Review: Queen’s Hope (Star Wars Canon) by E.K. Johnston

Queen's Hope (Star Wars)Queen’s Hope by E.K. Johnston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Queen’s Hope is a YA-Star Wars Canon novel mainly following Senator Padme Amidala. To put it in timeline perspective, this novel falls concurrently with some of the events of Attack of the Clones and directly thereafter.

This is also a time of upheaval in the galaxy as the Clone Wars are raging.

Padme and Anakin have decided to take their relationship to the next level, even though they have to keep it 100% secret.

They are a committed to one another, completely in love and want to make that commitment binding. There’s no doubt there will be some challenges, but they really want to give it a try as husband and wife, so they do.

The honeymoon period is but the blink of an eye, however, as Anakin, a Jedi Knight, is called forth to actively fight in the Clone Wars.

Padme’s involvement in the Wars is more subtle, but no less important. In fact, as Padme is prone to do, she ends up getting herself way more involved in the political investigations than the average government official would; as in willingly puts herself in harms way.

During the time Padme is off on a secret mission, one of her most loyal and best handmaidens, Sabe, takes over the role of Senator Amidala.

Sabe makes her own discoveries during her time posing as Amidala. The halls of leadership aren’t as copacetic as they would lead you to believe.

And of course, looming quietly on the fringes of this narrative is Chancellor Palpatine, like a dark cloud hovering over a picnic.

I enjoyed this novel quite a bit. In a way, it felt like I was adding some behind-the-scenes substance to the content I have previously read and watched. That’s always what I am looking for with Star Wars novels and why I continue to pick them up.

I love the feel of continuously building-out this world that has been a part of my life for practically my whole life.

Before I started really getting into Star Wars novels, it was just a fun, nostalgic movie and t.v. franchise that I enjoyed. Having the boosted content of the novels has elevated my fan status to a whole new level.

If you enjoy Star Wars films, or any of the t.v. shows, or comics, I highly recommend checking out some of the Canon novels. In my opinion, you can really start anywhere, pick a timeline era you find interesting and just dive in!

I personally have been absolutely loving all of the content that has been released over the past few years. There’s a great list of contributing authors and the stories are so well done!

Padme is a fascinating character to me, so I have loved having this trilogy from E.K. Johnston. It has really enhanced my understanding of her, particularly being able to see and understand her relationships with her handmaidens in a different light.

I was slightly disappointed that we didn’t get to see more of Padme and Anakin’s relationship in this one, but I do understand they really didn’t have much of one at this time, due to them both being pulled in different directions during the Clone Wars.

So, it does make sense, but I still would have liked to have gotten a little more of them together.

Overall, I think this is a great book. The audiobook is freaking fantastic, with the sound effects included really adding to the intensity. You can’t go wrong with Star Wars audibooks!! 10/10 recommend that format.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney LucasFilms Press and Disney Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I had a blast with this one and look forward to more Canon content in the future!!

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Review: Star Wars: Midnight Horizon (The High Republic) by Daniel Jose Older

Midnight Horizon (Star Wars: The High Republic)Midnight Horizon by Daniel José Older
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

The High Republic era continues with Midnight Horizon from veteran Star Wars contributing author, Daniel Jose Older.

This installment features a huge and varied cast of characters, many of whom will be familiar to Readers of previous HR books.

The main action is set on the planet of Corellia and more specifically in its capital of Coronet City. Jedi Masters Kantam Sy and Cohmac Vitus get sent there, along with Padawans Reath Silas and Ram Jamoram, to investigate a possible Nihil attack on the Core Worlds.

Known for its massive shipyards, Corellia would be a tantalizing target for the evil Nihil raiders.

It’s on Corellia that Reath and Ram run into Crash, a bold young security specialist who lost one of her close friends during the recent attack.

The young people team up and infiltrate the Coronet City night life, including a wacky ruse involving an intergalactic pop star, while the Masters pursue more mainstream channels of investigation.

This book was so packed full of action my head is still spinning. This is definitely one that I will need to read again in order to be able to pick up on all the finer points.

Older’s passion for the Star Wars galaxy is evident on every page. You can absolutely tell this is a person with vast knowledge of the world, characters and lore.

It’s not just action, however. This story is full of insights into many popular HR characters.

Since this era began, the characters we have come to know have been through so much. There’s a lot to process. I like getting the chance to go along with them on that journey.

Some of you may be wondering about my 3.5-star rating; although rounding up to a 4, it may seem low to some.

Basically, for me, I wasn’t as swept away in this installment as I have been with earlier works. I rate novels based off a comparison to other novels in the same genre that I have read. Star Wars, in my opinion, being a genre unto itself, that is what I am comparing this reading experience with.

I’ll be honest, I did get lost at times trying to keep up with all the characters and action. Additionally, I found my attention sort of waxing and waning amongst the separate lines of the plot.

With this being said, I fully accept that may be more of a me problem, than a problem with the actual book.

I respect this author’s contribution to this world so much. I think the level of content here is fantastic. I just may need to read it again in order to be able to soak it all in.

It’s really good though, so I actually wouldn’t mind…

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney LucasFilms Press, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I appreciate it so much!!

I have absolutely adored my time spent with the new High Republic materials and definitely recommend them to any Star Wars fan.

