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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kenobi lite, but character heavy.
Over the last few years I have been continually disappointed by some of the Star Wars books that have come to market. I have found them to be too focused on the big players and too void of alternative viewpoints and perspective. After all, how many times can we read about Han, Luke, and Leia saving the galaxy from another super-weapon? But unlike those books, what Kenobi...
Published 10 months ago by Shane - AFR

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars slow and missing one vital part
Everyone has given this a 5 star on Amazon.co.uk - easily pleased if you ask me or just liking the laid back relaxed novel? I know he's in the desert and frontier life isn't exactly quick but although the story was good and stuff happened there seemed to be a lack of threat for a Star Wars novel.
I like a threat and while I appreciate there is room for all types I...
Published 3 months ago by Ben


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kenobi lite, but character heavy., 28 Aug 2013
This review is from: Kenobi: Star Wars (Hardcover)
Over the last few years I have been continually disappointed by some of the Star Wars books that have come to market. I have found them to be too focused on the big players and too void of alternative viewpoints and perspective. After all, how many times can we read about Han, Luke, and Leia saving the galaxy from another super-weapon? But unlike those books, what Kenobi offers is a well balanced, fresh take on an old story that had plenty to offer but was never explored. Now, John Jackson Miller has opened the door to a Jedi's past that has had fans wondering about since the late 1970's.

We have all been wondering who exactly is Obi Wan Kenobi at his core, and what was his life like in the desolate wastelands of Tatooine as he watched over our young soon-to-be hero Luke Skywalker? So with those questions in mind lets walk through some of what the book has to offer, shall we?

Without providing too many spoilers lets first talk about the setting that Kenobi opens with. We know Tatooine to be a harsh environment that has little to nothing to offer its inhabitants, and most readers would find that to be a difficult stage to let the characters act upon. But what Tatooine offers is an opportunity to allow the harsh conditions to become a character in their own right. Tatooine itself is portrayed as evil villain bent on killing off those who would attempt to tame her, and at every opportunity she strikes out to slay her opponents. With duel suns beating down, and barren lands void of water, those who struggle against her must struggle tooth and nail to stay alive under her constant environmental bombardment. But where some would struggle against these inherently harsh conditions, others will strive and make the planet's weapons their own.

And that is where another villain enters the picture. From the first page JJM exposes the readers to a new insight on an old foe, an insight that we have not quite seen before. In other franchise incarnations the sandpeople have been portrayed as mindless savages willing to tear flesh from bone on a whims notice. But what JJM strives to do is make them a foe that is both competent and sometimes sympathetic to the reader. The sandpeople, too, have been adversaries to the twin suns and harsh sands of Tatooine, but having been born into these conditions they have adapted and overcome the wrath of the planet, even making their struggle against the two suns part of their heritage. Now a new enemy has presented themselves to the dessert warriors, and this new enemy has taken from the sandpeople far more than just their land. This enemy has taken what makes the sandpeople who they are and what makes them so fierce. At their core the sandpeople are a tribe of tradition and honor, and now this new enemy has taken too much, something must be done or the warrior race will face extinction, their existence only a historical footnote in the planet's unending timeline.

This new enemy comes in many shapes and forms; Human, Rodian, and even Hutts too, but as they consume more and more land they become spread out and weakened by their distance to each other, and this presents an opportunity the sandpeople can not ignore. JJM sets the two foes on equal footing as they confront each other on the field of battle. Each opponent is painted as one should be, with purpose and heart. After all one does not fight for nothing, there must be a reason, a reward worth risking a life for. And in this book John Jackson Miller gives the reader a reason to care about the outcome, a reason to cheer both sides onto victory. But with any victory there must be sacrifice, and as the continuing battles between sandpeople and settler rages on, both sides experience the sting of loss and the heartbreak that comes with the death of a loved one.

But as the book continues on all is not what it seems. What makes an enemy an enemy is painted with a broad brush, and lines that separate friend from foe are sometimes painted over. And as the end quickly approaches the story comes full circle in a way that makes the book stand high above some that have come before it. Characters are presented with incredible depth. Villains are presented as truly dangerous foes, and given enough heart and reason to become favorable to the reading experience. And as the last page meets the readers eye all the threads created by JJM are tied up into a neat little bow and presented to the reader as if it were a gift of extraordinary wealth. And as someone who read every word on every page, I can attest that this book is one that fans will cherish for some time to come.

With the characters well established we can now turn to the writing. Overall the pace of the book is steady, if not a little slow in parts, but given JJM spends quite a bit of the book building incredible characters one should expect that the larger picture can sometimes be delayed. I found JJM's writing to be very smooth and easy to follow. The story was entertaining and the way the characters were laid out made me really feel for them as they went through their troubles. I really liked how JJM created threads that were similar to threads we have seen before, but made them original enough so that the reader doesn't pick up on it until the end. I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction between all the characters and thought that the way they connected on so many levels really made them real. I also thought the humor within the book added another layer to the way the characters came off.

Overall I enjoyed every page of this book, even the slower aspects. I continually found myself saying "It would be awesome if this happened next." and then it would with JJM's own little twist to make it that much better. This is a book I will definitely read again.

A great book that offers new perspective and a meaningful story, too. Five Stars.

