Mirage–A Gem Among Political Space Romance

Genre: Young Adult Romance/Science-fiction32768520

Rating: 5/5

I have greatly been anticipating this book, especially after actually meeting Somaiya Daud while she was in conversation with Veronica Roth on The Fates Divide tour. Daud is an amazingly fun, friendly, exuberant person who also loves Star Wars. Mirage is her debut novel, and boy what a fantastic novel it is! I was already planning on buying it, having it pre-ordered since April 2018, but listening to Daud talk about the novel (not giving too much away, of course), I just couldn’t wait!

And I am still sold on this novel and am extremely excited to add it to my collection. I would like to thank NetGalley, Somaiya Daud, and Flatiron books for the opportunity to read this book in advance for an honest review. Did I mention I am definitely buying this book?

I love space novels and romance. Some of my favorites include These Broken Stars, Illuminae, and Zenith (among others), and this fits right in! When I first heard about this book, I was like “Huh, sounds somewhat like one of the subplots of Turn A Gundam,” which is likewise sci-fi. For those who don’t know, one of the plots in the anime involves a moon princess trading places with a girl on Earth who looks just like her. They do it for fun at first, then it becomes an act of political safety and scandal to keep the princess safe.

Mirage is similar in that eighteen-year-old Amani is taken from her home moon to its mother planet where the royal family lives. The planet was taken over by the Vath and aims to hold its power over the planet and its moons. Amani doesn’t know why she was taken from her home until she sees her own face reflected in that of Maram, the princess. Maram uses Amani as a political double, training her to be and act like Maram in every way so that Amani can be her body double for various events, in case of assassination attempts and the like.

In the process, Maram’s fiance, Idris, sees right through Amani’s guise. A romance buds between the two, but how far can they go without getting caught? And what happens to their relationship when it comes time for Maram and Idris to marry?

This novel is beautifully written and full of both romance and political intrigue. It’s a page-turner from start to finish. And…it appears there will be a second book (and a third?)! I am disappointed that I have to wait, but I am so excited that there is going to be more to Amani’s story and the world of Mirage by such a fantastic new writer in the world of young adult literature!

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Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 20)

There are many, many comics in the world of Star Wars. The ones I have here vary in era, art, publication date, publisher, and style, but they are all interesting releases both to the old Expanded Universe as well as the new canon. They are listed in order based on the Battle of Yavin. Just remember, this is a highlight on a small fraction of a larger whole.

 

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Darth Vader Dark Lord of the Sith: Legacy’s End (19 BBY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Charles Soule

Artist(s): Giuseppe Camuncoli, Daniele Orlandini, David Curiel, et. al.

Legacy’s End picks up right where Imperial Machine left off. The Inquisitor is having a bit of an issue with the way Vader chooses to teach their pupils, considering Vader teaches them loss through limb removal. On top of this, an elderly female Jedi, Jocasta Nu, has been reported as surviving Order 66, and she is a threat to Sidious because she has knowledge great enough to rebuild the Jedi Order. When Vader hunts her down, he finds that Nu had a data chip with knowledge of Force-sensitive children that she was perhaps going to seek out. Oddly enough, when Sidious asks Vader if Nu had any knowledge they could use, Vader crushes the data chip and denies knowing anything. Vader then has a bounty put on his head by an unknown source, and many do not know just what the Sith Lord is capable of. When it seems that the order comes from Sidious, it would appear that someone is trying to set the union of Sith apart from each other.

I really love the art–it’s vivid and detailed as well as smooth. I personally really enjoy this series because it is fun to get a glimpse of Vader’s training with Sidious and some of the missions he does to become stronger. It is a nice back story that falls in the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

 

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Star Wars Vol. 7: The Ashes of Jedha (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (6 Issues)

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist(s): Salvador Larroca, GURU-eFX, et. al.

This 7th volume of the new line of Star Wars comics contains issues 38-43, or “The Ashes of Jedha” Parts 1-6. In this story arc, the Empire returns to Jedha aiming to collect any more kyber crystals that may have survived the test run of the Death Star blast. The Rebel Alliance aims to prevent any more harvesting of the crystal, but when Trios appears, a character you might remember from the Su-Torun War, she knows what mining is about. With her hidden agenda, she takes both sides unbeknownst to each, because ultimately she needs to protect her own people. When Luke and Leia see that some people still live on Jedha, they want to help, but some cannot leave the only place they know as home, despite there being little to no trade on the blasted moon.

