Title: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Author: Alan Dean Foster
Publisher: Del Rey
Check this book out on Goodreads.
Set years after Return of the Jedi, this stunning action-packed adventure rockets us back into the world of Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2,and Luke Skywalker, while introducing a host of exciting new characters, including Rey, Finn, BB-8 and Kylo Ren.
Darth Vader may have been redeemed and the Emperor vanquished, but peace can be fleeting, and evil does not easily relent. Yet the simple belief in good can still empower ordinary individuals to rise and meet the greatest challenges.
So return to that galaxy far, far away, and prepare yourself for what happens when the Force awakens… (Source: Goodreads)
This is a novelization of Star Wars: The Force Awakens written by the man who brought us Splinter of the Mind’s Eye that old sequel to Star Wars before the other movies were made. I haven’t read Foster’s other Star Wars novels but I was interested to see what an old Star Wars writer would do with this new story. For me it was a bit of a tough read, Foster’s a little too verbose at times so it dragged on a lot. I did find that it was really interesting to get more into the heads of the character’s though. I don’t think it had the same sense of fun and anticipation as the film, but it does grow to be a fairly smooth read once you kind of acclimatize to Foster’s writing style.
The story is the same as the film, though we get the occasional look into things not featured on screen. One notable scene that wasn’t in the movie was Poe’s escape from Jakku after the TIE fighter crashes. We don’t get all the details but we do know a lot sooner that Poe is alive. I really liked that because it just felt like this extra – obviously kind of unnecessary – nugget of information which was cool. I really liked getting more inside the characters’ heads. The narration is an omniscient third person, but allows us entry into each character’s thought without things getting too contemplative or “I” heavy. I liked the flow of switching between people as the action moved. I also appreciated getting more inside Kylo Ren’s head especially because we see more that what the mask allows in the film.
For me the writing style was kind of an issue though. It took me a full 4 months to finish this book after several attempts to get things going. I found the film fun with a good pace, but the book dragged. There wasn’t any sense of curiosity or urgency, I didn’t feel like I was greeting my beloved characters – new or old – at any point in this book. A huge part of that to me was Foster’s verbose and flowery writing. Yes this added a depth to the visual in my head…I guess? But it also just made things feel so static. I don’t need all these adjectives…just get me to the fighting and the emotions between these familiar characters. Eventually I got used to the writing but I still think it dragged a lot.
I think it’s an okay read if you’re really curious, it won’t add a lot of new information – I’d probably recommend Star Wars: Before the Awakening for that because it’s got some good lead-ins to the story. If you’re dying to relive the story though…just buy the movie.