Welcome to my latest Book Review. In this series I will look to review any canon books that come out in the Star Wars galaxy as I work my way through them. I am no expert book critic or expert in writing (as you may be able to tell), so this is very much from a fan’s point of view. In each review, I will also try to point out a few “Moments in Canon” – moments that link into the wider canon and references to other canon stories. Today I will be looking at Justina Ireland’s Spark of the Resistance
There may be some mild spoilers
Set a few months after The Last Jedi, this story sees Rey, Poe, Rose and BB-8 travelling to Minfar after picking up a distress call. They find themselves up against the First Order, who are searching for a weapon created by the Empire, which could help them take control of the native Zixon and then the wider galaxy.
As much as he liked explosions, especially when the First Order was on the receiving end.
He really, really missed his X-wing.
The story is shown from the points of view of Rose Rey, Poe and 2 members of the First Order forces: a scientist named Glenna Kip and Branwayne Spiftz, the commanding officer of the forces featured.
So I’m still pretty new to reading the junior novels and finding it a bit more difficult to adapt to them compared to adult/young adult novels, but this was a fun read. It’s tone is much lighter than the more serious stories I generally prefer, but that is to be expected given the target audience, and I found myself thinking of it like an early episode of The Clone Wars or Rebels – a fun episode that maybe wasn’t meant for me, but is still easy enough to enjoy.
It would be a flame, a beacon of hope for anyone who saw the First Order for what it was and was brave enough to step forward and fight.
The familiar characters all feel like what we are used to, but with the scales tipped slightly towards the more positive side, so that they enjoy the fun side of things like flying in a dogfight and getting to know the Zixon, rather than focusing on the danger and evil of the First Order and the somewhat poor state that the Resistance is in. It does not go too far in the positive direction though, so there still feels like a danger – both from the First Order and the natural fauna – while the evil deeds of the Empire and First Order are still clearly there to see. It was also really great to see Rose be part of the group in this story, which I really appreciated having just watched The Rise of Skywalker and seeing her character thrown aside. On the First Order side, Spiftz does feel like a somewhat stereotypical bad guy officer: pompous, overconfident and self-serving, but this is not necessarily a bad thing as his personality very much plays into the story, with Glenna Kip’s character being the real brains of the First Order operation, taking advantage of Spiftz’s personality to direct his actions to her benefit.
There was no reason a handful of Resistance fighters should be able to thwart a detachment of First Order soldiers so easily.
I really liked the story on the whole, my one issue with it was that I felt that after quite a build-up, the third act seemed a little rushed in its conclusion. It felt like as we were suddenly getting into the climactic set piece, it just conveniently resolved itself, while having even just a few more chapters to expand on this would have made it feel more complete.
Should I read it?
As much as he liked travelling to new places, he was always a little cautious of the animals on new planets. You never knew what was safe and what would try to eat you.
There’s nothing that makes it essential reading for adults, but I really think that this would be a great book for younger readers who are enjoying the Sequel Trilogy and want more of the characters they love.
Moments in Canon
- There is a mention of Mon Cala ships joining the Resistance, which can be found in the Allegiance comic book series
- There are references to the Empire’s racism, which has been explained in other stories as coming form the Clone Wars, where a number of the Separatist planets were non-human
Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on it? Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…