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A New Dawn: Star Wars

Written by: John Jackson Miller
Narrated by: Marc Thompson
Series: Star Wars, Book 14
Length: 12 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (113 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....

"The war is over. The Separatists have been defeated, and the Jedi rebellion has been foiled. We stand on the threshold of a new beginning." (Emperor Palpatine)

For a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights brought peace and order to the Galactic Republic, aided by their connection to the mystical energy field known as the Force. But they were betrayed - and the entire galaxy has paid the price. It is the Age of the Empire.

Now Emperor Palpatine, once Chancellor of the Republic and secretly a Sith follower of the dark side of the Force, has brought his own peace and order to the galaxy. Peace through brutal repression, and order through increasing control of his subjects’ lives.

But even as the Emperor tightens his iron grip, others have begun to question his means and motives. And still others, whose lives were destroyed by Palpatine’s machinations, lay scattered about the galaxy like unexploded bombs, waiting to go off....

The first Star Wars novel created in collaboration with the Lucasfilm Story Group, Star Wars: A New Dawn is set during the legendary "Dark Times" between Episodes III and IV and tells the story of how two of the lead characters from the animated series Star Wars Rebels first came to cross paths. Featuring a foreword by Dave Filoni.

©2014 John Jackson Miller (P)2014 Random House Audio

What listeners say about A New Dawn: Star Wars

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From WB

Really enjoyed this lead up to Rebels. Gave some good history on Kanan and Hera. WB.

1 person found this helpful

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Mark is the best voice actor in Star Wars universe

Mark Thompson does it again.
Story and character development is pretty good too. If you have watched all of Rebels then this is a nice addition to what you already know.
Not bad as a stand alone story either.

1 person found this helpful

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Much better than expected

this audiobook did far surpassed my expectations. I love the prequel sense of getting to know Caleb (Kanan) and Hers.
Skelly was a personal fave.

I totally recommend this audio book

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Loved it

Great lead up to star wars rebels. I hope they do more in the future.

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just wow!!

A glowing example setting the bar for all audio books. Mark Thompson is absolutely amazing with different accents and sound effects were just superb!

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Good, Not Great

A New Dawn is the first book released in Disney's new canon and serves as a prequel to Rebels, the animated kids' show.

Frankly, it's strange that it exists. It's most definitely an adult novel, featuring a few grizzly death scenes and an inexplicable fascination with the business details of a mining operation, and its TV follow up is a whacky light-hearted adventure serial comprised of groan-worthy kid jokes and constant near-death escapades. A New Dawn is a slow, mostly action-free tale that doesn't feel typically like Star Wars, which is a nice change for devoted readers, but makes for a strange start to the novels for anyone unfamiliar with the larger canon. It's unclear who A New Dawn is for exactly, beyond the most devoted Star Wars fan seeking to consume every piece of its media. Like me, I guess.

The book only concentrates on two of the show's six ensemble characters, and they are characterized fairly well, though by the end of the story there is still a large gap between their personalities in the book and where they wind up in the future. There are other side characters who join, and it's nice to see the beginnings of simple resistance to the Empire's regime before the overbearing paramilitary feel of the Rebel Alliance.

A New Dawn's strength is in portraying the impact of the Empire on a self-contained society, avoiding the typical space battles and macro-conflicts of most other novels to focus instead on the slow deterioration of quality of life under the new regime. It can get dull in parts but it's a refreshingly simple and self-contained story.

The audio delivery is pretty good. I'm new to audiobooks, and the performance feels a bit over-the-top, but the range of voices and accents is excellent. There are two characters in particular who got on my nerves, and this has as much to do with the exaggerated vocal performance as the disappointingly comic book-styled dialogue. There is also a grating sound effects chain applied to the villain's voice, which makes him sound like he's in an opera hall speaking through a megaphone. It's pretty bad.

I would have preferred reading the novel, but as a way to consume an otherwise pretty inconsequential Star Wars story while doing laundry and dishes, this audiobook does the job. I can't recommend it to fans of the show, and there are far better Star Wars books out there, but it's still an enjoyable heartfelt little tale.

