Review roundup: Everyone likes (at least!) Kenobi

john-jackson-miller-kenobi-sdccStar Wars: Kenobi came out in hardcover this past Tuesday, and you’ve already seen Dunc’s review on John Jackson Miller’s novel set under the Tusken suns. Hint: she gave it an B+. And we know know critical she can be.

But what are other folks saying about the Western-style tale on Tatooine? Here’s a big stack of reviews (both spoiler-free and other wise) with your name on them! Most everyone seems to give strong approval to Kenobi!

Most of these reviews have some minor spoilers in the department character names and descriptions, but no real plot giveaways. Any that go beyond are so flagged.

  • Bryan at Big Shiny Robot calls it a classic and dives into some of the dilemma Obi-Wan faces and gives the novel high marks: “This book is top tier Star Wars writing and what the Expanded Universe should look like” and says of the writing: “So good that you’ll want to take it slow and savor it for every moment you can.”
  • Mike at Eleven-ThirtyEight points out that “this may be the smallest-scale Star Wars novel ever” and “Kenobi is the rare Star Wars novel that, in addition to telling its story, is about something…” and dives into an explanation of a core theme of the novel (though not necessarily the plot). They also have a roundtable on the book this morning.
  • Bria at Tosche Station rates it 5/5 and “Kenobi is easily one of the best Expanded Universe books in years” and points out that Miller “also gives a shining example of how to casually work continuity into the text without beating readers over the head with it.”
  • Brian at Tosche Station sums it up with “this is a book that should be on every Star Wars fan’s bookshelf” pointing out that this book is not only great (5/5), it also is very accessible to all fans: “anyone can pick up this book regardless of how much Expanded Universe content they have.”
  • Pete at Lightsaber Rattling says to buy it now and thank him later, finishing with “I cannot stress just how much I enjoyed this story and the loving craftsmanship that John Jackson Miller put into it.”
  • Kay at Fangirl Blog gives it 8/10 with “Star Wars: Kenobi is the Star Wars book I was looking for” and “I hope we get more character-focused stand-alones like this in the future” though found one aspect to be a minor annoyance.
  • Skuldren at Rooqoo Depot rates Kenobi 5/5 and concludes: “Whether you are a fan of the books or just the movies, this is a story worth reading.” and also points out “For readers who enjoy strong female characters done right, … delivers the goods.”
  • Aaron at Star Wars Report describes his own expectations and chimes in with “Kenobi is really more a story about a family who comes into contact with Ben and how it changed their lives. It is also a nice look into the head of Ben as his own world is changing and he has to come to grips with it.”
  • William at EUCantina gives out a little bit more spoilers, rating the novel 5/5, praising it with “one of the finest novels in recent memory” but points out a minor complaint.
  • Megan at Knights’ Archive gives some big spoilers, and while liking the new characters, is a little disappointed: “It’s his name on the cover, but only a fraction of the book is from his point of view.”
  • Also at Knights’ Archive, Brian calls buying it a no-brainer: “John is an expert at character development, and his craft shines brightly in Kenobi. Heck, he even had me worrying about the fate of an eopie. That’s great writing.”

So it seems that nearly everyone is giving Kenobi the thumbs-up, especially for the writing and the characters. So, back to the title question: Kenobi or not Kenobi? There is only buy.

12 thoughts on “Review roundup: Everyone likes (at least!) Kenobi

  1. Lane

    I’m actually relieved that there was a limited amount of Kenobi POV in the book. It preserved a lot of the mystery around his character while still accomplishing exactly what we were told the book would do, show how General Kenobi became Old Ben.

    I did expect to see more of him in the book, but instead I feel like I got something better. Instead of a book about Kenobi told primarily through his POV, I got a book about the legend of Old Ben and how his story and reputation of Tatooine was built through the eyes of others.

  2. Aaron

    As I wrote someplace else, I expected to see more of Obi-Wan as well. I get why JJM didn’t use him more, though. What I didn’t get is why he didn’t play the Qui-Gon card at all. I mean: Why couldn’t Qui-Gon answer at least once? The whole book seemed to move toward an answer, and nothing ever came.
    Okay, maybe Obi-Wan wasn’t there, yet, but I did feel a bit cheated at the end…

  3. John Jackson Miller

    Another book had set the terms for communication in our story, and we needed to stay in keeping with what had been established. But I wouldn’t have wanted otherwise, really. I talk in more detail about this in my production notes, which should be online in September.

  4. Aaron

    Speaking of Westerns: A couple of years back I commissioned a Western/Star Wars piece featuring a younger Obi-Wan. Just thought I’d mention it, because I do love Westerns. :-)
    And BTW: If anyone else likes Westerns, you should read the early draft Leigh “El Dorado/Rio Bravo” Brackett wrote for The Empire strikes back. It’s (in part) a Western. Not necessarily a very good one, but it does have “Indians” on Bespin. ;-)

    1. Dunc

      I saw several mentions of Westerns, but I didn’t bring it up myself… Because, as James says, I don’t know the genre at all.

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