FSFH Book Review

Site Navigation
The Best
The Worst
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 Ryder Windham

Ryder Windham was a comic book editor for Dark Horse Comics and has written more than fifty books for the Star Wars franchise.  He is an instructor for Comic and Sequential Art at Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education.  Ryder and his family live in Providence, Rhode Island.
Average Review Score: 2.4 out of 5 (5 books)

Star Wars: Episode I Adventures - Search For The Lost Jedi
The first of a series of books for younger readers set just before 'The Phantom Menace'.  I want to say straight from the off that this book wasn't what I was expecting or hoping for and Mr Windham shouldn't be held accountable for my expectations.  I thought this would be a book in the same vein as Jude Watson's Jedi Apprentice books, but it's not.  It starts off like them, but a short way in the story stops and offers you the chance of continuing using the companion Gamebook.  Now, I don't own the Gamebook, so I just read on.  Unfortunately this meant that I was left with that feeling you get when you nod off for ten minutes whilst watching a movie.  The majority of the story is fairly standard Jedi vs Droids fare (because carving up people with a lightsaber isn't suitable for the kiddies).  It then ends very abruptly, resolving none of the issues raised earlier in the book.  This is, of course, because this is just the first installment in a series meant to be read as one.  However, although I can understand that the ending and the Gamebook interlude were part of how the series was intended, they do mean that on it's own this book isn't enjoyable. 
1 out of 5
Star Wars: Episode I Adventures - The Bartokk Assassins
The second book of this series aimed at younger readers.  Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon have to pursue and battle a group of insectoid assassins in order to recover a cargo of stolen starfighters.  Overall, this is a much better book than the previous one; the Gamebook interlude wasn't nearly as intrusive or confusing and, whilst not complete, the story does get a certain degree of closure at the end.  Ultimately though, all that goes on in the book is Obi-Wan fights some Bartokks, flies a starfighter for a bit and then fights some more Bartokks.  There's just not any depth to the book which is something that I think authors sometimes lean towards for younger readers, forgetting that young people can handle fiction as intricate as Harry Potter or His Dark Materials.
2 out of 5
Star Wars: Episode I Adventures - The Fury Of Darth Maul
The third book of this series.  I think it's quite telling that, where the previous two books took me a couple of days to get through (mostly due to lack of interest), I sat down and read this one cover to cover.  Gone are the poor Lucas-esque jokes of the Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan dynamic.  Gone is the friendly Jedi approach to investigation.  Instead we get exactly what we were promised on the cover; the fury of Darth Maul.  The agents of the dark side always make for great characters and Maul is among the most physically dynamic and ruthless, making for an exciting and edgy addition to the series.  I was actually deeply surprised by the jump in quality between the last book and this one (and keep your eyes peeled for a character from the 'Droids' comics!).
4 out of 5
Star Wars: Episode I Adventures - Jedi Emergency
The fourth book of the series sees a Jedi team, led by Yoda, attempting to secure a Force-sensitive girl on Corulag.  It's pretty much more of the same, as the Jedi once again battle the irritating Bartokks.  However, we are treated to seeing Yoda in action, which is doubly interesting when you consider that this book was written before his spritely lightsaber antics in Episode II.  Overall this book is a little better than the first two, but not by much.
3 out of 5
Star Wars: Droids - Rebellion
(Graphic Novel with art by Ian Gibson)
C-3PO, R2-D2 and the heroic security droid Unit Zed chase the criminal Olag Greck to Nar Shaddaa, the Smuggler's Moon.  It sounds exciting, but sadly it's all downhill from there.  Zed is quickly done away with (actually, I was a bit shocked by how brutally this was done - I liked Zed!) and then Artoo and Threepio become embroiled in the bewildering plans of Movo Brattakin.  I've read the book three times now and I've still failed to grasp the logic of using a computer virus to turn Threepio into a droid revolutionary.  The Droids stories in general aren't much cop, lacking that essential Star Warsness, but this one in particular is pretty boring and unremarkable.  It does have two redeeming features, the first of which is Nar Shaddaa itself.  The Smuggler's Moon is one of my favourite Star Wars locations, so it's always good to see it from a different perspective.  The other good thing is the humour in this story.  It's not as funny as it seems to think it is, but there are some genuinely amusing moments, such as the droid threatening to vapourise Artoo and Threepio with the device in it's hand before going back to vacuuming the floor with it or Threepio's encounter with a surly fifth-degree droid.  If you can pick it up cheap, it's good for completeness (or if you're one of those weirdos who actually enjoy the droids' antics), but generally speaking, I wouldn't bother.
2 out of 5

If you liked Windham:
Then try the comics of Jan Strnad.

FSFH Book Review - Fantasy - Science Fiction - Horror - Book Review - Hardback - Paperback - Comics TPB - Anthologies - Star Wars - Book Review - FSFH Book Review - Fantasy - Science Fiction - Horror - Book Review - Hardback - Paperback - Comics TPB - Anthologies - Star Wars - Book Review - FSFH Book Review - Fantasy - Science Fiction - Horror - Book Review - Hardback - Paperback - Comics TPB - Anthologies - Star Wars - Book Review