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Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy (Disney Chapter Book

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Zare Leonis seems destined to become a poster boy for the Empire. His sister Dhara has been accepted into the esteemed Imperial Academy on Lothal and Zare is confident he'll join her in a year's time. But a year can bring plenty of unwelcome changes. Not only does he begin to uncover the Empire's destructive plans for Lothal and the livelihood of its people, but his unease Zare Leonis seems destined to become a poster boy for the Empire. His sister Dhara has been accepted into the esteemed Imperial Academy on Lothal and Zare is confident he'll join her in a year's time. But a year can bring plenty of unwelcome changes. Not only does he begin to uncover the Empire's destructive plans for Lothal and the livelihood of its people, but his unease hits home when Dhara goes mysteriously missing. Zare is forced to question everything and rethink what it means to be a good servant of the Empire. This first book in an original series gives readers an insider's look into a different part of the world of Star Wars Rebels.


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Zare Leonis seems destined to become a poster boy for the Empire. His sister Dhara has been accepted into the esteemed Imperial Academy on Lothal and Zare is confident he'll join her in a year's time. But a year can bring plenty of unwelcome changes. Not only does he begin to uncover the Empire's destructive plans for Lothal and the livelihood of its people, but his unease Zare Leonis seems destined to become a poster boy for the Empire. His sister Dhara has been accepted into the esteemed Imperial Academy on Lothal and Zare is confident he'll join her in a year's time. But a year can bring plenty of unwelcome changes. Not only does he begin to uncover the Empire's destructive plans for Lothal and the livelihood of its people, but his unease hits home when Dhara goes mysteriously missing. Zare is forced to question everything and rethink what it means to be a good servant of the Empire. This first book in an original series gives readers an insider's look into a different part of the world of Star Wars Rebels.

30 review for Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy (Disney Chapter Book

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jim C

    This is based on a story arc from the cartoon series. This is actually a prequel to that episode. One does not need to view that episode to read this book. In that episode we meet Zare Leonis who is an Imperial cadet. Truthfully, he is a spy for the rebels and is searching for his missing sister. In this book, we get to know his sister as well as Zare's disillusionment with the Empire. This all takes place during a sports season that Zare is a participant. This was a quick read that fits in nicely This is based on a story arc from the cartoon series. This is actually a prequel to that episode. One does not need to view that episode to read this book. In that episode we meet Zare Leonis who is an Imperial cadet. Truthfully, he is a spy for the rebels and is searching for his missing sister. In this book, we get to know his sister as well as Zare's disillusionment with the Empire. This all takes place during a sports season that Zare is a participant. This was a quick read that fits in nicely with the show. For a short read we do gain access to many aspects like friendship, government conspiracy, and racism. I did wish there was less sports coverage so the author could concentrate on these aspects. I also believe this book fits in nicely with the whole universe as we see the Empire wield its power and tighten its grip on planets but in the process start to lose people's loyalty. This is the first book of a series and I am looking forward to continuing this series. It isn't complicated reading and this can be enjoyed by fans of all ages.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sophie_The_Jedi_Knight

    *4.5 Wow, I was surprised by how much fun I had with this one. Coming from Ezra's Gamble, I was expecting this to be more middle-grade and casual, but that was not what I read in here at all. This was a fantastic backstory into Zare Leonis. The side characters were also great, and I loved the displays of the Empire abusing their rule and the subplot of them being anti-alien as well. The school year format of this was also really great to follow. I can't wait to get into the next book; I loved thi *4.5 Wow, I was surprised by how much fun I had with this one. Coming from Ezra's Gamble, I was expecting this to be more middle-grade and casual, but that was not what I read in here at all. This was a fantastic backstory into Zare Leonis. The side characters were also great, and I loved the displays of the Empire abusing their rule and the subplot of them being anti-alien as well. The school year format of this was also really great to follow. I can't wait to get into the next book; I loved this. 4.5/5 stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jon Huff

    I really enjoyed this. A simple, quick read. But I was drawn in by the characters and plot. I look forward to the next one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Neil R. Coulter

