FSFH Book Review

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Abnett, Dan
Adams, Douglas
Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto
Allen, Roger MacBride
Allie, Scott
Allston, Aaron
Anderson, Kevin J.
Barclay, James
Barnes, Steven
Baum, L. Frank
Bear, Greg
Bendis, Brian Michael
Bischoff, David
Bisson, Terry
Blackman, Haden
Bova, Ben
Bowen, Carl
Brooks, Terry
Canavan, Trudi
Card, Orson Scott
Chadwick, Paul
Clarke, Arthur C.
Clarke, Susanna
Clemens, James
Collins, Paul
Crichton, Michael
Crispin, A. C.
Cunningham, Elaine
Daley, Brian
David, Peter
DeMatteis, J. M.
Denning, Troy
Dick, Philip K.
Dickens, Charles
Dietz, William C.
Dixon, Chuck
Donaldson, Stephen
Eddings, David
Edginton, Ian
Elrod, P. N.
Erikson, Steven
Feist, Raymond E.
Foster, Alan Dean
Fraction, Matt
Furman, Simon
Gaiman, Neil
Gemmell, David A.
Gerber, Michael
Gibbons, Dave
Golden, Christopher
Goodkind, Terry
Goodwin, Archie
Graham, Mitchell
Grant, Alan
Green, Jonathan
Green, Laurence
Guggenheim, Marc
Hagberg, David
Hambly, Barbara
Hamilton, Laurell K.
Hand, Elizabeth
Harras, Bob
Harrison, Mick
Heinlein, Robert A.
Herbert, Frank
Herbert, James
Hine, David
Hobb, Robin
Howard, Robert E.
Jacques, Brian
James, Charlie Hamilton
Jenkins, Paul
Jeter, K. W.
Johns, Geoff
Jones, J. V.
Jordan, Robert
Jurgens, Dan
Karpyshyn, Drew
Kennedy, Mike
Kerr, Katharine
Keyes, Greg
King, Stephen
King, William
Knaak, Richard A.
Kube-McDowell, Michael P.
Lawhead, Stephen
Layman, John
Le Guin, Ursula K.
Lewis, C. S.
Lieberman, A. J.
Loeb, Jeph
Lorey, Dean
Lowder, James
Luceno, James
Lumley, Brian
Macan, Darko
Manning, Russ
Martin, George R. R.
Marz, Ron
Matheson, Richard
McCaffrey, Anne
McIntosh, Neil
McIntyre, Vonda
Michelinie, David
Millar, Mark
Miller, John Jackson
Miller, Karen
Milligan, Peter
Moench, Doug
Moesta, Rebecca
Moore, Alan
Nicholls, Stan
Nicieza, Fabian
Nylund, Eric
O'Neil, Dennis
Ostrander, John
Paolini, Christopher
Perry, S. D.
Perry, Steve
Pratchett, Terry
Pullman, Philip
Quinn, David
Reaves, Michael
Reed, A. W.
Reed, Brian
Rice, Anne
Richardson, Nancy
Roberts, Adam
Rowe, Matthew
Rowling, J. K.
Rubio, Kevin
Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
Salvatore, R.A.
Shelley, Mary
Shultz, Mark
Simone, Gail
Simonson, Louise
Simonson, Walter
Smith, L. Neil
Spurrier, Simon
Stackpole, Michael A.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stewart, Sean
Stoker, Bram
Stover, Matthew
Straczynski, J. Michael
Stradley, Randy
Strnad, Jan
Sutcliff, Rosemary
Tolkien, J.R.R.
Traviss, Karen
Truman, Tim
Turtledove, Harry
Tyers, Kathy
van Belkom, Edo
Veitch, Tom
Wagner, John
Watson, Jude
Whitman, John
Williams, Sean
Williams, Tad
Williams, Walter Jon
Windham, Ryder
Wolverton, Dave
Woodring, Jim
Wurts, Janny
Yeovil, Jack
Zahn, Timothy
Collaborations A - F
Collaborations G - M
Collaborations N - R
Collaborations S
Collaborations T - Z
Anthologies A - R
Anthologies S
Anthologies T - Z
Still to come
Reviewing Literature
The Books of John Ostrander

John Ostrander writes comic books.
Average Review Score: 3.8 out of 5 (5 books)

