Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Booknote: Kenobi

John Jackson Miller, Kenobi: Star Wars. New York: Del Rey/Lucas Books, 2013. ISBN: 9780345546838.

This novel has a great premise: what did Obi-Wan Kenobi do right after he went into exile at the end of Revenge of the Sith.  The Republic has fallen, and the Empire is rising. The Jedi, what few remain, are now fugitives on the run, and Obi-Wan has to protect a young Luke Skywalker. With the Empire consolidating power, out of the way Tattooine is a perfect place to hide, or so one would think. On Tattooine, Obi-Wan becomes Ben Kenobi, and after he leaves Luke with the Lars family, he tries to fall into the role of hermit and of keeping an eye on Luke. Too bad for him that the local settlements and the Tusken Raiders have a conflict going, and it is a conflict that will draw Ben in. Ben gradually befriends the lady who owns the Claim, a trading post for moisture farmers. The Tusken Raiders attack the farms and the Claim, but that may be the least of Ben's problems, who is doing his best to stay out of the conflict. The local leader of the farmers' defense fun, Orrin, may be more than he seems. In the end, whether he wants to or not, Ben, a Jedi, cannot stand idly by while injustice happens.

This novel was a bit slow in terms of pacing and development. Much like Tattooine, not much really happens initially. I would say not much really happens for about two-thirds of the book or so. As a result, I did find it a bit hard to get into the book. However, once the pace picked up, the novel improved. Without revealing too much, let's say that Orrin, who seems more like a con man used car salesman reveals his true colors, and Ben may have to deal with the one group no one wants to deal with: the Tusken Raiders. A plus in this novel is that you get the point of view of the Tusken Raiders, something you do not see very often in the Star Wars universe. Overall, this could have been a better novel, maybe because it could be a bit shorter. Star Wars fans will likely enjoy the novel, especially if they want to learn how Kenobi goes from Obi-Wan to crazy old Ben. The book does add some depth to this Star Wars legend. It is not a perfect book, but it does make for a light and entertaining read that expands the events after Episode III.

If you ask me, I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars.

The disclosure note to keep The Man happy: I get to tell you here that I read this as an e-book galley from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The book is scheduled to go on sale August 27th, 2013, so it should be out by the time this review is posted.

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