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Vector Prime (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, Book 1)
Vector Prime (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, Book 1)
by R. A. Salvatore
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
213 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book. A new beginning., June 18, 2002
This book was fantastic. It had everything. There was a lot of action, some new characters, and many old characters that have grown up. Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin have huge roles in this story and I really liked reading about them.
These new villains are great. They are the Yuuhzan Vong. The new technology that they bring into the story is all organic, no machines or droids or blasters. Even the space ships they fly are not machines. Some of it was a little beyond weird but it was very cool.
This story had a different feel to it from other Star Wars novels. It is more violent. The bad guys are more deadly and in that way I think it made them a little more realistic. They behaved as warriors would. The Yuuhzan Vong don't play around. They enjoy killing and parts of the book seem like a dark fantasy. In other Star Wars books, like Heir to the Empire, the villain would often not deal the killing blow to a victim, reasoning that his victim will play a larger role in his "grand strategy". So this book was very different. In this book, it is not just the control of the government that the villains want, they enjoy killing. In this book our heros face more danger than they ever have before.
Anikan is probably my favorite because he has that sense of over-confidence that teen-agers often have. But it is even more so for him because he is a Jedi Knight. Throughout the story he learns some important lessons though. He learns about the force and he learns about how precious life is. In fact everyone learns, even the reader, that life is not to be taken for granted, not even by heros. Salvatore did a beautiful job writing the scene on Sernpidal, the scene that will leave a scar on Star Wars fans' hearts.


The Last Command (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Vol. 3)
The Last Command (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Vol. 3)
by Timothy Zahn
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.19
293 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A great conclusion, June 1, 2002
The conclusion to the trilogy, this book was packed with lots of action. The climactic battle at the end was exciting and had an interesting surprise. I loved all three of these books. The new characters and storylines they introduced lay the foundations for many more great Star Wars novels.


Dark Force Rising (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Vol. 2)
Dark Force Rising (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Vol. 2)
by Timothy Zahn
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
306 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once again, a great read, June 1, 2002
This is the second book in the trilogy. I actually liked it better than the first. I won't complain about the ysalimari in this review since I did it in my review of the first book.
The main story is the same here as it was for the first book, Grand Admiral Thrawn tries to gain strength for the empire and rule the galaxy. But to do that he needs people and ships. In this book we find out how he is working to obtain both. When a fleet of lost ships is discovered, the New Republic needs to get their hands on them before the Empire does. The story unfolds as the characters we love are looking for the people who can help them get to the ships.
There are other story lines developed as well. This is just great story telling.


Heir to the Empire (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Vol. 1)
Heir to the Empire (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, Vol. 1)
by Timothy Zahn
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
463 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, great new characters, June 1, 2002
This book was very entertaining with some new characters that I like very much, like Mara Jade and Talon Karde. The main villain in the story is the Grand Admiral Thrawn. I thought the Grand Admiral was a great villain for this story. He was very smart and very dangerous. His goal, of course, is to bring the galaxy under the control of the Empire.
This book has new characters, new worlds, and new aliens. All of which are fun to read about. There were a couple of things that I thought were kind of unbelievable, even in the context of a Star Wars story. I thought the ysalimari were kind of dumb and as clever as the Grand Admiral was, there were times when he just jumped to some wild conclusions that didn't really seem to hold with me. But I was able to overlook these limitations since the rest of the story was so enjoyable and so well written.


I, Jedi (Star Wars)
I, Jedi (Star Wars)
by Michael A. Stackpole
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
213 used & new from $0.01

13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did I miss something?, June 1, 2002
This book received mostly good reviews but I just don't see it. The author made a great effort to link the story in with the Jedi Academy trilogy, a trilogy that I read a few years back and did not like.
There was not very much logic to the story which made the characters not-so believable. The guy's wife disappears on a secret mission for the New Republic. The New Republic does nothing to find his wife. When he goes for help to Luke Skywalker, now a Jedi Master, Luke's advise is to go to Jedi school so he can become a Jedi and find his wife himself. Does anyone else see the stupidity in that?
The only character that was really developed was Corran Horn, the main character. Other characters, like the other students in the Jedi academy, were just borrowed from other stories. You neither know or care about them unless you have read other stories that they have appeared in.
The book portrays Luke as naive. He is over confident in his ability to "save" anyone from the dark side. He is too forgiving of students who get drawn to the dark side and kill billions of people. "Oh, he was just under the influence of the dark side but he is better now" is an argument that just does not hold. Luke sounds like an idiot in this book. I don't see Luke in that way and I can't believe that anyone in the New Republic would allow him to protect someone from prosecution who did what his student does in this book.
Also, since the book spends most of the first 300 pages on the Jedi school, the real villain in the story is not really developed at all. It is a former female imperial officer who is now a pirate. She makes an appearence in the opening scene but then we don't hear about her again for a few hundred pages.
In reading this I felt like there were two stories being told. The first is the main story, Corran Horn trying to save his wife. That story is a mystery and a space fantasy and could have been very good. But this story is interupted by the second story, the story of the evil presence at the Jedi academy.
Since so much of the book was devoted to the Jedi academy story, the author could have at least done a good job telling it. I felt like was seeing that story from way in the back, if that makes any sense. Certain important scenes were walked into rather than developed. The main character showed up after-the-fact whenever something significant happened at the Jedi academy. It was like being told this Jedi academy story through the eyes of a background character. We learned about the events that happened, but we really were not told the real story. It made for a very dry 300 pages. I don't have the patience to find out if the rest of the book is any better so I am tossing this time-waster aside and moving on to the New Jedi Order.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 13, 2009 3:43 PM PST