Aside from the beautiful art, as usual, there was a aspect of this particular arc that I greatly enjoyed. We see references to Rogue One as Luke questions the lives of those who stole the Death Star plans to save the galaxy. He thinks of their once-trek to Jedha, as well as the live lost with a huge chunk of the moon. I was surprised that the moon was still partially intact and able to orbit and contain habitable life still, but that was also part of the appeal. We also get a bit of insight to those who once followed or still follow Saw Gererra’s ways. A very subtle, but nice way to connect the main story to Rogue One.

 

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Star Wars Adventures: Destroyer Down (Pre-The Force Awakens)

Publisher: IDW (1 Issue as TPB, 60 pages)

Writer: Scott Beatty

Artist(s): Derek Charm, Sean Parsons, Matt Herms

Long after the Battle of Jakku, a long-lost Star Destroyer appears out of the sand after being buried for years. Rey, scavenger that she is and a born survivor, aims to claim the best prizes from the ghost ship before someone else does, but she’s definitely the only one with an eye on the prize. It is a race to get the best items from the ship. An old droid makes its presence known and its logs reveal the one responsible for bringing the destroyer down on Jakku. But another active Imperial droid, among other scavengers, test Rey to the limits of her scavenging and survival skills.

This was a neat find because it is a December 2017 Loot Crate exclusive comic. While I am not a huge fan of the new Star Wars Adventures comics, they still add a bit of fun to various character’s stories. It was interesting to see Rey go on a scavenging adventure and really seeing what she had to do to survive on Jakku before finding the Falcon. The art isn’t my favorite, and it definitely feels geared more toward younger readers, but it’s still relatively fun to read and own for any Star Wars fan.

 

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Poe Dameron Volume 3: Legend Lost (30-34 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (7 Issues)

Writer: Charles Soule

Artist(s): Angel Unzueta, Frank D’armata, Arif Prianto, et. al.

This third volume of the Poe Dameron collection consists of issues 7 and 14-19. #7 has more of a side story feel to it where Poe is on leave and meets up with an old friend who happens to be a journalist. Of course, being a journalist, she is always fishing for information and a big story, whether the First order or the Resistance is the source. When a sneaky journalism mission ends up showing the darker side of news media, the Resistance gains a new member. While this issue doesn’t really fit with the earlier volumes, it works in this volume since Suralinda Javos becomes a highlighted secondary character in the forthcoming issues. Issues 14-19 deal with Poe and Black Squadrons quest to find Oddy Muva, a once member of Black Squadron who betrayed his men to keep his wife safe. Now Black Squadron aims to find him before the First Order does. Meanwhile, Terex has been taken by Phasma who implants a mind control device on his head to have him obey any orders and skiff through any information he has learned that he can share about the Resistance to the First Order. While half of Black Squadron aims to find Oddy, the other half, taking Suralinda the journalist along, aim to get footage on how the First Order treats the beings of new planets they aim to conquer. With such footage, the Resistance can spark a new hope (eyyy) in the citizens of the galaxy.

Once again, beautiful art, as always. I felt that the story was crafted even better than the first two volumes. The story was more centered on the needs of the Resistance, through the eyes of Poe and Black Squadron of course, which was an interesting diversion from the first two story arcs. We get to know a bit more about the individuals of Black Squadron, adding more depth to the characters, as well as being introduced to Suralinda, a prospective potential secondary character of some import in the future. Overall, an excellent edition to the Poe Dameron comics.

Star Wars Highlight: The Legends of Luke Skywalker

Image result for the legends of luke skywalkerGenre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Rating: 3/5

The Legends of Luke Skywalker features six short stories that follow some of the legends of Luke Skywalker. Whether they are true stories or not depends on both who is telling the story and who is listening, changing the perspective of truth.

The different stories are told from various crew members (and stowaways) of the Wayward Current, a ship on its way to Canto Bight with shipments of goods and livestock.

The first story, “The Myth Buster,” sort of sets up the feel of this book. Dwoogan, a cook aboard the ship, tells about the time that she was at a bar and overheard some various tales about Luke Skywalker. A man with a hood occasionally chuckles and listens (assumed that this man is Luke) and brushes of the silly stories that are definitely not from his own experiences. He doesn’t get mad about the misinformation, just allows people to believe what they want to believe.