    The Rebels/Rogue One era is my favorite part of Star Wars. It's very interesting to see how the galaxy recovers from the Clone Wars, and how the rebellion against the Empire develops. This book series was highly recommended from a GR friend, and I looked forward to getting back in the Rebels world and Lothal. It's interesting to see the Empire slowly crushing a planet through bureaucracy and propaganda rather than through outright warfare. This first novel in the series asks the basic question: W The Rebels/Rogue One era is my favorite part of Star Wars. It's very interesting to see how the galaxy recovers from the Clone Wars, and how the rebellion against the Empire develops. This book series was highly recommended from a GR friend, and I looked forward to getting back in the Rebels world and Lothal. It's interesting to see the Empire slowly crushing a planet through bureaucracy and propaganda rather than through outright warfare. This first novel in the series asks the basic question: When is it right to begin fighting against the government? Characters respond in a variety of ways, and each character's response makes sense and feels true within the story. Jason Fry has set up an intriguing narrative. The main protagonist of the series is Zare Leonis, who will eventually connect with Ezra Bridger in the Rebels series. This is his backstory, explaining how he came to the Imperial Academy on Lothal, and why he is the way he is when Ezra finds him. Within this short book are themes of rebellion and submission, family obedience and conflict, leadership and sacrifice, patience and action, and social status and immigration. That's a lot of material for a "young readers" Star Wars book. I'm glad to see someone beginning to write Star Wars stories with that kind of complexity. My only disappointment in this book is the focus on football. Yes, it's call "grav-ball" on Lothal, but from the descriptions, it's basically American football. If sports was going to be such a focus of this book, then I would have liked a more creative imagining of the game. Make something about it different from football. I'd like to read the rest of the series, but alas, this is a case where the public library has failed me: they only have the first book. :(

  5. 4 out of 5

    C

    I have a soft spot for YA books and Star Wars has always fit well into that tradition. I was going to pass on this initially. I was not a fan of Ezra's gamble and I'm not 100% sold on Rebels yet, in general. (I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would, but it has some real issues that are bothering me...) I read some really positive things about this, though, and it convinced me to give it a try. I'm very glad that I did. Fry deftly handles the politics of the new Empire coming to an outer rim p I have a soft spot for YA books and Star Wars has always fit well into that tradition. I was going to pass on this initially. I was not a fan of Ezra's gamble and I'm not 100% sold on Rebels yet, in general. (I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would, but it has some real issues that are bothering me...) I read some really positive things about this, though, and it convinced me to give it a try. I'm very glad that I did. Fry deftly handles the politics of the new Empire coming to an outer rim planet - far better than the adult novels have so far, honestly. It's basically a coming-of-age tale that hits on racism, classism, authority and the concept of real brainwashing. And it does all of this wrapped in an entertaining page turner of a novel. Definitely worth checking out. It's a really enjoyable read. Reread in 2019 (not part of my reread project...). Still loved this one (and interesting that I wasn't sold on Rebels when this came out as I really came around on this show...) and feel like it is one of Fry's best books. He has such great characters...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I've been hungry for more information on the Leonis siblings ever since their brief cameo in Star Wars Rebels, and this book - the first of a quartet - does not disappoint. For a junior novel, it doesn't shy away from politics, economics, or even bigotry ("I have no issues with aliens myself," says one blatantly Space Racist character, "some of my best friends are nonhuman," like ACTUALLY.) It's heavy on the sports, sure, but I can absolutely see that appealing to the reluctant reader. And, of co I've been hungry for more information on the Leonis siblings ever since their brief cameo in Star Wars Rebels, and this book - the first of a quartet - does not disappoint. For a junior novel, it doesn't shy away from politics, economics, or even bigotry ("I have no issues with aliens myself," says one blatantly Space Racist character, "some of my best friends are nonhuman," like ACTUALLY.) It's heavy on the sports, sure, but I can absolutely see that appealing to the reluctant reader. And, of course, the relationship between Zare Leonis and his sister Dhara - his catalyst for joining the Rebellion - is everything I hoped it would be.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christian

