Reviews Books The JC Lit Reviews Special: RESISTANCE REBORN (spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by The2ndQuest , Nov 5, 2019.

  1. The2ndQuest

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

    Jan 27, 2000
    Light the fires in your journey to The Rise of Skywalker!

    Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse

    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 Resistance Reborn discussion thread.

    Please do not post a review score unless you have read the entire book.
  2. Shadowrain10

    Shadowrain10 Jedi Knight star 2

    Sep 12, 2017
    I have to give this book at 10/10, it was really that good.
  3. Farlion

    Farlion Jedi Padawan

    Oct 30, 2019
  4. mnjedi

    mnjedi JCC Arena Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Nov 4, 2012
    Just finished reading this one, I enjoyed it pretty thoroughly. The continuity weaving in this one reminds me of Luceno in all the right ways. Story didn’t stick out to me in the same way that say Master and Apprentice did, but I didn’t really dislike anything either. Well, nothing that TLJ hadn't already annoyed me with at anyrate, and that's not Roanhorses fault.

    8/10 Overall a very solid book.
  5. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fantastically Fiendish Fanfic Manager star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 19, 2019

    Just finished the book last night. I thought the second half of the book was stronger than the first. The prose was competent to strong throughout. Poe's character didn't work for me throughout the first half of the book, but in the second he worked better for me especially when he was teamed up with Finn. Finn was in character for me but I'd have loved to have seen more of him. Rey didn't work for me as she came across as too timid. Leia seemed mostly in character to me. Liked the ensemble nature but also would've preferred more of Rey, Finn, and Poe working together than we saw. This book overall is kind of disappointing to me because I felt it promised a lot it for me didn't deliver and ended up being only mediocre when it could have been exceptional.
  6. The2ndQuest

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

    Jan 27, 2000
    I expect the next person to give it a 6 going by the current countdown ;)

    Average Score: 34/4 = 8.5
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  7. comradepitrovsky

    comradepitrovsky Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 5, 2017
  8. Charlemagne19

    Charlemagne19 Chosen One star 8

    Jul 30, 2000
    RESISTANCE REBORN is the first novel set in the post-Last Jedi world and sets up the galaxy for the upcoming RISE OF SKYWALKER film. The tattered remnants of the Resistance struggle to recruit a new army of leaders and soldiers to fight against the triumphant First Order.

    THE LAST JEDI was a controversial movie among Star Wars fandom, even more so than THE FORCE AWAKENS. For many people, the themes of "kill the past" and that the Heroes of the original trilogy had feet of clay (but were still admirable) didn't go over well. I, myself, had severe problems with the handling of Luke Skywalker but have still maintained a mostly positive attitude toward Disney's handling of the franchise. So what did I think of it?

    It's okay. This isn't me attempting to damn the book with faint praise but I struggle to really put into words why the book failed to connect with me. It has quite an excellent cast of characters, numerous nods to previous NuEU continuity, and a fairly well-developed plot. It also manages to give us a sense of what the state of the galaxy is post-Hosnian Prime's destruction.

    The premise is the First Order has successfully conquered the entire galaxy in a matter of weeks. While the Republic collapsing and their fleets being destroyed was something established by The Force Awakens, it seems that there's no actual attempt by the remaining New Republic forces to resist against them. I find this disappointing and wished we had stories of the First Order battling their way across the galaxy but it seems they all folded like a deck of cards.

    Much of the book is about General Organa, Poe Dameron, Finn, Rey, and others attempting to find allies in order to build a new Resistance. They don't appear to be actively seeking out New Republic remnants among their military and politicians but seeking ex-Rebels as well as ex-Imperials. I have severe issues with the latter because it falls into the trap of Imperial apologia.

    One of the things I liked about the NuCanon is the fact that it treats Imperials like ex-Nazis, people who revolt the citizenry of the galaxy and are considered the scum of the universe. Recruiting Imperials against the First Order feels like the only way to defeat Hydra is to get the help of the Red Skull. The original recipe Imperials are forgiven in what is a good speech by Poe but I feel like they're people who are getting a lot more slack than they really deserve.

    The galaxy feels less like it's been under an occupation for a few weeks and more like several years. Indeed, one character is unintentionally sympathetic because she's a seventeen year old girl working for the First Order. I couldn't help but wonder how sympathetic a young woman who signs up to work for the Axis after a week into their invasion of France would be.

