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Lost Stars: Book Review

Descriptives

Page count: 551

Author: Claudia Gray

Timeline: 11 BBY – 5 ABY (before and after the Battle for Yavin)

Main Characters: Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell

Brief Synopsis: Ciena and Thane have formed an unlikely bond growing up on the mountain planet of Jelucan, but joining the Empire proves to considerably change their lives.

Gut Feeling

After I finished reading Master and Apprentice, I looked up what other books Claudia Gray had written. I loved her writing so much that I just HAD to read more of her work. When I first saw Lost Stars, I was actually pretty underwhelmed. It didn’t appear to follow any main characters and the timeline was kind of confusing, so I looked past it. Not to mention it is kind of long. However, the book’s reputation soon caught up me. I’ve only heard great things about it, fans LOVE this book. So, my excitement for the book started to grow and I became fairly excited about it. I ended up having high expectations for it, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. From the beginning to the end of the book I did not want to put it down. 551 pages did not seem like enough, it left me wanting more and I will be one of the many irate fans if we don’t get a sequel (there are rumors that a sequel is already in the works!). It is one of my favorite books I’ve ever read, Star Wars or not.

Characters (20/20 pts)

Since Lost Stars was not written about characters that have already been developed, Gray had a more difficult task on hand than she did with Master and Apprentice (this book is about Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan). However, it did not take long for me to become attached to Ciena and Thane. I was worried if I would like the characters, but it was only Chapter 1 when that worry was put aside. Throughout the entire book, my attachment to them only grew. As the book was coming to an end, I felt myself rooting for the characters from deep within myself. I actually felt distraught worrying about what was happening to them. Gray gives her characters much depth and Ciena and Thane were both relatable due to it. These characters were incredible, and I hope we get more of them, that is why I’m giving Lost Stars a full 20 points for this category.

Writing Style (20/20 pts)

Gray’s writing is really really good. What she describes and creates is fairly complex, but she does it in an easily readable way. It had depth, but it doesn’t always feel like it, which is a good thing. She also uses the character’s thoughts to bring the characters and story to life. It is a little hard to describe, but their thought processes are clear, and they make sense almost as if I was thinking the same things along with the characters. They are also often subtle, leaving the reader to connect the final dots. This only made me feel more connected to the characters and is something unique that Gray does so well. Beyond that, Gray’s writing style doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses. Lost Stars gets another full 20 points.

Plot (18/20 pts)

The plot follows Ciena and Thane from just before the Original Trilogy to just after. It gives a vastly different perspective on many large events from the OT and uses those same events to advance the book’s own plot. While it followed the same timeline and shared events, it still remained unique from the OT. How Ciena and Thane’s characters evolved throughout the plot was believable, complex, and compelling. My only complaint about the plot is it felt rushed at some points. While the book was 551 pages, I felt that some sections could have used more depth. Overall though the plot was great, and it will still get 18 points.

Intrigue (20/20 pts)

Just like how my attachment to the characters began early in the book, so did my intrigue. I was attached to the characters and there weren’t any parts of the book that I wasn’t intrigued about. The exciting finish of the book had me so compelled that I HAD to finish the book. I hadn’t felt this type of commitment to a story in other books like I did to Lost Stars. Even though it was quite long, it did not feel that way. I would often look down and get surprised at how many pages I’d read. This tells me that I was truly engrossed in the story and even flipping pages were forgotten, multiple times. Lost Stars definitely deserves another perfect 20 points in this category.

What does it add? (16/20 pts)

After reading Lost Stars, I have a new perspective on both The Empire and The Rebellion. In the OT, The Empire is clearly evil, and The Rebellion is clearly good. But Lost Stars makes the binary of good and evil more of a gray area (get it? Cause Claudia Gray wrote the book?) This is closer to what real life is like and it made the whole Star Wars universe more relatable and realistic. It also gives some insight into the Battle of Jakku, which is actually my first insight on it. I know there is material on the battle, I just haven’t read it yet. But there is still more understanding of the battle and it even gives some background to the Star Destroyer that crashed into Jakku. This may not have been needed, but I’m still glad to know it and will think of it when watching Episode 7.

So Lost Stars does add some interesting content to Star Wars, but there was nothing in the book that stood out to me as changing how I look at the universe. This is the only weakness I see in the book. This is why I am giving this section only 16 points.

Logic (+2 pts)

I told myself that the “Logic” section would only deduct points, but I didn’t account for books explaining illogical events that already existed in the movies. Lost Stars gives some insight into the perplexing battle strategies of The Empire. For example, why they seem to hold back at times even when it seems they should be winning large battles in mere minutes due to their superior firepower. I always took this as The Rebellion being that good, but now I have a better understanding of it. I don’t want to say any more on the topic to keep this spoiler-free, but I am giving Lost Stars two extra points for the logic.

Final Thoughts

A 96/100 makes this book my highest rated one yet! Well, it’s just my second book review, but a score of 96 should keep this book highly rated even as I review more books. Star Wars aside, it was a fantastic book. It was also more geared towards a young adult audience which was refreshing since most Star Wars content is for kids. So, if you love good books and want an exciting Star Wars story (with a considerable amount of romance I should), Lost Stars is a must-read. I’m confident you will like it as much as I did, and I’ll be waiting desperately with many other fans for the potential sequel.

I hope you enjoyed this book review and if there is a book that you want me to read or review, please let me know at christiancorah@gmail.com. As for now, I will only be doing Canon books (but in the future that might change).

Start the discussion by clicking on the link to our Discourse forum below or select “forum” via the menu bar above. May the Force be with you!

Christian Corah
"Your focus determines your reality." — Qui-Gon Jinn

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