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Spark of the Resistance Book Review


Page Count: Hardcover, 224

Author: Justina Ireland

Timeline: Follows Resistance Reborn, precedes The Rise of Skywalker

Main Characters: Rey, Rose Tico, and Poe Dameron

Brief Synopsis: After receiving a distress call from a planet in the outer rim, Rey, Rose, and Poe find themselves on an adventure that may help to bring new life to the Resistance.

Gut Feeling

So, because this book is intended for a younger audience, I think many older Star Wars fans are passing up this read. But because it is a part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker series, I decided to read it. I just wanted all the background information that I could going into watching TROS. My favorite part about the book is it featured both Rey and Rose. Because they both had background roles in Resistance Reborn, I was excited to have more of them. Another plus was the writing style didn’t seem too simple, even though it was intended for a younger audience. That was a pleasant surprise. That being said, I had to really motivate myself to finish this book. It was pretty unexciting throughout its entirety. Even though it was a shorter book (224 pages), it felt long. So overall, I was pretty disappointed with Spark of the Resistance, but perhaps it is just a better fit for the intended audience.

Characters (16/20 pts)

Because the three main characters in Spark of the Resistance are also well-known in the Star Wars universe, I look for what other information we can learn about the characters. This is especially true for Rey and Rose because they did not have featured roles in Resistance Reborn. However, I was pretty disappointed with the three main characters in this book. They didn’t seem to have much character development at all. Even though I love these characters in the movies, I did not feel similar levels of love for the interpretations of them in this book. This sucked a lot of the excitement out of the book for me. The most redeeming parts of the book regarding characters where the new characters that joined the Resistance. They didn’t have as prominent roles as Rey, Rose, or Poe, but I still enjoyed what their characters added to the story. Hopefully, we get to see these new characters in TROS. But overall, characters were a weakness. So, I am only giving 16 points. 

Writing Style (18/20 pts)

Another Star Wars novel, yet another New York Times Best-Selling Author. The writing style was one of the few pleasant surprises of the book. Since it was intended for a younger audience, I was expecting the writing style to be the most significant weakness of the book. However, I quickly realized those expectations were wrong. The writing style was better than I expected, even though the perspective of an adult reader. There was more depth in the writing than expected. It is probably less than average in quality when compared to other Star Wars book, due to its simplicity, but I am still taking into consideration the intended audience of the book. From that, I am giving a score of 18 points, which is a score on par with the average Star Wars novel.

Plot (16/20 pts)

The plot did seem pretty well organized. It had a series of peaks and valleys that successfully lead up to a somewhat climactic conclusion. Also, Ireland did a good job of bringing closure to the book. Those were the strengths of the plot, but they were not enough to overcome the weaknesses. For starters, the plot was limited to a single adventure. This greatly limited the overall scope of the book. We could have learned much more about how the Resistance was sparked if the book included more than just this one adventure. Another problem with the plot was it being fairly unexciting. I wasn’t invested in the story at all. It may have hurt that I knew the three main characters would be ok, and there wasn’t much else going on that made me excited to learn how it would end. The ending was pretty expected due to this. So, the plot being unexciting and expected brings me to give it a score of 16 points. The strong organization of the plot is what keeps it from an even lower score.

Intrigue (15/20 pts)

A combination of the unexciting plot and insufficient emotional attachment to the characters significantly hurt the intrigue of Spark of the Resistance. Instead of having motivation to find out what happens in the book, it was my motivation to get this book review out before TROS premiers that helped me finish the book. I really had to grind to finish it, even though it is the shortest Star Wars book I have read. This is even with the simpler writing style that should have resulted in a quick read. Even with books that typically have low intrigue, there are usually sections of the book where intrigue peaks. This didn’t happen during Spark of the Resistance. Due to that, I am only giving 15 points for intrigue.

What does it add? (16/20 pts)

I was expecting Spark of the Resistance to add some interesting information regarding the Force because Rey was a featured character in the story. While there were some instances where we got a glimpse inside of her mind while using the Force, they were pretty limited in their detail. They were also insignificant parts of the book and didn’t add much to the overall understanding of the Force. I was simply expecting more from it. What Spark of the Resistance did add that was positive was a cool new species (the Zixon) and an interesting new weapon (the Echo Horn). There should also be additional clues for TROS that I am currently unaware of. Still, I think there was much more potential to add significant content to the Star Wars than what was explored. I am only giving 16 points for this section.

Logic (0 pts)

The only thing I can think of for this section is that the Rey and Poe in Spark of the Resistance did not seem like the same characters as the Rey and Poe in Resistance Reborn. However, I don’t think I can take points away from just one of the books for that issue. It is more of a problem with the continuity and consistency of Star Wars holistically. So, I will neither award nor take away points for logic.

Final Thoughts

So, my final grade for Spark of the Resistance is an 81/100, or a B minus. This makes Spark of the Resistance my lowest rated book so far. Admittedly though, this book should be received much better when read by the intended audience. But because I am an adult reader and these book reviews are also written for adults, I must review the book from that perspective. I would only read this book if you are wanting all the clues possible heading into watching TROS. But I would rather recommend Force Collector or Resistance Reborn.

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 christiancorah@gmail.com. As for now, I will only be doing Canon books (but in the future that might change).

Start the discussion by clicking on the link to our Discourse forum below or select “forum” via the menu bar above. May the Force be with you!

Christian Corah
"Your focus determines your reality." — Qui-Gon Jinn
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