A New Dawn is one of the best Star Wars novels I’ve read, and whatever hesitations you have about the new canon, I’m here to tell you that you should be excited for where this is all going because it’s worth your time and attention.
I love how modern this book feels. I’ve just finished watching The Clone Wars (the animated show—infinitely better than the prequels) and reading this right after was a perfect fit. It’s got all the awesome bits about the newer Star Wars universe in terms of technology and world-building (which I’ve always preferred, honestly).
It’s also a nice shift from the Jedi in power in The Clone Wars fighting the Separatists to rebels and the Empire having a firm grasp on the Galaxy. It’s a good look into the Empire, how it functions, and especially people’s frustrations and the beginnings of the rebellion. It’s an excellent set-up for what’s coming next; both the new canon and the new animated show Rebels.
On top of all of this, the writing is excellent and clearly the work of a professional. John Jackson Miller is an author who knows what he’s doing, and I’m getting a heavy Spielberg vibe in that it’s not the most creative or ground-breaking, but incomparable when it comes to pleasing the audience with a traditional story.
Now, a traditional story isn’t a bad thing—we’ve been telling (mostly the same) stories for millennia. It’s what makes us human, and there’s a reason why certain forms show up time and time again.
Telling an effective story is a skill, and John Jackson Miller has it.
You feel immediately drawn to the punky kid in the lead role, and the various POVs are captivating throughout. Even the villain is fascinating. Powerful not because of his might, but of all things his economic shrewdness and mastery over efficiency. As a business grad, this is a fun (if scary) concept to think about.
A New Dawn is everything that you love about Star Wars and it feels like a big space opera, though it sticks to only one planet and its moon (so don’t expect a galaxy-wide conflict here).
Overall, I can’t wait for what the new canon has in store for us. Are you excited too?