Review: Star Wars: A New Hope by Alexandra Bracken

Posted by DarkChaplain at 5/21/2016
The galaxy is at war.

Although the Rebel Alliance has won a few battles against the Empire, hope is fading. The Empire is about to finish building the greatest weapon the galaxy has ever seen—the Death Star. The rebels' only chance to defeat it now lies in the unlikely hands of a princess, a scoundrel, and a farm boy. . . .

Acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Bracken delivers a captivating retelling of Star Wars: A New Hope like you've never experienced before. Since the premier of the original film, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker have become iconic, larger-than-life characters. The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy takes a deeper look at these three heroes as they join forces to defeat the evil that threatens their entire galaxy.
I decided to read this on a whim, to refresh my memories of the original Star Wars movie and out of curiosity. I don't regret my decision.

The Story:
"The galaxy is at war.

Although the Rebel Alliance has won a few battles against the Empire, hope is fading. The Empire is about to finish building the greatest weapon the galaxy has ever seen—the Death Star. The rebels' only chance to defeat it now lies in the unlikely hands of a princess, a scoundrel, and a farm boy. . . .

Acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Bracken delivers a captivating retelling of Star Wars: A New Hope like you've never experienced before. Since the premier of the original film, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker have become iconic, larger-than-life characters. The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy takes a deeper look at these three heroes as they join forces to defeat the evil that threatens their entire galaxy."

The Review
At its core, The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm boy is a simple retelling of the original Star Wars movie, A New Hope. Based on the movie as well as an old radio drama script, this young readers adaptation is more than competent, and a light, enjoyable read.

Alexandra Bracken has split the novel into three parts (as per the title), focusing sections of the plot squarely on Leia, Han and Luke. I'm not entirely on board with dividing the book into three parts like that, since it would have been great so see the growth of Leia especially more directly during the events on Yavin, but by the end of it, I didn't mind it.
In a way, it makes a lot of sense the when read this way - the spotlight does indeed shift throughout the movie plot, even though Luke's journey is front and center. The change gets clear especially in the later parts, where Han is temporarily moved off-stage before returning to help after all.

The best part of the book, for me, was probably the Death Star Run. It captured the excitement and tension of the movie perfectly, adding Luke's inner thoughts and deliberations to the mix in a satisfying way that didn't break the pace. It made me smile, not just for how fond my memories of the movie's scenes are, but because of how well Bracken delivered it.

Overall, the special attention the author paid to the characters' feelings and inner growth throughout their arcs paid off. She filled in gaps here and there that rounded the characters off in a good way. While it is still a pretty straight forward retelling, and doesn't feature much of Vader in the second half, I still enjoyed my time with the book. If nothing else, it refreshed my memories and made me want to watch the movie again.

Star Wars: A New Hope - The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy on Goodreads

About the Author

I'm known as DarkChaplain across the internet, and call myself a passionate gamer and book enthusiast. I have been blogging mostly about games for a couple of years, but finally found my way to reviewing a different medium: Books. Honestly, I prefer that job so far.
Follow Me on Twitter @TheDarkChaplain


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