Star Wars: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller

The subtitle for this book could be “When Kanan met Hera.” It’s a more adult introduction to the Star Wars: Rebels animated TV show.

Star Wars New Dawn Front Cover (Lucasfilm)

Star Wars: A New Dawn Front Cover (Random House)


THE PLOT: Once upon a time, Kanan Jarrus was Caleb Dume, a Jedi in training. But then the Clones were given the order to eliminate the Jedi, and Kanan has been in hiding ever since, living a rootless life, getting into bar fights, and not using any Jedi abilities. His most recent home is the mining world of Gorse and its moon, Cynda. But then the Empire shows up in the form of Count Vidian, a cyborg with some interesting motives. Vidian receives word that the Emperor expects him to triple the quota of thorilide mined from Cynda. With the unwitting help of a conspiracy theorist named Skelly, who’s trying to prevent accidents, Vidian decides to blow up Cynda. This will get him the immediate thorilide he needs, eventually screw over his worst rival, and also kill a lot of people and destroy a world. Hera is there to gather info, but once she, Kanan, and Skelly meet and discover what Vidian is up to, they team up to stop him.

MY TWO CENTS: I was looking forward to reading this since I liked the author’s Kenobi so much, but the mining story just didn’t have the same draw for me as the “old west” feel of Kenobi. This is definitely more adult than the show. Kanan joins Hera mostly because he’s attracted to her, which I’m really not getting in the show. There are also nondetailed descriptions of Kanan’s womanizing, drinking, and fighting. Zeb, Sabine, and Ezra don’t make an appearance.

Although the reader knows that Kanan and Hera will survive this adventure, there are no guarantees for their other companions. I found that, and all the explosions, enough of a “danger hook” to keep the suspense level up.

Vidian is an interesting villain, certainly more interesting to me than General Grievous. I’m not sure if we’ll see him again, but I hope we do.

BOTTOM LINE: If you’re watching Rebels and want some background, this book will give you some. However, from the five episodes I’ve seen, reading this certainly isn’t necessary. Maybe I’ll feel differently as the show goes on. If they do more books about the Rebels cast, I would probably be interested in checking them out.

TEACUP RATING: About three-and-a-half out of five teacups.

ON SALE DATE: The book is available now in hardcover and eformats.

Note: Review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.



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