The other day I came across a couple of articles I’d saved a long time ago to read later. 27 ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ questions answered by the novel and 45 ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ plot details explained by the novelization. Reading through them I got intrigued and figured I should read it for myself, and, having recently started listening to the Star Wars Episode I audiobook, I quite liked the concept of adding in additional sound effects and music. It doesn’t work for each book – I certainly wouldn’t want to listen to the LotR audiobooks with it or even Harry Potter – but in this case it does.
Both of the articles are already talking about some reveals or additional bits of information, but they don’t talk about the book as a whole. It works. It feels like reading an extended edition or a director’s cut and the added in sections mesh well. They also go a long way in exploring the characters – for example Rey is not quite as nice as the film shows, she was about to complete the transaction to sell BB-8. General Hux’s speech spouts more idealistic nonsense and having Unkar Plutt track her to the cantina shows that there’s a lot more we don’t know.
Some choppy writing asides – mostly around Leia or scenes intended to be filled with desperation – the book is good and the audiobook with the differently done voices is brilliant if a tad over-acted at times. Bala-Tik sounds amazingly Scottish, Phasma and C-3PO sound metallic, and most are spot on except perhaps Finn who comes across a little flat. The sound effects are timed well though the music a little heavy handed at times.
4/5 – I enjoyed it!