Ok, just finished Phasma, and like I did with Bloodline, I'll give my review here. Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide Spoiler The story kind of grew on me. There was definitely parts that were lacking, and there was also parts that was good. Part-typical-post-apocalypse-dystopia fiction (ala Mad Max Fury Road) and part "memoir" of Phasma. As per typical with Star Wars books that are titled after a character (looks at Lord Vader, etc.) the novel has a very sparing bit of (present) Phasma. Even the Phasma of the 'Heart of Darkness style stories' doesn't feel like a real character as well as lacks suspense because a) we know she lives and b) we know her main viewpoint [Siv] lives. At the beginning I was enjoying the Vi/Cardinal bits more, but as the story got further along and their moments were less I started to enjoy the Phasma tale, though the ending stuff on the Absolution felt really bad and forced, overall I thought the story worked. There were quite a few plotholes, some jarringly so, but overall I think this is a decent piece of work. Not 100% sold on the Phasma character - especially her usage in TFA; though this gives some light on why she acted the way she did in it - but this does do a fair bit of service to extending the continuity of the new universe; in a better way (IMO) than Bloodline did. And here's a review I found on GoodReads, that after writing my review, I think actually brings up a lot of points. Spoilers and some language: Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide Spoiler Let's be honest, the only reason I read this book was for Armitage Hux wearing a robe and how he doesn't want to keep Kylo Ren waiting. Except for Armitage Hux (You're doing amazing sweetie), I did not like this book. Every character made horrible decisions that made no sense or outright contradicted themselves. Am I really suppose to feel bad/think Phasma is the Evillest Evil to Ever Evil who only cares about her own survival when everyone she killed kinda were asking for it? Not a single one was a good person and their actions directly endangered everyone. I'm so sorry but I don't feel that bad about the warlords getting ambushed, or the enslaving droids being turned off, or any of the other 'bad' things that happened in this Mad Max ripoff. LOTS of a Spoilers ahead We open with the most annoying Resistance figher in existence knitting a sweater when she's told to go to this planet where everyone else who goes to this planet disappears without a trace because surely it won't happen AGAIN. She's immediately captured by the First Order. Thanks Leia. A stormtrooper in red with the stupid name of Cardinal (that doesn't even make sense. Do they have redbirds in space? Space birds?) thinks she has information on Phasma and really wants to tattle on her for something so he kidnaps, tortures, and interrogates Vi which is where we get most of the story... which is where a big technical fail happens: Vi is telling the story she heard from the POV of Siv and yet it reads as prose rather than a narration except for random first person bits like "Oh, I had to explain what a so-and-so was" that completed derailed everything. It's very jarring. Anyway, we start with the Scrye, the clan we're told Phasma originally belonged to (which was retconned later in the book), who are a noble race of people just trying to survive and protect this ancient artifact/spaceship/mining base/whatever from the other maraudering clans in the area (of which there is one). Oh yeah, they got this sacred place, like, a few years ago after murdering Phasma's family when Phasma let them in because her family weren't into the whole 'not dying for stupid reasons' thing and thought the empty ship thing that provided shelter and not much else was worth getting their entire family slaughtered for - look, they got what they wanted. Phasma did save her brother though, by stabbing him in the leg so he couldn't help and they ended up having to amputate the leg because everything is poison (or something). So the Scrye, who were no better than anyone else in this **** world, are just so into peace ya'll! Even when the warlord from the Claws - the only other clan in the area - is defeated Phama's brother and co-leader decides 'Hey, let's make peace with these guys instead of moving into their totally not a deathtrap land where we'd be safer and not, you know, hanging off of rocks over a shark infested ocean!' with Phasma being all "are you ****ing serious?". Because it's totally reasonable to expect a bloodthirsty warlord to NOT try again once he's recovered. I mean, that would be silly! (Also, I the warlord is suppose to be an alien who walks on his hands and uses his feet to hold his sword. I don't know, it's stupid but hilarious to imagine.) OH