Part of the all new Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens book series, Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars finds us following friends Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree as they join the Imperial Academy together. At first fresh faced and excited, they are forced to struggle with their oaths to the Empire and their feelings towards each other as Thane becomes disillusioned and deserts to join the Rebellion.
Growing up together on a remote planet, Thane and Ciena learn how to fly together and work hard to be the best pilots in the Empire. However when Thane witnesses the Death Star’s destruction of the peaceful planet of Alderaan, he snaps and defects to the rebellion, joining prior to the battle of Hoth. Piloting for the rebels he also takes part in other major conflicts including the battles of Endor and Jakku.
Despite their strong ties and increasing romantic feelings towards each other, Ciena remains loyal to the Empire, and the pair are forced to fight for opposing sides, despite their ever enduring love.
First things first, I’ll be honest I’m not a love story kind of guy, but I did enjoy the romantic elements of the book. It wasn’t overdone and when it came to the big shows and decelerations of love it was done tastefully and most importantly realistically.
I really like how we get the perspective of someone on the Empire’s side, how they interpret the landmark battles and encounters in ways that we may not have considered. Ciena is undoubtedly a good person believes what she is doing is right and the Empire really is working for the good of the galaxy and at the same time trying to quell the growing terrorist organisation known as the rebellion.
A minor complaint is where the story ended…or rather didn’t end. I thought the pair would meet their end together again on the bridge of the evacuated star destroyer as it ploughed into the desolate dunes of Jakku, however this was not the case. They escaped and the story continued. Again, this is only a minor quibble, and in no way spoiled my enjoyment of the story.
Overall Lost Stars is a fantastic read, providing some very nice alternate takes on some of the Star Wars saga’s most monumental periods, as well as giving us a glimpse at the state of the galaxy AFTER the Empire had fallen. It works brilliants intertwining and weaving itself seamlessly into the narratives of the movies.