    Far surpassed my expectations. I had heard it was a sports novel rip-off of Ender's Game, and admittedly the sports-heavy sections were not my cup of tea. Overall it ended up being much more poignant than I had anticipated, as the story of a young boy coming to understand the injustices of society and government. Even managed to touch on racism in a way that befits the tone of the book. It's certainly no masterpiece of literature, but it's pretty okay for a Star Wars book geared towards 12-year- Far surpassed my expectations. I had heard it was a sports novel rip-off of Ender's Game, and admittedly the sports-heavy sections were not my cup of tea. Overall it ended up being much more poignant than I had anticipated, as the story of a young boy coming to understand the injustices of society and government. Even managed to touch on racism in a way that befits the tone of the book. It's certainly no masterpiece of literature, but it's pretty okay for a Star Wars book geared towards 12-year-olds.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bryan W.

    I've always had a soft spot for the YA Star Wars books, like Last of the Jedi, Galaxy of Fear etc. this was a quick read, but Jason Fry packs a lot of characterization into 172 pages. This is Zare Leonis' real origin story and this had the feeling that this is only the beginning of his journey. It shows a lot of the day to day corruption of the Empire that has ruined Lothal. I've always had a soft spot for the YA Star Wars books, like Last of the Jedi, Galaxy of Fear etc. this was a quick read, but Jason Fry packs a lot of characterization into 172 pages. This is Zare Leonis' real origin story and this had the feeling that this is only the beginning of his journey. It shows a lot of the day to day corruption of the Empire that has ruined Lothal.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jaymie

    Great introduction to this era in the Star Wars universe (between movie III and movie IV) from the side of people who still believe the Empire is there to help. Looking forward to reading more of these.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Excellent middle grade Star Wars adventure. It's a prelude to the Rebels cartoon (the main character Zare appears in "Breaking Ranks", S01E04), but you don't need to know anything about the show to enjoy this book. Excellent middle grade Star Wars adventure. It's a prelude to the Rebels cartoon (the main character Zare appears in "Breaking Ranks", S01E04), but you don't need to know anything about the show to enjoy this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cailey

    Great tie-in and backstory. Adds richness to the world of Rebels.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Richard Haas III

    While this is a prequel to the Star Wars: Rebels episode “Breaking Ranks” in the first season, it is completely unnecessary to have seen that episode or any episode, really, of Rebels. That may not fully be the case for the other books in this series but it certainly is for this one. For a junior novel, I was shocked at how good it was. But again, I feel like this is a testament to the writing. Jason Fry knows Star Wars front to back and recognizes that there is no need to “dumb it down” for chil While this is a prequel to the Star Wars: Rebels episode “Breaking Ranks” in the first season, it is completely unnecessary to have seen that episode or any episode, really, of Rebels. That may not fully be the case for the other books in this series but it certainly is for this one. For a junior novel, I was shocked at how good it was. But again, I feel like this is a testament to the writing. Jason Fry knows Star Wars front to back and recognizes that there is no need to “dumb it down” for children because the films don’t do it so why should he? I can’t stress this enough for authors of middle and lower grade books for kids— writing for kids isn’t an excuse for poor writing. Fry, on the other hand, nails it and writes a story that I can confidently say both kids and adults will enjoy this read. Personally, one of my favorite things about this book is it acts as a way for kids to fully grasp the negative aspect of the Empire as not just “the bad guys” but as a totalitarian military dictatorship under an absolute monarchy. An easy comparison one can make is a dystopian teen novel in the vain of Divergent, The Giver, Hunger Games, or Maze Runner. Applying that theme to Star Wars is absolutely brilliant because that is essentially what the Empire is, but often that oppression is often glossed over. So seeing that dystopia from the perspective of people inside the imperial military— cadets or soldiers— helps paint a bigger and clearer picture of how the Empire operates. Another notion strengthened in this novel Fry tackles was the concept of racism (which is brought to the forefront with speciesism towards aliens and non-humans). Combating racism has always been an underlying theme in Star Wars— whether it was intentional or not. From the original film you see aliens on the side of the Rebels but all of the Imperials are human and often speak with a British accent. Of course part of that had to do with filming in Great Britain and not having the budget to make tons and tons of aliens, but it’s something that the community have embraced in both Legends and Canon continuities: Palpatine is overtly speciesist, therefore so is the Empire. It’s a rarity, but Palpatine has been known to place non-humans in power (such as Mas Amedda, The Grand Inquisitor, and of course, Grand Admiral Thrawn) but does not allow them to becomes stormtroopers or even fully diverse with humans. Seeing this reflected in the novel by having alien grav-ball players be pushed out because of their species was absolutely good thing to add from a writing standpoint— not only to appease logical canon junkies such as myself, but so kids can learn how to combat racism when or if it comes their way or to others around them. It’s another way of teaching right and wrong; the way it was written was extremely tasteful and well done. On a more positive note, the book has tons of diverse concepts that many different kids and teens can gravitate towards: everything from politics, to sports, computer tech, romance, military and even farming. It’s got something for everyone. Additionally, I think it’s a fantastic extension of Rebels. We are introduced to Zare there, but he is completely fleshed out in the novel(s) and it helps add addition context to episodes that feature him and his story. I think the only things I didn’t like the book were really give-and-take problems. Such as grav-ball. The inclusion of the sport was important for a lot of plot reasons as well as reasons to draw kids in who love sports. So I understand that. But as someone who isn’t big into sports, it was kind of hard to follow what the actual sport was. However, once I just imagined it to be space soccer, it flowed a lot better. So that’s nearly a non issue. The next issue is debatable. The back of the book literally spoils a plot point with Zare’s sister that doesn’t even happen until the end of the book. That’s not right, but I can’t really fault the book itself for it, so it’s alright I guess, but nearly everything else hit the mark to with near perfect precision.

