Book Review: Star Wars The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster

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The long-awaited 7th chapter of the Star Wars saga brings old characters and new together in an epic adventure sure to excite fans a lot more than the prequels of ten, fifteen years ago. We went into this movie expecting a lot and, for the most part, the movie delivered. But what about the book?

I’ve been a fan of Alan Dean Foster ever since reading his novelisation of Alien 3 back in the day. With a dramatic change of pace, the film proved to be divisive among fans of that series and yet Foser seemed to relish the chance to commit its somewhat muted story to print, lending characters such as Charles Dance’s Clemens  more definition than even the movie offered.  And that should be the job of the novelist – to breathe even more life into those characters onscreen, to offer fans a greater insight to their actions and motivations, their hopes and fears. And here, in The Force Awakens, Foster does it brilliantly.

It’s not just the characterisation he excels with. Foster’s clipped, uncomplicated writing style is a good fit for action, too, and the film’s many set-piece battle scenes are expertly relayed. Whether it’s in the cockpit with X-Wing maverick Poe or on the ground with Finn, Rey, Solo & co, Foster does a bang-up job of transporting the reader right into the heart of the conflict, those pages turning with royal abandon. It’s not a long novel, weighing in at just under 300 pages, but I had torn through it in no time.

For me, The Force Awakens movie was an instant classic, a triumphant return to form and an exciting new chapter for this timeless saga. In the novelisation, Foster knows that and, more importantly, embraces it. No die-hard Star Wars fan should be without a copy.

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