Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: September 4th 2015
Format: Hardback, 366 pages
Summary Via GoodReads
My Rating: ★★
Journey to The Force Awakens.
The second Death Star is destroyed. The Emperor and his powerful enforcer, Darth Vader, are rumored to be dead. The Galactic Empire is in chaos.
Across the galaxy, some systems celebrate, while in others Imperial factions tighten their grip. Optimism and fear reign side by side.
And while the Rebel Alliance engages the fractured forces of the Empire, a lone Rebel scout uncovers a secret Imperial meeting…
Prior to reading this book I had read a lot of reviews that didn't care for this book. I hadn't listened to the Star Wars Stacks podcast until after I finished reading it, but from listening to their other podcasts I knew that they had not been fans of it. So I really tried to not let all of this color my own perception of this book, but I have to admit I didn't like this one. I even tried to step back and think to myself, "Okay, are you just being salty about how the old EU is now longer canon? Or do you really just not enjoy this particular book?" After finishing this book I discovered it was the latter.
I think this book had the same problem as Millennium Falcon: there was just too much going on. There were way too many characters in this book that I was tempted to write myself a chart just so I could keep them straight. The main story with Noora Wexley, her son Temmin, Sinjir & Jas was pretty easy to follow but I think this book should have really just focused on their story. Instead the author had all these little interludes of scenes that are never really discussed again, and I felt that it was a huge distraction. It really took me out of the story so when I got back to the main plot I kept thinking, "Okay, what was just going on?"
To me this novel didn't read like a novel, but more like a film script. With all the little interludes and the back and forth between scenes of The New Republic and the crumbling Empire could have been great scenes on film, but I don't think they worked as well on paper. I do admit that seeing more women in the Empire was interesting, but I felt like we didn't really need so many different scenes about what the two forces were doing. I just really strongly feel like the story should have focused on Noora and what her ragtag group was doing to stop the Empire on Akiva. If the book had been more concise and focused on this I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more.
One thing I did really enjoy from this novel was the inclusion of gay characters, and how it's seen as a totally normal thing. Noora's sister has a wife, but it just is what it is and no big deal is made of it. I also enjoyed the scene where Jas gets a offended when Sinjir refuses her advances, but it's not because of her, it's because he doesn't fancy women and she's just like "oh, okay." I enjoyed these a lot because of course there would be gay people in this universe and I don't think it was something we really saw all the much in the old EU.
I'm not going to go out of my way to recommend this one to anyone, because I genuinely did not enjoy reading this book. I think it has some redeeming qualities, but it definitely wasn't a book for me.