  13. 4 out of 5

    DAYADEW

    Of all the things I expected this book to be, "sports story" never came to mind. Granted, it would be space sports story, but still. And I, who could never throw/kick/serve/successfully dodge a ball to save a life was kinda stuggling with the sports terms—space-ness aside—to understand a game that sounded like American football... in space. Not too lengthy like the other novels (A New Dawn) so it's much easier to chew, but not as basic as the novelizations of Rebels season one, so it's no less en Of all the things I expected this book to be, "sports story" never came to mind. Granted, it would be space sports story, but still. And I, who could never throw/kick/serve/successfully dodge a ball to save a life was kinda stuggling with the sports terms—space-ness aside—to understand a game that sounded like American football... in space. Not too lengthy like the other novels (A New Dawn) so it's much easier to chew, but not as basic as the novelizations of Rebels season one, so it's no less enjoyable and in-depth. Aside from the "life lessons" it implants, i.e., destruction of natural environment (Filoni did say he was inspired by Princess Mononoke), a government that does more harm than good, and speciesism (is this a word? I dunno how else to call it), (view spoiler)[despite the fact that said gentlebeing doing the specisism is himself a Duros (can someone explain this to me? I am honestly confused. Aren't Duros non-humans as well? isn't he playing himself?) (hide spoiler)] what I like about this is that it wipes the black and white of Imps and rebels. Show me more grey! There are people in the Empire who aren't evil for the sake of being evil, and misguided characters who genuinely think they're doing the right thing. It's a point of view from the other side of the fence, which I seriously WISH Rebels and probably the whole Star Wars cinematic universe would show more of, because being part of the Empire doesn't always automatically make anyone a bad person. Strong female character? Yes, please! I'm liking Merei more and more by the minute, and I like how she realistically specializes at one thing unlike some female characters loaded with so many capabilities that there's no more room for personality or, God forbid, flaws *coughcoughSabinecoughcough*