    One thing I liked about the book was Poe Damoren dwelled a lot on his betrayal of Holdo. The author establishes that Poe was not actually in the right, got plenty of Resistance soldiers killed, and has been heavily affected by his mutiny. I feel that's the way the movie intended his plotline and am glad someone has finally put it to rest.

    While Poe's handling is excellent, I should note that Rey is almost nonexistent in this book despite her epic role in the new Trilogy. She shows up, says she's a junk trader and pilot but there's little talk about her Jedi training or plans to revive the order. She also expresses her regret about not being able to redeem Kylo Ren and overemphasizes her sympathy for him when I thought the movie was about how he's irredeemable. Finn also establishes he's not interested in either Rey or Rose, which seems bizarre given we have two movies of romance set up.

    One character I liked was Winshur Bratt who is now one of my favorite Star Wars villains. A filing clerk for the First Order, he easily falls into the brutal and corrupt practices of the First Order. He's exactly how I expect someone who signs up for the regime to be like and he's every bit as contemptible and vile as someone attracted to space fascism should be. I also liked the appearance of Wedge Antilles and Nora Wexley. I'll never get over Wedge not being married to Iella but they make a reasonably cute couple. There's also a return of a popular Claudia Gray character but I'm a little concerned that it undermined the power of the book he appeared in's ending.

    Overall, this book is fine but I feel like it doesn't paint a particularly good image of the Star Wars galaxy. The galaxy rolls over for the First Order and doesn't do a thing to resist them despite the fact they've nuked Washington D.C's equivalent. It also pretends there's a difference between the Empire and the First Order when they're equally as bad at best. People signing up to serve a fascist dictatorship that has conquered their homeland is also treated as normal. It's a weird and not very good take on the galaxy. On the other hand, the writer is excellent at battle scenes and I enjoyed their take on Poe.

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  9. masterskywalker

    masterskywalker Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 2, 2001
    I think with a bit more focus that would be an indictment of a lot of our Western woes, but from the skimming I did at the book story. Yeah, nothing really grabbed me.
    Jedi Ben likes this.
  10. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett WNU Interview-Teh Mole Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Feb 18, 2014
    It’s a fine book not my favorite of new canon not my least favorite. It’s very weird how the galaxy just decided to except fascism again without literally any fight. Like I get it the first order is rounding up everyone they think might be a threat. You still would think they would have at least fought. I am glad Wedge finally show up in this era. It’s also obvious that the author is into the Poe/Finn thing. I like the dynamic but I don’t think Disney has the guts to make main characters LGBTQ so it being hinted at in the writing of the novel isn’t going to lead anywhere even if I think it would be great. Overall an 8 out of 10
    Jedi Ben likes this.
  11. DelRiego

    DelRiego Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 12, 2002
    8/10 for the story 10/10 for the audiobook production, it was really good!

    What I'm dreading now is that we likely won't see these characters in TRoS. Just a one-second shot of Zay, Shriv, Kare, Suralinda, Teza Nasz, Norra, Yendor, Yama or whomever in the background or saying "roger gold leader" or whatever would be enough but i highly doubt it
  12. Ra Harmakis

    Ra Harmakis Jedi Knight

    Feb 13, 2013
    Great review.... my thoughts are very close to yours, tho my rating is more 7/10ish

    I thought the cast of this book was pretty decent, but for a Rouges Gallery of Star Fighter Pilots, I would have liked to see more Star Fighter combat. It's one of my gripes about Star Wars. Fighter Pilots always seem to be very effective Commandos and Spies, while this just seems weird they have very few innate talents that transfer between the roles. I would have liked to have a Spy or formal Rebel Commando lead the Corillia mission, with Poe re-learning how to be a good soldier during the mission, maybe taking command of the mission after the Spy/Commando gets killed maybe.

    I think Dross Squadron has some potential as a spin off... more potential than Alphabet Squadron. Go Rag Tag group of Rebels!

    Rey was the only part of the book I would call Bad. Leia calling Rey Lukes Apprentice was kinda odd.... he spent like 3 min with her and really didn't teach her anything... the author made a big deal about having her stay on Ryloth with Leia, then did nothing, no heart to heart about luke, no discussing force issues that may have forshadowed Palpatine. She didn't really do anything in the battle or escape from Ryloth.. she was... just there. Almost like, if she doesn't do anything she can't be called a Mary Sue, but... this appearance seemed to have swung too far in the other direction.