LOOK, a way to escape/a fresh source of supplies just fell from the sky? Should the Scrye go for it? Nah, we'd have to go through Claw territory and break the peace treaty because that's so important in a wasteland where your current clan LIVES ON ****ING ROCK SPIRES HANGING OVER A SHARK INFESTED OCEAN. DID I MENTION THE SHARKS ARE REALLY BIG?! LIKE THE SHARK FROM JAWS TIMES 100 BIGGER! Phasma: ... I'm going to get those supplies so we don't, you know, die. So, RELUCTANTLY, they let her and warriors go and enter the Claw territory and look, it was an ******* who fell from the sky who promises to call for help! Warlord, kinda being obvious he wasn't going to tell the Scrye about this anyway, uses Phasma's prescense as an excuse to BARTER FOR THE ONLY CHILD THEY HAVE in exchange for not killing them. Yelp, I feel so bad when this guy dies, truly only a heartless monster would murder such a sweet soul. They bring General Abusive ******* aka Brendol Hux (also, since when was he a general? He was basically a high school principle before!) back to the Scrye to show them 'Hey, we can get off this death trap of a planet!' "...Nah, it cool." "...Well, how about a few of us go and bring back help?" "UH, HOW ABOUT NO." "ffs" So Phasma takes General ******* and her warriors to go take him back to his ship so they can get off this hellhole of a planet and they encounter blood-drinking beetles that somehow live in the sand, a few mutated wolves, and a random scouting party who had sleds driven by lizards. We don't know where they came from or where they were going and they're never brought up again. Oh, and their mode of transportation was slaughtered instead of, you know, used by them to get to the ship faster. Blah blah blah, we're shown, once against for the millionth time in a Star Wars canon book, that Stormtroopers are actual human beings with personalities that somehow survive that oh, so intense brainwashing the First Order puts them through that leaves them no better than mindless drones. Apparently, it's still okay to slaughter them wholesale because, you know, the good guys are doing it so that makes it okay! (Remember kids, it's not murder if they're on the opposite side!) General ******* is poisoned and OH WHAT LUCK A RANDOM DROID APPEARS AND TAKES THEM TO A HIDDEN BASE. "We'll heal your friend!" "Oh, great!" "How you going to pay us for that?" "uh..." "You can work for us until your debt is paid! Or we can throw you all out and let your friend die." "..." So they work in the mine for a week or so with the droids being oddly cultish and worshiping their creators until Brendol turns them off at the main control panel and Siv, the character who told the story to Vi who's now telling it to Cardinal, JUST FEELS SO BAD YOU GUYS. I MEAN, I WOULD TOTALLY FEEL BAD THAT THE BEINGS ENSLAVING ME ARE NEVER GOING TO WAKE UP AGAIN. SO SAD YOU GUYS. Also, Siv is pregnant. A point that'll come up later. They get some jeeps or some **** and continue on and OH THEY GET CAPTURED AGAIN... by a bloodthirsty cult thingy that wants them to fight to the death for their entertainment. Phasma gets beat all to hell but they liked that so they got some food. Next day, they get weapons to fight the same goliath as yesterday who goes down immediately. At this point, Phasma orders Siv to kill him even though he can't move, is bleeding out, and is going to die before the hour is out anyway with no way to save him. Siv doesn't kill him and says it's mercy (Uh, honey, that ain't mercy.) This plot points comes in later. Phasma kills the king - the crowd loves it - and is now the new king and she kills the guy who says 'uh, it doesn't work that way...'. I guess we're suppose to feel bad about these guys as well. Did I mention they were cannibals and made people fight for food while the other half of the population watched? Cuz that's a thing that happened. Yep, totally unjustified deaths all of them. They keep on trucking and make it to a fence separating them from General *******'s crashed ship where they meet a... random alien. Guess they had to throw one in SOMEWHERE and that's what it feels like: Thrown In. They're talking to Insect Guy when they're attacked from behind!... By the Scyre and Claws (lead by Phasma's so noble and totally pacifistic brother) who can't be assed to leave their territory to save their own lives but going after a tiny group of deserters is TOTALLY WORTH LEAVING EVERYTHING THEY KNOW BEHIND AND BRINGING EVERY SINGLE PERSON WITH THEM ON THIS DANGEROUS MISSION JUST TO, YOU KNOW, KILL THESE 4 OR 5 PEOPLE WHO WERE LEAVING ANYWAY. (Sigh) Phasma, her warriors, and the two remaining troopers kill everyone, including one of their own because she had a twisted ankle and would slow them down. This is one of the contradictions that