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Bulthaupt

    Since no new comics have been coming out lately, I've been using the time I would normally be reading those to catch up on some of the older Star Wars junior novels. I went into Edge of the Galaxy not knowing anything about the series other than the fact that it tied into the Rebels TV show somehow. I came out excited to continue the series and learn more about this new cast of characters. The story takes place on Lothal, one of the main settings in Rebels, and from the looks of things the events Since no new comics have been coming out lately, I've been using the time I would normally be reading those to catch up on some of the older Star Wars junior novels. I went into Edge of the Galaxy not knowing anything about the series other than the fact that it tied into the Rebels TV show somehow. I came out excited to continue the series and learn more about this new cast of characters. The story takes place on Lothal, one of the main settings in Rebels, and from the looks of things the events of the show haven't started yet. The protagonist, Zare Leonis, is fourteen and has just moved to the planet with his parents and sister after having lived on space stations for most of his life previously. We see through his eyes as he learns about his new home and starts to realize that the Empire might not be the force of good everyone seems to think it is. This is definitely an interesting take on Star Wars, since there's a lot of focus on school and sports, which isn't something you usually see, except maybe for the Imperial Academy. It's nice to get some new insight and perspectives on how the Star Wars galaxy maybe isn't so much different from our own. Of course there's the rising sense of unease about the Empire, and by the end of the narrative things have escalated significantly, which just makes me more excited to read the next installment. Being a junior novel, I didn't have the highest expectations for the book, but was pleasantly surprised. I really found myself quite invested in the characters, worried about them, and wanting to know what happens next. If you enjoyed Star Wars Rebels or are a Star Wars fan in general, I think you'll appreciate Edge of the Galaxy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Anderson

    I'm always afraid when it comes to the new canon Star Wars stuff. The entire run has been one of the most inconsistent batches of books probably ever published. This was even more true in 2014, when Disney and LucasFilm were so eager to get stuff out after their merger, that it was pretty obvious quality control was the last thing on anyone's mind. It's a bit of surprise then, that one of (if not the first new canon story is actually pretty good. Part of that is because this particular series of I'm always afraid when it comes to the new canon Star Wars stuff. The entire run has been one of the most inconsistent batches of books probably ever published. This was even more true in 2014, when Disney and LucasFilm were so eager to get stuff out after their merger, that it was pretty obvious quality control was the last thing on anyone's mind. It's a bit of surprise then, that one of (if not the first new canon story is actually pretty good. Part of that is because this particular series of Star Wars stuff isn't mired in the craptastic Skywalker saga. Unlike that disaster of a story, the Rebels timeline makes sense. Yes, this particular segment of Star Wars is geared towards younger fans, but the story it's trying to tell has bearing on the entire franchise and ties in with the original films...unlike the new trilogy. Edge of the Galaxy is also good because, unlike a lot of these YA/young readers stories, Fry's character of Zare and his friends are all teenagers. In other words, characters that fans can relate to. There's no pointless gender politics, no agendas, none of the PC BS that the new canon has ramrodded down everyone's throats. Most kids reading these stories just want to be entertained, or put themselves in the character's shoes, not be preached at. And finally, Edge of the Galaxy is just a good story. It's entertaining, and sets up what eventually will lead to the Rebel Alliance in a way that makes sense.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ahdom

    I am finally going back and reading the chapter books that correlate to the Rebels series. So far, I have enjoyed books adapted from the show as they add the value of character insight. However, my favorites have been the books that are original stories. Jason Fry does a great job on this book, which is a prequel to the Rebels series and is part of a 4 book series that center around Zare Leonis. This book kicks off the series and adds a complexity to the character that you simply cannot get from I am finally going back and reading the chapter books that correlate to the Rebels series. So far, I have enjoyed books adapted from the show as they add the value of character insight. However, my favorites have been the books that are original stories. Jason Fry does a great job on this book, which is a prequel to the Rebels series and is part of a 4 book series that center around Zare Leonis. This book kicks off the series and adds a complexity to the character that you simply cannot get from the show. These are great books for kids, but are great if you just can't get enough Star Wars or love the Rebels series. I am rewatching Rebels and as I do, I am reading the books. This makes a more complete experience for me as I move through episodes. I plan to follow this entire series as I complete my trek through the new canon.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Woods

    Another wonderful book by Jason Fry! I have been really enjoying this series... I read book 2, book 3, and then book 1 unintentionally. Although I read them out of order I was still able to follow the story effectively; most likely because I have seen the Rebels tv show. I absolutely loved learning more about Zare's character and seeing his background story more in depth, which was only briefly mentioned in a couple episodes of the tv show Rebels. I can't wait to read the last book in this serie Another wonderful book by Jason Fry! I have been really enjoying this series... I read book 2, book 3, and then book 1 unintentionally. Although I read them out of order I was still able to follow the story effectively; most likely because I have seen the Rebels tv show. I absolutely loved learning more about Zare's character and seeing his background story more in depth, which was only briefly mentioned in a couple episodes of the tv show Rebels. I can't wait to read the last book in this series!!! :D

