Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown | Book Review

has some nice friendship moments. 

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. I didn’t even get a lightsaber. Cover art is copyright Scholastic.

Jedi Academy is the first book in a trilogy by Jeffrey Brown, the man behind the coffee table books Vader & Son and Vader’s Little Princess. It is about Roan Novachez, a boy from Tatooine who dreams of being a pilot. Remind you of someone? When he’s rejected to Pilot Academy, Roan is offered a place at Jedi Academy.

The premise seems a bit implausible to me. Roan gets rejected to Pilot Academy Middle School, even though “nearly all of the applicants are accepted.” Who is letting all these little children into Pilot Academy? Can anyone do it? Can I do it? Please accept me! Oh. It’s on Alderaan. Nevermind…

Jedi Academy is a non-canon book. It splices the world of Star Wars with the world of Middle School. There are lightsabers and Holochess, but also Polaroids and AA batteries. So, I say it is “implausible” but it is not meant to be 100% legit. It is for fun! I am sure children will understand this. Keep it away from angry middle-aged fanboys who take themselves and their opinions too seriously.

This book is a mixture of journal and comic, written and illustrated by Roan. The parallels to Luke Skywalker and Episode IV will bop you right on the nose. Poor kid, stuck on Tatooine, wants to be a pilot, ends up a Jedi. Jeffrey even named the droids RW-22 and T-P3O!

Roan has a hard time training to be a Jedi. It’s harder for him, because he is starting much later than the other students. Many readers will empathise with Roan’s struggles. Not me, I would never be that incompetent. I will spare some pity for you, Roan.

Both of the school bullies – and the mean teacher – are Zabrak. This seems racist. In a feeble save, one of Roan’s best friends is also Zabrak. For those not in the know, Zabrak is the species of The Crime Lord Formerly Known as Darth Maul.

Jedi Academy is a slice-of-life novel. It has some nice friendship moments, but not much of a plot arc. Recommended for young Star Wars fans who are looking for something light and easy. I may read the sequel, Return of the Padawan. I am undecided.

2.8 out of 5 stars


Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill | Comic Review

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. Cover art is copyright of Katie O’Neill and Oni Press.

No prince has succeeded in rescuing Princess Sadie from her tower prison – but Princess Amria is no prince! Together, the two princesses will save one other and each find their place in the world.

The two princesses are endearing from the start. Amira is optimistic and determined. Sadie is outspoken and emotional. Seriously. That girl could drown a small village with her tears. It’s practically a superpower.

Amira’s rescuing methods are a little questionable. She could have maimed or killed Sadie on multiple occasions, but her perseverance is admirable. Sadie has that inexplicable sheltered blonde girl ability to solve problems with compassion. If anyone else tried this, they’d probably get themselves squished or smote.

Sadie and Amira also meet Prince Vladric. After decrying being helped by women, he then proceeds to tell them how easy they have it and how much baggage comes with the expectations of manly princeliness. Boo-hoo. I think Vladric could have been a more sympathetic character if there had been enough time in the story for more character development. Alas, he shall forever be Butthead.

‘Princess Princess Ever After’ touches on real insecurities. Amira is feeling lost, unsure of where she belongs. Sadie, belittled and degraded, bears a scar of self-doubt. Vladric…well, we covered him. The comic features a diverse cast of characters and an unspoken romantic thread between Amira and Sadie. This might have been argued as ambiguous (by the tragic and desperate) but the epilogue – which was not featured in the original web comic – makes it undeniable.

This is a short but enjoyable story for young readers (and old-er people too) from New Zealand writer and illustrator, Katie O’Neill. I look forward to reading more of her work.

3 out of 5 stars


Wade Wilson’s War by Duane Swierczynski, Illustrated by Jason Pearson | Comic Review

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this review. I could use some to pay for therapy. Cover art is copyright of Marvel.

This was my first Deadpool comic. I am scarred for life.

Not because of the violence, or the language, or the crazy. No. It is because the comic book people played with my mind. They made me question my own sanity. I did not like it. They are the Weapon X of my life and this is my origin story.

The comic starts off savvy. There is intrigue and Deadpoolian humour. Wade is recounting his deadly shenanigans to some official stiffs. There are many scene cuts/flashbacks. New readers who know &^%# all about Deadpool get some insight into his origin story.

Deadpool is a special soul. He is a loony, a maniac. He is also aware that he is a comic book character and breaks the fourth wall. It is marvelous. These traits are all executed in ‘Wade Wilson’s War’ – but then things get whack, and I don’t mean Deadpool-fun-times [lewd pun redacted].

The narrative is psychotically skewed. This is expected from the mind of Deadpool, but this comic tries to imply that all of Deadpool’s antics do just that – happen inside his mind. He is still crazy, but the reader is lead to question whether he is enlightened or just delusional, and the comic is full of conflicting information. Deadpool says this, security footage shows that. What is real? Who is alive? Who is dead? Is Wade Wilson just a crazy man who thinks he has superpowers?

‘Wade Wilson’s War’ takes the unreliable narrator trope and [innuendo metaphor redacted]. If that sounds good to you, read it – but be warned. You may exit this journey with conflicting emotions and more questions that you can contain.

Am I real or a fiction? Am I free or a puppet? Am I sane or a prisoner of my own imagination?

I no longer know.

1.8 out of 5 stars