Book Review: Race to Crashpoint Tower
Race to Crashpoint Tower is a great, short read that fits into the High Republic era, with great characters new and old. It's a cute, inspiring little Jedi story and was a fun book to pick up. I appreciated the way it fits perfectly into other High Republic books, and really builds on the story. Despite the book being so short, it also provides good development of the characters too, which I very much appreciated.
Spoilers ahead for Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older.
Ram is a new character for this book, and he's a different character than most others in the High Republic so I really enjoyed him. He's a Jedi padawan who of course values the Force, but also puts a lot of emphasis in his life on machinery. He's a mechanic who lives in the Jedi outpost on Valo, where we know from The Rising Storm that the Republic Fair, and the ensuing attack on it, occurred. He's happy with the quiet life he has on value, and his main job in the outpost is working on the speeders and droids, with the help of cute little bonbraks and a funny droid named V-18. He can't even imagine getting into a fight, yet when the Nihil attack he really steps up, bravely putting himself in harms way to defend others even when he's scared. He's also able to think on his fight and problem-solve even under pressure, and Ram really shows how capable he is, even if he lacked confidence in these abilities early on. His mechanical abilities also come in handy, because he repairs the comm tower that lets the Jedi communicate during the battle, but also with how he's able to use the Force to directly tap into precise systems of the Nihil speeders and ships to use it to his advantage, because he has that knowledge. It's a really cool, unique character ability, as we haven't really seen Jedi combine both the Force and knowledge of machines to create this kind of advantage before.
There's also the character of Lula Talisola. She is apparently a main character in some of the comics, which I am not familiar with, but the book provides enough of a recap that I felt like I understood her enough for the purposes of the book (though my interest in those particular comics is definitely piqued now). I thought she was a fun character in this book. She's a Jedi padawan who's striving to be the best, but as the book goes on she sets aside her ambitions for greatness and focuses on centering herself so that she can better help others and do good for the galaxy. It's a great mini arc for her, and I really appreciated her presence in the story.
I think what really impressed me about this book was how it fit so seamlessly into The Rising Storm. This book primarily takes place through the Nihil attack on Valo, which was the middle of that book. The events here really lined up perfectly which how things went in The Rising Storm, not a detail (that I could tell) was off. There were so many times reading Race to Crashpoint Tower where I was like "hey, I remember reading that scene, just from a different angle!" It was really cool, and the ability to provide us so many different perspectives on the same moments is something I love about Star Wars.