Page count: Hardcover, 295
Author: Rebecca Roanhorse
Timeline: Follows The Last Jedi, precedes The Rise of Skywalker
Main characters: Poe Dameron, Leia Organa, Finn, Rey, Wedge Antilles, Rose Tico, Winshur Bratt, and other Resistance fighters
Brief synopsis: Following the events of The Last Jedi, the Resistance has limited resources and leadership. In order to fight the First Order, they must re-group and re-build.
This book definitely did its job in the series of “Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” There is a large gap between Episodes 8 and 9, and Resistance Reborn helps to bridge that gap. It should also make the viewing of Episode 9 more meaningful as there is significant background information that should be applied during the movie. So, for this purpose, the book accomplished what it was supposed to. Outside of that, I wish we got more content on characters like Rey and Rose. They are crucial members of the Resistance, but they didn’t get much time in this book. I understand why we didn’t get much of Rey (because she is SUCH a crucial character that will be explored largely in TROS), but Rose should have gotten more time. We still don’t know much about her, and this book had potential to be a great learning opportunity. This is one of the reasons that made it somewhat disappointing.
However, the story that followed the Resistance fighters was not the entire focus of the book. A separate story line followed Imperial Winshur Bratt. Going into the book, I wasn’t expecting a story told from an Imperial’s perspective, and if I had known it was coming, I probably wouldn’t have been looking forward to it. However, Winshur’s storyline was my favorite part of the entire book. It ended up being an important part of the entire story, and it was a clever add from Roanhorse. In an overall somewhat average book, Winshur’s story shone bright.
Characters (18.5/20 pts)
Most of this book is going to be fairly hard to rate. This is because the story that followed the Resistance and the one that followed Winshur Bratt differed significantly in quality. I could rate both of them separately and have completely different scores. However, because this book follows main characters in the Star Wars universe, I feel I must give the Resistasnce’s storyline the most consideration in my ratings.
Because many of the characters were already established, I look to what additional information I could learn from them. I want it to be both somewhat surprising, but for it to also make sense inside of the Star Wars universe. While there was some new character development for Leia, Poe, Rey, and Finn, I didn’t like the direction that Resistance Reborn took these characters. It didn’t really make sense. There also wasn’t much character development outside of what I didn’t like or any character defining moments for them. I failed to build upon my existing emotional attachment to these characters. The quality of the main characters in the Resistance was the biggest weakness for the “characters” section.
The redeemable qualities come from the new characters. Others are brought into the Resistance had significant depth to them. I enjoyed their backgrounds and I hope they show up in TROS. But the real strength did lie with Winshur’s story. His character, accompanied by Yama Dex and Monti Clay, was very strong. Their storylines were pretty complex, especially for a Star Wars story, but it was done excellently. Their arches were both surprising and made a lot of sense. It was the strongest part of the book and pulls the score from being below average to slightly above average at 18.5. By themselves, Winshur, Yama, and Monti would have received a perfect score.
Writing Style (19/20 pts)
This may be the first Star Wars book that I’ve read that did not have New York Times Bestselling Author next to the author’s name (but I’m guessing Resistance Reborn will be a bestseller). Regardless, this was still a well-written novel. The storyline that followed the Resistance seemed up to par in quality with other Star Wars books. It included much detail that made it a slower read, but the detail was welcoming as it made the story have more depth. Interestingly enough, Roanhorse actually switched her writing style for Winshur’s story. This was a stylistic choice that paid off very well. I don’t say this lightly when I say that this storyline was the best written Star Wars arche that I’ve encountered. The way she developed the characters and told the story was intoxicatingly good. Even though the events of the storyline on the surface weren’t especially exciting, through her masterful writing she made them matter to the reader. It was a pretty sophisticated style and it fit its plot so very well. Winshur’s story on its own would again receive a perfect score, but overall, I am giving a 19/20 for the writing style.
Plot (18.5/20 pts)
For the plot, I will consider the Resistance and Winshur’s story together. Overall, it was essentially what I would expect from a novel titled Resistance Reborn. It made sense to what should have been happening in this time period. The plot was also well developed as it slowly ramped up to a satisfying and exciting conclusion. Overall, she did a good job with the plot as there weren’t blatant weaknesses to it. What I do point out is that the beginning of the book was somewhat unexciting, but it was made up for with a strong conclusion. Roanhorse did a great job at bringing different storylines together into a climactic finish that reminded me of the style done by Paul Kemp in Lords of the Sith. It worked very well as the ending of the book was the part where I did not want to put it down. Because of the strong ending, I am giving the plot 18.5 points.
Intrigue (17/20 pts)
While the writing style’s density may have been a strength for applying depth to the story, it did take a little away from the intrigue. I didn’t feel that I could read large amounts of the book in one setting without needing a break. This combined with the fact that, outside of the ending, parts of the book were not that exciting. Even though this book was just under 300 pages, it was definitely not a quick read. At the end I was intrigued to finish the book, but it does not take away from my feelings regarding the intrigue for the whole book. Because of this, I am giving 17 points for intrigue.
What does it add? (16/20 pts)
Outside of supplying clues to TROS, I don’t think Resistance Reborn adds much significant content to the Star Wars universe. Because the purpose of the book was too add content to TROS, what it added was completely expected. With that in mind, I then look to see what else the book adds to the entire Star Wars universe. Resistance Reborn, much like with Most Wanted, does not supply any information outside of the book’s intended purpose. It does not become bigger than itself. This is the biggest weakness of the book. That being said, I am only giving 16 points.
Logic (0 pts)
The only thing that comes to mind for this section is that some of the characters went directions that I didn’t like. It didn’t seem to make sense with what happened to them previously. But I think this is largely open to interpretation so I will not be taking away any points for that reason. It just seems too biased for me to do so. Overall, Resistance Reborn neither adds to nor takes away from logic within the Star Wars universe.
So, my final grade for Resistance Reborn is an 89/100, or a B plus. The storyline of Winshur Brett was the highlight of the entire book, even though his story was far from the emphasis of the book. On its own, Winshur’s story would have scored very high. While the storyline of the Resistance was good, it just didn’t have the same high quality. This story felt fairly self-contained among the Star Wars universe, outside of supplying clues for TROS. Independent from TROS, it wasn’t my favorite read. But if you want more information on the movie, I would suggest Resistance Reborn as a must read.
I hope you enjoyed this book review and if there is a book that you want me to read or review, please let me know at email@example.com. As for now, I will only be doing Canon books (but in the future that might change).
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