Cobra Outlaw (Cobra Rebellion #2) (ARC)

coverI received this copy from the publisher through and that in no way has influenced my opinion in regards to this review.

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at by express permission of this reviewer.

Title: Cobra Outlaw

Series: Cobra Rebellion

Author: Timothy Zahn

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 320



The Broom/Moreau family [don’t get me started on this whole Broom thing. I know Zahn is doing this to keep it from becoming patriarchal, but blast it, I started this series with a Moreau and I want to stay with a Moreau] is pretty much all over the place.

Some are on Aventine dealing with the Dominion of Man take over of the Cobra Worlds.

Some are on Qasama trying to enlist their aid against the Dominion.

Some are in Troft space, trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

And some are just in space running all over.


My Thoughts:

First, lets get all the ARC crap out of the way, because that has nothing to do with the book itself.

Netgally ONLY allowed me to send this to my kindle. Not to download it to Kindleforpc or to Adobe. Nope. Email only to my kindle. That rather irked me because I really, really prefer to download, put into Calibre, use the count-page plugin and then sideload to my kindle. Using the countpage plugin allows me to get a page count based on number of characters and page breaks, thus allowing me to have a uniform way to compare the books I’m reading. Not having that is like using your hand while it is asleep; you can do it, but everything is just a bit off.

Ok, on to the review proper.

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first one, Cobra Slave. I felt like there were too many threads running at the same time for such a small book [small only in comparison!] and hampered each thread in what was told.

I really just want one, maybe 2 points of view for these books. It feels like Zahn is trying to write “bigger” than he can. The original Cobra had one viewpoint and one continuous storyline. Given, we’re 8 books in and 100 years later, but still, I LIKED the original formula.

On the plus side of things. This wasn’t boring like the previous trilogy [Cobra War trilogy]. There are several great Cobra action scenes [building hopping is one of my favorite Cobra abilities]. Also, the Trofts are being introduced as real characters, with one from the Unknown Demesne taking a large role near the end of the book.

Overall, a good solid SFF book by Timothy Zahn. As a caveat, I do hope that he stops writing the Cobra books soon. Don’t milk it because after reading what I have, I’d be satisfied now with the Original Trilogy.

Soulminder (ARC)

cover I received this copy from the publisher through and that in no way has influenced my opinion in regards to this review.

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at by express permission of this reviewer.

 Title: Soulminder

Series: —–

Author: Timothy Zahn

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SF

Pages: 283



Dr. Adrian Sommers lost his 5 year old son in a car accident and is convinced that if he could have had more time, he could have saved his son.

That idea turns into a full blown obsession and Sommers invents a device that can be a holding tank for the soul until the body can be healed and the soul returned.

Each chapter shows a different aspect of the implications of such a device.


My Thoughts:

In many ways, this is the book I have been waiting for from Zahn. Something that is science fiction’y but so theologically and philosophically laced that you can’t help but reflect on the implications of what the author is writing about.

Now, Zahn’s Mormonism shows through in how he presents the idea of what a soul is and so I deducted a half star because I really disagree on this and I think it is important.  It didn’t detract from the overall story though and if you’re not too worried about things like that, you probably won’t be bothered by this much at all.

The chapters were very reminiscent of old Asimov stories, as each chapter was a snapshot in time of one particular incident. In one sense this novel was a series of short stories that happened to all be about the same subject. I really like short stories when they are done right and most of these were done right.

So overall, I really enjoyed this book. It made me think, even if just to figure out where and why I disagreed with Zahn and it presented some really good questions about ethics, morality and what is life.

I did take off a star because I thought the idea of the “airtight” security rather laughable. If it exists, someone somewhere can hack it, steal it or copy it. Reverse engineering might take years, but this book covers almost 20 years and the rewards would be astronomical.

And secondly, the ending was so deus-ex machina that I quite literally rolled my eyes. Inserted code can be found, no matter how cleverly hidden. The next generation is always producing a smarter genius *smiles*

But once again, Zahn produces a book that I can thoroughly enjoy and recommend whole heartedly.

Trial by Fire (Terminator Salvation #4) (Terminator)

trialbyfire (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at by express permission of this reviewer


Terminator: Salvation was NOT the end. It was merely the beginning of the end. And Marcus was not alone.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed the movie and really thought it was the end. Instead, this book shows that the AI that was destroyed was just a branch version, not the main one.

I recently read another Terminator book, Cold War, and man, Zahn shows with this book what a great author he is. There is no comparing the two. The writing was tight, the overarching plot suspenseful and the different storylines were all blended together just right.

It was nice to read something that I felt was crafted well even while being about something as non-serious as a movie spinoff. With all the crap floating around nowadays, coming across a well crafted gem makes it even more precious. Even if it is a fools gold gem 😀

The advent of the Theta Terminators opens up the whole future of the Terminator world. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening, much like I was hoping the T2 trilogy would give things a kick and they didn’t. Highly recommended to Terminator fans but not to anyone else. Too much backstory is needed, or at least the first 2 and 4th Terminator movie.