Win32 System Programming: A Windows 2000 Application Developer's Guide (2nd Edition)
Win32 System Programming: A Windows 2000 Application Developer's Guide (2nd Edition)
by Johnson M. Hart
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $40.39
48 used & new from $2.89

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just about everything I wanted to know..., November 20, 2001
This book pretty much covers everything I needed to know about Win32 system programming. It has very good coverage of topics like threading, file handling, Memory Management, Interprocess communication, network programming, and asynchronous I/O with completion ports. Ever wonder how to share memory or access really, really huge files? Want to learn how to build more scalable servers? This book covers all that and more. I recently took a new job that uses all of this stuff and I was relieved to find a book that covered it all so well.
He gives a very good generalized view of the windows programming philosophy and explains some common windows types and their uses, which helps in understanding the rest of the API. There are plenty of programming examples and he often compares Win32 programming techniques to UNIX programming techniques giving references to the Stevens book which will help put things in context for UNIX programmers.
For client side programming you can get by with Petzold but for server side this book is a must. If you do system development on Win32 then this book is your weapon.


Neptune Crossing (Chaos Chronicles)
Neptune Crossing (Chaos Chronicles)
by Jeffrey A. Carver
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
74 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sci-fi entertainment. On to Book 2!, November 20, 2001
This book was great. The main character is John Bandicut, some kind of a land surveyor on Triton, a moon of planet Neptune. He encounters a very interesting type of alien that does not have its own physical presence in this universe. The alien takes up residence in John's mind, which is pretty strange. But the two have to become friends and work together as they try to figure out how to save Earth from destruction.
This alien who calls himself Charlie is quite interesting as he tries to understand human behavior. I especially liked the scenes where John Bandicut is trying to meet or get close to women because this alien does not like females and the idea of sexual contact is just too gross for it to handle. "It is so... organic" he says. Very funny.


Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet)
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet)
by Orson Scott Card
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.01
372 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter meets the Starship Troopers!, September 5, 2001
This book rocks! Ender is a small boy who is picked on by a bigger brother and some students in his school. He is quite the genious and it is obvious that he has great potential. He is being observed by the military to see if he is a good candidate to become an army commander and fight a war against an alien race of bugs. The training he goes through is intense and exciting to read. It involves a bunch of games that teach him military strategy as he must earn the respect of others in his school and proove that he is a great leader. There is a lot of cleverness in the way these games are played. This must be one of the greatest science fiction books ever written.


Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes
by Pierre Boulle
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19
77 used & new from $1.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic, well written story, August 7, 2001
After seeing the latest film version of this story I was inspired to read the original novel. It has become one of my all time favorites. I loved the author's style of writing and I am not sure if I should credit that to the actual author who wrote it in french or the guy who translated it.
This story had just the right amount of technical information to provide substance and a good background without overwhelming the reader with too much technical information.
In this original version the Apes are more advanced than in the recent film. The humans are less advanced, they don't even talk and seem to have little or no intelligence. The apes have a highly organized society and they do a lot of research on the humans. They are extremely interested in the main character when he shows how quickly he can learn.
The main character must save himself and his friends, if he can, and learn what he can about this ape culture and how they grew to be so intelligent while the humans seem to have disevolved. That process of discovery was very exciting reading as it touched on some interesting issues about learning, evolution, psychology, and the existence of God. I thought this book was both exciting and intelligent.
The end has its own twist that is different from the movies and all I can say is that I loved it.


The C++ Standard Library: A Tutorial and Reference
The C++ Standard Library: A Tutorial and Reference
by Nicolai M. Josuttis
Edition: Hardcover
73 used & new from $4.80

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource for all C++ programmers, June 15, 2001
This is one of the most useful books I have for C++ programming. I mainly use it as a reference and to look at examples.
The beginning of the book contains very good information about the new features of the C++ language that have been added by the standard. It covers things like the proper use of the standard C++ exception classes, namespaces, and templates. It talks about what operators you need defined for your classes in order for you classes to work well with STL. It goes into all the data structures and algorithms that are included with STL and a bunch of other topics that are really cool but I rarely use, like function objects and auto pointers. STL is a lot more than I realized until I read this.
For a general book that talks about problem solving or algorithms and data structures you should not choose this one. In fact to learn the theory you would get more out of writing your own data structures than using the standard library anyway. But if you are past the theory and you are tired of rewriting maps and vectors than STL is golden. This book describes STL better than any other that I have read.


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