Padawan by Kiersten White
First line: The tentacles appeared with no warning, wrapping around Obi-Wan Kenobi’s wrist in a deadly barbed grip.
Summary: Obi-Wan Kenobi is a young padawan in the Jedi order. He has spent nearly his whole life learning the ways of the Force. Now he is studying under the tutelage of his master, Qui-Gon Jinn. However, he is finding this part of his training even more difficult than he thought. It involves lots of meditation and waiting for his master to decide what to teach him next. But when he finds a mysterious message in the temple he hopes that he can convince his mentor to travel to an unknown planet to search for the answers and a little adventure. When Qui-Gon does not show, Obi-Wan decides that he is going to seek the answers on his own. No matter the consequences.
My Thoughts: I was very excited to get this book especially after the airing of Obi-Wan on Disney+. In the original trilogy, Ewan McGregor and his portrayal of Obi-Wan was my favorite part. He did a great job bringing the younger version to life on the screen. And I have to say that the narrator of this audio book was excellent at copying the speaking patterns of the character/actor.
I enjoyed seeing the struggle that Obi-Wan dealt with during this time in his life. He always seems to be in control and very mindful of the force in the movies but to see him questioning gave his character a bit of humanness. And we get introduced to a minor character from the movies, which was a fun easter egg to throw into the storyline.
For fans who want a little bit more of this character after the Disney+ show, I would highly recommend giving this audio book a try.
First Line: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
Summary: Leia, the princess of Alderaan, is learning how to lead and one day take over the role of Queen. She needs to prove herself. But she is worried that she will not be able to live up to her parents expectations. And recently she has noticed her parents paying less attention to her. Are they disappointed? Or has she done something to upset them? She decides that she is going to take matters into her own hands with the hopes of earning their approval.
My Thoughts: I’ve read this story before but I had read the novel when it first came out and this is manga. This is my first venture into manga. If you have never read or even heard of manga I will give you a quick summary. Manga is a Japanese comic or graphic novel. They are usually printed in black and white. But the most challenging bit (for me at least) is reading from right to left. It took me a while to get used to the format and focus on following the story properly. I really enjoyed it!
I liked the artwork, the story was still great and it was a new adventure. If you want to try something different and are a fan of Star Wars I would highly recommend picking this up!
FYI: This is the same plot as the novel by the same name.
First line: The girl in the white dress had her mother’s brain and her father’s heart, and a spark that was entirely her own.
Summary: Padme, Queen Amidala, has just been elected as the new queen of Naboo. With it comes changes. The captain of her guard is extremely worried about her safety. In order to protect his queen he decides to look for body doubles who could stand in for her in dangerous times. As he gathers her handmaidens the young women form a lasting bond and a devotion to their new queen. It is tested earlier than they thought when the Trade Federation forms a blockade around the peaceful planet leading to the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Once again I really enjoyed Johnston’s look into the world of Padme.
She is a strong female character who gets overlooked in the movie
trilogies. I love seeing more behind the scenes and expansion on the
movies. Even though Padme is the leading lady we also get a look into
the lives of handmaidens. They each had different backgrounds that
helped prepare the queen for the trials ahead.
I remember seeing The Phantom Menace
in the theaters (multiple times) As with many fans it is not my
favorite but this book gave me a new appreciation for it. This is why
the books are so important to the movies. Extra is given to the readers.
We get more details, backstory and heart.
I hope that Johnston writes more in this “series” or adds to the Star Wars
canon. I have enjoyed each and every one of her stories so far. I love
that authors have brought even more of Star Wars universe to us and done
it so well.
FYI: If you enjoy this then try Claudia Gray’s Star Wars novels too!
Well the Forbidden Forest Read-a-thon is over! And I did it. I finished the challenge with 2 days to spare. I was getting a little nervous at the end but I finished in time. I really enjoyed having a set list of books to read. I was not sure how I would feel but it was almost freeing knowing exactly what was next on the list. How did your challenge come along?
In the last week I completed four books. First was I Know Why the Caged Birds Sings by Maya Angelou. I had previously read Mom & Me & Mom. I liked both and found them very interesting. Next I finished Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray. She is a wonderful writer for the Star Wars books. The writing is great and the story is always fun. Then I finally read Virgin Earth by Philippa Gregory. I had read the first in the duology years ago but never finished it. I am glad I did. It spanned years of English history and two continents. I was constantly looking up plants mentioned in the book. And it was a perfect companion to our Big Read theme. But my favorite of the week was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
*Beware this may contain spoilers!*
First line: A busy and crowded station.
Summary: In the eighth book in the Harry Potter series we find out what happens years after the Battle of Hogwarts. The wizarding world is at peace. Voldemort is defeated. And Harry Potter is a father. His son Albus is heading to Hogwarts for his first year when he meets Scorpius Malfoy on the train. They become close friends to the chagrin of their fathers. When rumors begin to appear about a Time Turner that escaped the destruction at the Ministry, Albus tries to step out of the shadow of his legendary father by changing the past in hopes of saving someone his father could not.
My Thoughts: I had been putting this
off for years. I have owned the book and loved the rest in the series.
But knowing that it was not written by J.K. made it not a priority. It
is written as a play for the stage in London. The format seemed a little
intimidating and strange. Kind of like the first time I picked up a
graphic novel. It does not feel comfortable at the beginning but as it
progresses it becomes much easier. When Alyssa announced the Forbidden
Forest Read-a-thon I knew that I had to include this book on my list.
can see how many other Potter fans are not happy with it but I really
enjoyed it! A Potter and a Malfoy best friends?! Seriously. I loved
their friendship. I felt that the playwright was able to capture the
spirit of Harry Potter and bring the story further. The little twists
and turns were fun. I loved going back into the past and seeing how
someone’s actions can affect the present. And it was great to see how
Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco changed after their years at Hogwarts.
They each matured and learned some important lessons along the way.
really hope that one day I can see this performed on stage! If you have
been a little skeptical about picking this up then listen to me and
give it a try. The story is good. It revisits everything that made the
original so good while adding to it as well.
FYI: J.K. Rowling has accepted this as part of her canon. It is considered Harry Potter #8.
Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray
First line: The Day of Demand had been announced months before.
Summary: Leia Organa, the princess of Alderaan, has just turned sixteen. In order to be named heir to the throne she must complete three challenges. One for the body, the mind and the heart. As she sets off on humanitarian missions or working in the Apprentice Legislature or climbing mountains her mind is still on her homeland and her parents. Things have not been the same between herself and her family in last few months and she wants to know why. As her life in politics continues to expand, she is seeing the galaxy is fracturing and she has to decide which side she will be on.
Highlights: I have been a big fan of Star Wars since I was a child. Leia has always been a favorite of mine because she is a strong and independent woman. She fights her own battles. This look into her years before the start of the saga gives insight into where this princess learned how to shoot blasters and learned the politics of the Empire. There are many easter eggs and name drops that tie into the all the movies. It is easy to see the time that it takes place in the timeline. It was nice to be introduced to Leia’s mother The author did an amazing job of bringing to life the back story of one of the greatest female characters.
Lowlights: It is very much YA. There is romance between teens. Conflict with parents. Teenage angst.
FYI: Perfect for any Star Wars fan.