Brotherhood by Mike Chen Spoilers Ahead
If you’ve ever thought about the events between Attack of the Clones and The Clone Wars, specifically wondering about Cato Neimoidia, then Brotherhood by Mike Chen is the right book for you. Or, perhaps none of these events have crossed your mind, and you’re merely searching for more to dive into with characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker — it’s still the book for you. In short, as one of the most wrecking tales to date, the novel is for all Star Wars fans.
Official Synopsis: “After an explosion devastates Cato Neimoidia, the jewel of the Trade Federation, the Republic is blamed and the fragile neutrality of the planet is threatened. The Jedi dispatch Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of the Order’s most gifted diplomatic minds, to investigate the crime and maintain the balance that has begun to dangerously shift. As Obi-Wan investigates with the help of a heroic Neimoidian guard, he finds himself working against the Separatists who hope to draw the planet into their conspiracy–and senses the sinister hand of Asajj Ventress in the mists that cloak the planet.”
As someone who primarily focuses on romance novels outside academic texts, I was especially floored with Chen’s tone throughout the entirety of Brotherhood. It was easy to dive into right from the start with the kind of transcendent language that I found myself in tears multiple times.
The type of writing and tone that makes The Clone Wars such a marvel is where Brotherhood by Mike Chen lies. As the novel fills gaps with the quiet moments we’re all tirelessly longing for with our favorite characters, Chen’s structure of digging into internal monologue looks toward the profound corridors that break and shatter readers. Through every word and the spaces in between, Chen brilliantly brings to life not only Anakin and Obi-Wan’s brotherhood but Anakin and Padmé’s romantic relationship, which made me feel for them for more than the prequels managed to. We are told enough and what we see is extraordinary in conveying emotional beats that shift and stir the vast universe.
When diving into key moments through drawn-out moments of disbelief and vulnerability, Chen’s tone brings nuances to the characters that are bound to leave a lasting impact. I’m personally going to be haunted by every mention of Satine Kryze and the what if’s that lingered on the page, the fleeting thoughts that stayed, and the emotions that moved throughout Obi-Wan.
It’s an effortless novel to plunge into, but the emotions are so palpable times that it’s rightfully overwhelming and simultaneously heartbreaking. The adventures are one thing, but the heart is another, and how Chen layers the details advances the character arcs beautifully while strengthening the friendships in a way that makes the events of Revenge of the Sith far more brutal. And with the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the series, it’s far more understandable to feel the distraught and visceral disturbance in the Force. It was always brutal, but with every added layer and new memories to explore, the heartbreak worsens while the story strengthens.
Further Recommended Novels: Padawan by Kiersten White