Black Spire

Black Spire

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 fo...

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Title:Black Spire
Author:Delilah S. Dawson
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Black Spire Reviews

  • William Schaller

    Dawson did an excellent job tying a poignant spy story to the introduction of a new land/theme park. At first I was worried this was going to be an extended rip off of a Diagon Alley story set in the Star Wars universe, but the likable characters, vivid descriptions, and fast paced missions were entertaining—properly matching the feels and styles of a galaxy far, far away.

  • Jaime

    Delilah Dawson KNOWS Star Wars. Her writing GETS IT. I loved the pacing of this book, the characters, the multiple stories - definitely one of the best SW books I’ve read in a long time.

  • Jeff Heimbuch

    Despite living close to Disneyland, I haven’t been to Galaxy’s Edge yet. But this...this made me more excited than ever to check it out. Dawson fleshed our this world and made it real. Made the characters living, breathing things. Made the story part of something you can live.

    This was a fantastic follow up to PHASMA, and a great piece of the Galaxy’s Edge canon. Till the Spire!

  • Danny

    Review originally posted:

    Book Review: My Complicated Relationship with Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire

    In this essay (which is actually just the next four paragraphs) I will explain why I wasn’t immediately a hater of the concept of Galaxy’s Edge tie-in literature.

    Star Wars lit, by its very nature is tie-in literature. Primarily, the stories tie-in to the movies, but we’ve seen plenty of books that connect/>Part

    Review originally posted:

    Book Review: My Complicated Relationship with Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire

    In this essay (which is actually just the next four paragraphs) I will explain why I wasn’t immediately a hater of the concept of Galaxy’s Edge tie-in literature.

    Star Wars lit, by its very nature is tie-in literature. Primarily, the stories tie-in to the movies, but we’ve seen plenty of books that connect with the TV shows or video games. We’ve even seen some experimentation with tying in with the comics, with the recent Alphabet Squadron – TIE Fighter crossover. So that’s a paragraph of words. Hang onto that.

    Star Wars, by its very nature, has always been experimental. The original movie captured so many fans’ attention because it pushed the boundaries of what movies could do with special effects. The Phantom Menace created Jar Jar! Rogue One brought Peter Cushing back to life!! Whether or not you appreciate the decisions themselves, the Star Wars franchise has always been about pushing boundaries, trying new things, getting ~~experimental~~

    When Star Wars announced their Galaxy’s Edge line of novels with the reasoning of “it’s so that fans who can’t go to the parks can still experience the parks,” I think it was pretty obvious to all of us that the translation of that reasoning was “it’$ $o that fan$ who can’t go the park$ can $till experience the park$.”

    But also, go back to paragraphs two and three and mash those together. What happens when you combine a franchise whose lit is by nature tie-in lit and which is always pushing the boundaries of new and unique ways to tell stories? By golly, I daresay you end up with novels that tie into a theme park! And that’s why, despite the capitalistic cash grab alarm bells going off in my head, I was kind of curious to see how they went about with this new and experimental way of creating tie-in literature.

    Black Spire is a good Star Wars book! I enjoyed it! Especially because, right now, I’m so hungry for post-The Last Jedi content to hold me over before we all get TROSed. And yes, of course, this novel doesn’t give us any big information on what Rey, Leia, Finn, Poe, Rose, Chewie, Nien, the Abednedo dude, Konnix, and that Porg are up to after escaping Crait. But, much like the Aftermath series, it paints a picture of the state of the galaxy, and tells a story about the challenges of recruiting “regular” people into the galaxy-wide conflict when those “regular” people are just trying to afford their groceries (or as we all know they are called in space, “sproceries”). So that’s cool.

    The thing is, if I were reviewing this book as simply a post-TLJ novel and nothing more, I would say that its strongest point was the world-building. Vi and friends go to a planet I’ve never heard of, and over the course of the novel, we learn about the culture, the people, the landscape. And I come to empathize with the plight of the residents, and maybe come to want to visit that planet myself someday!

