After Disney/LucasArts announced that all Star Wars books, comics, and games previously published were no longer considered official canon, I was hoping (praying) for really awesome things moving forward. I mean, if you're going to take away my Heir to the Empire trilogy, you damn well better replace it with something spiffy. So it was with much trepidation that I picked up A New Dawn . . .
It's a bit disappointing. It's not terrible, and if you really like Star Wars: Rebels, you have a better chance of liking this story of how Hera and Kanan met. I like Rebels, but I'm not overly impressed with John Jackson Miller's writing. The story itself is entertaining, if a little paint-by-numbers the-Empire-is-evil, but ugh. For the first horse out of the gate they should have hired a better jockey.
This book has just over 380 pages of actual story and 57 chapters. That's an average of 6.6+ pages per chapter. I felt like the book had some form of storytelling ADD. The pacing suffered tremendously for it. Stuff happens, things explode, people die, etc., but it happens with so many chapter starts/stops that it crawls along at a decrepit snail's pace. The editing wasn't up to par, either. Not that there were a ton of typos (there weren't many at all), but there were some prime examples of sloppy/lazy copy editing. In the very first chapter a sentence is repeated word for word a few paragraphs apart, and not in an emphatic or ironic way. Later on, food gets doled out after it's already been eaten, and so on. The quality of Star Wars books has always been a little hit and miss, but with a clean slate I was foolishly hoping they wouldn't slip back into their evil story mill ways.
But I haven't given up hope. A New Dawn may have been disappointingly average, but I hear Tarkin is really good. Fingers crossed.