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A Great Star Wars Story

If you're a fan of rebels or just star wars in general check this one out. expands on some familiar faces as well as some brilliant new ones.

Helps paint a bigger picture of the post clone wars Era and the effects of the Empire on the galaxy.

Would love to see this get turned into a feature length animated film.

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new characters

much enjoyed this book. one of the new characters was annoying and the voice used to portray him maybe a part of the problem. The other new character for the book grew on me. by the end I much enjoyed seeing her rise about her skill sets to meet the challenges in true Star Wars form.

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Solid Book - Rebel Fans will Love it!

Great villain, great leads, stays true to the characters, and is overall one of the better SW books.

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  • ira
  • 2014-09-28

Fantastic

I was wondering if this would be consistent with the other stories in the Star Wars universe,shouldn't have worried. The new characters were intriguing and the story was entertaining and enjoyable. Once again Mark Thompson has done a fantastic job with the portrayal of the different characters voices, he makes the different characters come to life.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Troy
  • 2014-09-02

The New Era of Star Wars Begins HERE!

Following on the success of his previous Star Wars offering, Kenobi, and in conjunction with the newly-formed Lucasfilm Story Group, John Jackson Miller throttles us forward from the end of the prequel era and into the Dark Times, the largely uncharted territory between trilogies. The Clone Wars are over. The Empire has risen. The surviving Jedi are in hiding, hunted by Darth Vader and his minions. The management style of the day is subjugation, murder, and wanton destruction. And there are some people in the galaxy who truly see what's going on, and they can't just lie down and take it like "good citizens."

This book takes place some 6 years before the events of the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels animated series, which itself will take place 5 years before the events of Episode IV: A New Hope. In other words, 8 years after Revenge of the Sith, and 11 years before A New Hope, squarely in the midst of the worst time the galaxy has ever suffered.

The story here covers the first encounter of our newest heroes, Jedi Kanan Jarrus and freedom fighter Hera Syndulla (perhaps related to Clone Wars era fighter Cham Syndulla?) as the Rebellion begins in the form of small, isolated cells. It also provides our first look at the new era of Star Wars, wherein everything is officially canon, so in this regard it's a New Dawn in more ways than one.

Although Kanan and Hera are most definitely at the forefront, their first adventure gives us a supporting cast as strong, rich, and three-dimensional as any that Miller has offered in the past. From the conspiracy theorizing Skelly to the Imperial monster Count Vidian (who is a most worthy addition to the Star Wars villains list), the supporting cast give us a very close look at what ordinary life is like under Palpatine's Empire... and what it means to rebel against it.

Kanan and Hera themselves seem to have the banter we've seen in the preview videos already intact, harkening back to the classic days of Han Solo and Princess Leia. It's that kind of dynamic, without being a carbon copy of it. With them, they bring along all of the adventure and swashbuckling we've come to know since 1977. I was excited for Rebels before. Now I'm chomping at the bit for it.

The audio production is as high quality as any of the offerings from the Star Wars camp in recent years. Veteran narrator Marc Thompson plays the roles to the hilt, and the subtle additions of John Williams theme music and those famous sound effects are dropped in to add that extra layer of awesome you just don't get from most audiobooks.

If everything that's been hinted at is true, this animated series will not only tie the trilogies together, but it will eventually play on themes offered from Clone Wars and offer some new threads to be continued in the upcoming Episode VII. As a fan, that's simply too hard to resist. The future looks bright ahead, and this book is the on-ramp.

64 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-03-10

A review by a true Star Wars fan please read!!