    Problem is, we’re all suffering from a little Batuu-fatigue, since all of the sudden, every character in every Star Wars property has some reason to visit or mention that “backwater outpost.” So, every time a detail is dropped, a detail that in any other novel would be considered standard world-building fare, all I see are dollar signs. “Vi went to Oga’s cantina and ordered a Black Spire Brew” OH MY GOD I GET IT I’LL GO TO OGA’s CANTINA AND BUY THE BLACK SPIRE BREW WHEN I GO TO THE THEME PARK.

    So what is it? World-building? Or just a straight up commercial for things you should look for when you sell your firstborn and go the Star Wars land? Probably both.

    In the end, I wasn’t able to separate the two in my mind. And, for better or worse, that hindered my enjoyment of the novel some. But not entirely. Because there are a few other reasons to enjoy this book, which I will describe in Part Three, happening on the next line of this book review.

    Some non-Galaxy’s Edge-related reasons you may enjoy this book.

    Did you like Phasma? I liked Phasma. Well this hasn’t really been advertised, and I’m not sure why because a lot of people seemed to like Phasma, but this book is definitely a direct sequel to Phasma. Two major characters’ stories continue onwards in this novel (spoiler alert: Phasma isn’t one of them). And it’s a pretty good continuation of their story. Except for that their relationship kind of makes me uncomfy. But maybe you’re into that kind of thing?

    This book addresses PTSD! Mental health in Star Wars! We don’t see that much! Does it do it well? I don’t know. I’ll leave that commentary to the folks who have PTSD themselves. But it’s nice to see an author making an effort!

    What happens when your small band of Resistance fighters trying to save the galaxy from the soul-crushing hoards of pseudo-fascist children puts out a distress call and no one responds? You gotta RECRUIT! This book is about that, but I already kind of addressed that.

    Basically, what I’m getting at, is that this book is about more than just a list of things you can buy at Galaxy’s Edge. But it’s also a list of things you can buy at Galaxy’s Edge. So my recommendation is to buy it and read it. Or not. You have free will, so it’s up to you.

  • Unseen Library

    I received a copy of Black Spire from Penguin Random House Australia to review.

    Rating of 4.25.

    Black Spire is an interesting addition to this later year complement of Star Wars novels, and it is one that I have been looking forward to for a while. Dawson previously contributed to the Star Wars extended universe with 2017’s Phasma, and Black Spire is also part of the Galaxy’s Edge mini-series, which is connected with the Disneyland theme park area of the same name. As such,

    I received a copy of Black Spire from Penguin Random House Australia to review.

    Rating of 4.25.

    Black Spire is an interesting addition to this later year complement of Star Wars novels, and it is one that I have been looking forward to for a while. Dawson previously contributed to the Star Wars extended universe with 2017’s Phasma, and Black Spire is also part of the Galaxy’s Edge mini-series, which is connected with the Disneyland theme park area of the same name. As such, there are some intriguing elements to the book that make it worth checking out.

    Following the events of The Last Jedi, the Resistance has been decimated, and only a few survivors remain. However, those survivors are still as determined as ever to fight the tyranny of the First Order, and need to find new recruits, allies and resources to continue this war. To that end, General Leia Organa has tasked her best spy, Vi Moradi, to find an isolated planet and set up a base to serve as a much-needed bolt hole for other surviving members of the Resistance. Still recovering from the trauma of her last adventure, Vi decides that the best location for this base is on the isolated planet of Batuu, which serves as the final stop between the known galaxy and the mysterious and unexplored expanses of Wild Space.

    Heading out for Batuu with a ship full of supplies, materials for a base and a rather snarky droid, Vi is joined by Archex, a former captain in the First Order turned ally who is now seeking redemption. However, their mission begins poorly when they are forced to crash land on the planet and scavengers steal all their supplies. With no help coming from the rest of the Resistance, Vi is forced to make other arrangements to secure her objectives. Finding work in the Black Spire Outpost, Vi will have to make deals with local gangsters and barter with various businesses if she is wants to build up her base of operations and attract new recruits.

