Star Wars: Padawan by Kiersten White
Obi-Wan Kenobi feels like he's failing his Master, the Order and himself at nearly every turn. When Qui-Gon fails to show up in time for a mission, Obi-Wan impulsively leaves on his own, chasing a planet that seems to have been lost in the days of the High Republic. He will either find his way - or become even more hopelessly lost if he doesn't centre himself.
My main gripes with this book are pretty much the same gripes I have with the other titles in the Disney canon. Not everything needs to have connection to the High Republic! Geez! I mean, yeah, I liked Orla but they did her so dirty and this book just reawakened my anger. I'm also getting very tired of standalone titles that terminate without much growth or anything new said. Could we perhaps have more serieses? To allow the characters and plots some breathing room?
Full disclosure: I'm a diehard fan of the old Jedi Apprentice series and yes the bookmark I used while reading Padawanwas carefully excavated from my copy of The Mark of the Crown back in 1999. So... this book was never going to match up to the Legends canon for me. Which is fine. Padawan even managed to catch an echo of what I enjoyed about JA every now and then... but Obi-Wan acted like a tween instead of a teenager, I started twitching every time he "laughed" (WAY too many times and often on the same page - was the editor really tired or something?), and there was none of that breathing room I was talking about.
And then there was that weird freaking moment. You know the one. Before it happened, I was quite pleased by the inclusion of a non-binary character who felt like an organic part of the the story. In contrast, the exploration of Obi-Wan's possible sexuality was not organic in the slightest. It was so awkwardly done and didn't feel true to his character.
Ahem. That all said, I'm still going to think of this book fondly because I'm just jazzed to have some Obi-Wan content. And that's a great cover. And the pages smell nice. I'm grasping here, aren't I?
Alyce Caswell, when she isn't buried in a book or drinking her way through a giant pot of tea, is a keen writer of science fiction and romance. She has published two novels and four novellas in her space opera family saga, The Galactic Pantheon Series.