The Force Awakens (Star Wars)
Decades after the events of Return of the Jedi, the galaxy remains unstable. The burgeoning New Republic turns a blind eye to The First Order, successor to The Empire in all but name. Only a small resistance stands against the First Order as both forces search for the missing Luke Skywalker. And the future rests on the choices of a stormtrooper-turned-deserter, a crackerjack pilot, a scavenger, and a plucky little droid.
I was optimistic at the outset, not only because Star Wars novelizations have a habit of building upon and offering greater detail into scenes from the movies, but because Alan Dean Foster was at the helm, and The Approaching Storm remains one of the best Star Wars novels of the last two decades.
And although The Force Awakens is a perfectly suitable adaptation of the film, it doesn’t strive to be anything more. In fact, except for explaining how Poe got off Jakku and offering a cute scene between C-3PO and a dormant R2-D2, it’s simply the movie in novel form. Instead of reigniting and expanding on the theatrical experience, it feels like a missed opportunity.
Alan Dean Foster