Sunday, November 6, 2016

Book Review: AHSOKA - E.K. Johnston

E.K. Johnston
Disney/Lucas Film Press
Science Fiction / YA

I loved the animated Star Wars: Clone Wars, and I am an major fan of Disney's Star Wars: Rebels. So, naturally, when I heard a book featuring Ahsoka was going to be released, I pre-ordered my copy as soon as it was available.

The novel AHSOKA takes place well after the title character Ahsoka leaves the Jedi order. She keeps moving around. Her past haunts her. Not being able to help everyone has left her feeling as though she shouldn't try helping anyone.

When Ahsoka finds a small moon, Raada, along the Outer Rim, she figures it is the perfect, isolated, place to try setting up camp, and maybe--just maybe--growing some roots. It's a farming colony, and she figures she can make a nondescript, modest living fixing things.

It isn't long before the long arm of the Empire reaches the moon. Plans for dictating crops planted, and harvested force the residents to work longer hours, and little extra. It's a win-win for the Empire, and once the moon's soil is depleted of nutrients, certain death for the people.

Forced to take a stand, Ahsoka assists coordinating a rebellion. Attacks don't go as planned, and Ahsoka's true identity is revealed. Ahsoka is faced with a choice, stay and fight, or flee hoping she can find somewhere else to live under the radar of the Empire.

In the mix of it all is the Grey Man. It seems his purpose is sensing the Force, and then striking down any left over Jedi's, or people strong with the Force. Children all over the galaxy who would have been Jedi, are now just in danger. "Something is hunting them down."

This is the first book I have ever read by E.K. Johnston. There is plenty going on! She does an amazing job with introducing new characters, and fleshing out existing ones. The dialogue was spot-on. While I understood this was almost an origins story, (and I KNOW we will see additional installments --fingers crossed), I was hoping for a bit more action, and a bit less preparation. Don't get me wrong. It worked. The pacing was tight. The tension was there. And overall, I enjoyed the tale.

Phillip Tomasso
Author of The Severed Empire Series

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