REVIEW: Star Wars – Adventures in Wild Space – Book 2 – The Nest (2017)

A Book by Tom Huddleston

Star Wars Adventures in Wild Space is a series for younger readers that comes across in a similar manner to an adventure story such as Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys, wherein kids are left to do fantastical things with little to no adult supervision, except this time in the Star Wars Universe. This is actually the third chronological book in the series, with the first being a prequel chapter that I believe was only released digitally, or at least at first. You can see previous reviews HERE and HERE. The main characters, Milo and Lina, along with their pet Monkey-Lizard and fussy Droid CR-8R have successfully escaped from an Imperial death squad and made a high-ranking officer under Grand Moff Tarkin look pretty foolish, so let’s just say that the heat is on and the kids better lay low pretty soon. Trying to escape to a somewhat low-key planet to follow a rebel transmission, they end up right in the middle of even MORE trouble.

“It is a time of darkness. With the end of the Clone Wars, and the destruction of the Jedi Order, the evil Emperor Palpatine rules the galaxy unopposed. When the parents of Milo and Lina Graf are abducted by agents of the evil Empire while the family is out on a mission mapping the unknown systems of Wild Space, the children must undertake a perilous journey to rescue them. After their daring escape from the planet of Thune, Milo and Lina follow a mysterious transmission to their parent’s whereabouts to a remote jungle planet, where a terrifying evil lies in wait. . .”

This book is interesting due to how soon after the Clone Wars that it takes place, It’s basically right at the beginning of The Galactic Empire, in the same overall time period that Catalyst, Ashoka, and even the Darth Vader Marvel Comic all take place. It’s always interesting to see how these earliest parts of The Empire’s reign get moving – pockets of resistance are here or there, but not everyone is taking their predicament seriously at first. You have people that are VERY pro-Empire, likely thinking back to the terror that The Clone Wars likely caused, while others fear for the wandering gaze of a jack-booted Imperial finger-man at every corner. You have Separatists likely feeling like they have been proven right, and trying to avoid detection. Seeing stuff like this through the eyes of children in a kid’s book is especially interesting, and I’m reading this because this book is more than just un-important fluff – it really helps the world building in this line of Disney canon books.

With that said, this is still a kids book for young pre-teens. It’s just over 100 pages, has pictures, and boils a lot of characters down to what more adult books would consider “Mary-Sue” characters. This is fine in books for this age level, as overly-complex characters with too many shades of gray can be confusing when one is just getting into reading novels. To review this in a manner where I look at any of that as a bad thing would be patently stupid, and I will say that I wish there would have been Star wars books like this when I was younger – I would have destroyed them! Instead we got books like The Glove of Darth Vader (which I need to review), which is arguably one of the worst in the entire franchise!

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. The side-characters were interesting, and the plot of this being something akin to a Kaiju movie was fun. It’s written well for a kid’s novel (hats off to Mr. Huddleston), and due to its world-building any fan of the franchise would likely enjoy it as a quick diversion. I would recommend not jumping out of order with this series as it can be almost seen as a book broken into six parts despite being somewhat episodic. If you have never read earlier books, the book does not hold your hand and explain things too much. I plan to eventually read all of thee so stay tuned for more.

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