This Review of Star Wars The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower may contain minor spoilers.
The second wave of The High Republic is here, kicking off with Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older and The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott. Race to Crashpoint Tower, the follow-up to A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland, is geared toward a middle-grade audience (ages 8-12), but contains enough action to keep readers of all ages engaged. It also fits in nicely with The Rising Storm, as the events of both books take place concurrently.
Race to Crashpoint Tower takes place on the planet Valo as the Republic Fair is getting underway, celebrating the unity and strength of the Republic. Just about one year previously, the galaxy was reeling from ‘The Great Disaster’ and attacks from a mysterious group of vicious pirates known as the Nihil. Time and the apparent defeat of the Nihil has allowed the Republic to move on, and Chancellor Lina Soh hopes the Republic Fair will mark this new time of peace.
Crashpoint Tower follows Jedi Padawan Ram Jomaram, who should be helping prepare for the Republic Fair but instead is working on repairing a broken speeder, is notified by the droid V-18 of an issue at the communications tower that has tripped a security alert. As Ram decides to go investigate he soon discovers there are Nihil on Valo. Suddenly the situation has become more dire, and Ram knows he must get the comms up and running so Starlight Beacon can be alerted and help can be summoned.
Along the way, Ram is joined by the droid V-18, who gets an unusual upgrade, the diminutive and mechanically-inclined Bonbraks, and Jedi Padawan Lula Talisola and Force-sensitive Zeen Mrala, characters introduced in IDW’s The High Republic Adventures.
As if the Nihil presence on Valo wasn’t bad enough, soon Ram and his cohorts find out the Drengir — sentient and voracious plants (although I’m still not sure about plants as a threat, but suspension of disbelief really helps) — are also on Valo. Soon Ram and his friends must take on the Drengir threat while the Republic Fair is under attack by the Nihil.
Race to Crashpoint Tower is an exciting read and, and the title suggests, moves very fast. Which can be either good or bad, depending on how much time you like to spend with a story. Of course, adults have to keep in mind it’s written with a younger audience in mind so it’s meant to move at a quicker pace. Crashpoint Tower dovetails in a wonderful way with Cavan Scott’s The Rising Storm, which would be beneficial to have read first. (I didn’t and wish I had.) Since the stories take place simultaneously, and some characters do cross over between the two books, by reading both you’re getting a wider perspective of the events on Valo.
Author Daniel José Older has crafted a fun tale with Race to Crashpoint Tower, one with humor, peril, and a healthy dose of adventure.
Star Wars The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower is available now from Amazon.com.
Thank you to Disney Lucasfilm Press for providing an uncorrected galley proof for review purposes.
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