $14.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-954-6

Ebook $4.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-955-3

WordFire Press is a mid-size new-model publisher founded byNew York Times bestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. You can find us at wordfirepress.com. Tweet us @WordFirePress. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/WordfireIncWordfirePress.

Thieves & Beggars Press Release

From WordFire Press…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Space pirates return in this riveting new space opera by C. S. Ferguson!

Monument, Colorado. March 22, 2019. WordFire Press is proud to announce the release of Thieves & Beggars, a Wild Space novel by C.S. Ferguson.

After the loss of Tamora, the last three Crimson Star pirates are even more desperate to find their hijacked starship and escape the Heracles system. The once-infamous Crimson Star pirates lost their ship to a band of mercenaries, lost their doctor to the Inquisition, and are now reliant on the good will of the ruthless Borjigin crime family for safety. But the Borjigins could be a blessing in disguise … if they and the pirates can survive the tightening grip of the merciless and calculating Inquisition.

The Inquisition is mercilessly crushing crime at every level, and the pirates can feel the icy grip of the law tightening around their necks...

Coming March 27, 2019

About the author: C. S. Ferguson used to be an adventurer. He traveled half a million miles through 55 countries on every continent, circling the globe nine times. Then he had this epic fight vs. a crazy boss monster that was basically a vampiric half-dragon 14th level ranger/7th level assassin. He tried to solo it, which was a big mistake, because that boss was a total badass. Yeah. It didn’t end well. So, after he weaned himself off the pain killers, Ferguson retired from that and looked for something less dangerous. He settled in Seattle, where everyone is an aspiring game designer, so he claimed the same in an effort to fit in. Except, people believed him. His 14 games are in 68 countries. That means people actually buy them, which is pretty cool because now he can afford the high-end ramen. The mail lady and grocery store checkout girl both know him by name, so that’s two diehard fans. And his mom gets his name right half the time, so that’s like two and a half. That’s more girls than would talk to him in middle school, so his life is improving.

Thieves & Beggars

Trade paperback $16.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-962-1

Ebook $5.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-963-8

Hardback $29.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-971-3

WordFire Press is a mid-size new-model publisher founded by New York Timesbestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. You can find us atwordfirepress.com. Tweet us @WordFirePress. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/WordfireIncWordfirePress.

Viper’s Bane Press Release

From WordFire Press…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

When an ex-lover from centuries back hires mercenaries to kidnap his friend, Marcus Barber must go to the rescue. But can he help an Aztec Ancient stop Apep’s essence from poisoning the Riverwalk in San Antonio?

Monument, Colorado. WordFire Press is proud to announce the release of Viper’s Bane, by J.T. Evans, the second book in the Modern Mythology Series!

Marcus Barber, the immortal Roman centurion, must rescue his friend, Eddie, from maniacal mercenaries hired by his former lover, Joelle.

In addition to saving Eddie, Marcus must also track down the location of the Egyptian Ancient, Apep, and rescue him from a cult attempting to use his essence to poison the Riverwalk area of San Antonio.

All the while, he continues his quest to find his father, and has a side gig of stealing corporate documents for a white-collar espionage job.

“A fine debut novel in the style of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, but with a gritty noir feel that punched me right in the gut. Xerxes is now on my list as favorite sidekicks. —Darby Karchut onGriffin’s Feather

About the Author:

J.T. Evans writes fantasy novels. He also dabbles with science fiction and horror short stories. When not writing, he performs techno-centric duties at the Day Job, home brews great beers, spends time with his family, and plays way too many card/board/role-playing games.

He originally spawned in the desert-ridden lands of West Texas but got out of there as soon as he could at the “tender” age of 23. After a year in San Antonio and a year in the northern tundra of Montana, he landed in the Colorado Springs area where he remains to this day.

Viper’s Bane

Trade paperback $14.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-978-2

Ebook $5.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-979-9

WordFire Press is a mid-size new-model publisher founded by New York Timesbestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. You can find us atwordfirepress.com. Tweet us @WordFirePress. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/WordfireIncWordfirePress.

The Flavor Of Other Worlds Press Release

From WordFire Press…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thirteen Science Fiction Tales from Master Storyteller, Alan Dean Foster!

Monument, Colorado. WordFire Press is proud to announce the release of The Flavors of Other Worlds: 13 Science Fiction Tales from a Master Storyteller, by Alan Dean Foster!

From fighting giant bugs to defeating an interstellar empire without firing a shot; from scientific idiot savants toying with the universe to how the robots will really win the robot apocalypse, these thirteen flavorful tales are guaranteed to entertain, amuse, awe, and maybe even enlighten.

Includes the first appearance in print of the Icerigger novelette “Chilling” and a new novelette, “Valentin Sharffen and the Code of Doom.”

