Category: Canon Novel Review

Canon Novel Review: Thrawn

Thrawn (novel)

Spoiler Review –

Grand Admiral Thrawn has held a special place in many fan’s hearts and his return to canon in Star Wars Rebels was one of joyous celebration (at Celebration, no less). Even better, another Star Wars legend was announced to return as well: the mastermind behind Thrawn himself, Timothy Zahn, set to write the Grand Admiral’s canon origin story in, you guessed it, Thrawn. Anyone who’s read a Star Wars novel from Zahn is in for the same treat they’ve come to expect, while new characters, especially Rebels’ Arihnda Pryce, overshadow the titular character in an enjoyable tale of mystery, intrigue, and ambitions while watching the Chiss (re)rise through the Imperial ranks. Continue reading “Canon Novel Review: Thrawn”

Canon Novel Review: Aftermath: Empire’s End

Aftermath: Empire's End

Spoiler Review –

Just shy of one and a half years after the first book, Chuck Wendig brings not only the Empire to an end, but also his enjoyable Aftermath Trilogy, setting the stage and tone for the stories yet to be told in the 30 plus year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. As far as finales goes, Empire’s End is an excellent ending, rounding out fulfilling and memorable character arcs (for both new and old characters), answering several burning questions (which come with their own new questions for the future of Star Wars storytelling to unfold), and bringing its overarching trilogy plot to a satisfying conclusion. Continue reading “Canon Novel Review: Aftermath: Empire’s End”

Canon Novel Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

-Spoiler Review-

In 2015, Alexander Freed wrote Battlefront: Twilight Company, a great novel unfortunately surrounded by the Journey to The Force Awakens imprints and the actual movie itself in December. Despite it’s low-key status, Twilight Company may be one of the canon’s most solid novels. How does Freed stack up when adapting a movie to a novel? Continue reading “Canon Novel Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

Canon Novel Review: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel

Spoiler Review –

Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel, written by James Luceno, is an important prequel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as it charts the earliest days of the Death Star, how important the parents of Jyn, Galen and Lyra Erso, are to the project, and just how Orson Krennic fits among what we already know regarding the superweapon. While it might lack a lot of action, its true strength distracts from that omission: the fully-realized, well-written, and engaging characters and their interpersonal relationships. The tale of Catalyst feels complete, even though the ending is obvious from lightyears away, but as the saying goes, “It’s about the journey, not the destination,” and that is truly what makes this novel such a great read, prequel status to Rogue One notwithstanding. Continue reading “Canon Novel Review: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel”

Canon Young Adult Novel Review: Ahsoka

Ahsoka novel

Spoiler Review –

Ahsoka, by E.K. Johnston, is a YA novel that sheds a little light on the fan favorite eponymous character’s life post-The Clone Wars, pre-Star Wars Rebels. Johnston captures reader engagement with an excellent portrayal of Ahsoka Tano, dream character meetings, and a small focus, though that focus, the book’s pacing, and some questionable compositional choices do hinder the overall experience. Overall, Ahsoka fans or people looking for a quick and fun Star Wars book shouldn’t be deterred though, as there is still plenty to enjoy despite the flaws. Continue reading “Canon Young Adult Novel Review: Ahsoka”

Canon Novel Review: Aftermath: Life Debt

Aftermath Life Debt

Spoiler Review –

Aftermath: Life Debt, written by Chuck Wendig, is the middle piece of his Aftermath Trilogy. Life Debt‘s ability to give purpose to the first book’s randomness, provide the original characters more room to shine, deepening and answering several mysteries, and written with what seems like a less chaotic style (I quite like Wendig’s style either way) help make it better than its predecessor. Being the middle book has its drawbacks though, but the exciting set up for the coming finale prevents any of those drawbacks from truly affecting enjoyment of the novel. Continue reading “Canon Novel Review: Aftermath: Life Debt”

Canon Novel Review: Star Wars: Bloodline

Star Wars Bloodline

Spoiler Review –

Star Wars: Bloodline focuses on Leia and events in the galaxy which shape things to come in The Force Awakens. As essential a read this becomes for those itching for more background details on the galaxy taking shape in the new canon, and even for making politics bearable, Bloodline is memorable and will not be easily forgotten in the years ahead due to its portrayal of Leia. It’s all thanks to author Claudia Gray, who is now more than welcomed to return as often as she can to the galaxy far, far away.
Continue reading “Canon Novel Review: Star Wars: Bloodline”

Canon Junior Novel Review by Chris: Adventures in Wild Space: The Escape (Prelude)

Adventures in Wild Space The Escape

– Non-Spoiler Review –

(This article is written by Chris Wermeskerch and it’s his first post as a contributor for the Manor! Tell him we’re happy to serve his kind in the Star Wars fan-site community over on Twitter: @ChrisWerms)

The Adventures in Wild Space books, by Cavan Scott, are a series of children’s novels produced, somewhat inexplicably, only for international audiences. The series, set in the Dark Times (between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope), focuses on Milo and Lina Graf, the two young children of galactic cartographers exploring Wild Space and the Unknown Regions. On an adventure to a new world, the children find their parents have been taken by the Empire and mount a rescue mission to get them back. Continue reading “Canon Junior Novel Review by Chris: Adventures in Wild Space: The Escape (Prelude)”

Canon Young Adult Novel Review: Star Wars: Before the Awakening

Before the Awakening

Spoiler Review –

Serving as both a companion piece to the original trilogy character-focused YA novels from “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the film itself, Before the Awakening (written by Greg Rucka, art by Phil Noto) fleshes out the three new highly entertaining and enjoyable leads of the new trilogy, Finn, Rey, and Poe. Overall BtA doesn’t change our perceptions of the characters, but it deepens the strong character work done for them in the film as well as explain the state of the galaxy a little more than the film cared to. Any fan of The Force Awakens and these three new leads should take the time to read their stories within Before the Awakening. Continue reading “Canon Young Adult Novel Review: Star Wars: Before the Awakening”

Canon Novel Review: Star Wars: Battlefront – Twilight Company

Battlefront Twilight Company

Spoiler Review –

Battlefront: Twilight Company is a novel inspired from the video game series, Battlefront, and is written by Alexander Freed. Whatever you do, don’t write off this novel due to it being video game tie-in media, because Freed not only makes Twilight Company work, but also manages to craft a well-written, entertaining novel providing a gritty, unabashed look at the life of a grunt solider fighting in a galaxy far, far away. And until Rogue One releases, for now I’d call Battlefront: Twilight Company the Saving Private Ryan of Star Wars. Yeah, I’m just as surprised to write that sentence as I’m sure you are to read it. Continue reading “Canon Novel Review: Star Wars: Battlefront – Twilight Company”