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This book is quite the departure from a normal Star Wars novel, but that makes it memorable. More grim and graphic than most, although not gratuitous or without reason. I found the details of the warrior customs interesting instead of filler, the story engaging, and the ultimate payoff worth the trip. This is a helluva origin story for someone who was onscreen in The Force Awakens for less than five minutes and only had a handful of lines. I hope she's more prominent in The Last Jedi, after this read I definitely want to see her in battle on screen. Very different, but impressive, with a good performance as well, I found January's shifts to male voices to be particularly strong. The new EU has been good lately, with Thrawn and Catalyst being good standalone stories that tie in well and actually feel important, and this is on par with both.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
The story was actually pretty good... accept for the main characters. I am a huge Star Wars fan, I really want to like this book, but I can't. Phasma in this book is a model Mary Sue (Also I'm pretty sure psychotic, literally). She never does wrong and she doesn't have that much character progression. What there is, is subtle and it seems well executed character progression at first. But, at the end we find out this is really just how she is and has been since a kid. It's no character development. She's an imperfect person but a perfect villain. It's clear that this book was just to tell us how the square peg was put into the square hole. It makes Phasma feel one dimensional and she never really screws up. She does some pretty terrible things and no consequences what so ever. That alone doesn't make you a Mary Sue but it dose when you take the rest of Phasma into consideration. She's also a jerk but that's a given. I actually found every other character in the novel pretty interesting, although sometimes they do some very unnecessary things that just makes me wonder why? Even the book admits this at times and they feel like unnecessary plot devices. There would have been better ways to do some of this stuff differently. I won't go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who does want to read the book. Also this book rips off fallout just a little bit, maybe not on purpose but yes.
I really liked the character of Cardinal Actually he was a really cool character in my opinion, probably because he's very human, and he has flaws, jealousies, suspicion, so on. He got a lot of character development as well. He gave us an interesting look into the psychology of a stormtrooper and I found myself wanting for the parts about Phasma to get over with so I could here more about him. I would like to read his story if they ever tell it. This book let us see Cardinal and three other First Order stormtroopers. it gave us a good look at the men and women under the helmet and let us see them as something more than a machine though not quite fully human. We rarely get a look at the stormtroopers perspective so that's fun.
I liked Siv too. She was an interesting character I thought, or an interesting narrator at least. near the end especially you are cheering her on.
overall it's a mixed bag. The story was interesting, I really enjoyed the story, especially the interludes between Phasma's story. Those were pretty interesting and the scenes with the Spy and Cardinal were great. Phasma was just too much of a Mary Sue for my taste. I wanted the first prominent female stormtrooper to be an interesting character but I just ended up hating her after reading this for the reason I've made very clear. It seems like she never lost a fight (one acceptation she quickly got her own back though), nothing ever stuck to her, she never did wrong, she was a kind of a jerk though. The reason I mark the story so low is because I feel like the book is named after her. it's more or less about her, but, I honestly like her a lot less after reading this than before.
If you want to read about a strong female Character then get a book from the Aftermath Series. It has two strong female leads that are much better characters. The books are just overall more enjoyable too. Inferno Squad is great to if you just want a one off. Again, it has some good female leads, better character development, better story. Thrawn is also a good choice. The female character is a secondary but still very interesting, and it's a Zhan book, and he's one of the defining writers of the Star Wars Trilogy. if you want a really good female character read the Thrawn Trilogy to get a look at Mara Jade. The Bounty Hunter Saga is also good and you can get through it quickly. Overall, I found this book worth reading as a super fan who prides himself on his knowledge of the lore, but not worth buying. If you're just getting into the expanded universe it's a good entry novel. Though I would still recommend Inferno Squad over this.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
I found this book thoroughly boring. The entire book is essentially a justification for why Phasma, who seems to be a powerful figure, capitulates so easily in The Force Awakens. We find out pretty early on. And then the book continues, telling us about a quest across a dull planet. And then it continues, telling us about a dull fight against a different gang. And then the book continues, going back to the quest across a dull planet. And then it continues, telling us about another dull fight. This is the general pattern of the book. At the end, you know the justification for that one scene, and you know almost nothing else. Not worth your time. I read it as I'm a completionist, and I still regret it.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I am a big Star Wars fan and have listened to as much as I can going all the way back to the Thrawn trilogy. This book is just not good. Like a lot of the new series it is hamstrung by not wanting to give spoilers for the movies to come and is just setting things up.
The back story of Phasma is nothing new or interesting and adds very little vlue to the understanding of the character from just a few scenes in TFA. I wish that the legends series was allowed to continue on in written form as its own universe and stop putting out rubbish books that are just poor filler in between films.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
During the first hour or two I could care less about the characters or situations and really thought, is this where Star Wars Publishing jumps the shark?
VERY HAPPY to be wrong!
As the story went on I was pulled into it and waiting for my next walk or drive to continue listening to the story.
January LaVoy did an outstanding job giving life to the host of characters and the production values are consistently excellent and Delilah S Dawson a fabulous job weaving the story. In the end, a very enjoyable read!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I would not have guessed in a million years this was the way Phasma came about and rose in the First Order. A very imaginative tail and well performed. I just hope that it ties into the movies in some way because it implies that she has a past that may catch up with her some day.
Highly recommend this to any Star Wars fans who want more than just the films to enjoy...
1 of 1 people found this review helpful