Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Black Spire
Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Galaxy’s Edge – Book 2
Written by Delilah S. Dawson
Narrated by January LaVoy
Publisher: Del Rey | Random House Audio
Release date: August 27, 2019
In the second book of Disney’s new Star Wars series related to the Galaxy’s Edge theme park, Black Spire focuses on spy Vi Moradi’s attempts to resuscitate a flagging Resistance in the days immediately following the eighth film, The Last Jedi. With the New Republic’s central government destroyed by Starkiller Base and their forces all but defeated, Vi is sent by her mentor, General Leia Organa, to seek promising new worlds on which to re-kickstart the Resistance. To help her, Leia sends along Archex, a man with an intimate knowledge of the First Order. You see, he was not only a former Stormtrooper Captain known as Cardinal, but he and Moradi have a history all their own… Cardinal tortured Moradi after capturing her. During their torture sessions, though, Moradi discovered a weakness in Cardinal/Archex and exploited it. This allowed her to not only escape the clutches of the First Order, but also rescue a Stormtrooper was now able to see the error of his ways.
Together, the two travel to Batuu, the last outpost before Wild Space, and crash land outside Black Spire Outpost. While unconscious, pirates steal pretty much anything of value from the ship for sale in the Outpost’s black market. Now, not only do they have no supplies and no way to leave Batuu, but they also have no long-range communications to use to contact Leia or any other Resistance agents. It’s up to Moradi and Archex to use their training and intelligence to survive a foreign world so far removed from the galactic core that they think the First Order and the Resistance are little more than fairy tales, but also to overcome their history with and inherent mistrust of each other. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the inevitable arrival of the First Order…
Admittedly, I was hesitant to read Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Black Spire especially so soon after reading A Crash of Fate, the first book in the Galaxy’s Edge series, a cross-marketing attempt I still fear may quickly dominate the Star Wars literary galaxy. I just don’t want to see the books pigeonhole themselves with one locale where there is an entire galaxy rich with storytelling opportunities (I say this as though I’ve actually visited said galaxy and experienced firsthand these very opportunities… alas, I have not).
Despite this hesitance, I found myself very quickly digesting Delilah S. Dawson‘s tale. It’s a fast-paced book that I had the opportunity to experience not just on the printed page, but also audibly with narration from Star Wars audiobook veteran January LaVoy.
By the end of the book, I found myself truly enjoying some of the new characters introduced, including a Chadra-Fan named Kriki and a farm boy named Bolin (no, let’s not make allusions to Luke Skywalker, shall we?) and looking forward to the fact that there will have to be a directly related sequel. Yes, the epilogue’s cliffhanger is that good.
I was concerned, though, when I found out that Dawson also wrote Phasma, which, from what I understand, contains a lot of the detail that prefaces this story, including the capture, torture, and escape of Moradi and the hate-hate backstory between Cardinal/Archex and Phasma. Could I understand and enjoy Black Spire having never read Phasma? The answer is a resounding “yes!” Dawson does a fantastic job of succinctly summarizing what happened in the book without ruining it entirely. Sure, I know what the ultimate result is, but now I’m actually a bit interested in going back and playing catch up to learn the how and why.
If you do go and listen to this audiobook, let me know if you agree with me on one point… that crimelord Oga Garra, as voiced by January LaVoy, sounds eerily similar to the ridiculous accent that Allison Brie creates for her Russian in-ring alter ego in Netflix’s G.L.O.W. Yup, that was how I wound up envisioning Garra, ushanka and all.
From the publisher:
After devastating losses at the hands of the First Order, General Leia Organa has dispatched her agents across the galaxy in search of allies, sanctuary, and firepower””and her top spy, Vi Moradi, may have just found all three, on a secluded world at the galaxy’s edge.
A planet of lush forests, precarious mountains, and towering, petrified trees, Batuu is on the furthest possible frontier of the galactic map, the last settled world before the mysterious expanse of Wild Space. The rogues, smugglers, and adventurers who eke out a living on the largest settlement on the planet, Black Spire Outpost, are here to avoid prying eyes and unnecessary complications. Vi, a Resistance spy on the run from the First Order, is hardly a welcome guest. And when a shuttle full of stormtroopers lands in her wake, determined to root her out, she has no idea where to find help.
To survive, Vi will have to seek out the good-hearted heroes hiding in a world that redefines scum and villainy. With the help of a traitorous trooper and her acerbic droid, she begins to gather a colorful band of outcasts and misfits, and embarks on a mission to spark the fire of resistance on Batuu””before the First Order snuffs it out entirely.