SW Reading Update: Young Readers Edition

As ever, the Star Wars reading continues. These are the books that have been entertaining me lately:

So You Want To Be A Jedi? by Adam Gidwitz. On the heels of my last Kindle read, The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy, I continued with the next in the series, which retells The Empire Strikes Back. As with the first book, it’s told in a rather unorthodox way. This one has the author writing in second person point of view (which usually annoys me–You walk into the room, you smell the food, you sit down at the table, etc. Ugh, lol). But in this way, the author addresses the young reader, who fancies him or herself wanting to be a Jedi, and so he tells the story of Luke Skywalker, the most famous Jedi, and how he became one, inserting the reader into Luke’s shoes. In the author’s note at the beginning, he makes a point that I never thought about before: that Luke, as a character, is rather bland. Compared to the characters around him, he doesn’t have much of a personality, at least in ANH, and I realized it’s kind of true, lol. But he’s supposed to be that way, the author insists, so that the viewer (or reader) can insert him or herself into his shoes easily, as the protagonist of the story. It makes a lot of sense (He makes the point that Harry Potter is another such bland character, but I can’t really speak to that). Each chapter also alternates with a short lesson on how to train to be a Jedi: how to meditate, focus, concentrate, be compassionate, doing the right thing, etc. It was fairly entertaining, mostly because it was so different. I could have done without the pee jokes, lol, but the target audience is NOT me.

Beware the Power of the Dark Side, by Tom Angleberger. The last in the series, this one retells the story of Return of the Jedi. This one tells the story in a rather straightforward manner, but it’s told in a very casual, conversational way. I did like getting into Vader’s head during the last third of the book, how he slams his mind shut whenever he’s reminded of Anakin (and Luke, of course, constantly reminds of him of Padme, and that other life he lived). The author makes references to characters that none of us knew back in 1983, like Ahsoka. It’s great reading this story with a perspective of having all the content from the intervening years, like the prequels and the Clone Wars.

Rebel Force: Hostage, by Alex Wheeler. Casting around for an e-book to read, I went with the second installment in this junior novel series that takes place between ANH and ESB. The first book, Target, was fairly entertaining, so I thought I’d continue with the story. In this installment, the group (Han, Leia, Luke, Chewie and the droids) continue to travel with the treacherous X-7, who’s masquerading as ally Tobin Elad. X-7 is tasked by his Imperial commander to find out who is responsible for blowing up the first Death Star and to eliminate him (for some reason, it’s a big secret here, but wasn’t Luke and Han celebrated as heroes for the act? Doesn’t everybody know? Idk.) He continues to earn their trust while trying to ferret out the culprit. Meanwhile, they head to the planet Delaya, a planet that has taken in Alderaanian refugees. Leia wants to help the refugees there, and enlist whoever she can for the Rebellion’s cause. But not all the Alderaanian refugees see her as a hero–some blame her for the destruction of their planet. One particular refugee, Halle, is insufferable in her blaming and hatred of Leia. God, I hated her, lol. But Leia herself, both in flashbacks to when she was a girl, and in the present, is presented as, respectively, a brat, and a b**tch. Ugh, I couldn’t stand her in this book. I understand that when it comes to Alderaan, it’s a painful subject, but come on. Particularly in her treatment of Ferus Olin, a friend of her father’s, a secret former Jedi who has made it his mission to protect Leia. Yet she views him with nothing but contempt. I have no idea why he’s so devoted to her. There’s a lot going on in this small book, and it wasn’t bad, but I did not enjoy Leia’s portrayal at all. Yes, she is headstrong and stubborn, but never cruel.

And browsing the Barnes and Noble store one day, I left with this gem:

Because you could do worse than be more Obi-Wan.
In the middle of this awesome High Republic novel. I’ll do a review once I’m done.

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