A while back I finished the audiobook version of John Jackson Miller’s Star Wars: A New Dawn and I’ve been meaning to write this review to share my thoughts and opinions on it with all of you.
First, allow me to give you a summary. This book features two of the main characters from the Star Wars Rebels show: Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla. The story details how the duo crossed paths and became rebels together. For those unfamiliar with the show, Kanan is a former Jedi Padawan whose master was slain during Order 66 when the Clone Troopers turned on the Jedi Order. Hera is a smart, brave Twi’lek female who is trying to organize a rebellion against the Empire.
The book also features several characters and places new to the Star Wars universe. As always diversity in personality and alien races makes the setting feel truly intergalactic and Miller does a good job of making the characters feel alive. The Empire is fully embodied by the antagonists: Count Vidian, a human cyborg abomination of a man who prizes efficiency over lives; and Captain Sloane, an Imperial commander who follows orders and turns a blind eye to the suffering that she causes in the hopes of gaining more power within the Empire.
The story was just a little slow in the beginning but once setting and characters are established it becomes rather engrossing. Plenty of epic, over the top, science fiction action is to be found within the book; and a multitude of details and foreshadowing leaving some questions in the readers mind till the very end.
I found the book to be enjoyable once it started moving. There are no big twists or surprises but the story is definitely an adventure. My favorite thing about this book is discovering more about Kanan and Hera’s characters. Kanan’s life as a Jedi youngling and padawan is briefly visited and it definitely whet my appetite for Marvel’s Star Wars: Kanan comic series (just read that and I’ll make another post on it). Mostly I appreciated a more in depth look at Hera. In the Rebels show the Twi’lek is the mother figure of the ragtag group, but I don’t feel like her character or history was explored nearly enough.
In summary it’s a good adventure and a deeper look into some of the Rebels characters, and being the first book of the new canon it sets a good tone of action and adventure going forward.
A final comment. The paperback version of this book is a new strange size that is taller than normal and is 9.99 instead of the typical 6.99 to 7.99 price range. I don’t know if this will be the same for all PB’s in the new canon, but I hope it isn’t. I already buy them in E-book when they first come out and buy paperbacks for my shelf later. I don’t want to have to pay more for them.