The Nest (Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space) by Tom Huddlestone

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The Nest (Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space) by Tom Huddlestone

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: The Empire has forced two children to seek their parents at great risk – is this book good enough to force you to follow them?
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 160 Date: February 2016
Publisher: Egmont
ISBN: 9781405279949

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The risk continues. Having faced great danger in their search for knowledge about their kidnapped, explorer parents, Milo and Lina are tracking a rebellious radio broadcast. But once again you can probably bet your life on their quest taking them into great danger, and in a mysterious world of bizarrely crashed spacecraft and wild life, danger is certainly around…

What strikes you most about this series is that for the first time that I know of, the Star Wars Universe is peopled by young heroes – once again there is no data given for how old the children here exactly are – but young heroes that do stand out from regular fiction for this audience. For, while they have a robot that obeys the franchise rules of being half helpful, half utterly annoying, and while she has technical nous and he has a different but equal kind of gung ho spirit, you never want to aspire to their position. Even in a world of wonders and space craft going like the clappers, you can never wish to enter their universe. All they have is each other, and great risk, and alien gloop, and much more risk – and noticeably, once again, no Force.

Yes, while this series is bound to be quite separate from the regular worlds we know of, with new baddies and new heroes, there is so little of the Jedi/Empire world that you really do feel its lack on these pages. Which is the biggest problem. While the writing is perfectly energetic and reasonably bright, this story could belong to any series in existence. It never touches on what makes Star Wars special, and becomes most blatantly generic. The technogabble could come from any sci-fi book, the typical tropes we know from the cinema and countless other stories are just not there, and all in all the whole piece might never really exist.

It takes over from the first book proper in this series – which I am led to believe will be the World Book Day edition and four titles like this one – with the barest minimum in exposition and catch-up, so you'd never know the author had changed if the cover didn't tell you, but similarly nothing really happens in the great scheme of things. It's just an episode, and I begin to feel only the fourth book will have anything like an answer as regards the children's quest. The book is much better in presentation than the gremlin-hit previous, although a couple of illustrations seem to have been left over from a prior draft – but at the same time flawed. You spend too long losing engagement with what is presented here, and wondering if and when the cover illustration will be enacted. That artwork proves there is excitement and drama here, but it's a drama lacking in character, and this book is diluting the heritage of the Star Wars name just that little too much.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

I think Scavenger 1: Zoid by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell starts a series with many merits in presenting a mix of sci-fi and fantasy drama.

Buy The Nest (Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space) by Tom Huddlestone at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Nest (Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space) by Tom Huddlestone at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Nest (Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space) by Tom Huddlestone at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Nest (Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space) by Tom Huddlestone at Amazon.com.


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