Acclaimed, New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken delivers a captivating retelling of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope like you've never experienced before, infusing the iconic, classic tale of good versus evil with a unique perspective and narrative style that will speak directly to today's young readers while enhancing the Star Wars experience for core fans of the saga.
This illustrated novel is the first in the highly-anticipated series and features richly detailed art by celebrated Star Wars concept artist Iain McCaig. Fans old and new will be delighted by this beautifully crafted book and the unexpected twists in this retelling of a beloved story.
I have to start by saying I've never really seen Star Wars. I mean, technically I have. One of my first memories of my childhood is my sister and her friends locking me in the bedroom and popping in The Return of the Jedi VHS tape so that they could play without interruptions from the annoying little sister. (She may deny this, but it totally happened.) Then a few years ago an ex-boyfriend made me watch A New Hope after I made him watch Twilight. But by the time we started A New Hope it was super late and I admit to being asleep for most of it. Needless to say, I couldn't tell you much about either movie. Of course, by nature of being alive in this day and age, I knew the characters enough to understand cultural references. And I knew the general idea of the story. But that's where my Star Wars knowledge ended when I opened The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy.
The first thing about this book? It's so pretty! Illustrator Iain Mccaig did a great job! I'd recommend reading this book just because it's pretty, honestly. There are two-page color illustrations before each of the 4 sections of the story, and throughout the book there drawings scattered. I really like it. (I tweeted a pic on our Instagram page.)
When I picked it up, I admit I thought, "Oooh these words are big! This won't take me long to read at all!" It's true. The typesetting is a little larger and combined with the pictures, you are not looking at a big, heavy read. Which I thought was refreshing, because the reality is -- I'm not a huge sci fi fan. I've enjoyed some Beth Revis, Pierce Brown, Meagan Spooner & Amie Kaufman, and my #otspsecretsister just got me a Silvers book. But, for the most part, sci fi is not what I'm reaching for first in the bookstore. But what Alexandra Bracken did was tell the story not as a straight narrative, but as the story of these people -- Leia, Han, and Luke. This story was their story, through their eyes, at the forefront. Yes, it's the story of the Rebellion and all that. But it's told as the characters' story, not as a story with characters in it. I really liked it. This made me connect with the characters right away. And I can't speak from the perspective of a Star Wars fan, but I think this will make a story that they already love seem kind of new of them. (I am so curious to know if this is the case, so if you are a Star Wars fan and you do read this, please let me know.)
The only downside of not being a Star Wars fan and reading this is that some details were not fully explained. I mean, I basically figured things out and made conclusions on what must be happening and what had happened, but things weren't necessarily spelled out for me. The story started right in the middle of the action. It didn't seem to have a beginning, and I don't know if that's how the movie is? (Maybe, since they made prequels, right!? Star Wars fans are reading this and freaking out on my lack of knowledge right now -- lol. Sorry guys!) But the point is, Alexandra Bracken may have converted me! The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy was a fast and easy read that made me invested in the characters. I finished it and now I want to watch the movie. And I am certainly looking forward to Star Wars Illustrated Novels.