Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★
Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Lucasfilms Press for providing this eGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Queen’s Peril shows Padme Amidala’s becoming the Queen of Naboo including moments before her election to the selection of her handmaidens and molding the group of girls into her own personal body doubles and bodyguards if need be. It runs just up to and parallel to The Phantom Menace so there is a lot to digest in the later half of the book.
First I’m going to talk about what I liked. In contrast to Queen’s Shadow, there was a lot more action and less politics, even though politics do take up the first half of the book give or take. I felt the pacing was a bit better and it was less dry. I understand something that revolves around intergalactic politics would be a bit dry and boring and it was great to have that perspective in relation to The Phantom Menace, especially with the various figures, Palpatine for one pulling a certain set of strings.
Other than the pacing I did feel like E.K. Johnston captures the characters well. I could almost hear Padme’s voice when I read her words the same went for Obi-wan and Qui-gon when they made an appearance. I really liked their banter.
As for everything else. I’m going to parrot other reviewers that I peeked at and say that it does gloss over The Phantom Menace when it is slowly building up the events in the first third or so of the book. All the players were slowly stepping into their places and I felt like there was going to be more of a adaptation or perspective than there really was. You know, from a certain point of view. The events were rushed through at such a rate that I had to wait for certain landmarks from the film to figure out where we really were in the timeline, but maybe that was just me.
That and I felt that some of the plot points were a bit contrived, especially with the selection of Padme’s handmaidens before she was elected, this isn’t a spoiler it happens within the prologue. Also, the girls do seem to be a bit juvenile but I overlooked it because Padme was 14 years old even though she did carry herself as much older in some ways. The girls bickered and fought at a couple points and while I did enjoy seeing what happened to her handmaidens during The Phantom Menace when Padme was off with Qui-gon and Obi-wan, I did want to see more of her and Sabe who is the current rising star of the era.
In true Star Wars fashion, while the pacing was good the plot did meander but that is kind of the style of the writing and the movies. They gave you glimpses that stitched together to tell a larger story over the vast expanse of space. I just felt like it was building up, as I said earlier and kind of puttered out. I would have liked to see more.
The handmaidens like in Queen’s Shadow were a blur to me. I could really only pick out a couple of them other than Sabe and I did appreciate having them around because it did show how the girls would interact, protect and cover for each other in a way. Some of the girls kind of blended together in my imagination to become one handmaiden. More time or focusing on one other than Sabe might have benefited the plot instead splitting them up and jumping around during The Phantom Menace events.
You’re looking at my review then at my rating and going, wait, you gave it four stars. Well, I love Star Wars. I eat this up and I get teary eyed when I read about my favorite characters. I feel this did the era and the characters justice and I did enjoy it and felt like it resonated with me more than Queen’s Shadow. I know others are having differing opinions, but those are mine.