Book Review, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Lost Stars (Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens) by Claudia Gray

This thrilling Young Adult novel gives readers a macro view of some of the most important events in the Star Wars universe, from the rise of the Rebellion to the fall of the Empire. Readers will experience these major moments through the eyes of two childhood friends—Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell—who have grown up to become an Imperial officer and a Rebel pilot. Now on opposite sides of the war, will these two star-crossed lovers reunite, or will duty tear them—and the galaxy—apart? 

Lost Stars reminded me of a Romeo and Juliet twist. Ciena and Thane both joined the Empire. But after certain events, Thane leaves and joins the Rebellion. Lost Stars is the third Star Wars novel I have read by Claudia Gray. I have yet to be disappointed. She has become my favorite new canon Star Wars author. I am excited to read more of her work.

What I love about this book is you see all the events from Star Wars to Return of the Jedi, mostly from the point of view of the Empire. You also experience the talked about Battle of Jakku again from the Empire’s point of view. You get to see bits and pieces of the rebellion side not in the movies from Thane’s view when he joins the Rebellion, but that is mostly what you get from the Rebellion. It was different to see the impact of the battles had on the members of the Imperial fleet. 

 Ciena Ree is an interesting character. She is from the planet Jelucan, an outer rim territory. This planet, before the Empire took over, separated into two societies: First Wavers, also known as the valley kindred, or Second Wave. Because of her being a first waver, she valued her loyalty to the Empire and kept the oath until the Empire ended. During the novel Ciena’s, loyalty is tested when her best friend became a deserter and when she saw the cruelty the Empire was committing. But she felt the rebellion was just as cruel when they blew up the death star, killing innocent people and her best friend Jude inside. This was when her hatred for the rebellion grew. She felt she could help the greater good from inside the Empire. Ciena hid behind her oath. I believe this was her fault and her strength. There were two rules in which she broke. Leave all you have learned and owned of your planet and the uniform regulations. She had brought up her upbringing and her leather bracelet that represented her dead twin sister, which she had in her pants pocket. What I loved about Ciena was a developed well developed character, and you can place her in any Star Wars film. 

Thane Kyrell was also from Jelucan, but he was a second waver. He grew up into a well-established family, but his family wanted nothing to do with him. Thane and Ciena only became friends because of their love for flying. He wanted to join the Empire, to get away from his family. Like those brainwashed by the Empire, he wanted to prove himself and compete with Ceina. It was not until the destruction of Alderaan when he questioned everything. Later, he and Ceina separated. I do not know if I liked him as much as I did with Ceina. The spoiled brat type cast was showing through even though he was not your typical spoiled rich son. He came from an abusive home, which I was sad to see. Not every home is magnificent, no matter how much money one family has. Ciena at least had a stable thinking process, whereas Thane does not.

The first and second wave on the planet Jelucan was an interesting concept. The first wavers valued loyalty, and to them, the worst crime that could be committed was to knowingly break an oath. The initial settlers were exiles from another world who refused to break allegiance to their king and arrived in near total poverty but survived. Then you have the second wavers. Human and alien settlers, who established mining operations and built urban settlements. Both settlers looked down at one another. The First wavers looked at the second wavers as arrogant and materialistic, disloyal, and greedy. Second wavers looked at first wavers as poor and superstitious, filthy and backwards. I loved how developed this world was. It helped define and establish who Ciena and Thane are off planet. 

I enjoyed this book and would recommend this to any Star Wars lover new and old. Even if you are not a star was fan, I still would recommend this book. If you have seen the original movies, you will not get lost at all. 

I give this book a 5/5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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