*I received this book in ARC (Advanced Review Copy) in exchange for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars slow and missing one vital part, 31 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Kenobi: Star Wars (Hardcover)
Everyone has given this a 5 star on Amazon.co.uk - easily pleased if you ask me or just liking the laid back relaxed novel? I know he's in the desert and frontier life isn't exactly quick but although the story was good and stuff happened there seemed to be a lack of threat for a Star Wars novel.
I like a threat and while I appreciate there is room for all types I wouldn't be rushing back to re read this in a hurry. too mundane, hum drum....

The one vital part, the one thing that would have made the story acceptable and made me love it would have been......
Qui Gon Jinn. Why oh Why did Mr Miller not stick him in? There is a meditation section at bthe end of a few of the chapters and they cried out for himj to answer all the way through, Kenobi could have made great strides in the force but seemed to be going backwards. ' A new teacher I have for you' Yoda told him before going into exile... Not much of one was he? Should have got a supply teacher in to cover him... A bit of internal banter, some training in learning to let go, some thoughts on selflessness as a way to achieve immortallity, all these things I would have hoped to see. But just Obi Wan's own internal dialogue seems the quick easy route and doesn't ask any / pose any awkward questions off the after life but left me feeling a bit let down. A bit of training in the force and development of even a Master like Kenobi would have been great reading and taken you out of the story for a few moments
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1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 13 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Kenobi: Star Wars (Hardcover)
The book is horrible, I cannot understand why everyone here loved it. it is titled 'Kenobi' but instead you search to find Obi-Wan among the pages. It's cliche stereotypical soap-opera drama where nothing is at it seems, with a good female human, a bad male human, and a good Tusken Raider. Yeap, that's true. The reader is forced to side emotionally with the Sand People. SERIOUSLY? Good Tusken? What were you thinking Miller? Oh, and teenagers, who, guess what, they get drunk, and fall in love with the wrong persons, and drive carelessly, and do risky things, but then they regret and return to the family shelter (he got that from Seventh Heaven, I assume). Furthermore the writer can't get over his OT OCDs so although the book starts with Obi-Wan arriving on Tatooine, aka Revenge of the Sith finale, Obi-Wan's personality is depicted as in New Hope, which takes place 20 years later. Because in Miller's mind Obi-Wan matured 20 years during a couple of days trip, and they stagnated as a personality for twenty years. Or simply he hates the prequels, because that's the Star Wars politically correct and proper. With regard to the writing style, BORING BORING BORING, Miller introduces the characters for almost half the book. On average, don't read it. Never. For no reason. Unless you suffer from insomnia.

PS: I have no complaints about the sellers, their service was very good.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great listen and a great read, 13 Oct 2013
This review is from: Kenobi [LegacyTitleID: 43147449]
Beautifully written with enough connection to the past and subtle links to the future events in the life of Kenobi, this was a compelling read to bridge the gap between episodes 3 and 4 of the saga. There aren't may stories in the intervening period but this adds to the timeline and compelled me to watch episodes 3 and 4 again.

A must listen / read.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A slow start but worth the effort, 7 Oct 2013
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K. G. A. Alavi (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kenobi: Star Wars (Hardcover)
I read the acknowledgments and J J Miller said he was challenged to write Star Wars in a western setting. It was not till he was offered this project with Tatooine as the perfect setting. Mission accomplished. I think this is one of the best books JJM has written. He even manages to give a shout out to a couple of his own characters from other novels.

The story Obi Wan arrives on Tatooine to deliver baby Luke to the Lars. However his first interaction with the locals results in an attention grabbing lightsaber battle with local gangsters. Luckily most people are too drunk to know what they had seen. He has a ritual of describing his daily event so Qui Gun Jinn but has not yet received and answer through the force. Now Obi Wand does not appear in the book again for a good 70 pages. Giving time to build up the side characters and main protagonists of the story.

The farmers or Tatooine are still attacked by the Sand people, led by a brilliant straightest named Pug Eye to the settlers and A'Yark to the Tuskens. The defenders of this part and unofficial mayor (always smiling) Orrin. Apart from his own farm land and properties his main source of income comes from what he calls the Settlers Call fund. Basically a siren (that sounds like a Krayt Dragon call) to alert others that a farm has been attacked, gathering a poise of the local community to help the neighbours. His only match is the tough as nails Annileen, their two families have been supporting each other for years, sometimes grudgingly, but all this is shaken up when Ben/Obi Wan dramatically arrives in their lives. Nothing can be the same and old secrets will come out. This is the strongest thing about this book the character development/revelations.

I like the way the mysterious Ben trying to avoid attention is the local sex symbol, and how uncomfortable this make the mighty Jedi. In fairness to Ben he does manage to do a couple of stealth rescues. I do like the way that Ben is completely out of the loop, I am not even sure he realises that Anakin is alive as Vader during the book. The Guilt does play on him having to kill the closest person he has to a brother. There are clues he finds for Anakin's decent started in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones, and things that might happen in the Star Wars: Legacy series set 100 year after Luke's death. I really enjoyed this book after the slow 70 pages, it is worth sticking with.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars star wars novel, 14 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Kenobi: Star Wars (Hardcover)
Very impressed ,good read, was bit concerned it would be a bit similar to the story from the Legacy graphic novel,about a warlord leading the Tusken Radiers. But was not as close to it as i had feared.
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Kenobi: Star Wars
Kenobi: Star Wars by John Jackson Miller (Hardcover - 27 Aug 2013)
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