Kay Reviews Naomi Novik’s Uprooted

Uprooted Cover

“Here. You’ll like this,” he said, practically shoving the book into my hands. It was by Naomi Novik, an author I wasn’t familiar with and it felt a little strange to be holding a book I hadn’t known was coming out. While a majority of the books I review on here these days have to do with Star Wars, I occasionally peruse the coming soon lists of other areas of interest too. I’m used to knowing author names, what else they wrote, and what the story was generally going to be about.

But holding Uprooted, I had no clue. I was tempted to ask why he thought it’d be a good fit for me, but I held my tongue. This was a chance to go into a book fresh and I was going to take it.

I quickly learned the story is told from the perspective of a 17-year-old girl named Agnieszka, who lives in a valley near a dangerous wood. Once every ten years the local wizard arrives to choose a girl who will serve in his tower for the next ten years and in turn he protects the villagers from the wood. Everyone is sure the next to be chosen will be Agnieszka’s best friend Kasia, who is practically perfect in every way. But events don’t proceed as everyone expects.

The rest of the plot, I will leave for you to discover when you read this book–because I highly encourage you to read this book. Naomi Novik . . . → Read More: Kay Reviews Naomi Novik’s Uprooted

Lords of the Sith – Reviewed by Kay

In Lords of the Sith Darth Vader and Emperor Sheev Palpatine head to the Twi’lek homeworld of Ryloth to quell rebellion. Cham Syndulla, father of Hera from Rebels, awaits them with a company of dedicated fighters and a trap he hopes will spark a larger rebellion across the galaxy.

But the best way to describe Lords of the Sith is that if I wasn’t reviewing it, I wouldn’t have finished reading it. My Star Wars is about hope and heart. This Star Wars was about anger, and efforts doomed before they even get started, all with a side dish of gore.

The relationship of Free Ryloth leader Cham Syndulla and his contact within the Imperial ranks, Belkor Dray, strikes an interesting parallel with that of the Emperor and Vader. The mask concept had potential, too, before quickly becoming too blatant. Beyond that, though, there’s little to discover as you’re repeatedly hit over the head with way more tell than show and explanations that unfortunately make it seem like the audience can’t be expected to figure out anything themselves.

Again we’re in that period in between movies where we know that certain characters will make it out of this story, but Lords of the Sith is more successful than Heir to the Jedi in ratcheting up the tension. Here it’s more about bracing yourself for the inevitable and probably graphic deaths of certain characters. There’s a challenge in writing an all-seeing, all-knowing, invincible character like Palpatine. So it’s not that . . . → Read More: Lords of the Sith – Reviewed by Kay

Journey to The Force Awakens: The Books You’re Looking For


In the weeks since Lucasfilm announced its ambitious publishing program “Journey to The Force Awakens” for this fall, a lot of individuals have asked about my opinion. Additionally, many friends and acquaintances who quit reading Star Wars books have stopped by FANgirl over the years to see if things have changed. Now that some writing commitments are out of the way, I’ve had time to pull together my thoughts.

It appears that one good outcome from the Expanded Universe purge is I’m now seeing a bit more recognition for the fact that some Star Wars fans found their niche in published material. Last week, Priya Chhaya offered a bittersweet farewell as she welcomed the new Star Wars stories. As she noted, we will all get to experience the rollercoaster ride of discovering characters, places, and events together, and that’s exciting!

Here are some details on the 20+ book plan revealed on StarWars.com:

Novels for young adults, focusing on Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, will be published by Disney-Lucasfilm Press in North America and distributed internationally. The young adult novels have notable talent attached, including Cecil Castellucci (Boy Proof, Tin Star), Greg Rucka, New York Times bestselling author (Detective Comics and 52), Jason Fry (The Clone Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy, Star Wars Insider contributor) and New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray (The Firebird trilogy and Evernight series).

Some book and comic titles have been revealed, and they offer fans a fun glimpse into the possible stories within: . . . → Read More: Journey to The Force Awakens: The Books You’re Looking For

Kay Joins Star Wars Bookworms

Princess Leia #1 cover

On Journey to Star Wars Celebration, episode #38 of Star Wars Bookworms, I join Aaron Goins to fill in for Teresa as co-host. It was my first time on the show and we had a lot of fun! Aaron and I have recently been on Fangirl Chat talking Doctor Who as well as the Rebels Season 1 Finale episode of Disney Vault Talk’s Rebel Yell together and it was good to get to talk with him about Star Wars books and comics new and old.

We cover a lot of ground from Legends to recent releases to upcoming stories as well as my first Marvel Star Wars comic – Princess Leia #1. We get a little goofy speculating on the 20-book Journey to the Force Awakens series. And the cherry on top is that ever so briefly we mention Jaina and Jag – twice.

From the show notes:

Star Wars Celebration is almost here and we have so much to talk about. Sadly Teresa wasn’t able to join in for this episode, but we got a great guest host in Kay from Fangirl Blog and the Hyperspace Theories podcast.

We talk about the details of the Bookworms panel that will be on the podcast stage at Star Wars Celebration. We also reveal the artist who did the design for our exclusive panel pins. You are going to want one of these! Aaron gives his brief thoughts on Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and Aaron and Kay talk about the . . . → Read More: Kay Joins Star Wars Bookworms

Kay Reviews Heir to the Jedi

Kay reviews the newest Star Wars novel from Del Rey, Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi. . . . → Read More: Kay Reviews Heir to the Jedi

Four Years and Counting: Kay


FANgirl contributor Kay looks at the past, present and future of Star Wars in our retrospective series. . . . → Read More: Four Years and Counting: Kay

What Star Wars Needs To Hear From Its Female Fans (Updated)

Star Wars Books

Female fans of Star Wars are still waiting… . . . → Read More: What Star Wars Needs To Hear From Its Female Fans (Updated)

Assembly of Geeks Tackles Darkness In Storytelling


Assembly of Geeks tackles darkness in storytelling and FANgirl has feels. . . . → Read More: Assembly of Geeks Tackles Darkness In Storytelling

Kay Reviews Star Wars: Tarkin

Kay reviews the newest Star Wars novel, Tarkin by James Luceno. . . . → Read More: Kay Reviews Star Wars: Tarkin

Kay Reviews A New Dawn

Kay is back with a review of the latest Star Wars Books release, A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller. The novel is a prequel to the upcoming television series Star Wars Rebels, and includes the backstory on the two older protagonists in the show, Kanan and Hera.

From Kay’s review:

A New Dawn marks the beginning of a new era in Star Wars books. This is the first book to come out under the guidance of the Lucasfilm Story Group, responsible for coordinating all Star Wars stories going forward no matter the medium. All the previously published books of the Expanded Universe are now known as Legends. And while I understand why this decision was made and applaud the idea of better overall coordination, the April announcement left me heartbroken. I’ve spent many years of my life with those now legendary tales. I didn’t always love where some authors took the stories, but I came to know those characters of the post-Return of the Jedi era inside and out. Now their fates are up in the air. They may reappear as I knew them, in another form, or never again – with no known date when we’d know for sure. So I thought that this might be my exit point from reading anything new about that galaxy far, far away.

One person’s involvement made me decide to at least give this relaunch a chance: John Jackson Miller.

Click here for her full review.

Kay grew . . . → Read More: Kay Reviews A New Dawn