Review: Ashoka by E.K. Johnston

When I first heard that an Ahsoka novel was being published, I was so thrilled, Ahsoka was my favorite character from The Clone Wars and I was more than excited when she made her return in Rebels. But there was this gap between the shows and I wanted to know what happened in that time, and that is what this book was about. I pre-ordered it as soon as I could, and then when I found out that Ashley Eckstein was narrating the audio books, well I pre-ordered that as well. Then it arrived, and I was so happy. I (almost) immediately started reading it. My big debate though was whether to read the book or listen to the audio book first, in the end I decided to go with reading it the first time around, saving the audio book for the future.

Now, I dig have to do a small amount of digging, to find out exactly where in the timeline that this book falls. It is mentioned that it’s about one year after the Empire was formed by Palpatine, but doesn’t really break down how long it has been since Ahsoka left the Jedi. With a bit of research, I found out that it’s about two years from her leaving the Jedi that this books events happen.

Things started a bit slow. There wasn’t a lot happening right off the bat and I felt that kind of hurt the book. I want to be pulled in immediately, but that didn’t happen here. In fact, it was a couple of chapters before things started to pick up. Now, some of this slowness is understandable, since Ahsoka is trying her best to keep a low profile. She can’t risk her true identity being revealed, as that would result in her being hunted down, so she had to keep things low key at the start. But once a conflict presents itself, Ahsoka can’t help but get involved, as it is in her nature to help those who cannot fight for themselves.

There were a number of flashbacks scattered throughout the book. These were great as they helped to answer a few more questions regarding Ahsoka’s past, especially in relation to some events that should have been in The Clone Wars, but never happened due to the shows early cancellation. Though there was one flashback that didn’t involve Ahsoka, so that was kind of weird, though I do see why it was added.

Things definitely picked up in the second half of the novel, as more action played a role in things. There were even some connections from the past that popped up, helping to re-establish relationships that Ahsoka had before and forging new alliances that she might not have attained on her own.

The one thing I found a bit disappointing about the book, is that there is an approximately 14 year gap between when she leaves the Jedi and when she reappears in Rebels as Fulcrum, yet this book only covers a small snippet of that time, maybe not even a years worth. I feel like there could have been so much more to this novel, so much more of Ahsoka’s life revealed, but I suppose trying to cram too much in would destroy the book. It’s just that, this was more of a tease than anything else, giving readers a small taste of Ahsoka but not enough to truly satisfy. Hopefully, there will be more books involving her during her journey between Clone Wars and Rebels to help fill in all the gaps.

I would high recommend watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars before reading this book. It really gives a lot of background about Ahsoka, and I feel like the reader will appreciate this book more having watched the series first. Of course you can just dive into this book if you want, but if you want the full Ahsoka experience, then definitely watch the series first.

If you enjoyed The Clone Wars, then this book would be something to pick up. Especially if you are looking for some explanation as to what Ahsoka was doing after Order 66 hit. Overall it’s a good book and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys Star Wars, but it will also appear to general fans of the Science Fiction genre.

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