I’ve read a lot of the “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi” associated novels in the last year or so, most of which solidly fell into the Young Adult section of the library. Now I generally love the YA section and think the books I find there can often be deemed of better quality than in the adult section but the recent Star Wars ones? Not so great quality. They just took old characters I loved and turned them into flighty teens or created new characters that I just didn’t care for. I thought maybe this would be different since it’s an adult book about a character that we don’t really know much about, Captain Phasma.
Now Phasma wasn’t horrible. I’d give it a solid 3 out of 5 stars. But there were some issues, partially in the writing itself and partially in the story.
Phasma starts out with Vi, a member of the Resistance, getting pulled onto the First Order’s Battlecruiser where she is met by a stormtrooper in red armor. This stormtrooper is Cardinal who ends up being very interested in the fact that Vi’s ship shows that she’s recently been to Parnassos, the home planet to none other than Captain Phasma. Now Cardinal, who kind of resents Phasma because she’s taking over more and more of his responsibilities, wants to know what Vi knows about the mysterious woman in the chrome armor.
So we start going back and forth between Cardinal’s interrogation of Vi and Vi telling secondhand stories of Phasma’s life on the planet. And that’s where it gets a little messy. Vi is telling Cardinal a story that she heard from someone else and instead of the scenes in the past being directly from the original storytellers point of view, Vi kind of inserts herself into the story too by adding little, unnecessary comments. I think the stories would have been stronger if Vi hadn’t done that.
Also, while the scenes from the past started out interestingly enough the journey just kind of seemed like it was dragging on and on.
All in all I thought none of the revelations about Phasma were all that surprising in the scheme of things. She fought and killed a bunch of people and betrayed a lot of them! No one else in the Empire or the First Order have ever done that! (Gasp!)
So a 3.5 because I didn’t spent the whole time thinking people were written out of character like I have in other “Journey to…” books but it lost some points for being awkward and stilted and the fact that I just didn’t really end up caring too much.