JLA Versus Predator
(Graphic Novel with art by Graham Nolan and Randy Elliott)
Having previously gone toe to toe with both Batman and Superman (and, more recently, both together), the Predators now take on the entire Justice League of America.  The story is that the vicious aliens known as the Dominators have genetically engineered a race of Metapredators, each with powers intended to counteract those of the JLA.  What follows is a full-blown smack-down between superheroes and superhunters.  It's not big, it's not clever, but it is quite entertaining.  However, two things ruined the book for me.  The first is simply that the Predator franchise is entirely superfluous; the Metapredators could just have easily been any type of alien doppelgangers.  The other thing was this; I'm willing to suspend my disbelief to a great extent, but the coincidence that there just happens to be exactly the matching Predators for the JLA members who a gathered at the beginning (no more, no less) is just too much.  (Plus, the Elastic Man Predator is just freakin' ridiculous!)
3 out of 5
Star Wars: Twilight
(Graphic Novel with art by Jan Duursema and Rick Magyar)
The first graphic novel telling the story of Quinlan Vos.  Vos awakens on Nar Shaddaa to find himself bereft of his memories and pursued by bounty hunters.  Forging an unlikely alliance with the rogue Villie, Vos sets off to recover his past, find his lost apprentice and take revenge on those responsible for his situation.  This a perfectly good Star Wars story and adds characters to the saga who proved so popular that they made it into Episodes II and III (Aayla is in both, Vos in mentioned in 'Revenge Of The Sith').  However, I personally wasn't too keen on this book for a few reasons.  Firstly there's the fact that the old amnesiac storyline isn't anything you won't have seen before.  Then there's the bit where Mace Windu uses the old turn-off-your-lightsaber-to-save-someone-from-the-dark-side trick, which has become something of a cliche within the Star Wars saga.  Finally, I just don't like Quinlan's character.  I'm writing this review with several years of having been reading Vos storylines and frankly the character is so 'edgy' that he's almost a charicature.
3 out of 5
Star Wars: Darkness
(Graphic Novel with art by Jan Duursema and Ray Kryssing)
The follow-up to 'Twilight' is by far the better book.  Returning to his home system, Quinlan Vos is confronted by the darkness of his family history, by the disapproval of his former Master, Tholme, and by his own former apprentice, Aayla.  I liked Aayla's transition in this story very much (she's a much better character than Quin in general), wherein she goes from a wanderer, consumed by her hatred of Quin, to being the servant of a powerful villain and finally recovers her memories of her past as a Jedi (although this latter does involve another lightsaber-turning-off cliche moment).  One of the things that really made this book worth reading, however, was Volfe Karkko.  Karkko is a Dark Jedi who was put into stasis long ago, but is awakened by Aayla.  All Dark Jedi are great additions to a story, but Karkko is one of the most sinister and effective (he does, after all, suck people's brains out!)
5 out of 5
Star Wars: Clone Wars - Light And Dark
(Graphic Novel with art by Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons)
Ostrander continues the story of Quinlan Vos during the Clone Wars.  Vos is given the difficult task of infiltrating Count Dooku's inner circle, but this means taking on the role of a Dark Jedi, something that may awaken the darkness within Quin himself.  Elsewhere, Aayla Secura and a group of Jedi hunt Separatists on Devaron and come into conflict with the Dark Jedi bounty hunter Aurra Sing.  This is another very good book, with an abundance of Dark Jedi and lightsaber action, but as before Quinlan just seems too 'man-on-the-edge' to be anything but laughable.
4 out of 5
Star Wars: Clone Wars - The Last Siege, The Final Truth
(Graphic Novel with art by Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons)
In Episode III Obi-Wan says "Saleucami has fallen and Master Vos has moved his troops to Boz Pity" and this book reveals the story behind that line.  On Saleucami the Dark Jedi Sora Bulq is cloning an army of Morgukai warriors and having Anzati assassins train them.  First to discover this is Tholme, the Jedi spymaster, but soon a Republic task force begins one of the so-called Outer Rim Sieges.  Once again, Quinlan Vos is central to the story as he tries to balance his Jedi training against his dark obsession with hunting down Dooku's Sith Master.  I've never been a big fan of Quinlan and his return from the shadows here was always somewhat inevitable, a situation not helped by the Star Wars cliche of a character disarming themselves and forcing the dark one to choose between killing them and returning to the light.  However, despite my Quinlan issues, this book is very good and I especially enjoyed the chance to catch up with the stories of characters from across the 'Republic' comic series, including Xiann, A'Sharad Hett, Jeisel, Sagoro Autem, Bok and K'kruhk.  The latter is the best as he comments on his numerous near-death experiences (the most significant of which is that he was apparently killed by General Grievous in the Clone Wars cartoon).  Also, this book features the death of one of the Jedi Council.
4 out of 5

If you liked Ostrander:
You should read some of Haden Blackman's work.

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