Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy. Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them.
I have never made any secret about the fact that I love novels that tie-in to movies, televisions shows, video games and comic books, with multiple examples featured on my blog and Goodreads page. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a huge number of tie-in novels are going to appear on my must-read list for the future. This week I am taking a look at two intriguing young adult tie-in novels that are going to be released in early March 2019: the latest Star Wars novel, Queen’s Shadow, by E. K. Johnston and the fourth book in the DC Icons series, Superman: Dawnbreaker, by Matt de le Pena.
I am a massive fan of both the Star Wars and DC Comics universes, and generally go out of my way to watch, read or play anything associated with these franchises and extended universe. Honestly, I am going to get both of these books no matter what, but I may as well try and discuss what about these books I am most excited about.
Both of these books have some pretty awesome-sounding story premises. Queen’s Shadow will apparently follow a young Padmé Amidala immediately after the events of The Phantom Menace, as she transitions from Naboo’s queen to its representative in the Galactic Senate. I think it is a story with some potential, as this book is likely to become a bit of a political thriller/espionage hybrid, and will explore the politics of the Republic leading up to the Clone Wars. No doubt Padmé will see some forms of corruption and intrigue, as well as the future Emperor’s devious plots. I am also looking forward to Padmé getting a story to herself. While Padmé started off as a badass ruler in the movies, most of her appearances were overshadowed by that frankly terrible romance with Anakin (he’s an angry, stalking man-child who attempted to hit on her by talking about sand, and the whole age gap is pretty darn creepy). Therefore I will be extremely happy to get a story which will hopefully have no appearances from Anakin, and which will allow the character of Padmé to live up to her own potential (although I will not be surprised if creeper teenage Darth Vader makes some sort of appearance in this book).
While Queen’s Shadow has an interesting-sound story premise, I am actually a bit more intrigued about the proposed story in Dawnbreaker. It sounds like it will focus on a young Clark Kent still living in Smallville as he learns to control his powers and find his calling as a hero. Clark will find some dark secrets in the heart of his small town and be forced to investigate. I have no doubt that this will be an intriguing re-imagination of Superman’s origin, and I am eager to see what sort of mystery or villain will be behind these terrible events. Just from the synopsis alone, I think this book has potential, and I am looking forward to uncovering all of the story’s hidden secrets.
Another reason why I am hoping to get copies of both of these books is due to my previous experiences with these authors or franchises. I have been in a real Star Wars expanded universe mood for the last few years now, but I am also excited to get another entry from E. K. Jackson. I previously read her last entry in the Star Wars universe, Ahsoka, and I was struck by the author’s understanding of the character and the intriguing young adult storyline she was able to create. As a result, I am eager to see this author’s treatment of another strong female Star Wars character, and I hope she will craft another great story. I have not previously read anything from Dawnbreaker author Matt de le Pena before, but I have read some of the previous books in the DC Icons series before, such as the last book, Catwoman: Soulstealer. I really enjoyed the unique ways the author of that book was able to alter the established origin story of Catwoman, so I am very eager to see the new and different story DC will allow in Dawnbreaker.
While I will be very happy with physical copies of both these books, there is a very strong chance that I will seek out audiobook copies. Both Queen’s Shadow and Dawnbreaker will have their audiobook formats released at the same time as their paperback formats, and neither audiobook sounds like it will be too long, with Dawnbreaker apparently clocking in at around eight hours, while Queen’s Shadow is only a little longer, at 10 hours. After listening to the audiobook version of the previous DC Icons book, Catwoman: Soulstealer, I know that they will do a good job with it and produce an enjoyable and easy-to-listen-to book. I am really excited about the audiobook version of Queen’s Shadow. Not only is it likely to have the same high-quality production value, music and sound effects that the previous Star Wars audiobooks have all featured, but it will also be narrated by Catherine Taber, the voice of Padmé in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated movie and television series. With Natalie Portman extremely unlikely to narrate an audiobook, Taber is the perfect voice to get for this book. Not only does she have a perfect Padmé voice, but fans of extended Star Wars universe cartoon shows will love to see her jump back into the character, especially as she is likely to voice the character again in the recently announced new season of The Clone Wars television show. With the producers going all out for Queen’s Shadow’s audiobook format, it will be a hard target for me to miss and will no doubt be an incredible way to enjoy this book.
These two books will be among the first two tie-in books of 2019 that I seek out, so I am really hoping that I will enjoy them. I think both of them have intriguing sounding stories, and I have had some great experiences with their respective franchises and their specific authors or series. I am very likely to get the audiobook version of Queen’s Shadow, but I will have to see how I go with Dawnbreaker. I have no doubt that I will really love both of these books, and I am definitely going to get copies of both.