  18. 5 out of 5

    Graham Tomlinson

    This is a great little book, the story revolves around all new characters who's lives become overshadowed by the overwhelming might of the Empire. Based on Ezras home planet of Lothal we see how the Empire is initially seen as a kind benefactor to the people but as they begin to see the true nature of the Empire throughout the story their opinions begin to change. A surprisingly adult theme for a young adult novel. Recommended This is a great little book, the story revolves around all new characters who's lives become overshadowed by the overwhelming might of the Empire. Based on Ezras home planet of Lothal we see how the Empire is initially seen as a kind benefactor to the people but as they begin to see the true nature of the Empire throughout the story their opinions begin to change. A surprisingly adult theme for a young adult novel. Recommended

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joss

    Other readers have shared how pleasantly surprised they had been by this short book, although it is marketed for a young audience. I agree. But I personally did not care for the American-football-like sports game, as important as it was to the story. This might be the first time that I feel this much of an «American-ness» to Star Wars, and it threw me off a bit. But that did not bother me enough to make me dislike it, and the overall story connects nicely to the Rebels animated series.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    Mixed feelings. I really enjoyed the worldbuilding of Lothal and the delve into Imperial propaganda as presented to kids. However the overuse of the very (American) football sport took me out of the story often, didn’t feel very Star Wars, and made it difficult to get through despite its short length.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Although it was a junior reader book, I still found it interesting. The set up seemed to introduce lots of new characters. There was way too much sports talk for my liking. There was an excellent level of character development that didn't develop too fast. The pacing was perfect, and I liked how Jason Fry tackled the topic of racism. Overall a good book. Although it was a junior reader book, I still found it interesting. The set up seemed to introduce lots of new characters. There was way too much sports talk for my liking. There was an excellent level of character development that didn't develop too fast. The pacing was perfect, and I liked how Jason Fry tackled the topic of racism. Overall a good book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Roberts

    Too much of a sports focus Overall the storyline is good. It follows Zare's life before the academy but it spends far too much time talking about the sport Grav-ball. Too much play by play that does nothing to progress the main storyline nor add any emotion for the reader. Too much of a sports focus Overall the storyline is good. It follows Zare's life before the academy but it spends far too much time talking about the sport Grav-ball. Too much play by play that does nothing to progress the main storyline nor add any emotion for the reader.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Steven

    A pretty disposable off-shoot of the Star Wars Rebels cartoon, this book is exactly the kind of thing I would have loved to read as a kid.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Joy

    P good

  25. 5 out of 5

    Gef

    A new story starts. Yes it's on Lathol and included people we've met but where are the Rebels? A new story starts. Yes it's on Lathol and included people we've met but where are the Rebels?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Raul Fernandez

    Really enjoyable start to this 4-book series. Fans of Star Wars Rebels take note! My rating: 3.8 Stars

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ekenedilichukwu Ikegwuani

    surprisingly deep story that is very interesting

  28. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Here's the thing, this book wastes so much time. I understand that it's supposed to setup this character and his world, but a lot of that was already accomplished in the Rebels episode where they introduce Zare. I just found a lot of the pre-academy stuff to be boring and it dragged on. The xenophobic coach stuff just seemed to go on for forever and made this just nauseating to read, at times. Learning more about Merei and Zare's family were definitely important for the story, though. I really l Here's the thing, this book wastes so much time. I understand that it's supposed to setup this character and his world, but a lot of that was already accomplished in the Rebels episode where they introduce Zare. I just found a lot of the pre-academy stuff to be boring and it dragged on. The xenophobic coach stuff just seemed to go on for forever and made this just nauseating to read, at times. Learning more about Merei and Zare's family were definitely important for the story, though. I really liked how they intertwined this backstory with what already happened on Rebels.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jaime K