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Review: Star Wars The High Republic: Mission to Disaster by Justina Ireland

Star Wars The High Republic: Mission to DisasterStar Wars The High Republic: Mission to Disaster by Justina Ireland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

Mission to Disaster is a Junior Star Wars novel set in the era of the High Republic. Releasing on March 1, 2022, this novel is part of the second wave of HR materials set to be published by Disney and LucasFilms Press.

The events in this novel follow those of the 2021-HR releases, but still 200-years prior to The Phantom Menace.

After the startling events of the Republic Fair, the galaxy has been put on alert. The Nihil are much more of a threat than the Jedi initially anticipated.

They’re cunning and calculated, seeming to have influence everywhere.

Kicking off this novel, I was quickly reunited with one of my favorite new characters from the HR releases, Avon Starros.

Avon, the daughter of a Senator, is gifted in science and invention. She’s currently stationed at Port Haileap, due to her mother’s wishes, but is finally getting the opportunity to research kyber crystals, so that’s a win.

Avon hopes to discover new ways to harness the power of the crystals in a way that will help everyone; think clean energy research. She finds herself in her lab on the day the spaceport comes under attack.

After receiving an alert call from Port Haileap, Jedi Vernestra Rwoh and her Padawan, Imri Cantaros, get sent to investigate.

Arriving to Avon’s lab, Vernestra and Imri are able to discover a survivor of the attack, but she tells them Avon is gone, perhaps captured by the Nihil!

Following clues discovered during their investigation, Vernestra and Imri find themselves on Dalna in the Outer Rim Territories; a known area of operation for the Nihil.

There they work with the government and people of Dalna to the best of their ability, to find Avon and any other children the Nihil may have captured. They face some difficulties there, as the people of Dalna aren’t too fond of the Jedis.

Avon, for her part, is in fact a hostage of the Nihil. Even worse, she is made to aid the Nihil’s version of an evil scientist, Dr. Mkampa, in assembling horrifying weapons.

It’s a race against time, as the Jedi try to help the people of Dalna and hopefully defeat the evil Nihil organization once and for all. Will they be able to rescue everyone before true disaster strikes?

I had such a great time reading this story. I actually listened to the audiobook and as is known with Star Wars audios, the production was magnificent. All of the sound effects really make you feel like you are part of the action!

I was excited to get another HR novel from Justina Ireland. She puts a lot of heart into her stories. The characters are so well developed. I loved being reunited with many characters from this era. I feel like I am really getting to know them.

Following the Great Disaster, the galaxy has become unstable and these young characters have had a lot to deal with. I feel like they’ve shown incredible growth in these stories, now rivaling the maturity level of the adults around them.

This was super fast-paced and exciting. There was never a dull moment. Additionally, I loved learning more about the mysterious Nihil. The full picture is really starting to become clear as far as they are concerned.

I’m really looking forward to continuing on with the High Republic era. This was a quick one, but don’t let the length of this novel fool you. There is a ton of stellar content packed in here!!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney and LucasFilms Press, for providing me with the audiobook to listen to. It was such a treat!

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Review: Star Wars The High Republic: Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland

Star Wars The High Republic: Out of the ShadowsStar Wars The High Republic: Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Out of the Shadows, is an upcoming Young Adult novel set to be released on July 27th, as part of the new Disney Star Wars: The High Republic content.

This novel is set approximately a year after the galaxy-wide event known as the Great Disaster.

This is the fourth installment of the High Republic materials that I have read and I enjoyed watching all the various storylines converge a bit in this one.

The larger, outlying picture is beginning to come more into focus. This novel follows a host of different perspectives including one of my favorite new characters, Jedi Vernestra Rowh, along with various other characters that I have come across in the earlier HR works.

As generally happens with Star Wars novels, there was quite a bit of action, but this additionally had a healthy dose of back-handed political maneuverings and finer details surrounding the Nihil raiders.

While the Young Reader installments, such as A Test of Courage and Race to Crashpoint Tower focus on a singular encounter with the Nihil, this was broader in scope. It clearly shows that the Nihil are much more resourceful a foe than the Jedi initially surmised.

Following shortly after the Nihil attack on Valo, many of the characters are still reeling from that trauma and are ill-prepared for what may be coming next.

I appreciated how Ireland kept that a part of the narrative. Allowing even Jedi to question their role and feelings regarding the current threats in the galaxy. Particularly conversations between Vernestra and her Padawan, Imri, I found to be quite touching.

I am genuinely excited to see what happens from here. Also, I still have a couple earlier HR books I still need to get to, so definitely plan to do that soon.

Like any Star Wars book, the HR books can be read in any order, as long as you are cognizant of where it falls in the timeline.

With this being said, you do have some time until this one releases, so I would definitely recommend checking out some of the previously published HR books while you wait. To make things easier for you, I will list them below:

Light of the Jedi
Into the Dark
A Test of Courage
The Rising Storm
Star Wars The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower

That’s a lot of great content to sink your teeth into. Don’t delay, start today!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney LucasFilms Press, for providing me with an early copy of this to read and review. It has been my absolute pleasure to devour all these recent publications!!!

This is top-notch Canon content here and I’m living for it!

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