Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - A Crash of Fate (Book)
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?
The latest Young Adult Star Wars novel transports us to the world of Batuu for an unlikely love story. Is the Galaxy’s Edge tie-in worth checking out? Check out my full review to see.
Izzy and Jules were the best of friends. Growing up on the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost on the outer rim world of Batuu, the children spend most of their waking hours together while their parents work. When Izzy’s parents unexpectedly flea the planet in the middle of the night, however, the two are torn apart without so much as a goodbye.
As the years pass, Izzy bounces from planet to planet, falling into the life of a small-time smuggler looking for her big break. Jules, meanwhile, stays on Batuu, longing for more adventure yet finding himself rooted to his home planet. When Izzy finds herself abandoned by the only crew she had, she takes on a seemingly easy drop-off job that will take her back to Batuu.
A simple job turns out to be far more complicated between ship damage, a lost package, and rival intent on making her life miserable. In her struggles to make the drop-off she runs directly into Jules, who finds himself wrapped up in an unexpected adventure with the friend he’d thought lost forever…
There’s a lot more going on here, but I’m going to keep this review spoiler free so I won’t go into any specifics. The overall story doesn’t have a galaxy sweeping impact like some other Star Wars novels do. Instead it’s a far more intimate story, where the stakes are more personal than anything.
While some may baulk at this idea, personally, I love seeing “smaller” stories told in the galaxy far, far away. Not every adventure needs to have galaxy spanning consequences; it’s a big universe after all. That said, we still get mentions of the current state of the galaxy as the First Order exerts more control following the events of The Last Jedi, as well as the Resistance on Batuu.
Characters and Pacing
The events of the story take place all over the course of a single day, which makes it a fairly quick read and keeps the action moving along. This speedy pacing is one of the book’s strongest points, managing to hook you in quickly and keep you flipping pages until you reach the end.
The chapters are never terribly long, and manage to end at natural breaking points. This makes it feel like you’ve barely begun reading, while deceptively pulling you along for long chunks of time. The format of this pacing makes it super easy to take a break when you need to and come back to the story without feeling lost.
Part of what makes Crash of Fate’s story feel so quick (beyond the setting and format) is the almost instant attachment to the characters. Izzy and Jules make for a fun duo to follow, whether they’re together or apart, and their different approaches to problems makes for some fun moments. They’re each charming in their own way, while still presenting realistic flaws that make them easily relatable.
The best comparison I can make is that reading Crash of Fate felt like watching a Hallmark Channel movie. I know, I know, depending on your perspective that may not sound like a good thing. For me, however, it’s good and apt. It’s a love story, after all, and like many of those sappy Hallmark films it follows a fairly predictable story path: two people thrust together unexpectedly must solve a common problem and end up having feelings for one another.
There’s plenty of cliches and deus ex machina to go around (though that’s not uncommon thing in ANY Star Wars story). And yet, that’s a big part of the book’s charm, and plays into one of the novel’s central themes. Like those Hallmark movies, you may know the kind of ending you’ll get, but the journey is still fun, heartwarming, and likely to leave a big smile on your face.
The Tie-In Factor
Ostensibly, Crash of Fate is a novel that ties into the recently opened Disney Park, Galaxy’s Edge. It doesn’t come off as heavy-handed, however, and merely uses the setting of the Outpost/world as a setting for the story being told. Sprinkled throughout are some characters and locations visitors to Galaxy’s Edge can encounter, but they aren’t intrusive on the story.
Rather they provide a nice “slice of life” look at the inhabitants of Batuu while this other story plays out. Undoubtedly, those who’ve attended the park and then read the book, or vice versa, will get a kick out of other Easter eggs. If you’re unable to head to the new theme park, however, there’s still plenty to enjoy about Crash of Fate. You won’t be left in the dark on certain things and it’s entirely self-contained.
A Crash of Fate may not feature a story that will drastically alter the Star Wars landscape, but it’s smaller scale love story still makes a strong connection. The writing is tight and engaging, making the pages turn almost of their own accord as you’re reading. The more personal stakes make it easier to invest in the characters and I found myself wanting to know what other adventures they’re getting up to.
I had a lot of fun with it and seeing the world of Batuu through their eyes. If you’re looking for a fun story set in the Star Wars universe, definitely pick this one up.