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Author: Timothy Zahn

Trial by Fire

Terminator: Salvation #4

The Last Command

coverThe Last Command

Star Wars: Thrawn #3

Timothy Zahn

4 Stars


Ok, I enjoyed this. It wrapped up VERY quickly though. As was reading along, I kept waiting for things to fall apart for the badguys, and they do, but not until almost the last chapter.

It reminded me of the Original Trilogy. Man, I wish this trilogy would be made into a movie trilogy. Oh well.

And I think Zahn does an admirable job of writing about things that he has no history with and makes it work. Things that are gone over much later in the EU books. Cloning, the force, cloning jedi,Borsk Feyla [Oh, how I hate that scumbag Bothan!], MARA JADE!

Damn you Lucas Books People for killing her off, the twins.

So many things are started here in this trilogy that the EU uses, that to be honest, these books are almost more important to the EU than the original movie trilogy is. ’nuff said.

Dark Force Rising

Dark Force RisingDark Force Rising

Star Wars: Thrawn #2

Timothy Zahn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


You know, upon re-reading this, it wasn’t as great as I remembered when I was in my ‘teen/20’s.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a great Star Wars book [well, with competition like Dark Nest Trilogy, that doesn’t mean QUITE so much]. It is also classic Zahn. I’ve come to realize that Zahn doesn’t do action real well. That is not his strongpoint. Ideas, character interaction and cool ideas are however.

And these aren’t NEW anymore. When these came out, Episode 1 hadn’t come out. The Clone Wars cartoon didn’t exist. There weren’t 200+ already written Star Wars books. So this fed the Beast Within. Now? No matter how good a meal is, it ALWAYS tastes better when you are hungry. I’m filled up. The last 20’ish years have seen me glutted, on the good and the bad.

I think that is a good thing because it means that Zahn laid down a foundation that has held up the EU even through some seriously stinky novels [Darksaber, oh my goodness, make me puke RIGHT NOW!].

Cobra Slave

Cobra SlaveCobra Slave

Cobra Rebellion #1

Timothy Zahn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I wrote my long [for me] review and accidently hit the back button on my browser because of my stupid touchpad on my laptop.

And so I lost it all.

Basically, I absolutely loved this book and thought that the Dominion of Man was the perfect badguy and I love having good badguys to hate.


Heir to the Empire

Heir to the Empire

Star Wars: Thrawn #1

Timothy Zahn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Been 14 years since I read this. I remember being blown away when I first read this. Probably helped that this was nearly my first Star Wars book [after Mr Twincest himself’s book, poor guy].

This time I read it with a much vaster repertoire of books read under my belt. It was still a very good book. But it wasn’t incredible.

Zahn does a fantastic job of creating the characters like how you would expect them to be after the Trilogy. So many foundations of the EU are introduced and laid down in this book and the rest of the trilogy. It almost makes me cry. Especially when considering the Kataana Fleet [mentioned in this book] and how Mr. Mccube Dowel completely gutted that story with his horrible Black Fleet trilogy. [If I’m mixing up authors/series, feel free to correct me in the comments section and I’ll fix it. I just don’t care enough right now to go look it up].

Mara. To me, that sums up Zahn’s highest achievement with this book. Even greater than Thrawn imo.

From the Ashes

Terminator Salvation: From the AshesFrom the Ashes

Terminator: Salvation #0.5

Timothy Zahn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The prequel to Terminator: Salvation. I truly enjoyed this. Zahn does a masterful job of introducing us to the characters. Reese, Star, their protector Orzohc [or something like that], John and Kate Connor and their tight knit group of Resistance fighters.

Skynet prepares to cleanse a particular region of L.A. and the Connors prepare to pull of a coup to secure their place in the Resistance. And the group Reese and Star are living with are caught squarely in the middle.

This was written well, engagingly, with flashes of humor and sadness.

Time Bomb and Zahndry Others

Time Bomb and Zahndry Others

Timothy Zahn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I remember tearing through Zahn’s short story collections back in the 90’s. I was an impressionable teen coming of age who loved star wars, scifi and videogames [X-Com: Terror from the Deep was the epitome of awesomeness].

Zahn’s writing was clean, tight, introducing new ideas to me and great for discussions. I had another friend who also loved Zahn and we’d spend hours discussing the stories, the ramifications, etc, etc.

So I am thankful to Mr. Zahn for showing me good technical writing. [unlike some of the drek produced by “indies” today].

That all being said, the stories have paled with time. The ideas written about have been bandied about by many others since this was originally published.

Still recommended for ANY fan of Zahn’s or those who enjoy S/F short story collections.