    Zare Leonis is jealous that his sister, Dhara, is able to go to the Imperial Academy on Lothal while he's stuck heading to the Junior Academy for Applied Sciences. The family moved to the planet a month before, and is slowly acclimating to the climate and neighbors. Many families are moving to Lothal; many are locals. It's terribly strange for me to read of the Earth's seasons in a book. That is almost enough to make me drop an entire star rating (yes, I'm cranky and picky at times). but really, Zare Leonis is jealous that his sister, Dhara, is able to go to the Imperial Academy on Lothal while he's stuck heading to the Junior Academy for Applied Sciences. The family moved to the planet a month before, and is slowly acclimating to the climate and neighbors. Many families are moving to Lothal; many are locals. It's terribly strange for me to read of the Earth's seasons in a book. That is almost enough to make me drop an entire star rating (yes, I'm cranky and picky at times). but really, the rest of it is so well written and the plot is good that the seasons are a 1/4-1/2 star drop. I liked the use of the word "stang" though! This is likely not Fry's fault, but the pages are also distracting. Printed on them are slanted grids that are darker towards the edge and lighter towards the binding. I can read it okay but seeing as this is a YA/junior novel and some people in general have poor eyesight, it's distracting and a poor choice on whoever decided that. Can't we just get regular white/light gray pages? Fry explains gravball, which is awesome, and also just how horrible the Empire is. For the intended audience, this book does not veil the evils of the Empire. Zare befriends Beck and Merei. Merei in particular works with Zare to find patterns in their gravball rivals...and then the end up uncovering some mysteries about the Empire's dealings on Lothal. Beck, who lives on the planet, finds devastation in what the Imperials are doing to his land, from something as simple as a bridge to the destruction of the jogan orchards. The latter bit is horrifying and nauseating to read. There is also anti-human sentiment which was done tactfully and very well. Zare is a good friend, teammate, and leader. He learns quickly what it means to be each of those roles, and how contradictory the Empire is. He acts against the unfairness he's seeing in school athletics and learns that he has a block on his Academy application. By the time the block is taken off though - after his sister Dhara goes missing -he couldn't care less about accepting the opening. Beck fights back locally, but he, Zare, and Merei realize that they'll have to bide their time to bring down the Empire. Zare decides to do so from within the Academy. I can't stand Fhurek and have a bad feeling about him with regards to the other books in the series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brandt

    So I've registered my complaints about the Star Wars young readers books in previous reviews although sometimes they get it right, like with the Luke Skywalker adventure The Weapon of a Jedi by Jason Fry. Fry is back this time with a story from the Star Wars: Rebels branded series Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy. Edge of the Galaxy follows the story of Zare Leonis, who is a character searching for his missing sister when he runs across Ezra Bridger's path in the season one episode So I've registered my complaints about the Star Wars young readers books in previous reviews although sometimes they get it right, like with the Luke Skywalker adventure The Weapon of a Jedi by Jason Fry. Fry is back this time with a story from the Star Wars: Rebels branded series Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy. Edge of the Galaxy follows the story of Zare Leonis, who is a character searching for his missing sister when he runs across Ezra Bridger's path in the season one episode "Breaking Ranks." This story provides the background for Zare's story when he meets Ezra, which shows Zare going from a kool-aid drinking Imperial Academy prospect to closet Rebel. In the Star Wars universe, it's tough to come up with a truly original reason for a character to join the Rebel Alliance (as Ezra does overtly and Zare covertly) and ultimately that may be the weakness of this novel. I think the authors feel like when writing fiction for younger readers, they try to cast their characters in a light where these readers can relate more easily to them. But the beauty of the Star Wars universe is such that we don't really need to relate to the rich tapestry of characters that exist there--you know you are going to run into tusk faced aliens just by engaging it. I have a feeling this might be coming straight from Disney editorial, something to the effect of "please Jason, have Zare play sports and be good at it, because kids like sports. And be sure to address racism, because the Empire is really racist, even if we won't come out an actually say it. And be sure that the guy in charge is a real racist asshole so Zare has something to fight against.") These are good lessons for young readers to learn about, but the way these elements are woven into the plot, it is like the literary equivalent of a paint by numbers page. This one should probably be reserved for the hardest of hard core Star Wars fans. Not terrible, but no new ground broken here.

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