I loved this book! My first audio book actually.. many comments say it is good, and many bad. The true answer lies in how much of a Star Wars fan you are. If you love and or seen all the movies, tv shows, games etc.. than I definitely 10/10 recommend you read this! Especially if you are a Star Wars Rebels fan.. if you are a basic watch the movies out of order once every couple months and maybe pick up a Star Wars game once in a lifetime (you know what I'm talking about) I can't really recommend it.. maybe a 3, or 4/10. I admit the first half is kinda slow but picks up greatly in the second half, it always keeps you guessing at the characters fates! I hope this review amidst the probably 100s of reviews can shed a little bit of light to your question to get this audio book or not. This is a basic review by a 100% Star Wars fan indoctrinated in the Star Wars Universe! May the Force be with you..... always...

10 people found this helpful

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  • Admiralu
  • 2017-04-05

Kanan & Hera's First Meeting

Wow! What a ride. I had only recently started watching Rebels and decided to catch up on the story of how Kaman and Hera met. This book does get a bit dark, as the villain Count Vivian is a true monster you definitely hate by the end of the book. It's also a great introduction to Imperial Captain Rae Sloane, I liked her character a great deal. Kaman is clearly haunted and has a great sense of humor and I loved how he had designs on both Hera and Rae Sloane. The romantic tension between Hers and Kaman was very well written and I would've loved to have seen Rebels as an adult show like Rogue One. While it took a bit to set everything up, it became faster paced towards the end. This is the second book I've read by John Jackson Miller, with Lost Tribe of the Sith being first, I love his character insights. I will be looking forward to reading Kenobi. This book was read using immersion reading, with the audio book version synced to the text. As always, Marc Thompson is outstanding as narrator and voice characterizations. He could make a phone book sound interesting. What a beautiful voice!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Eric Voreis
  • 2015-07-01

Great performance, solid if predictable story

After listening to this, I hope the show gives Hera more to do. She is a far more interesting and likable character than Kanan.

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  • A Texan 2
  • 2015-03-13

Decent introduction to new major characters

After having watched the first several episodes of the new Star Wars: Rebels series with my son, I was interested in this book that gives an introduction and some back story to a couple of the main characters. I was also hopeful as this is the same author who also produced the most excellent "Kenobi" novel recently.

While decent, it's no "Kenobi". That's unfair to a degree, I know as this story has to essentially introduce new major characters to the new Star Wars canon, while "Kenobi" gave us a missing chapter in the life of a well known existing character.

Still, while the novel serves as a useful introduction to the characters, I think they deserved a better story. This one has something of a carbon copy feel of other Star Wars stories we've seen and read about before. Miller is definitely capable of better.

The biggest saving grace of this story, at least for the audiobook form that I consumed it in, is once again Marc Thompson's excellent narration.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Chad
  • 2017-03-20

Best yet

Out of all of the new "Cannon" books this by far and Above the best.

....well untill Timothy Zahns books come out ;)


Ps. Never watched the tv series but sure as crap going to know.

Pss. 25 years of star wars book reading experience.

2 people found this helpful

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  • E. C. Naville
  • 2015-03-10

A new dawn is upon us

The book is expertly performance and production makes it feel like one of the old radio dramatization they did in the70's and 80's. The characters are fresh and new unless you watch Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD. An excellent villain brings into mind some of the villains from the 50's Zorro television show. Story felt sparse in spots but like where it is headed. It is interesting that Lucasfilm / Disney decide that the future of Star Wars is so deeply rooted in the past. With episode VII coming out at the end of the year Rebels seems to be the only info that might glimpse into the future.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Marc Fakler
  • 2016-08-27

Filled with potential but a legendary let down

I love Star Wars book and have seen Star Wars rebels so I thought this would be a great mix. But this book was all fluff and leading the reader on to an exciting climax that never happens. There is a lot of lead up to the shortest climax ever. Don't expect to be satisfied after reading this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michael Yankovich
  • 2016-08-05

A new dawn for Star Wars

A great introduction to the stars of the new television show "Star Wars Rebels". I really enjoyed the backstory for Kanan and Hera, two rather enigmatic characters from the show. The show might be child oriented, but this book most definitely was not. Excellent entry into the new Star Wars canon, and worth a read for any Star Wars fan.

For the audiobook: Marc Thompson does a great job bringing the individual characters to life. Very easy to follow.

1 person found this helpful