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Star Wars: Rebel Rising Paperback – 1 Jun 2017
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In some ways the title is a slight misnomer as this is not the story of Jyn becoming a rebel. That happens during the course of ‘Rogue One’. In fact, Jyn’s journey during the course of this novel leaves her more and more disillusioned with the cause of the rebels as she struggles to live some type of life free of both them and the Empire, slowly beginning to see them as little better than each other when it comes to the average lives of the denizens of the galaxy.
After all, she needs to lose her ‘hope’ before regaining it. This novel explains her journey that leads to the mindset of the character at the opening of ‘Rogue One. This makes for a more interesting story than a sequence of rebel adventures and activities and gives Jyn a multidimensional characterisation that fits well with her early cinematic portrayal.
For a reasonable portion of the book, particularly earlier on, Saw Gerrera plays a major role. There is certainly more of him than there is ‘Rogue One’ and this novel shows, at least partially, how his group is established and a little about his division from the larger conglomerate that becomes the Alliance. It ties in more with his original appearance in ‘The Clone Wars’ television series and provides a better understanding of him and his objectives.
Throughout the course of the book there are various interludes that take place during Jyn’s imprisonment on Wobani. They aren’t used in any type of flashback way but function as a method of jumping to the significant stages and changes in Jyn’s life. Although not greatly interesting in themselves and at times a little bit disruptive to the overall narrative they do serve this structural purpose quite effectively.
The added depth to Jyn’s character is absolutely astounding. Not only had she been though the losses that we Saw (no pun intended) in the movie (and read in the novelisation), but her further losses and heartache during he time between her being “dumped” in a bunker and the events of Rogue One give us an amazing insight into her pain.
When you watch the movie now, you will understand it in far more detail.
10/10 from Beth Revis.
With this book don't get hung up on the 'young' adults label from the marketing as this and others (the excellent Lost Stars by Claudia Gray) often surpass their 'adult' level equivalents.
It truly is a brilliant addition to the canon and fleshes out the backstory of Jyn and Saw Gerrera (and for me enhances the film experience nicely) while introducing new characters.
The chapters are evenly paced and the action scenes vs more introspective moments balance the flow nicely. My only complaint? I couldn't get enough and it ended so quicky! Please do more Star Wars writing Beth Revis!
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