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Reviews Books The JC Lit Reviews Special: GALAXY'S EDGE: BLACK SPIRE (spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by The2ndQuest , Sep 23, 2019.

  1. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    It's not in Anaheim, it's not in Orlando- it's on your book shelf!* Time to rate and review!

    Galaxy's Edge: Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson

    Provide a rating score on a scale of 1 to 10. You may include a review with your post, but leave in-depth discussion for the main Black Spire discussion thread.

    Please do not post a review score unless you have read the entire book.

    *Unless your book shelf is in Anaheim or Orlando, in which case, ok, fine, Mr/Ms Smartypants, you're right, so where do we go from here? Eh? Didn't think that that far ahead, did you? No. No you didn't.
    BigAl6ft6 and Daneira like this.
  2. indydefense

    indydefense Jedi Knight star 3

    Jan 2, 2019

    I picked up Black Spire on a whim, purely out of interest in the park, not expecting much, and.. holy moly! Completely floored! After getting only a third through the book, I went to ebay to track down a hardback copy of Phasma, because I need more of Vi and Archex! For me, Black Spire sits right alongside Bloodline as the best of the Disney EU, as well as one of the best SW books in general. It was compelling from start to finish, with lovable, complex characters. I can't wait to visit this place! :)
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
    Jedi Ben likes this.

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    May 25, 2002
    9/10. I really liked this - more than I expected to. I hope there is a sequel. (And mine is in more of a book pile, not a shelf. I ran out of shelf space years ago.)
    indydefense and Jedi Ben like this.
  4. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Treasure Lover of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
    The edge of the galaxy is one of the best places to lay low and carry out clandestine operations. But it’s not without its perils- for the further one gets from the civilized galaxy, they further one gets from potential help. Vi Morandi learns this lesson and more as she’s sent by General Leia Organa on a vital mission to Batuu, where it becomes painfully obvious to Vi just how alone she is. But even in the darkest corners of the galaxy, there is always a chance for hope to light the way.

    This is a good and meaty book- at over 500 pages it’s one of the longest SW books out there, and it makes good use of its girth to really establish the world of Black Spire Outpost and the people who live there, as well as the people fighting for and against it, namely Vi Morandi of the Resistance and Lieutenant Kath of the First Order, respectively. We got a glimpse at Vi’s personality in Phasma, but here she the full blown protagonist, and Dawson paints a much more complete picture of her here. I appreciated that Dawson was willing to portray Vi’s personal limitations as much as her strengths; she worries, she’s insecure about certain things, and most importantly, she has very real issues stemming from PTSD, thanks to her ordeals she’s endured as a Resistance spy. Seeing these aspects of her made it all the more satisfying whenever she succeeded at aspects of her mission on Batuu, since we get to see just how much of a fighter she is, and how she manages to work around her limitations, sometimes on her own, sometimes with the help of her companions and people she’s helped along the way.

    The rest of the cast are very memorable, and some get decent character arcs as the story unfolds. We get to see the soldier formerly known as Cardinal, now known as Archex, struggle to adapt to the more lackadaisical approach of the Resistance versus the more, well, orderly approach of the FO. And by the end he’s really come to understand what it means to fight back against his former overlords, not just because they’re evil, but because they present a very real threat to many innocent denizens of the galaxy. I really liked the intrepid crew Vi assembles in and around BSO. Kriki and Dolin are great as the more down to earth members of the group, who also possess their own valuable skills that greatly help the Resistance’s efforts. Zade is a great addition as basically the wild card of the group, who seems sketchy at first but you learn soon enough that his heart is indeed true, and he’s capable of channeling his boisterous nature to help recruit for the Resistance. And of course there’s Pook, their cantankerous but helpful moving/medical droid, who’s definitely channeling Marvin the Paranoid Android with his general views on organics and life in general.

    As part of the multimedia effort to expand upon Galaxy’s Edge, this story does a great job at not only featuring much of the real BSO, but also diving headfirst into various aspects of the outpost. By the end of the book Black Spire feels like an actual place where actual people live, not just a theme park attraction. You totally get how the community is able to thrive on the fringe of the galaxy, and how it’s both a lawless town and a harmonious community all at once. Though there’s the ever watchful eye of the local gangster, everyone is still pretty much able to do as they please, which can be both good and bad for Resistance members trying to set up a base while also trying to recruit some of the populace.

    I thought the story was great, as we follow Vi in her mission to both become entrenched in BSO and also make sure the First Order doesn’t become a problem. She hits some serious bumps along the way, even at the very start when she crashes her ship as soon as she arrives on Batuu, but through perseverance and the help of some truly hopeful denizens of the planet, she pulls off Leia’s orders to set up a useful outpost for the Resistance. I loved the brief Indiana Jones-esque mission into the ancient ruins to find some sacred treasure, and how in overcoming the booby traps Vi finds the inspiration to build the Resistance outpost within them. And then of course the First Order does arrive and throws a kink in her plans, but Vi still does everything in her power to not only oppose their oppression, but to make sure they leave BSO completely alone. The final mission to sabotage the FO ship and trick them into thinking there is no Resistance base was very exciting, and not without some crazy twists and turns as some parts go right and others go horribly wrong.

    All in all I give Black Spire a 9.4 out of 10 for a great spy/action-adventure story. Whether its a hero or a villain, Delilah Dawson is highly adept at turning a seemingly one-note character into something much more.
    Jedi Ben and indydefense like this.
  5. The2ndQuest

    The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Jan 27, 2000
    Average Score (counting my rating below): 33.4/4 = 8.35


    "And I'm not melancholy. I'm realistic."

    Fun characters, a light tone, a couple standout sequences, but an underwhelming threat with a kind of a wobbly premise that has a slow, overtly Disney World guided tour tie-in-feeling first act. I didn't dislike the book but I also don't see myself having a lot of motivation in wanting to revisit it. Yet, I wouldn't mind reading a follow-up with this crew at all.


    Ranking NU Adult Novels (so far):
    -The Last Jedi 10.0
    -Catalyst 9.5
    -Resistance Reborn 9.5
    -Last Shot 9.0
    -Canto Bight 9.0
    -Alphabet Squadron 8.75
    -Lords of the Sith 8.5
    -The Force Awakens 8.5
    -Phasma 8.25
    -Bloodlines 8.0
    -Aftermath: Empire's End 7.75
    -Aftermath: Life Debt 7.5
    -Tarkin 7.0
    -Aftermath 7.0
    -Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire 6.0
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020