REVIEW | Star Wars: Brotherhood | Mike Chen

I was so excited to get a finished copy of this book. Even just looking at the cover had me excited. Mike Chen’s BROTHERHOOD is a fantastic story about Obi Wan, Anakin and Padme, and adds depth to their characters while also telling us about that business on Cato Neimoidia.

Thanks to Del Rey for the finished copy of this book and the blog tour invite. It has not affected my honest review.

Character - 8 Atmosphere - 8 Writing - 9 Plot - 8 Intrigue - 8 Logic - 8 Enjoyment - 9 Rating: 8.29 / 4 stars
Rating: 8.29 / 4 stars

About the book:

The Clone Wars have begun. Battle lines are being drawn throughout the galaxy. With every world that joins the Separatists, the peace guarded by the Jedi Order is slipping through their fingers.

After an explosion devastates Cato Neimoidia, the jewel of the Trade Federation, the Republic is blamed and the fragile neutrality of the planet is threatened. The Jedi dispatch Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the Order’s most gifted diplomatic minds, to investigate the crime and maintain the balance that has begun to dangerously shift. As Obi-Wan investigates with the help of a heroic Neimoidian guard, he finds himself working against the Separatists who hope to draw the planet into their conspiracy—and senses the sinister hand of Asajj Ventress in the mists that cloak the planet.

Amid the brewing chaos, Anakin Skywalker rises to the rank of Jedi Knight. Despite the mandate that Obi-Wan travel alone—and his former master’s insistence that he listen this time—Anakin’s headstrong determination means nothing can stop him from crashing the party, and bringing along a promising but conflicted youngling.

Once a Padawan to Obi-Wan, Anakin now finds himself on equal—but uncertain—footing with the man who raised him. The lingering friction between them increases the danger for everyone around them. The two knights must learn a new way to work together—and they must learn quickly, to save Cato Neimoidia and its people from the fires of war. To overcome the threat they face they must grow beyond master and apprentice. They must stand together as brothers.

What did I think?

I really enjoyed this prequel-era novel. Mike Chen’s love for the series and for these characters shines through every page, and I can’t wait to see what else he writes for Star Wars canon. The most important part of BROTHERHOOD is, obviously, Obi Wan, Anakin and Padme and Mike Chen did them justice in this novel. They were well written and convincingly characterised and I liked the way that Mike Chen managed to expand the characters without straying too far from the prequels. This felt like a continuation of the story I already knew rather than a divergence from it.

I loved getting to see Anakin and Padme’s newlywed relationship, and there was a moment where they went on an utterly ordinary date that I adored. It felt so real, and each of their stolen moments fleshed out their relationship and made them feel more connected to me than the movies had achieved. Obi Wan and Anakin are finding their feet now that they don’t have their padawan and master relationship, with moments of uncertainty as they try to adjust to the new and more balanced power dynamic. Becoming a Jedi knight also meant that Anakin got the questionable joy of working with younglings and I couldn’t help but laugh at his awkward suffering.

We got to see Anakin adjusting to his mechanical hand, struggling with his complicated feelings for the Force and his attachments. He’s diverging from the Jedi path and I liked seeing the depth of his feelings for these changes, it made him feel more developed to me. We also got more information about his mother, his relationship with her and her death. That hurt my feelings so much, in the best way. Anakin was absolutely Padme-focused, and I could see the newlywed energy leeching off of him. I liked that Obi Wan noticed this change in him, and the complex feelings of uncertainty about how to approach the conversation. Again this worked well for the setting of the book, set between two fixed events like the movies. I absolutely love-hated the relationship between Anakin and Palpatine. I know logically that half the point of the prequels is that Palpatine is entirely trusted and fooled our Jedi. That didn’t stop me looking into the middle distance like Jim Halpert every time that Anakin insisted that Palpatine was good and just and noble. Unbearable, and very, very funny.

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Release Date: 10th May 2022

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