This is the first Star Wars novel that I’ve read which is surprising considering I grew up with the franchise and played the table top RPG. I can’t say I loved this book but I would definitely read another novelization if it sounded interesting. I believe I first heard of this one on a list of the quintessential Star Wars novels and I don’t particularly agree. It has issues with pacing and the plot is more complicated that it strictly needs to be, but it’s a good foray into the expanded universe.
A New Dawn takes place some time between the events of Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One. The Empire is still fairly new and rapidly expanding throughout the universe. It takes place on the tidally locked planet of Gorse and it’s moon, Cynda, where thorilide, a valuable resource to The Empire is mined and refined. Kanan Jarrus, an itinerant worker with a secret past finds himself pulled into an imperial plot which is the last place he wants to be. He and a mismatched band of characters team up to stop a fearsome and powerful imperial officer whose plans for Gorse could be cataclysmic.
I think my main issue with this book is that it lacks focus. It changes perspective between characters frequently which doesn’t really work here. It might have worked better had it stayed with Jarrus and Count Vidian, the main villain. Nothing is gained, storywise by following many of these side characters. I found this book hard to stay with until the last third or so when the action really started to pick up partially due to this fact. Note; none of the main characters of the films show up aside from Emperor Palpatine who gets mentioned a lot. That didn’t bother me but if that’s a requirement for you in a Star Wars book, give this one a pass.