Star Wars: Lost Stars

Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lost Stars - Claudia Gray, Phil Noto

Author: Claudia Gray

Rating:  3.5 stars


Book Blurb: 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?

Star Wars: Lost Stars also includes all-new post-Star Wars: Return of the Jedi content, as well as hints and clues about the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for all Star Wars fans.
The ironic thing is this book was an afterthought for me. I had not heard about it before September 4th, as I had been completely focused on the well- hyped Aftermath. I only bought this book after reading a blurb saying a Star Wars YA novel was being released along with Star Wars middle grade readers. And out of those, it was the one I was least excited about.
So when I opened this book, I was a touch biased against it.  But I have to say, I enjoyed reading it. It wasn't perfect, but I was entertained.
What I liked about it:
I thoroughly enjoyed all the references back to the Star Wars movies, the inclusion of the dialogue and the weaving of this book's characters into the well known Star Wars story. I really have to hand it to Ms. Gray - she did a great job. It's not easy to pull off.  I enjoyed that aspect of the book the most. It was cleverly done. I'd give examples, but I don't want to ruin it for those that want to read it. I found myself looking forward to how she would handle the main plot points in her telling of her story. There are a few instances where she seems to make a joke about certain events like making Solo a General in ROTJ . I enjoyed the little inside jokes, references and surprises.
I also liked how you were made to see both sides of the war.  I was able to empathize while looking through Thane's and Ciena's eyes and understand why each chose to stand with the Rebellion or the Empire. That was well done.
I was surprised that the post-ROTJ part of the book was a good seventy pages. I thought it was going to be epilogue length at most and it wasn't. What's funny is you got a bit of an overview of Aftermath through reading it. You do learn a bit, though I could tell that suddenly the freedom that I really enjoyed throughout the book with the story telling took a leap back. It seemed like the reins were being pulled. I didn't enjoy that which leads me too...
Things I didn't like:
The love story was ok. I didn't dislike it, I just didn't feel emotionally invested with these two. And being the love story is supposed to be the glue that holds this story together I have to mention that. 
Also this book is not a standalone, or at least doesn't appear to be or that's an really odd ending. I guess that's not a flaw just unexpected. I will pick up the next one if/when it comes out.
Overall, the book got me excited about the new movie.  It made the point things definitely did not end with the Battle for Endor or even at the end of Aftermath.   I know that's obvious, but you're getting more of a feel of the scope of how hard it was. Is it a must read for a Star Wars fan? I'm going to say yes, but not for hints for the new movie. Again, I liked what she did with weaving her story through the Star Wars movies. 
A solid read. I do recommend it.