annoy the hell out of me: They're suppose to be all for bringing people to join the Stormtrooper program (the promise ******* seems to be making them) and yet this fit, young girl with a twisted ankle is more of a hinderance than Tubby Mc******* is? Even carrying her wouldn't slow them down as much as his fatass would/did! Anyway, they get through the fence and get radiation sickness because the people who lived on the planet before, despite being VASTLY more advanced than us, still used Nuclear power and did so badly and blew everything up because of dumb. They find the ship (Which was Palpatine's favorite yacht... okay, sure, use artifacts from the regime you worship as personal vessels while scouting planets. That's totally not disrespectful or anything. **** off.) They call for help and OH LOOK THE REST OF THE SCYRE AND CLAWS ATTACK... and get slaughtered again but not before Siv's boy toy is murdered accidentally on purpose by his brother (what, did the guy come all this way to hug it out and the knife slipped? What did he think he was there to do?). Soon, all that's left is Phasma's brother and the little kid that they brought along because that's a smart thing to do. Phasma kills him - as you do to people in post-apocalyptic hellscape planets who are too dumb to live - and is about to kill the kid as well (because why not) when General ******* reminds them they need children for the Stormtrooper program. Okay, cool. Rescue comes and they tell Siv "Lol, not you." Because she didn't kill the already dying guy and that was deemed 'soft'. First off: Guy died a horrible painful death instead of a quick one. Again, that ain't mercy. Secondly: SIV IS PREGNANT. LESS THAN A FEW SENTENCES AGO THEY WERE ALL FOR ANY RECRUITS THEY COULD GET BUT, NOPE, LETS LEAVE NOT ONE BUT TWO NEW RECRUITS BEHIND BECAUSE ???? ALSO, ISN'T THAT THE POINT OF THIS FAMED 'BRAIN WASHING/REPROGRAMMING' THING THE FIRST ORDER IS SO EVIL FOR DOING? I just think, more and more, that this 'Stormtroopers are brainwashed' is just something someone made up and they can't even remember why they made it up but everyone just goes with it because reasons. Anyway, Siv finds a bomb shelter or some bull**** full of not Cultish Droids who have all the meds and food she could ever want and Phasma leaves the planet and General ******* reminds everyone he's an *******. (also there's a scene with Armitage Hux talking to the little kid they brought in and it's very cute and he's actually good with children? WTF?) We get back to Vi and Cardinal and Cardinal's just '... that helps me in absolutely no way.' So Vi outright tells him "Hey, Phasma murdered your mentor, General *******". We're never given a reason why beyond Phasma doesn't want anyone to know her past FOR SOME REASON THAT IS NEVER EXPLAINED. No one cares where she came from, no one in the First Order cares about what she did, this changes absolutely nothing... and yet....? Cardinal does the only tolerable thing and goes to tell Armitage Hux about this so we can see The Robe and have a whole new slew of Kylux smut fics to enjoy and look, Armie already knew. He knows everything. (also, am I suppose to feel bad that General ******* who Abused his own son relentlessly all his life and is a mass murderer like everyone else in this book is now exploded? This book as strange morals). Armitage calls Cardinal an idiot to his face (proving once again why he's the only good part of this book) and cuts him off more of his responsibilities and whatever. Apparently, Cardinal's never learned that Snitches get Stitches and Phasma comes to kick his ass ( Or something like that, I'm 86% in and I've resorted to skimming, idk). Book more or less ends with Vi escaping with Cardinal and Phasma going after them because "NO ONE CAN KNOW ALL THE COOL **** I DID". We're still not given a reason why this matters to Phasma when it changes absolutely nothing. This whole book was, more or less, an attempt at an explanation for why Phasma caved instantly and let down the shields of Starkiller base. This did not do that. If anything, it made it worse. OH, SHE'LL DO ANYTHING TO SURVIVE!!1! What, did she think the rebel intruders were just going to let her go if she did what they said? That they weren't going to do something devastating to the base that would potentially get a lot of people, including herself, killed? "Oh, the traitor from before and a couple of old Rebel heroes want me to lower the shields? *Shrug* Okay, I don't see the harm in that! What nice guys." If this was the case, she would have just pretended to let the shield down while sounding a silent alarm. UGH. I guess read it if you like Star Wars stuff or, like me, are Kylux trash and want to read about The Robe first hand. Would love to hear everyone else's thoughts/opinions.