Book Reviews star wars

Review: Resistance Reborn

Del Rey, 2019

Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rebecca Roanhorse has been on my TBR for a while, and after reading Resistance Reborn, I am even more excited to get into her work. My point is: this book delivered, and I highly recommend it!

This review contains light spoilers for the entire novel

Resistance Reborn is peak Star Wars tie-in novel. The main story line of the films is interwoven with other novels and new lore from the Disney canon. Having read most but not all of the sequel era tie-in materials, I was delighted to have this story incorporate elements from Chuck Wedndig’s Aftermath trilogy, Christie Golden’s Inferno Squadron, Charles Soule’s Poe Dameron/Black Squadron comics, and probably more.

Beyond all of the fan-satisfying crossover, though, this was a great novel. The plot is driven by our heroes’ main concern at the end of The Last Jedi, i.e., “where the hell do we go, now?” The Resistance is desperate for supplies, allies, and some space to breathe. A disparate group, made up of former Rebels, Resistance-friends, and even an ex-Imperial, comes together in order to reforge the Resistance through acquiring a list of First Order prisoners likely to be potential Resistance allies and leaders.

Resistance Reborn is primarily plot-driven, though the small character arcs throughout are strong. Poe’s story is the most satisfying. The pilot and Resistance commander must deal with his rash actions during the The Last Jedi. Some of Poe’s self-questioning help get the novel started and set the tone for what is to come.

Two moments in particular stood out. First, when Leia and co. are considering recruiting some former Imperials to the cause, Poe is able to put himself in their shoes because of his own mutinous and destructive behavior. Then, when the rag-tag group is first assembled, Poe takes the lead, but his leadership is called into question by Stronghammer, who has heard about his mutiny and betrayal which in part led to Holdo’s death. Poe has to face what he has done both internally and externally, which was a satisfying move on Rebecca Roanhorse’s part. Our heroes often get away with less than ideal behavior. But in Resistance Reborn, readers are forced to sit with Poe, despite the urgency of the hour, as he self-reflects and determines whether or not he can go on.

Five stars for a great Star Wars novel!

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