I really need to loosen up when it comes to YA Star Wars novels. I’ll hold my hands up and own the fact that I always roll my eyes or, even just think to myself that I’ll get around to reading it at some point.
And when I do, I usually kick myself because I have enjoyed all of them so far.
This is the first one I have actively gone for and was lucky enough to get a chance to read a review copy courtesy of the Disney Book Group (thank you).
I was initially excited for this book, the same as I was a few years ago when the ‘Poe Dameron’ series by Charles Soule was announced because I love the character, I always have from the moment he asked Kylo Ren, “Who talks first?” I was hooked.
I have enjoyed him all the way through the Sequel Trilogy, his wit, his character arc and every time his theme comes on in the soundtrack I just love it.
So to get some more backstory about his younger years that ties into his relationship with Zorii Bliss AND his time as a Spice Runner was a thrill for me.
Without going into heavy spoilers, here is a very, very brief rundown of the story.
We meet a 16 year old Poe Dameron who is a bit stir crazy and reckless, he ends up joining with some less than legitimate people, including Zorii with whom Poe develops a close relationship.
They go on a number of adventures, get hunted by the New Republic and after a while end up on Kijimi where everything comes to a head.
What I really loved about the book was how well Segura writes Star Wars. He really knows how to craft a story in the universe and truly gets the characters he writes. I had no difficulty in picturing a young Oscar Isaac whilst reading the book and the same with a younger Keri Russell as Zorii.
The secondary characters are well written and enjoyable, the gang Poe ends up with really feel like a team, even though some don’t get a lot of action they all have their place. One notable new character is the Droid called Eevee who once introduced becomes a welcome member of the team and a great source of comic relief. Even though we know Poe and Zorii will make it out alive, the majority of the characters are fair game.
Segura also gives us to time with a couple of characters introduced in the ‘Shattered Empire’ comics, Poe’s father Kes Dameron and his family friend, L’ulo L’ampar in supporting roles, which help connect all of the Po Dameron stories we have had so far.
I really hope Alex Segura continues to write Star Wars books, he has proven he k led ow to write a great Star Wars book and understands the existing characters and add great new dimensions to them.
The book really flows well, the story is fun and engaging. The adventures the characters go on are thrilling and tense at times, the quieter moments also shine and the interactions between Zorii and Poe all help build up the relationship they had in their youth and gives us an insight to their relationship in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’.
‘Free Fall’ is definitely worth a read, it’s fast paced, thoroughly enjoyable and adds some great content to the Star Wars canon.
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