Star Wars: Kenobi

kenobi

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Over the past few years, there seems to have been a move away from moving the Star Wars universe forward as much and more to filling in the gaps in its vast history. The recent Into the Void was one such and Star Wars: Kenobi is another, taking us back to the years just after the fall of the Republic, exploring Obi-wan Kenobi’s first few years on Tatooine. Finding himself dragged into a brewing conflict between the human settlers and the native Sand People, Obi-wan is forced to draw upon all of his skills and abilities as a Jedi in order to save himself and his mission.

Kenobi is a fascinating addition to the Star Wars cannon that is not at all what I was expecting. Considering that the book bears his name, you may be surprised to find that Kenobi has very little POV time beyond a few “meditations” at the end of certain chapters. The rest of the time, the story is told through the eyes of the characters around him. This provides us as a reader with an interesting perspective – we know why Kenobi is here and what he has gone through, which makes the interactions between Kenobi and those around him that much more intriguing. The story itself reads like a Western set in the Star Wars universe, complete with gun-slinging settlers, deadly natives and wild chases across the desert. The action keeps the story moving but it is the relationships between the secondary characters and with Kenobi that really make this such a great read.

Although not the book I was expecting, Kenobi turned out to be a great Star Wars novel, one that really gives us an insight into one of my favourite Jedi.

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Golden Girl

Golden-Girl

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Golden Girl picks up in the aftermath of Dust Girl, the first book in the American Fairy Trilogy. Once again, we find ourselves in the company of Callie and Jack, this time in the glamour and glitz of Depression-era Hollywood. Callie is determined to find and free her parents, who are being held by the fae, but the fae themselves have very different plans for her and her family.

As I read Golden Girl, I found myself immersed once again in a fantastically realised alternate, though at times two dimensional, world, which incorporates a lot of historical people and events into it. Sarah Zettel does almost as good a job in describing the world of the home of movies as she did in describing the Dust Bowl, giving her book a keen historical edge without taking away from the story. Callie and Jack’s adventures continue to be thrilling, full of twists and turns and unforgettable characters. Throw in some chilling scenes when the fae become involved, and once again Ms. Zettel has created an enthralling tale, which suffers slightly from comparison to the first book and a certain lack of depth in the world surrounding it.

If you enjoyed the first, you will enjoy this one and probably be looking forward to the finale just as much as I am!

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Flight of the Nighthawks by Raymond E Feist

flight

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Flight of the Nighthawks introduces two new heroes to the ongoing Riftwar Saga – Tad and Zane, the obligatory young men with little skill or prospects who find themselves caught up in the adventures of Pug, Tomas, Nakor and the others. Adopted into the extended father when Caleb, Pug’s son, marries their mother, they soon venture to Kesh with their stepfather to stop the plots of evil Varen.

Tad and Zane’s story feels like a retread of what Feist has done before. It is everything that is going on around that, and the presence of those heroes we have come to love, that makes this latest entry work. It has the usual fast pace, intrigue and excitement, but also continues to progress the overall storyline that Feist has set in motion. Flight of the Nighthawks ends on a small cliffhanger that sets up what is to come next and promises a return to a world we have not seen in depth in a long time – Tsuranni!

If you are a Riftwar fan, Flight of the Nighthawks will be right up your ally, if you’re not, it’s probably a good idea to start with something earlier in the canon.

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Trapped by Kevin Hearne

Trapped

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Blurb: After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave.

Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge—but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have KILL THE DRUID at the top of their to-do lists.

Review: Trapped takes a rather large leap through time in order to progress the story of the Iron Druid and his apprentice. When we last saw Atticus and Granuaile, they were about to begin Granuaile’s apprenticeship as a druid. When Trapped begins, all that training is over and Granuaile is about to be bound to the Earth. A ceremony that requires time, quiet and concentration. Unfortunately, gods from both the Norse and the Greek pantheons, as well as vampires and dark elves, have other things in mind.

The jump through time works really well, and makes sense when dealing with a character who has already lived many centuries. Luckily, Atticus and Granuaile – and let’s not forget Oberon – have not changed too much in that time, just matured and grown more comfortable together. Granuaile has become more confident and has more power, though she is still not entirely sure of how to use it. Despite the numerous interruptions and conflicts thrown their way, Hearne takes the time to allow Atticus to continue with Granuaile’s sealing. Those scenes were some of my favourites, especially when Granuaile receives her animal forms! However the shadow of what happened to Atticus’ last apprentice hangs over it all, giving a real tension to the book.

Trapped ends on a MASSIVE cliffhanger that I for one could not wait to see resolved. Hunted is on my to read list for September, so I am really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

NOTE: A novella entitled Two Ravens and One Crow taking place between Tricked and Trapped, which I haven’t read yet, is also available.

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