Sunday, January 26, 2020

Read, You Must: Spark of the Resistance

“We are the spark, that will light the fire that will burn the First Order down.”
- Poe Dameron, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Continuing the series of movie tie-in middle-grade Star Wars novels from Disney-Lucasfilm Press is Spark of the Resistance, released last year as part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker promotions.

Author Justina Ireland (Lando's Luck) gives us a fun and exciting side adventure featuring Rey, Poe, Rose and BB-8. There are no major connections to the events of the movie, but it gives an idea of what the Resistance were up to between the films, and how they managed to regrow the movement against the First Order after the devastating losses at the end of The Last Jedi.

Rey, Poe, Rose and BB-8 are on a special mission when they detect a distress call from the planet Minfar. Being the "good guys" they are, they ignore their orders from Leia and decide to help. Once there they encounter the Zixon, an alien species who live in an amazing underground society after their fights with the Empire. Now the First Order are the new enemy, and the Zixon aren't going to take it any more.

The plot revolves around a race against time to find an experimental and dangerous new technology called the Echo Horn before the First Order can use it against unwilling citizens of the galaxy.

The other half of the story involves the internal power struggles of mid-level leadership within the First Order, namely a pompous new character Commander Spiftz, who will stop at nothing to capture the Resistance leaders and the prized Millennium Falcon! 

His clashes with his scientist advisors and his core belief that he is always the smartest person in the room make him a great new villain. Much of the humour in this 224 page novel revolves around Spiftz, some of the inept people below him, and his own delusions of grandeur.

With occasional illustrations by the always-excellent Phil Noto, the book is a fun addition to a young Star Wars fan's bookshelf.

Star Wars: Spark of the Resistence is a fast-paced and enjoyable adventure, particularly for fans of Rey and Poe.

(Publisher's Recommendation: 8 -12 years)

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