26 October 2015

Why it's Taken Me Two Months to Get Through the New Star Wars Novel

Forget for a moment, that Disney bought the Star Wars franchise, and go back to the old universe. My sisters and I read most of the novels that came out. I did give up when Jacen Solo turned into a total idiot and started killing everyone he could get his hands on, so I never did finish the entire lot of novels. But in general, I'm a huge fan of Star Wars and the expanded universe.

Now you will recall that Disney has bought the Star Wars franchise. I saw a new book advertised, and almost ran out and bought it that day. I hesitated-I was probably writing like a mad woman. Anyway, I saw on Instagram that a neighbor had it. I may have put up a post akin to, "I need!"

Two days  later, his wife dropped the book of at my house.

A little chorus of heaven sounded there for a second.

Even though I was under a big deadline for my own writing stuff, I snuggled into the couch and pulled the pages open. The hard cover felt heavy but familiar in my hands, and my eyes eagerly swept over the first few chapters.

I was expecting the Star Wars feel. I was expecting more than one familiar character. I was expecting a Point of View I cared about, or was even interested in. I didn't really get any of that.

I'm not familiar with the author or any of his other works. Perhaps his writing style is heavy on the ADD side, and that jumping from character to character every two pages is normal. Plus it's in present tense, which is distracting for the first two or three paragraphs of every character switch. Which, like I said, take place ever two pages.

I hate it. With so many unfamiliar names, places and races (and hey, I'm a good reader. I can usually keep track of this info-dumpy stuff) I got confused. And annoyed. And more confused.

Each time the author went back to an interesting character, he or she only lasted a few pages before we were whisked off to another corner of the story to see another minor detail that I'm sure, if I could persist, would be a tiny thread in the beautiful web that this book is supposed to build.

And the metaphors. I'm all about immersing oneself into the universe, but this guy takes it too far. I give him credit for trying to make each character's voice sound different, but "The bala-bala lurched forward like a tauntaun with its tail stepped on" gets old after 300 pages. There are dozens of them, and while they are clever, I simply found them distracting. As if the author tried just a little too hard, and got in the way of his own storytelling.

Yes, this is harsh. But that's how I feel. I'm hoping the next one will be better, because I'd hate to have to ignore all of those lovely, Star Wars novels.

Although, I do have all of the comic books so far. So maybe I'll be okay.

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