    Good Rose portrayal. She makes a good Comm officer.

    I think Disney is still trying to figure out the FO... in some places (like this book) they are all powerful and have near full control of the galaxy and no one seems to bat an eye at it. In others like the Resistance Cartoon, they seem smaller and are just starting to take planets.
    DurararaFTW likes this.
  13. Xander Vos

    Xander Vos Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 3, 2013
    I just finished this book, and I have to say the final third really comes together rather excellently, but unfortunately ends up feeling rather rushed because so much is crammed into the final 100 pages. I think either the Shriv subplot stealing ships needed more fleshing out or should have been cut out to give more time to events on Corellia.

    I thought Wedge's characterisation jarred me at the start due to my experiences with him in Legends, but by the end I really enjoyed his part in the story, and his role as Snap's father of sorts. I think their dynamic could have done with a bit more fleshing out though.

    The key positives for me were the characterisation of Poe, the new characters, and the plot on Corellia, which really built to a fantastic crescendo in the novel.

    For me the key drawbacks were the author's lack of flexibility in expression. Far too many characters 'made a note' of something that by the time one of the characters late in the book did it I was physically rolling my eyes. I also struggled - and this wasn't the author's fault - with the treading water with movie characters. Finn and Poe quite clearly are given a romantic subtext without spelling it out, because of ambiguity so far on the big screen, so that their moments could be either viewed as romantic or platonic depending on the outcome in IX. This isn't just for them but with Rey and Leia too who have very little development in the book. In fact it's only really Poe who has much of an emotional journey in the book which is somewhat disappointing.

    It was a fun adventure though, and the final third is what I want to see more of in the new canon - fun missions, big action pieces, and solid character development. Doesn't need to be Galaxy-shaping adventures, just something with some stakes.

    I'd give it a 7/10.
  14. Dannik Jerriko

    Dannik Jerriko Jedi Master star 4

    Sep 12, 2017
    7/10 I enjoyed this book and found it fast moving and interesting. Roanhorse does a solid job of running the various concurrent subplots and bringing them together for a satisfying conclusion.

    On the negative side, I felt that some of the interactions between the older and younger characters to be a little schmaltzy (Finn throwing a tantrum over a necktie and Poe stepping in to tie it for him was a little too saccharine for my tastes). I also felt that Rey was very one-dimensional and didn’t get enough airtime.

    On a positive note, I loved the subplot involving the Corellian data clerks and the character of Winshur Bratt. I never thought that a Star Wars version of The Office could be so entertaining.

    All in all a satisfying book that has whetted my appetite for TRoS.
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  15. Grievousdude

    Grievousdude Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jan 27, 2013

    It was enjoyable read just before TROS. It ultimately didn't have much impact on the movie compared to say Labyrinth of Evil, but then I wasn't really expecting it to, so I can't say I was too disappointed.

    I enjoyed seeing familiar faces from other media pop up throughout and even get a fair bit of time spent with them like Shriv and Yendor. This was a bit of a double edged sword though, as I haven't read any of the Poe comics and the author seemed to expect you to already know who Suralinda and other characters from that series were already.

    Overall it was a short enjoyable book, which despite essentially being a series of side missions for the Resistance, had some very well written moments with Wedge and his family and entertaining battle scenes.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  16. Stymi

    Stymi Force Ghost star 4

    Jan 10, 2002
    The review thread is back?!

    Anyway to have a link to other review threads? I loved that. #tfnoldschool

    Fun book. Good story.


    Sent from my S8-Wing
  17. Maythe14thBeWithYou

    Maythe14thBeWithYou Jedi Master star 4

    May 26, 2014
    So overall is this book worth it? I got a $5 credit off it on Amazon offered.
  18. Darth_Duck

    Darth_Duck Force Ghost star 4

    Oct 13, 2000

    Sent from my SM-G390W using Tapatalk
    Jedi Knight Fett likes this.
  19. Morlak

    Morlak Jedi Knight

    Feb 24, 2015
    8/10. Solid book that ties in perfectly with previous Canon stories. It didn't wow me, but it kept me entertained at all times, and that's more than enough for me.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  20. The2ndQuest

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

    Jan 27, 2000
    Average Score (factoring in my rating in this post): 124/16 = 7.75


    A true sequel to TFA and TLJ (I'd consider them a trilogy at this point) that also pulls together much of the post-ROTJ NU materials into a cohesive-feeling era.

