Izzy and Jules were childhood friends, climbing the spires of Batuu, inventing silly games, and dreaming of adventures they would share one day. Then, Izzy’s family left abruptly, without even a chance to say goodbye. Izzy’s life became one of constant motion, traveling from one world to the next, until her parents were killed and she became a low-level smuggler to make ends meet. Jules remained on Batuu, eventually becoming a farmer like his father, but always yearning for something more.
Now, thirteen years after she left, Izzy is returning to Batuu. She’s been hired to deliver a mysterious parcel, and she just wants to finish the job and get gone. But upon arrival at Black Spire Outpost she runs smack into the one person who still means something to her after all this time: Jules.
The attraction between them is immediate, yet despite Jules seeming to be everything she’s ever needed, Izzy hesitates. How can she drag this good-hearted man into the perilous life she’s chosen?
Jules has been trying to figure out his future, but now all he knows for certain is that he wants to be with Izzy. How can he convince her to take a chance on someone who’s never left the safety of his homeworld?
When Izzy’s job goes wrong, the two childhood friends find themselves on the run. And all their secrets will be revealed as they fight to stay alive?
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Publisher: Disney–Lucasfilm Press
Release date: August 6, 2019
Written by Zoraida Córdova (her first full-length Star Wars story), A Crash of Fate follows protagonists Izzy and Jules mainly during one very busy day on the planet Batuu. Izzy left the planet thirteen years before when the pair were only children, and now she has returned on a job with trouble not far behind her. The two must rediscover their relationship while dealing with an angry team of pirates.
When A Crash of Fate was first announced back in January as a part of the Galaxy’s Edge publishing line to tie into the theme park, it was definitely the book that I was most skeptical of out of the announcements. The synopsis didn’t grab me as much as the synopses for Black Spire or Myths & Fables. Where the book first caught my attention is when they directly compared it to Lost Stars, which is the favorite Star Wars book of many people, including myself.
The Lost Stars comparison is definitely not unfounded. Both books are young adult stories following two entirely new protagonists (an idealistic guy and a cynical girl) who develop a romantic relationship in a familiar time period with minimal appearances from the primary characters we all know and love. One of the biggest things that works to distinguish Crash from Lost Stars is the compressed timeline and location. Lost Stars spanned several years and many planets while Crash takes place almost entirely on a single planet during a single day. It does help Crash find a balance between appealing to the audience that loved Lost Stars while not repeating what that book did.
Additionally, the protagonists of Lost Stars were very active participants in the galactic war going on at the time. Even when film characters weren’t appearing, Thane and Ciena were fighting in battles and defending bases we knew of already. Izzy and Jules, on the other hand, are purely civilians just trying to make their way in the galaxy. Lost Stars also had a number of appearances from characters we knew while I can’t think of any instances where film characters are even mentioned in Crash. It’s pretty refreshing because I’m not sure we’ve had a Star Wars book quite like it so far.
It’s especially nice to get a ground-level perspective from civilians in this time period, the time after The Last Jedi. The book establishes early on that it’s been a few months since the destruction of the Hosnian system and The Force Awakens, which is a time period that not many stories have touched so far (we’ll get plenty more soon enough with the Journey To publishing line coming up). Though the book doesn’t dwell on the war happening too much there are definitely moments where we get to see what civilians are thinking about the First Order and the Resistance, and how the war has been affecting them, which I really enjoyed.
What the book does have plenty of is nods to Galaxy’s Edge, the theme park at Disney World and Disneyland that the book was designed to tie into. Just about every other page has some new reference to a character, place, or item that can be found at the park. When I started the book I tried to keep track of all of the references but I quickly gave up. I’m sure it could be tiresome for some people, particularly people who think we’ve already gotten enough of Batuu in other media, but I really enjoyed it. I’ll be going to Galaxy’s Edge when it opens up at Disney World at the end of the month and reading the book got me more excited for my trip to Batuu and I’m sure will enhance my experience once I’m there. For most Star Wars media I consume, whether it’s film, game, or book, I’m thinking “I wish I could go there.” When I’m reading something on Batuu, I’m thinking “I get to go there.”
The characters in the book are all great. I don’t care about Izzy and Jules quite as much as I might have liked to (likely a result of the compressed timeline) but I still really enjoyed both of them and would love to see more of them at some point. The antagonists all serve their purpose, I don’t have particularly strong feelings for them but they worked. I’m glad characters like Dok and Hondo took a backseat because they’ve gotten plenty of focus in other Galaxy’s Edge materials.
Overall I definitely enjoyed the book. The pacing felt a bit off to me in places but it mostly worked fine because it was a very character-driven book. I never got bored with the writing, which is the worst thing that can happen for me with a Star Wars book. It isn’t my favorite Star Wars book of the month (that probably goes to Myths & Fables), but it’s still a well conceived and well executed story. I even enjoyed it more on my second, more recent read, which I wasn’t expecting. It definitely got me excited for Galaxy’s Edge too. It’s a good first book for Zoraida Córdova and I wouldn’t mind seeing her get more down the line.
This novel was reviewed by numidian prime. You can find more reviews by numidian prime over at comicsthegathering.com.
- Zoraida Cordova
- Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press
- Hardcover: 352 pages