You’ve probably seen The Force Awakens one, two, or fifteen times and now you have options to relive the story in book form. There’s the adult novelization by Alan Dean Foster, Rey’s Story from Elizabeth Schaefer, and now also available in physical book form is Star Wars The Force Awakens: A Junior Novel by Michael Kogge.
While aimed at readers aged 8-12, the junior novelization of The Force Awakens can be a fun read for teens and adults alike. It may be short on beautiful turns of phrase like those that popped up sporadically in the adult novelization, but the language isn’t patronizing either. There are several sentences that are actually exactly the same in both books. According to Kogge’s website he had a draft of the movie’s script as well as a draft of Foster’s novelization as resources while writing.
I’m all for a book’s opportunity to include additional scenes and explore perspectives of the story. And a few of those turn up in this junior novel. There are not as many as what you’ll find in the Foster take, but in Kogge’s version the flow is better and the character behavior is more on point with what was presented in the movie.
Rey’s practicality especially shines through and a short passage not featured in the other books shows how Rey copes with an upsetting dream. When it comes to the vision Rey sees later in the story, it’s one of the more clear descriptions to appear in the books. There’s a bit on how Kylo Ren’s mind probing works – both from Kylo’s and Rey’s experiences. We also get some insight via Finn into what general members of the First Order are told about galactic history. So the world-building continues.
8 to 16 pages (depending on which edition you get) of color photos with captions are included about midway through the book, which I would advise skipping until you’re done reading if you or a youngling reading along has in fact not seen the movie yet as it does spoil some plot points. The deluxe edition is small with a nice paper over board hard cover with glossy coating on the lightsabers, lasers, and Star Wars logo.
Overall it’s a concise, well-done adaptation of the seventh episode of Star Wars’ cinematic adventure. If I had to pick between this book and the adult novelization, I’d recommend this one for all ages.
The publisher provided FANgirl Blog a copy of this book.
Kay reviews Star Wars books for FANgirl in addition to movies of several genres with a heart for storytelling and a mind that likes to analyze. She also writes about fandom reflections and fashion as well as co-hosts the Hyperspace Theories podcast. She has been known to make appearances on other podcasts including Fangirl Chat, Nerd Lunch, Disney Vault Talk's Rebel Yell, and Assembly of Geeks.
Currently a voice actor, photographer, and artist who also consults in communications and marketing, Kay spends the little bit of free time she has reading, writing, learning and, of course, making pew pew noises. She would pick up more jobs and hobbies if she was a Time Lord.
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