A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller, now available in paperback, was the first release in the new Lucasfilm-sanctioned Star Wars related canon.
It introduces Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla, central characters of the Star Wars Rebels TV series on DisneyXD. The book’s villain, Count Vidian, is an interesting character who has worked his way into the Emperor’s service as a corporate efficiencies expert, using the full might of the Imperial war machine and a license to kill that would make 007 blush to enforce impossible quotas. (Seriously — if he were around for the Death Star project, things may have turned out somewhat differently for the Empire.)
A New Dawn is an enthralling story, but it suffers from the same problem as the other new canon titles — while it introduces interesting new characters and environments, ultimately there’s nowhere for them to go in the Star Wars narrative that we can’t see coming, unless the Lucasfilm Story Group really is playing the long game and seeding the post-Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens future with concepts squished in between the prequels and the original trilogy.
The recently released paperback edition of A New Dawn debuted a new timeline for the streamlined Star Wars book universe, which includes an upcoming Battlefront video game tie-in set before The Empire Strikes Back as well as the Clone Wars-era Dark Disciple (July 7) and Aftermath, which follows Return of the Jedi and helps set up The Force Awakens.