    However, most of Batuu’s populace want nothing to do with the Resistance and are content to live their lives on the outskirts of the current conflict. But when a force of First Order stormtroopers arrive on Batuu led by a fanatical officer determined to hunt down Vi, they begin to understand the true power and terror of the group beginning to dominate the galaxy. As Vi’s small group of Resistance recruits band together to fight back against the superior force arrayed against them, will they be able to save Batuu, or will another planet fall to the destructive tyranny of the First Order?

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  • Khurram

    For me this was a ok to good book I would have put at 3.5 stars. It was the second half of the book that pushed it over the line to good for me.

    This book starts during the time of Force Awakens in the introduction, then fast forward 4 months after the Last Jedi. I actually will not be surprised if the ending of this book led to something in Raise of Skywalker. Actually I will be quite disappointed if it does not.

    This is a return of sort of the characters from Phasma. Thre

    For me this was a ok to good book I would have put at 3.5 stars. It was the second half of the book that pushed it over the line to good for me.

    This book starts during the time of Force Awakens in the introduction, then fast forward 4 months after the Last Jedi. I actually will not be surprised if the ending of this book led to something in Raise of Skywalker. Actually I will be quite disappointed if it does not.

    This is a return of sort of the characters from Phasma. Three of the main characters are from there, no Phasma is not one of those. Two of them are still healing from the physical and mental scars and trauma of that book. I am not sure the exact timeline of (I would say about a year since Phasma), but the characters seem to have aged quite a bit.

    I loved the Phasma book, so I was happy for the cast to be used again, but the first half of the book was a bit too slow for me. The second was really good. I especially liked how later on in the book all the new recruits got short chapters to themselves. This was great for character development, as well as for me as a reader to see their inner conflict before a big mission.

    This book does a good job of laying the ground work the new movie, by showing how the universe has changed in since the lady movies. Remember the entire government as essentially been destroyed. As well as the Resistance being decimated to the endangered species status.

    As a stand alone story it is ok, as a sequel it is good (Phasma I though was great), as a lead 9nto the movie I thing it is good. If it not a lead into the new movie it is a waste of potential.

  • Chris Kelly

    Not the worst Star Wars novel but not the best either. Parts of it read like an advertisement for the Galaxy's Edge theme park (which I guess is more or less the purpose of the novel), and it was often immersion-breaking at these parts. I'd be interested to read more about Vi Moradi and her espionage exploits, but keep out the obvious advertising next time, please!

  • Ben Brown

    One thing you have to give Disney credit for: they are masters at commoditizing every piece of IP they own to within an inch of its life. The debut of the “Galaxy’s Edge” theme park this past summer has seen not just one, but two tie-in pieces of literature: the comic “Galaxy’s Edge,” by Ethan Sacks, and now the novel “Black Spire Outpost,” written by Delilah S. Dawson. Both are set at Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu – the setting of the theme park – and both serve dual functions, tel

    One thing you have to give Disney credit for: they are masters at commoditizing every piece of IP they own to within an inch of its life. The debut of the “Galaxy’s Edge” theme park this past summer has seen not just one, but two tie-in pieces of literature: the comic “Galaxy’s Edge,” by Ethan Sacks, and now the novel “Black Spire Outpost,” written by Delilah S. Dawson. Both are set at Black Spire Outpost on the planet of Batuu – the setting of the theme park – and both serve dual functions, telling standalone stories while also acting as extended advertisements for the park. It’s definitely a strange and awkward line to toe: how do you tell a story that promotes the park in a way that isn’t overly obvious, while also being entertaining on its own terms? The “Galaxy’s Edge” comic achieved a decent balance between the two mandates; unfortunately, “Black Spire Outpost” is less successful.