The second story, “The Starship Graveyard,” shows some of the aftermath of the Battle of Jakku. An injured Imperial is saved by a man, presumably Luke Skywalker, and questions the motives of the Rebel. While the Imperial worries over being taken as a war prisoner, all Luke aims to do is be a good person and save a life.

The third story, “Fishing in the Deluge,” is by far my favorite. Luke finds himself on a planet with people who call the Force the Tide, and practice similar use to the Jedi, but are very cautious in their sharing of knowledge when it comes to the Tide. Seeking information, the elder will not tell Luke a thing about the Tide unless he can pass a number of tests. Luke uses the Force to his advantage, but this is not what the planet natives want to see, because it leads to corruption of power. Luke respects their wish to keep the knowledge, but still takes his experiences with him when he leaves. Image result for star wars luke skywalker the myth buster

The fourth story, “I, Droid,” is told from the perspective of a droid that gets taken as a slave for the Empire. Since droids can last much longer than humans in extreme heat, they are used for mining certain hard to obtain resources. This droid observes R2-D2 and C-3PO as they hope to be saved by Luke. Eventually, Luke makes his way to the planet where the droids are all being kept and not only saves his own droids, but is able to liberate numerous other droids taken by the Empire as well.

The fifth story was cute, but felt a bit over-done with some of what we get from Tales From Jabba’s Palace. “The Tale of Lugubrious Mote” features a tiny creature that is able to manipulate other lifeforms, a parasite if you will. His previous hose was Salacious Crumb, an easily controllable creature with very little thoughts of his own to begin with. When he finds his way onto Luke Skywalker’s scalp, he aims to control Luke for his own benefit. Luke, hearing the thoughts/intentions of the creature, believes he is hearing the Force speaking directly to him–except Obi-wan’s teachings never made his scalp itch so much! Taking place in Jabba’s palace, this was a silly story that adds depth to both Luke’s and Crumb’s actions during that time.

The sixth and final tale, “Big Inside,” Luke ends up inside of an exogorth (basically a giant space slug). G’kolu, an Anlari, is on an expedition with Luke. Inside the exogorth, the two find a whole ecosystem of its own, as if the inside of the space slug were its own planet. While Luke believes in the Force, G’kolu thinks scientifically, with no room for “magic.” Science or the Force will iwin out, when the two try to find an escape.

Overall, the stories in this collection are a bit bland, and some can be seen at possibly being true, while others may not have actually happened. But that’s a legend, I suppose, a story passed down from one person to the next, potentially changing over time. the stories don’t add much to Luke’s story and feel rather unnecessary. It would have been a better investment to make a novel that delved into Luke’s childhood or even what he did, story-wise, after the fall of the Empire. Perhaps something about his Jedi Academy? The one that Kylo Ren destroyed? That would have been a better lead-up to The Last Jedi. A novel that shows Kylo’s training and Luke’s teaching, as well as their relationship, would be vastly more interesting. While this book had a fun quality to it, it’s not really worth the read as being a part of the “Journey to The Last Jedi” series of books.

Comics Highlight: Alex and Ada

Genre: Graphic Novel/Contemporary Science Fiction

Rating (whole series): 4.5/5

Image result for alex and ada 1There is just something so special about this series that I needed to do a spotlight review for the whole thing. I found the first volume of Alex and Ada for $3 at my local comic book store, marked down, on sale. At first I was unsure about it; the art wasn’t my style and the story sounded like a few books I have already read before. Boy was I blown away! The art grew on my and I find the style unique and beautiful, and the colors are amazing. And yes, the story is similar to things like Skinned by Robin Wasserman and Absolute Boyfriend by Yuu Watase, but it still had its bit of uniqueness to it.

This series is about a 27-year-old business man named Alex who lives in a world similar to what we know today, except people have robots and androids to help them out around the house, run errands, or use for companionship. When a massacre happens in a factory where an android that gains sentience kills thirty people, the world looks down on those who own androids, especially the ones that look more and more human.

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Alex’s loving and doting grandmother, owner of her own X5 android (that she obviously used as a lover companion as well as to do work around the house), gifts Alex an android for his birthday, he is disinterested, wary from the media and the massacre. After trying the android out for a day, rather than sending it back, he calls her Ada and tries to make things work. Alex realizes that he wants more than an android can give and seeks out an android rights forum where he finds a hacker who can give Ada sentience. There are risks of unlocking an androids sentience, including destroying the android’s hard drive completely. When it works, Ada wakes up frightened by the sensations of the world that she can actually feel, smell, and taste.

