Friday, March 4, 2016

Teen Review: Lost Stars

Star Wars: Lost Stars
by Claudia Gray
551 Pages
Science Fiction/Fantasy
Part of the Journey to the Force Awakens
          group of novels

Reviewed by Michael Zhang, grade 12

Lost Stars is a young adult novel, part of the lead-up to the cinematic blockbuster event of 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Set during the events of the Original Trilogy of Star Wars movies that began with the first movie in 1977, the book follows two major characters: an upper class citizen named Thane, and his peasant best friend, Ciena Ree. The two characters are fast friends due to a mutual love for space, and they both enlist in the evil Galactic Empire’s Imperial Academy to become TIE fighter pilots, a dream they both desperately desire. However, when Thane experiences firsthand the horrific acts of the Galactic Empire, he defects to the Rebellion, placing the two friends at opposite sides of a galaxy-spanning war, leaving both characters to choose which they prize most: each other or the Empire.

The book was a riveting read, with many cameos and appearances from characters of the Original Star Wars trilogy. Genre-wise, it was a bit of a hodge-podge, combining romance, espionage, and space operatic action! The latter surprised me, as the space battles in the book were well fleshed out and developed. I also thought that it had great character development through the conflict between the two main characters, and I was rooted into the novel from cover to cover. While it claims to be a young adult novel, I feel that older audiences might still enjoy it, and any Star Wars fan would be immensely satisfied. The only reason I feel that someone might not like it is due to the lack of Force users in the book, as many seem to think that’s iconic to Star Wars; however, for me personally, that did not irk me.

The cover is also glorious, depicting a Star Destroyer burning up in the atmosphere of the desert planet Jakku, along with the Imperial insignia and the Rebel Alliance Starbird forming opposite ends of the cover, symbolizing the conflict between the two main characters.

I’d rate this book 4/5 stars. It was rambunctious with action and characters that you cared about whether they lived or died. I was glued to the page with attachment to the characters, and by the end, I couldn’t wait for more.

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