    The main problem, I think, with “Black Spire Outpost” is that it doesn’t really feel like Dawson has much of a story to tell. The basic framework of the novel – a lone Resistance spy attempts to set up a base of operations while gathering allies for the fight with the First Order – is less a singular narrative and more a string from which to hang an assortment of interconnected adventures from, most of which serve to highlight some aspect of the real-world park. It’s a decidedly episodic approach, which in and of itself isn’t always a bad thing – some of the best “Star Wars” novels over the years have been highly serialized – but as told by Dawson, it feels half-baked, even a little crass, almost as if the writer approached her novel from a place of “How do I fit Ronto Roasters, Dok-Ondar, and Oga’s Cantina into this?” as opposed to “How do I tell a good story that happens to accommodate these elements from the park?” Throw in a sluggish pace, forced-to-the-point-of-being-painful humor, and a protagonist that is off-putting (to put it mildly), and you’ve got a tie-in novel that just doesn’t justify its existence beyond being just another cog in the ever-rolling wheel that is the “Galaxy’s Edge” marketing machine. Pass.

  • Chris Wermeskerch

    +I like Vi and I like Archex...

    -but I never truly understood Archex's motivations

    -and his characterization is mostly told to us, not really shown. We're told he's smart but we never really see that...

    +World building was done well and it mostly didn't feel like a commercial for Galaxy's Edge,

    -but the prose was extremely repetitive ( @Weed Demon Klaud there's an example at the end which made it feel even worse)

    +I liked seeing Archex and Vi together

    -but the premi

    +I like Vi and I like Archex...

    -but I never truly understood Archex's motivations

    -and his characterization is mostly told to us, not really shown. We're told he's smart but we never really see that...

    +World building was done well and it mostly didn't feel like a commercial for Galaxy's Edge,

    -but the prose was extremely repetitive ( @Weed Demon Klaud there's an example at the end which made it feel even worse)

    +I liked seeing Archex and Vi together

    -but the premise of how they were set up made me uncomfortable

    -and they never spent a great deal of time together, either

    +I liked the side characters

    -but I didn't get the Brooklyn 99 feel that she kept promoting?

    -Kath was so boring, yet another generic First Order officer.

    -----The torture scene was super gratuitous for its length and made me extremely uncomfortable, do not understand why her books have to be so violent, good lord

  • Neil R. Coulter

    Another run-of-the-mill, generic Star Wars story. The first part reads mostly like a commercial for the Disney theme park, and everything feels very safe and non-threatening—which I figured makes sense, because they don't want kids to read this and be terrified to enter Disneyworld. But then later in the book there's a lengthy torture scene that is quite cruel and horrifying. The tonal shifts in this novel are strange. Overall, this story felt very similar to the Ahsoka novel.

    For me,

    Another run-of-the-mill, generic Star Wars story. The first part reads mostly like a commercial for the Disney theme park, and everything feels very safe and non-threatening—which I figured makes sense, because they don't want kids to read this and be terrified to enter Disneyworld. But then later in the book there's a lengthy torture scene that is quite cruel and horrifying. The tonal shifts in this novel are strange. Overall, this story felt very similar to the Ahsoka novel.

    For me, the characters weren't given enough chance to be interesting. Vi is surely one of the worst spies ever, and Leia's plan to save the Resistance—essentially, "Let's just go to a bunch of random planets nobody's ever heard of and where we have no contacts and see if anyone wants to build a Resistance base with us"—is bizarre. This is mostly the franchise's fault: the sequel trilogy era doesn't make any sense, and with only one movie left to tie everything together, I don't expect any further clarity. I feel bad for any author that gets the assignment of writing a novel in this era.

    A note on droids in Star Wars stories: I love K-2SO dearly, but not every new droid from this point on needs to have a sarcastic personality.

    One thing I liked about

    is Delilah Dawson's idea of the Force as kind of the Holy Spirit of the Star Wars galaxy. That's a bit of a new direction, and it fits well in this story. "Perhaps she could not use the Force, but she could let the Force use her" (294). The mystic Savi is the most intriguing character in this book, and even though he's a shameless Disneyworld tie-in (in real life it costs $200 to meet him and receive a fancy toy lightsaber), I do hope that he'll be developed further in other books. I like his perspective on the galaxy, as much as we've seen it so far.

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