Annihilation - Drew Karpyshyn This is probably one of the better Star Wars books by Drew Karpyshyn, which is quite a relief after the train wreck that I thought was Revan. It's amazing what a good writer he can be when he's not being rushed. Now that he has left BioWare, I'm glad he left us with this before moving on to his future endeavors.

For a while we've known that Satele Shan, the Grand Master of the Jedi Order during this time in the Old Republic, has a "secret son." Theron Shan first appeared in The Lost Suns comic and now he stars in his own novel, which aside from featuring his undercover agent/operative awesomeness also reveals a lot about his parents' history and his own mysterious past.

I could tell Drew K had a lot of fun writing Theron's story. From experience, I find that characters in books based on movies/TV shows/video games, etc. very often read like caricatures and hardly ever feel like real people. However, I thought Theron had a clear personality right away, and even smiled to myself a few times at his wit. I also enjoyed the supporting characters, Teff'ith the Twi'lek whose weak grasp of Galactic Basic was a nice touch, as well as Master Gnost-Dural who fans of the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO will recognize as the keeper of the Jedi archives.

The story is pretty much your run-of-the-mill fare, but very entertaining nonetheless. There were the usual space combat and lightsaber battle scenes, but I was surprised at how well done they were. Drew Karpyshyn is very good at writing action, but I was even more surprised to see how well he tackled some of the emotional issues in this book. Like I said, he can be very good when given enough time to develop his characters.

One last thing I should note: I listened to the audiobook of this. Though I'm confident to claim Annihilation as a solid entry to the world of Star Wars novels, I have to mention the possibility that the quality of the audio version may have influenced my opinion. For one thing, it was my first experience with a Star Wars audiobook, so I've only just discovered the talent of Marc Thompson, who is probably one of the best narrators I've ever come across. His voices are simply phenomenal, and together with the sound effects and music I was just blown away.