Audiobook Review: Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston
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Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Written by E.K. Johnston
Audiobook narrated by Catherine Taber (Publisher: Listening Library)
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press
Release date: March 5, 2019

I am neither a lover nor a hater of the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. I saw each of the three movies in theaters as they were released and I even own a copy of each on DVD. However, I don’t really watch them regularly and I’m not very familiar with related content, such as The Clone Wars animated series. I don’t identify with them as I do the Original Trilogy or, for that matter, the Sequel Trilogy or the Star Wars Story films. They’re just kinda, well, there.

Suffice it to say, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to reading Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow, a book revolving around Padme Amidala set in the midst of the Prequel Trilogy. (I feel like I used these exact same words to describe how I wasn’t initially excited about that Hondo Ohnaka book.)

Then I started getting into it. (This line sounds familiar, too.)

Shortly after the events of The Phantom Menace, Padme Amidala Naberrie has transitioned out after her term as Queen of Naboo expires. As she starts to get into the mindset of a return to life without official capacity, she is asked by the new queen to immediately step up to the role of Senator in the Galactic Senate. Although hesitant, she acquiesces to the request of her queen and relocates to Coruscant with several of her handmaidens, decoys, and security staff who all readily volunteer to continue their service. What we get is a book detailing her life as a Senator, from the ugly first missteps to her acquiring greater power due to an alliance with other, more veteran Senators.

Let’s face it, by Star Wars standards, that seems pretty dry. But it’s actually interesting if you give it a chance. Just don’t expect it to be a big dogfight in space or a grand army shootout on the ground. E.K. Johnston‘s writing kept me engaged and I really enjoyed Catherine Taber‘s narration. She certainly has the pedigree for it, as she was the voice of Padme in The Clone Wars animated series.

There are two things I took away from this book…

The first is a much greater understanding of the role of the handmaidens and decoys, as they were focal characters in this book. From Sabe and Rabe to Dorme and Corde and a half dozen or so more in between, I had no idea there were so many nor did I have a firm grasp on what it was they did or their level of dedication to their Queen/Senator. It’s impressive. I really enjoyed their characters as a result.

My second takeaway is that the epilogue was mindblowing! I saw some of it coming, but the final two minutes of audio caught me completely off guard and I actually re-listened to it two more times and found myself cheering, I loved it so much.

Perhaps it’s time to give the Prequel Trilogy another chance.

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