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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-28 15:54
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, by Alan Dean Foster
The Force Awakens (Star Wars) - Alan Dean Foster

This is the first book adaptation of a film that I've read and the first I've ever wanted to. There are of course many Star Wars novels, none of which I've read. I wondered what sort of money-grabbing, hastily edited crap I might be delving into. Though in the opening pages there was some awkward language or editing, on the whole those issues didn't persist, and the book gave me what I wanted, which was a sort of "behind the scenes" look at the story, moments we see on actors' faces translated into words, "missing scenes," etc. I got just as emotional reading particular scenes as when I watch the movie and at the same time was interested by some changes or details explained (I believe the adaptation was based on the shooting script).

 

Some film versus book differences of note:

 

Unkar Plutt isn't just a jerk, he's kind of a creeper, too. There's a missing scene where he shows up on Takodana for Rey, and Chewie rips his arm(s) off! In addition, Rey comes much closer to selling BB-8 than she appears to in the movie. There it seems her conscience gets the better of her; in the book, she counters Plutt's offer of 50 portions with 100. When he immediately accepts, that's when she decides not to sell the droid; it's like she can't bear to let him have something he so obviously wants.

 

I'm a bit confused by the timeline of some things in the films, so it was helpful to learn, for instance, that when Kylo Ren removes his mask when Han directs him to, we discover it's the first time Han's seen his son "grown."

 

There's a whole lot more on Kylo Ren's thoughts and his interactions with Snoke. In the film he comes off as moody and prone to anger. This is actually atypical of him, according to the book. He's all about control and lack of emotion. He even says that revenge is "an adolescent concession to personal vanity," which is interesting given his focus in The Last Jedi.

 

The book also provides context that I was unclear on, such as the fact that the Republic still exists, but there's typical political infighting in the Senate; most believe Leia is blowing things out of proportion concerning the First Order. In addition, there are more details about the First Order, storm troopers, and how that system-destroying weapon works.

 

There's more than that, so if you're a Star Wars fan (aren't you?!), it's worth checking out. I've already started the next one (by a different author).

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text 2018-05-03 14:23
Book #873 - 351,035 Pages Read
The Force Awakens (Star Wars) - Alan Dean Foster

From one of the best SW novels I have read (Rogue One) to one of the worst (this one). I noticed two major flaws with this book: Foster basically wrote the book almost verbatim from the screenplay and he also wrote it as a dumbed down young adult novel. The former is the reason I typically don't read books adapted from screenplays (SW movies being the exception, a tradition of mine). The latter caught me by surprise....I expected a more intelligent, mature approach to this book than something written by past authors in the SW Young Adult series. If you've seen the movie, you have experienced enough with Episode VII...don't bother with this book. It will take your enjoyment of this installment of the saga back a notch. Also as a sidenote, this novel apparently wasn't proofread very well.....a bevy of grammatical and spelling errors awaits the reader. Annoying as hell.....

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review 2017-08-28 00:00
Fire Falling (Air Awakens Series Book 2)
Fire Falling (Air Awakens Series Book 2) - Elise Kova DNF, will pick back up later
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review 2017-08-06 00:00
The War Awakens: Bloody Alliance
The War Awakens: Bloody Alliance - Jason... The War Awakens: Bloody Alliance - Jason Soffe *I received a copy from the publisher for my honest review*

A fun ride from cover to cover! I enjoyed the characters in this one, and the setting was well done. A strong fantasy debut, and I'm eager to see what happens next! The ending was left wide open, so anything can happen. There are a lot of moving parts in this one, and it took a few chapters for me to figure out who everyone was, but once I started, I really enjoyed the story and writing style. My one complaint is that some of the dialog seemed to lack emotion, but that might have been because it was often when others talked to those in power. Otherwise, well done!
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review 2017-06-02 14:20
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lost Stars - Claudia Gray,Phil Noto

A few years back, I read nothing but Star Wars. I was a little addicted, but reading predictable stories about Luke, Leia, Han & their broods eventually got boring. The more recent influx of novels digging deeper into the traditional stories has some promise.

This novel gives the reader a personal view of how young people grew up after the end of the Clone Wars wanting to serve the Empire. The institution that is clearly evil in the movies isn't seen the same way by those who are raised on Imperial propaganda and 'history' lessons. I love the fact that this author gave us two main characters who grew up on the same planet and are close friends, but who end up with very different views of the Empire.

Ciena and Thane experience the events that we are already familiar with from a more personal point of view. They have friends on Alderaan and on the Death Star. Who is 'good' and who is 'bad' isn't nearly as clear to them as it is to us. The Empire has taught them not to question, only to obey, but they see too much to remain unaffected. In the meantime, they are young adults struggling to figure out their feelings for each other as well.

I thought this novel went deeper into characters and emotions than many other Star Wars stories that I have read, which made it much more enjoyable for me. We have enough shallow 'the good guys won again' action stories. This book points out what we always knew had to be true - the good guys are everywhere trying to do the best they can with what they've been given.

I may be addicted again.

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