Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Series
Author: Claudia Gray
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction | Axction | Adventure
Released: September 4th 2015
Review Source: Disney Lucasfilm Press
Star Wars meets Romeo and Juliet in this epic YA novel that follows two best friends who find themselves on opposite sides of the war between the Empire and the Rebellion.
This thrilling YA novel gives readers a macro view of some of the most important events in the Star Wars universe: from the purge of the Jedi in Episode III, to the beginnings of the rebellion in Star Wars Rebels, and through the fall of the Empire in Episodes IV-IV. Readers will experience these major moments through the eyes of two best friends who grow up in these troubling times, and find themselves on opposite sides of the war.
As with other Journey to Episode VII titles, hints about the upcoming film will be included in the narrative, as well a original, post-Episode VI content that sets up the new film.
DUAL NARRATIVE: Chapters alternate perspectives between our two protagonists – one a Rebel pilot, the other an Imperial officer. By exploring these two different worlds, readers will experience many of the major moments in the original Star Wars trilogy – from the destruction of the Death Star to the battle of Hoth – through these two characters' eyes.
Let me start this review with some gifs that I feel perfectly show my emotions while reading this book:
The story of the ultimate star crossed lovers. Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree grew up together, they both had the same wants for their galaxy. They both believed in the Empire. But as their training got more and more into what the Empire was about Thane realized he wasn't sure whether he could keep up with their morals. Ciena's pride is what kept her from seeing what the Empire was doing and therefore it turned these two lovers away from one another. As time passes it seems that the Force has other plans for the two.
If you couldn't tell from my gif selection...I loved this book. I went into this book as just a fan of Star Wars. Completely excited for the new movie in a month and desperately wanting anything Star Wars related to come my way. When I got the chance to read this book I had not read any of Gray's previous books. So I didn't know what I was getting myself into - apart from a Galaxy far, far away. I wasn't disappointed.
I love when an author is clearly a fan of the piece of work they're writing. And you can tell that Gray is a Star Wars fan. She knows what fans would want to read. We get some back story that happens before Episode IV, but then a few chapters in we can pinpoint the timeline based on what we have seen in the movies. And I LOVED that. When the Empire is capturing Leia and they see the "empty" escape pod, fans of Star Wars know what's really going on.
When I watch these movies sure I realize how political it is, but that's not the focal point of the story for me. For me I'm like OOOOOOooooo what is that Jedi gonna do next? Oh! He has to fight the Sith Lord! GET HIM!
Reading this book you get an insight to the political side of it. At first I was worried this would bore me. But in actuality it made everything even more interesting for me. It made me want to go rewatch these films and pay more attention to...well honestly to EVERYTHING. I want to look in the background for the characters who might be Ciena or Thane or any of the other characters that Gray has now made me fall in love with within her book. Seriously, I thought I had no more room for Star Wars characters to love. But Ciena and Thane. Ugh! LOVE THEM!
Also - I'm really desperately hoping that Episode VII will in someway incorporate the story that is Lost Stars. There's some unanswered questions I have. While I know I have Episode VII to look forward to I'll be upset if I don't get some answers. So if I don't get answers...Claudia I'm looking at you to make a sequel. Ciena and Thane....there's SO much I need to know. And Nash! What the heck is he up to?!
If you're a Star Wars fan pick this book up. You will not be disappointed. If anything it will make you LOVE Star Wars even more than you did before. It makes you fall in love with the characters and the story. Not just the story of Star Wars that you already know, but with a new story as well. Thane's outlook on everything is fresh. He isn't one who believes in the Force. We're use to everyone believing in the Force. And Ciena shows you insight into a character who is honestly so innocent - she may be with the Empire but she's with them because that's what she grew up believing in. She grew up being told that the Empire were the good guys, not that they were evil. And honestly that's such an endearing quality in a character. It's why Thane loves Ciena, and therefore it's why you will love her too.
Again. I loved this book. I already plan on rereading it when I just finished it. Who knows, I may pick it up right now.