Review: Black Spire (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge #2) by Delilah Dawson

Rating: 8.0/10

Synopsis

Walk the ancient streets, meet the colorful characters, and uncover the secret history of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the upcoming expansion to the Disney Parks experience!

After devastating losses at the hands of the First Order, General Leia Organa has dispatched her agents across the galaxy in search of allies, sanctuary, and firepower—and her top spy, Vi Moradi, may have just found all three, on a secluded world at the galaxy’s edge.

A planet of lush forests, precarious mountains, and towering, petrified trees, Batuu is on the furthest possible frontier of the galactic map, the last settled world before the mysterious expanse of Wild Space. The rogues, smugglers, and adventurers who eke out a living on the largest settlement on the planet, Black Spire Outpost, are here to avoid prying eyes and unnecessary complications. Vi, a Resistance spy on the run from the First Order, is hardly a welcome guest. And when a shuttle full of stormtroopers lands in her wake, determined to root her out, she has no idea where to find help.

To survive, Vi will have to seek out the good-hearted heroes hiding in a world that redefines scum and villainy. With the help of a traitorous trooper and her acerbic droid, she begins to gather a colorful band of outcasts and misfits, and embarks on a mission to spark the fire of resistance on Batuu—before the First Order snuffs it out entirely.

Review

Black Spire is a fun deep-space team up that feels unique and interesting while somehow keeping the charm of the Star Wars universe we all know.

Note: Even though Black Spire is technically “Galaxy’s Edge #2”, you don’t need to read any other material to enjoy this book and it 100% works as a standalone.

Who doesn’t love a good team-up book? Black Spire by Delilah Dawson (Phasma, Kill the Farm Boy, Wicked As They Come) follows the Resistance spy Vi Moradi as she assembles a base on Batuu from nothing but her crashed ship, a melancholy droid named Pook, and Archex, the ex-trooper who tortured Vi.

The book starts slow as we’re introduced to Vi and her small squad. They crash land on Batuu and are forced to build the base from scratch – essentially the pocket change Vi has on her. The world opens up as Vi explores Batuu, meeting many eccentric and interesting characters along the way.

Hold up, isn’t Batuu the new land in Disney World?

Yes it is! I won’t get much into the theme park aspect of the story, but I’ve been to Batuu in Orlando and it was a lot of fun. Really feels like you’re in a Star Wars story, especially Rise of the Resistance. It’s amazing. Even if you don’t think you’ll be able to go, you should take a look at the footage people have posted on YouTube. Cool stuff. It’s clear from the outset that Black Spire is written to give some depth to the characters and places in Batuu. I think Dawson does an amazing job of including all of the cool details about Batuu that might make you want to go to Disney World without making the story kitschy.

There’s some meat on this story’s bones, too. Vi is very smart and capable at her job as a spy, but she is at odds with her lead role in the Resistance’s plans for Batuu. Since she’s a spy, she’s never seen herself as a leader, but Leia thrusts her into this role even though she doesn’t think she’s ready for it. She struggles to be a leader that everyone thinks she is.

Archex, formerly Captain Cardinal of the First Order, has gotten over his brainwashing through intense meditation at the equivalent of “Resistance Rehab”, but he feels uncomfortable because he doesn’t have a role. He’s not First Order anymore, but he’s also not entirely sympathetic to the Resistance’s cause. For someone whose entire life was built around structure and thought-policing, Archex is left in the lurch on Batuu with a woman who he doesn’t owe any allegiance.

Like I said earlier, this book is about assembling a team, and Vi encounters many beings in Batuu who are sympathetic to the Resistance cause. But she has to dodge and weave around local crime bosses like Oga Garra, as well as First Order officers who are hot on her tail.

Oh – I almost forgot to mention that January LaVoy does an excellent job with the narration of the audiobook! It’s hard to weave together voices from human and alien characters alike, but LaVoy really pulls it off and makes each character sound unique.

Black Spire is a fun book that is a breath of fresh air in the Star Wars universe.

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