Title: Lost Stars (Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Author: Claudia Gray
Recent Release Date: September 4th 2015
Synopsis: Star Wars meets Romeo and Juliet in this epic YA novel that follows two best friends who find themselves on opposite sides of the war between the Empire and the Rebellion.
This thrilling YA novel gives readers a macro view of some of the most important events in the Star Wars universe: from the purge of the Jedi in Episode III, to the beginnings of the rebellion in Star Wars Rebels, and through the fall of the Empire in Episodes IV-IV. Readers will experience these major moments through the eyes of two best friends who grow up in these troubling times, and find themselves on opposite sides of the war.
Review: Star-crossed lovers begin the story from two separate groups on the same planet and end up on two separate sides of a galactic war. Their journey takes them through the events of the original Star Wars trilogy. I absolutely loved the way the Empire, the Rebellion, and just the overall political and social scene of the Star Wars universe was portrayed. The grayness is so much more evident.
The impact of the large scale events that occur during the original trilogy is shown in depth. The Empire destroyed a planet. The Rebellion demolished a space station full of people. The characters in this book react to these events in realistic ways.
There were so many great characters introduced in this novel that I am so happy are now canon. I want to see them pop up everywhere! Lohgarra, a white female wookie captain of a transport vessel, was one of my favorite introductions. The Corona Squadron needs to have its own comic book. There were so many characters that are only briefly featured that I want to know more about, which is such a Star Wars thing. The countess intrigues me so much.
Another wonderful thing about this book is that it surpasses Return of the Jedi and portrays a world post-Death Star II Destruction. The Battle of Jakku takes place in this book. And it is splendid. The ending gave me all the feels.
I have been fully enjoying the new Star Wars canon books, but this book was AMAZING! I think it even surpassed Dark Disciple, which was my previous favorite. This book is practically tailor-made for me. It's YA. It's Star Wars. It is written beautifully. There is diversity. The main story is part of a bigger picture. The characters have great depth and growth throughout the novel. The only thing that could have catered more to me specifically is if there had been a gay protagonist.
Many people in the Star Wars community didn't expect much from a YA book, but I already read primarily YA so I was most looking forward to this one. It exceeded all my expectations. And from what I've heard from Star Wars fans who don't regularly read YA, it has exceeded theirs as well.
At the heart of this novel, there is a wonderful story of a relationship. Yes, there are points where it is romantic, but overall it is a wonderful friendship. A long-term connection between two people. And that's what a romantic relationship really is and should be anyway. This book takes place over a large span of time, which allows for the romance to seem genuine and authentic.
I think the biggest take away from this novel was that there is beard suppressant in the Star Wars universe. All joking aside, I loved this book. Claudia Gray's YA books have been way bumped up on my TBR list. And she has another Star Wars book coming out next year!!!
I give this book a well-deserving 5/5. I HIGHLY recommend it to superfans of Star Wars as well as the casual fan just slightly familiar with the franchise. I think this book can stand on its own. I will be recommending this to all my friends as they tell me their views on The Force Awakens later this week.