Now Reading: Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt.
Just finished: Star Wars: Darth Bane: Path of Destruction by Drew Karpyshyn.
Star Wars books have come a long way since Han Solo And The Lost Legacy. They now include a 25,000 year timeline to illustrate where each book falls chronologically, a quick-reference logo for those who can’t be bothered with infographics, and, obviously, three levels of title hierarchy.
I was given this book as a free sample at Comic-Con and was hoping that it was being done to promote a new series. In fact, the series is a few years old, but at least this is the first book. Path of Destruction follows the rise of a new Sith Lord, Darth Bane, from his humble origins as a cortosis miner up to the point in which he deals the Jedi a humbling defeat… as a side-effect of an even more sinister plan.
I have said before that a good prequel should not just add to the narrative, but should also give us an additional perspective or layer of meaning. As a prequel to Episodes I-III, this book does put forth an explanation of why there must only be two Sith. It also hinted at a plausible reason for Palpatine to manufacture the Clone Wars: the Sith can never defeat the Jedi through direct conflict, but might do so through deception. It also offered an alternate explanation for Palpatine’s facial morphing: a Sith Lord undergoes a “transformation” when he fully embraces the Dark Side. Better than “force damage,” I suppose.
This book was a fast, light read, which made a nice change of pace from the book before this.
Ever since Practical UNIX and Internet Security, I’ve found the books published by O’Reilly and Associates to be generally well written and informative. This tradition was carried on by High Performance MySQL. If you want to learn how to write a simple SQL query, this is not the book for you. If, however, you’ve reached the point where your simple SQL queries are now killing your application’s performance, then this book may be helpful. This book will take you by the hand and then leap down the rabbit hole of MySQL esoterica.