Alex and Ada risk their lives with her sentience. When they go out, Ada must pretend to be a regular android so no one will rip her apart, like other sentient androids that have popped up on the news. When a new law is passed, hacking androids and opening sentience is a crime that with bring about prison time, if caught.

The two struggle to remain hidden, but it is inevitable that others notice things are a bit different with Ada. Ada researches love and finds herself wanting to be more than a companion to Alex, but something in him is saying an android and a human together just isn’t right. When Ada leaves, Alex is distraught. While Ada is out, she meets with other sentient androids who are willing to take her to a safe place to live, but a public encounter that turns violent ends up with Ada on the news, her identity and Alex’s safety are put at risk.

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In a world of humans and androids with issues that reflect certain elements in today’s society, this series has a great deal to share about what it means to have humanity and to be a good person, as well as what it means to love. After reading the first volume, I instantly bought the second and third ones, and they were even more entertaining that the first! Alex and Ada is a riveting story that has the reader’s heart pounding with intensity the whole time. I would recommend this for a somewhat older audience, late teens or twenties. It has quite a bit of political value to it, along with some major takeaways in terms of themes that we can apply to our own lives. It’s not everyday that I find a series as well drawn and well written as Alex and Ada.

Star Wars: Forces of Destiny (Comic Special)

Forces of Destiny is a new line of Star Wars short animations, children’s novels, and IDW comic books that are geared toward girls. This series features the main female characters across the larger Star Wars spectrum in the new canon. The Forces of Destiny line of comics has five issues, all one-shots within the collection. Each issue has a different written and artistic contribution team.

Genre: Children’s Science Fiction

Rating: 3/5

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Issue #1: Leia

This issue goes back and forth in time, the present being an expedition with Han and Hera, where Leia has trouble controlling her tauntaun. to 24 hours prior where the Rebel Base on (Hoth?) is attacked. When Leia’s tauntaun runs off on its own, her and the creature end up in a cave-like structure where some other planet native become a threat. Meanwhile, Vader seeks his prize (of course) but with no luck in finding Leia.

 

 

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Issue #2: Rey

In this issue, we see Rey on Jakku just trying to make a living off of the junk she finds. When a rogue BB-8 droid gets caught up in a fiasco, Rey can’t help but to save him. Of course, there are creatures under the sand who eat metal, so they have to be careful when traversing the sands. Others find the BB-8 droid to be very valuable, but Rey protects it no matter what.

 

 

 

 

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Issue #3: Hera

Constantly on the run from the Empire, Hera does what she can for the Rebel cause. When she finds a factory base being devastated by Imperial control, Hera makes her way into the facility and brings justice for the poor, weary workers therein. Hera can’t stand the pain the Empire brings upon others. After helping, the Rebellion may just have some new recruits, but some cannot leave their home planet, hoping the Rebellion will come back to ensure their freedom as the years pass.

 

 

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Issue #4: Ahsoka and Padme

Anakin’s Padawan and lover aren’t known to be great friends, but Padme does what she can to make Ahsoka feel involved. When Padme asks Ahsoka to be present during an important dinner, Ahsoka is a bit disheveled by the offer, but is coaxed into being by Padme’s side anyway. Ahsoka has a keen eye, and notices one of Padme’s maids messing up the table settings on purpose, aiming to sabotage Padme’s political aims of making alliances with another race. Ahsoka finds that she has a place next to Padme, and that she is always welcome.

 

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Issue #5: Rose and Paige

This one was nice because we get to see Rose and her Sister Paige, getting a glimpse of Paige before events in The Last Jedi. When the Resistance needs more resources, they have no way to get them. Many pitch ideas, but some are opposed to a younger person chiming in. Rose is an inventor, and one of her trucks can move across the terrain. When she loses her sister along the ride, technical difficulties of course, Rose questions her own inventions. She then meets some native wildlife that not only help her find her sister, but an abundance of material that the Resistance can use to build.

 

Overall, among the issues, the art is relatively simplistic and not too detailed, easy for a younger reader to follow along. The stories are likewise simplistic and easy to follow with very predictable conflicts and resolutions. While this is good for a younger reader, some of the older Star Wars fans may not be quite as interested. Nonetheless, these belong in my collection for their unique target audience within the realm of Star Wars. Also, some of the cover images I used are the regular A cover, and some are the B variant, which I actually like the art of quite a bit more.

