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Resistance Reborn

I was really excited when I heard that there was going to be a book that talked more about the Resistance and its role in the new series of Star Wars movies. Sadly, Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse just didn’t live up to what I was expecting. It fell short, in many ways, of what could have been a really interesting book that explored the new Star Wars world. Spoilers ahead folks (especially for those that have not seen The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker films). 

First off, half this book wasn’t even about our beloved Resistance characters! The cover and the marketing for this book made it seem like it was about Poe, Finn, Rey, Rose, Leia, and Chewbacca, and how they were dealing with the First Order. In reality, half the book was taken up by a character within the First Order. Way more attention was paid to this character than almost any of the Resistance characters. Even more disappointing, is that this First Order character didn’t bring anything to the story – he was just a generic bad guy. 

Speaking of not bringing anything to the story…there wasn’t really one in this book? There didn’t seem to be much plot going on, and what story there was just wasn’t interesting. Also, a large piece of this novel relies on the reader to have read past Disney Star Wars Canon books, more specifically Bloodline by Claudia Gray. I reviewed Bloodline a while back, and it is one of the best Star Wars novels in my opinion. My problem with Resistance Reborn relying on information from Bloodline is that nowhere in the marketing does it mention that! If you haven’t read that book, the main story (Leia trying to save an old friend she thought had died) wouldn’t have the same weight to it. If you haven’t read that book, you’d probably be wondering who the heck this guy is that Leia is so concerned about.

The purpose of Resistance Reborn seems to be to fill in all the holes and complaints of Star Wars fans that were brought on by The Last Jedi and set up the new Resistance for The Rise of Skywalker (both of these things fell flat). One thing that was brought up time and time again in the book was how Poe had defied orders he was given in The Last Jedi, which led to the death of many Resistance fighters and Admiral Holdo. In Resistance Reborn he talks at length about feeling guilty about this, but instead of exploring these feelings and the reasons behind his actions, it all just falls flat. It felt surface-level, and I think there was a lot of missed potential here for exploring his character more. 

Overall, this was a disappointing read, and definitely not one of the better Star Wars novels that I have read. My advice is to skip this one.

Mari Pavelich

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In The Stacks

Bloodline/Claudia Gray

Since 2015, when The Force Awakens came out, Disney has supplement-ed its on-screen world of Star Wars with books. Referred to as the Star Wars Disney Canon on Goodreads, these books flesh out the wonderful world that George Lucas created over forty years ago. They follow characters that we love, and new characters that we have yet to meet on screen. As a fan of Star Wars, I am always happy to be in that world, so a few years back I started to read some of the books set in the world of Star Wars. The first one I picked up was Claudia Gray’s Bloodline.

Bloodline is the story of Princess Leia, now Senator Organa, and how she navigates the universe post Return of the Jedi. She has the struggles of a politician, but also that of the daughter of Darth Vader. Gray digs into feelings and themes not explored in the Star Wars movies. What would it be like to know your father is Darth Vader? What would it be like if people found out? Gray tackles the psychological side of Leia, and it’s very moving. Leia is obviously a great favorite among Star Wars fans, as she is a strong, powerful, and inspiring leader. It was really nice to get to see even more sides of her, and to get to know her better as a character. 

The other main thing that has stuck with me after reading this book, is its focus on politics. I’m one of the (what seems like) few people who actually enjoy the prequel movies. Like I said above, any chance to be in the universe of Star Wars is a win for me. Queen Amidala was always one of my favorite characters, along with The Phantom Menace being one of my favorite movies. I always found the focus on politics and galactic relations to be fascinating. Bloodline delivers on that front as well, but with the beloved Leia at its heart. I also really enjoyed getting a closer look at the politics behind the new government that formed after the Empire was destroyed. 

I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves Star Wars, wants to get to know Leia better, or just wants a good political thriller to read. May the force be with you.

P.S. I also highly recommend getting the Barnes and Noble Exclusive Edition of this book (which can be found at this link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bloodline-claudia-gray/1123475598?ean=9780425286784) because it comes with a really awesome poster!

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In The Stacks

Lady From The Black Lagoon

The Lady from the Black Lagoon is author Mallory O’Meara’s dive into the life of Milicent Patrick. Until O’Meara’s book came out in 2019, not many people were aware of who Milicent Patrick was. Thanks to the author’s dedicated research, she has brought Milicent Patrick into the spotlight. 

Milicent Patrick’s claim to (now) fame was that she designed the Creature from the Black Lagoon, for the film of the same name. She was a talented woman who not only created famous Hollywood monsters, but also worked for Walt Disney as an animator. Milicent faded into obscurity, and never got credit for her design…until O’Meara. 

The Lady from the Black Lagoon not only follows Milicent Patrick, and her struggles through Old Hollywood, but also O’Meara’s own story and struggles in Hollywood. The parallel between the women’s lives is both heartbreaking and touching, and I’m sure if Milicent was still alive, the two would be fast friends. 

I picked this book up for two reasons: I love old movies, and am always looking to learn more about them, and secondly, I’ll be honest, the cover of the book. I’m a sucker for an attention grabbing cover, and this book has got it! Setting aside the cover, though…the content was just what I was hoping for. It was an honest and well-researched look into what life was like in the movie industry for a woman, during what we now think of as ‘Old Hollywood’. Highly recommend. 

Pick up the paperback edition of O’Meara’s Los Angeles Time Bestseller, available on March 3, 2020.