Thursday, January 12, 2017

Rogue One - the book. Is it worth reading?

As you'll recall, I actually went to a cinema to see the much-anticipated Rogue One, and I've written my review. But I had a few unanswered questions and decided to fork out the exorbitant cost for the novel, written by Alexander Freed. My experience with novelizations of Star Wars stories has been spotty in the past, but I dipped into the 'look inside' and liked what I saw.

Alexander Freed did a stunning job. He had a huge task, bringing that movie to life in a book, and he did it. I haven't read anything so well written in a long time, and my experience with Star Wars stories has not been good.

There were times as I was reading that I stopped and read passages again, simply out of admiration. Such great descriptive language, using all the senses – including smell, which we don't get at the movies. He writes in deep third POV, and he writes exclusively in one character's voice for a scene. He covers everyone you see in the movie for any length of time – Jyn, Cassian, Bohdi, Chirrut, Baze, Krennic, Mon Mothma, and others – and does it well. Because he writes in deep third, the reader learns what's going through the character's mind, what s/he is feeling. For me, that epitomises why I prefer books to movies. A movie is the tip of the iceberg.

The book explained a few things I missed as the film progressed. I certainly had a much better sense of why Jyn went from surly thug to shining light. But if you're expecting more information about the interval between 8-year-old Jyn and 23-year-old Jyn, there are just snippets and memories. Which is fair enough, since it's not really necessary for the plot.

I think when I see the film again, I'll have a much better grounding in the characters than I did at the first showing. I'd rate this book an enthusiastic 5 stars.


  1. Thanks, Greta. Might have to get that book when I next get discretionary funds.

  2. Love your review. I may have to check this one out just for the characters insights. Sounds like the author did an amazing job!


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