Star Wars: Allegiance-Should You Read It?

Related imageGenre: Science-fiction

Rating: 4/5

First of all, this is an amazing novel that features the perspective of Stormtroopers-hey, they’re people too!

Second, this novel also features Mara Jade as a young Hand to the Emperor, a great back-story edition to the woman who becomes Luke’s wife (in the old canon, anyway…).

Only a few months after the Battle of Yavin, LaRone and four other Stormtroopers have been assigned to root out some rebels. When his squad orders the execution of planetary citizens suspected to be members of the Rebellion, they mistakenly murder innocent civilians, Han Solo and others having already left. With this realization, LaRone questions what they are doing for the Empire and what they should truly be doing with their lives.

Meanwhile, while LaRone and his troopers figure out what they truly want to do with their lives, Mara Jade sets out on one of her very first missions for the Emperor. When she finds some interesting mishaps with a Grand Moff, she offers to investigate further, aiming to remove any from the Empire who do not truly see the vision that Palpatine has.

Han and Luke have their part to play in this story as well. They are sent by Leia to investigate pirate attacks that are affecting their commerce and supply lines.

When Mara’s investigation and the aim of LaRone’s team, as well as Han and Luke, come to fall on the same planet, Mara asks the troopers to help her with her mission to stop a notorious pirate, one who may be involved with the questionable Moff.

So much happens in this novel that it is hard to touch on the details, but it was an interesting blend that really gives the reader the perspective from the Empire side of things. The daily life of a Stormtrooper, the fact that they have feelings and families, really made their side of the story so real. Getting to know Mara Jade as a bad ass in her early years was excellent too. Of course, we know her and Luke get married, and it’s definitely funny to know they are on the same planet dealing with their own situations, yet they never even see each other. Fun stuff!

Any Star Wars fan should read this novel because 1) Mara Jade and 2) Timothy Zahn, an amazing combination when it comes to style and characterization. This is a fantastic first novel in a duology, followed by Choices of One that likewise features a young Mara Jade.

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Star Wars Highlight: Comics (Part 19)

There are many, many comics in the world of Star Wars. The ones I have here vary in era, art, publication date, publisher, and style, but they are all interesting releases both to the old Expanded Universe as well as the new canon. They are listed in order based on the Battle of Yavin. Just remember, this is a highlight on a small fraction of a larger whole.

 

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Mace Windu: Jedi of the Republic (22 BBY)

Publisher: Marvel (5 Issues)

Writer: Matt Owens

Artist(s): Denys Cowan, Roberto Poggi, GURU-eFX, et. al.

Taking place shortly after Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, during the Clone Wars era, Mace Windu, among other Jedi, take up a new role beside that of Knight or Master: Commander (or General). Hissrich is a planet infested with enemy droids, being led by a droid commander. Behind the scenes, General Grievous asks that this Hissrich droid destroy the Jedi that have been deployed there and to bring their lightsabers back as proof of their deaths. Windu takes Kit Fisto, Prosset Dibs, and Rissa Mano with him. Rissa is a newly made Jedi Knight and still has much to learn, but working alongside Mace will give her plenty of knew knowledge on handling certain situations. Aside from the droid army that need to be dealt with, Prosset brings about accusations that the Jedi are hiding behind the war and losing their true values and teachings. When Mace shrugs this off, the two have a lightsaber duel, ultimately ending in a trial for treason in Prosset’s outspoken words, and a new lesson for Rissa to take with her in the future.

Once again, Marvel has a fantastic team of writer’s and artists on this project. Mace Windu is one of my favorite Jedi of the Clone Wars era (although no one beats Quinlan Vos) and I was very excited to see that he was getting his own new Marvel story arc. While I have read (and previously reviewed) all the old Dark Horse Clone Wars comics, this was a nice fresh addition that adds a bit more to Mace Windu and his beliefs and values, as well as some backstory from when he was a Padawan, which was also very interesting. It is always nice getting additional Star Wars story for the new canon that is from a time period other than ABY.

 

 

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Star Wars: A New Hope Special Edition (0 BBY)

Publisher: Marvel (4 Issues)

Writer: Bruce Jones

Artist(s): Eduardo Barreto, et. al.

