A New Dawn: Star Wars by John Jackson Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A refreshing change from previous Star Wars novels, Star Wars: A New Dawn has launched the new Star Wars universe that will include the new novels, the new and existing movies, the new cartoons and The Clone Wars cartoon, some new fiction from Star Wars insider, new comics, and anything else coming out henceforth. It essentially excommunicates almost all previous fiction to the realm of Legend.
A New Dawn does not rely on the bloated universe that existed in all that legendary material before, and while the author had written in that sandbox, this new novel - this new world is fresher. It's still Star Wars. It still expects you, as a fan, to know know what certain races, ships, weapons, and armor look like, it doesn't bother to describe them in much or any detail. The story itself is clearly meant as a setup for the new Rebels cartoon coming out in October 2015 and serves to introduce two of the main characters to each other before the show starts. It's a standalone story though, no need to have any knowledge, or interest, of the Rebels show.
The two main characters are a former Jedi student now grown into adulthood and hiding in the bottle between shifts at a mining operation, and a Twilek pilot looking for civil unrest she can potentially exploit at some point in the future to undermine the Empire. A strong cast of secondary characters also have interesting stories that all intertwine with the main cast and each other. Really, it's more of an ensemble cast that shares the spotlight than focusing mostly on the two mains, though the Jedi Kanan is pretty much the primary character.
If you're a Star Wars fan: read this and get ready for Rebels. If you're looking to jump in to the world of Star Wars novels, this is a good place to start - though I'd suggest you'd have at least seen Star Wars Episode III to share a frame of reference with Kanan's character.
Disclosure: I received an eARC of this novel for review from the publisher through Netgalley.
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