|The "Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights" saga:|
Fourteen Installments to Enjoy!
Growing up, I read anything I could get my hands on. When the latest offerings from Scholastic arrived in my classroom, my parents purchased any books that interested me. I took frequent trips to the library. After I saw “Star Wars,” I realized that a wealth of newer books awaited me in grocery store spinner racks. I sought out the Science Fiction sections in bookstores, as well as the book areas of department stores where my parents shopped. In time, I discovered the Science Fiction Book Club, and that offered up a whole new source of beautiful, affordable hardcovers, some of them with two or three novels in one volume.
I think many of us are naturally drawn to series fiction. If we find a particular character or characters, or a setting or world we like, then we yearn to return to it again and again. Some of the series fiction I enjoyed during this period were media tie-in books, such as “Star Trek” and “Battlestar Galactica.” Others were action/adventure novels such as “The Executioner” and “The Destroyer.” And then there were the various series created by past and current SF and Fantasy authors, such as Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. These simple, rousing tales of derring-do entertained me with vivid characters, nonstop action, and awesome settings. Because they wrote so well, they made storytelling seem so effortless. Later, when I tried writing my own stories, I learned that writing was anything but easy. Yet it was those authors’ vivid stories, as well as the sheer number of books they wrote about the characters I loved, or the worlds they inhabited, that made me want to become a writer.
Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta carry on this proud tradition of writing rousing stories of adventure. Instead of losing themselves in the intricacies of plot, the evolution of character, or striving for stylistic perfection, they paint their creations with a gentle hand, allowing their readers to easily immerse themselves in the world and their characters, before whisking them off on their next adventure. Because they do not attempt to forge each book into a masterpiece of stunning brilliance that will entertain reviewers, but simply aim to please fans, they write at an enviable pace, and always deliver their novels on time. This gives their fans plenty of stories to enjoy. Readers appreciate this, knowing they can expect many more stories from them in the future, as opposed to one or two masterpieces in the next five years.
There will always be arguments regarding the relative merits of quality versus quantity, as well there should be. But I still remember my childhood delight when I discovered a novel I particularly enjoyed, and learned that the author had written many more adventures in that series. I’m still feel the same thrill when I realize that I can count on an author to deliver many more stories written in a similar vein to the one I fell in love with. Don’t get me wrong: I also enjoy reading those artists who strive for originality, who constantly challenge their readers, and attempt to reinvent themselves with each new novel. I just don’t get to enjoy the work of those authors nearly so often.
Still hungry for my next great read,