This 40 year anniversary hardcover edition compiles issues 1-4 of the original 1997 comics. This edition features some uncolored sketches as well as commentary. Bringing to life the original movie, A New Hope is the story of a water farmer named Luke who winds up being a savior to the galaxy. He learns about Jedi and snippets of his father from hermit and once-Jedi, Obi-wan Kenobi. At the loss of Kenobi, Luke feels lost in the world, but Kenobi is still with Luke through the Force. Luke learns to harness the Force truly for the first time when he shoots the aiming blow to the Death Star. This beginning aspect of the hero’s journey is a fun and exciting adventure, the first Star Wars story and the epic that began the major franchise we know today.

I like the hardcover aspect of this edition, but, considering it is only four issues, it feels a bit short compared to other graphic novels. The art is also an older style, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t on the same level as the newer Star Wars publications by the current team Marvel has. It would have been really neat to do a whole new adaptation of A New Hope with a new writer and the current Marvel artistic team to see what kinds of changes they would make, such as rephrasing certain things or moving things around for more action among the panels, extending into a 5 issue piece. That would have been cool.

 

 

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Doctor Aphra and the Enormous Profit (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (5 Issues + Annual #1)

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist(s): Kev Walker, Marc Deering, Marc Laming, et. al.

This is the second volume featuring Doctor Aphra, containing issues 9-13 as well as Annual #1. Aphra is an archaeologist who is constantly aiming to find (or steal?) artifacts to make a huge amount of money. Recently, Aphra has obtained an ancient Jedi artifact that, when awakened, can posses different mechanisms, becoming an enraged, killing machine. Aphra has set up an auction for the artifact among the highest bidders, having concealed the artifact from being able to utilize its ultimate power. Creatures from across the galaxy find that there are numerous way to use such an artifact, but Aphra is choosy about who she will ultimately sell too. Of course, her tech fails and the Jedi within wreaks havoc. Not only that, but her droids seemingly serve a different master, one Aphra does not want to confront again!

I really like the Doctor Aphra series because it adds an interesting, bad-ass female character to the new Star Wars canon. While her story continues (for now), I hope to see her in future media (other books, TV shows, or movies). I love the art, a great team for the Marvel Star Wars line of new comics. Aphra is a unique, fun, and interesting addition to the Star Wars canon, having worked for Darth Vader, encountered Luke Skywalker, and moving on with her own endeavors, which makes me wonder just what she will be doing next.

 

 

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Star Wars: Out Among the Stars (0 ABY)

Publisher: Marvel (5 Issues + Annual #3)

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist(s): Salvador Larroca, Edgar Delgado, et. al.

This is the sixth collected volume of the new Marvel line of Star Wars comics collecting Star Wars issues 33-37 and annual #3. Something unique about this collection is that each issue is focused on one or two of the characters, rather than the whole group, as the characters are all spit off for the majority of this part of the story line. Issue 33 portrays Luke and Leia as they wait to be rescued from a presumably deserted planet. When they find that there is life underwater being affected by the taint of the Empire, Luke and Leia aim to help while they await a transport. Issue 34 segues into Lando and Sana aiming to get a number of credits through some sneaky means. Sana swindles more than one group of people with some of the Empire’s stolen weapons, and Lando is impressed by the way she thinks through things. In issue 35, Luke and Leia have been reunited with Han and Chewie. Han and his partner are then sent to smuggle Grakkus the Hutt and Han knows Hutt tricks, so he is ready for any deception the Hutt might use to escape. Meanwhile, in Issue 36, we see Artoo infiltrating a Star Destroyer to save his droid friend, C-3PO, who we last saw having been taken by the SCAR Stormtrooper squad. With a mind of his own, Artoo is able to save his friend and bewilder many of Vader’s crew. Issue 37 comes back around with the SCAR squad having found a rebel base where the reunited group comes in to find it in ruins. They must continue to hold out in their fight now more than ever if they wish to vanquish the Empire. Annual #3 is fun in that we get Han and Leia stranded together where someone whose life was ruined by Han aims to kill him. While this man vs man conflict presents itself to their predicament, Han and Leia begin to understand each other just a little bit more.

While this is still an amazing graphic novel, I find it a bit lacking in relation to previous volumes. The reason for this is that it is a bunch of different side stories going on as the group aims to get together again. The side stories themselves were all mostly interesting, but the overall story arc is more powerful when there is some looming dread that the main heroes must overcome. Volume 7 looks very promising to pick up the main story, for sure. And of course, once again, Marvel has a great team of artists on this project along with the writer, Jason Aaron.