My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Originally I hadn’t planned on reading this book at any point. I figured a young adult Star Wars novel just wouldn’t hold up to the adult books in this ever growing series. But I kept seeing it, and it kept luring me in until I finally bought it. But it would be a few months before I got up the courage to actually read this book. And boy was I glad that I did.
Though I wasn’t instantly pulled into the story, it did not take me long to want to keep reading, to find out what would happen next and to not put the book down until I was done. While this book spans quite a number of years, the flow of the story is very good. It doesn’t feel like there are sometimes months or years between events, as there is a smooth transition from one to the other.
The thing that stood out the most to me were the main characters. Ciena and Thane were fantastic characters that showed a lot of growth throughout the whole book. They also had plenty of obstacles to overcome, and some acted more as setbacks that anything else. It was also interesting to watch them progress from friends, to enemies, to friends again and then more. The shift from their old lives on their home world, where they were already so different from each other – one growing up poor, the other rich, and then into the life of an Imperial trainee to officer was fantastic.
Another great addition to this book was the presence of some characters from the Star Wars franchise, like Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin and others who are most notably known for their roles in the original movies. This combined with a few key lines said during those movies really helped to solidify this books involvement in those and other events within the Star Wars timeline.
The only thing that I found a bit disappointing was the ending. Sure it gave a good bit of information regarding The Force Awakens, namely in regards to Jaku, but there was something missing. It was like something was unresolved at the end, a small bit of Ciena and Thane‘s story was missing. Because of this, I really hope that another novel comes along soon to pick up were this one left off, or shortly there after, so that I can get some complete closure on the story or at least find out for sure what happened with a few key moments. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to Star Wars fans and non-fans as well.