    The only thing that surpasses this book in terms of relevance to the films, IMO, is Catalyst (at least so far). While they're both satisfying and complete, they do share the same minor-but-broad shortcoming in that they are, ultimately, telling threads that cannot be fully paid off due to there being a movie following them (in actuality in Catalyst's case; and in theory in RR's case). So, that's the only thing really holding them back from rating higher. My score: 9.5/10

    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
  21. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and KENOBEEHHH Herald of SWTV and Lit star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Oct 16, 2008
    In the wake of staggering losses, Leia and her Resistance must act fast if they are to regain enough momentum to be able to take the fight back to the First Order. But to do that they need more people than just the handful the Millennium Falcon can hold, and so Leia begins setting the rebirth of the Resistance in motion with some baby steps; rebellions aren’t built in a day after all.

    The novel gives us a great look at how a few dissidents can form something great and meaningful if brought together. Leia wastes no time in reaching out to old Alliance compatriots, and their friends and their friends, until she has something resembling the beginning of the Resistance. Some of them are simply eager to fight the First Order just as they fought the Empire, while others have had their own brushes with the First Order that convince them to join the fight against tyranny. Roanhorse brings in characters from all sorts of media, and at least references others, as the cast comes together. Much of the first half of the novel is Leia, Poe and the others bringing their allies up to speed on the events of TFA and TLJ, and we get to see how all those crazy events have had an effect on both our heroes and the galaxy at large. We mostly get to see Poe’s developments, and how he’s dealing with his painful lesson in humility, and how helping rebuild the Resistance is his ultimate penance. We also get to see that while she’s still very much the old rebel, Leia has been through the wringer and back, and only with the support of her closest allies does she manage to tough it out for the sake of the galaxy.

    Things come to a head when the Resistance’s plan to secure more allies and more supplies begins to unfold. A single spark is enough to light the fires of resistance, and such is the case on Corellia where first a single pilot secures a secret list of potential Resistance allies, and then a single First Order officer passes on that list to an underground organization that plans to release the list to the highest bidder. The Resistance takes this chance and sends two teams to Corellia to secure the list and rescue potential prisoners, and one team to Bracca to get their hands on whatever ships they can manage. Naturally nothing goes 100% to plan, and we get some great action and intrigue in the back half of the novel. There’s some good humor derived from the auction Poe and Finn attend, especially as neither is particularly used to being around high society types. We’re also given someone to root against in relation to the list; throughout the novel we follow Wincher Bratt, a mid-level First Order officer who’s less evil conqueror and more stuffy bureaucrat who thinks a bit too highly of himself. Throughout the novel we see his little world slowly unravel as those around him either jerk him around or seem to get in the way of his continued success within the FO. By the time all hell breaks loose on Corellia and the Resistance teams are on their way out with the list and political prisoners in tow, he’s barely holding himself together, having been consumed by the attitude of distrust within the FO, and as such barely poses a threat to escaping rebels.

    Overall it’s a fun story. It’s nice seeing the integration of prior works, giving us updates on characters like Wedge Antilles and Norra Wexley, as well as the remnants of Inferno Squad. It spends a little too much time on setting up the story, but once things kick into gear it’s a wild and fun ride. I thought Roanhorse wrote Poe really well, but it was also nice to see an older Wedge in action, along with some further antics from the infamous Shriv Suurgav. It was also nice seeing Yendor again, and the inclusion of Ryloth in general; we’ve seen both evolve plenty during the various wars, so it was bittersweet seeing them roped into yet another conflict. We don’t get a lot of coverage for Rey, but I imagine she’s still grappling with all the extreme changes she’s been through since leaving Jakku, so it’s not unreasonable that she’d sit out on most of the action at this point.

    I give Resistance Reborn a 9 out of 10 for a great little followup and coda to TFA & TLJ. Like Leia, the Resistance can go through the worst and still come out strong to keep fighting another day.
    Iron_lord likes this.
  22. The2ndQuest

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

    Jan 27, 2000
    Average Score Update: 133/17 = 7.82
    Sinrebirth likes this.