“A winner for all ages.” from Publisher’s Weekly, (for LOST AND FOUND)

“Packed with action, intriguing human and alien characters, and a message of strength through diversity “. Library Journal (for DROWNING WORLD)

“Inventive and packed with flavorsome incident.” Kirkus Review (in re CARNIVORES OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS)

About the Author: Alan Dean Foster is the author of 125 books, hundreds of pieces of short fiction, essays, columns reviews, the occasional op-ed for the NY Times, and the story for the first Star Trek movie. Having visited more than 100 countries, he is still bemused by the human condition. He lives with his wife JoAnn and numerous dogs, cats, coyotes, hawks, and a resident family of bobcats in Prescott, Arizona.

The Flavors of Other Worlds:

Trade paperback $14.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-958-4

Ebook $4.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-959-1

Hardback $25.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-986-7

WordFire Press is a mid-size new-model publisher founded by New York Timesbestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. You can find us atwordfirepress.com. Tweet us @WordFirePress. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/WordfireIncWordfirePress.

The Taste Of Different Dimensions Press Release

From WordFire Press…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fifteen tasty tales from a master of fantasy!

Monument, Colorado. WordFire Press is proud to announce the release of The Taste of Different Dimensions: 15 Fantasy Tales from a Master Storyteller, by Alan Dean Foster!

The dead. The undead. Those who wish they were dead. They’re all here, along with a legend from a Pacific island, a legend from beneath a Pacific island, and much, much more. Frogs and dogs, knaves and slaves, and maybe a smidgen of real but impertinent food. Extend your imagination and have a nibble. You’ll come back for more.

Includes the never before published story “Fetched.”

“One of the most consistently inventive and fertile writers of science-fiction and fantasy.” The Times (London)

“Foster’s greatest strength remains his world building, easily creating evocative alien landscapes and populating them….” from BOOKLIST (in re Strange Music)

About the Author:

Alan Dean Foster is the author of 125 books, hundreds of pieces of short fiction, essays, columns reviews, the occasional op-ed for the NY Times, and the story for the first Star Trek movie. Having visited more than 100 countries, he is still bemused by the human condition. He lives with his wife JoAnn and numerous dogs, cats, coyotes, hawks, and a resident family of bobcats in Prescott, Arizona.

The Taste of Different Dimensions:

Trade paperback $14.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-956-0

Ebook $4.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-957-7

Hardback $25.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-985-0

WordFire Press is a mid-size new-model publisher founded by New York Timesbestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. You can find us atwordfirepress.com. Tweet us @WordFirePress. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/WordfireIncWordfirePress.

A Furnace Sealed: The Adventures Of Bram Gold Press Release

From WordFire Press…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Crazed unicorns, immortals, gods, vampires and werewolves turn up dead in the Bronx. Bram Gold, hunter for hire, investigates the events. Can he stop the destruction of New York?

Monument, Colorado. WordFire Press is proud to announce the release of A Furnace Sealed: The Adventures of Bram Gold, Book 1, by Keith R. A. DeCandido!

Bram Gold is a Courser, a hunter-for-hire who deals with supernatural creatures, mystical happenings, and things that go booga-booga in the night. Under the supervision of the Wardein—his childhood friend Miriam Zerelli, who is in charge of all magical activity in the Bronx, New York—he’s who you hire if you need a crazed unicorn wrangled, some werewolves guarded while they gallivant around under the full moon, or an ill-advised attempt to bind a god stopped.

The Bronx is the home to several immortals, who are notoriously hard to kill—so it comes as rather a surprise when one of them turns up murdered, seemingly by a vampire. In addition,binding spells all across town are either coming undone, failing to work, or are difficult to restore. As Bram investigates, more immortals turn up dead, and a strange woman keeps appearing long enough to give cryptic advice and then disappear. Soon, he uncovers a nasty sequence of events that could lead to the destruction of New York!

The first in a new series of urban fantasy thrillers taking place in the Boogie-Down Bronx from best-selling, award-winning author Keith R.A. DeCandido.

Keith R.A. DeCandido was born in what is now the Wakefield campus of Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. When he’s not writing, Keith is an editor (for clients both personal and corporate), a martial artist (he achieved his third-degree black belt in karate in 2017, and he regularly teaches karate to kids), an avid New York Yankees fan, and probably some other stuff he can’t remember due to the lack of sleep. Find out less at his inadequate web site at www.DeCandido.net.

A Furnace Sealed

Trade paperback $14.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-946-1

Ebook $4.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-947-8

Hardback $25.99. ISBN 978-1-61475-984-3

WordFire Press is a mid-size new-model publisher founded by New York Times bestselling authors Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. You can find us at wordfirepress.com. Tweet us @WordFirePress. Follow us on Facebook atfacebook.com/WordfireIncWordfirePress.