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Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars : Cobalt Squadron

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Rose and Paige Tico are sisters, refugees from a planet devastated by the fearsome First Order. After their escape, Rose and Paige join General Leia Organa's Resistance to make sure that no other worlds will suffer the way theirs did. Paige is a top-notch gunner for the Resistance bomber group Cobalt Squadron, and Rose is a technician who helps make sure the ships run smoothly. While investigating reports of a First Order blockade in the Atterra system, Cobalt Squadron is approached by two freedom fighters from Atterra Bravo, desperate to save their world from the stranglehold of the First Order. For Rose and Paige it feels all too personal, reminding them of their lost home. The Resistance devises a daring plan for the bomber ships to help the people of Atterra Bravo right under the nose of the First Order. Will Rose and Paige help save a planet, or will their actions lead to all-out war?

251 pages, Hardcover

First published December 15, 2017

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About the author

Elizabeth Wein

41 books2,946 followers
TIME magazine has put Code Name Verity on its list of "100 Best YA books of All Time."



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5 stars
206 (11%)
4 stars
519 (27%)
3 stars
803 (43%)
2 stars
280 (15%)
1 star
57 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 319 reviews
Profile Image for Khurram.
1,544 reviews6,645 followers
October 13, 2021
A very disappointing book. Personally I think there was a huge waste of potential. The story’s main characters are Rose and Paige Tico. There are cameos from general Leia and Vice Admiral Holdo, and there side characters of Hammer (heavy bomber/Star fortress).

There is not much good I can actually say about this book. This book The pacing of the book is very slow and there is very little action, apart from a couple of tense moments not much going on. Personally I did not really like the Star Fortress ships they seemed to be big giant targets.

The main character is Rose, this again I think this is a mistake, as I learned almost nothing new about her that was not on the movie. The rest of the crew we are likely never to hear about or from again including her sister Paige who died on duty taking out a Dreadnaught in the first battle in the movie, has an even smaller part in this book. I think this book should have been about the other characters or they should have added something to Rose I did not see in the movie. The only small spark of hope in this book is a comment Leia made to/about Rose early in the book.

This book did not bring anything new that was not in the movie. The book is supposed to be for younger readers but I can’t see anyone but the most determined Star Wars fans getting to the end of it. The story is as slow and ploddingly along as the Star Fortresses. Not a good read.
Profile Image for Jessica {Litnoob}.
1,183 reviews86 followers
December 31, 2017
Dnf at 55% I just couldn’t force myself to care which makes me sad because I really wanted to like it, I wanted to know more about Rose.
Profile Image for Christy.
1,505 reviews258 followers
December 16, 2017
After TLJ, I was like, I really want a Tico sisters book. Well past Christy is smart...she had preordered this book and it showed up yesterday. So great. Finished it from the time I woke up this morning!
September 13, 2020
Go on. Now's your chance.


I mean, geez, this was really good, but I did not expect the final chapter to get me so much. I got so many goosebumps. That last line!!

Cobalt Squadron follows Rose Tico, her sister Paige, and several other pilots in a mission to bring aid to a world injured by the First Order. It's honestly not the most exciting premise, but the use of sound effects and music and blaster fire are used so expertly in the audiobook. Even the sound of whistling wind on a certain planet felt so transporting.

The one thing that I really disliked about this book was... well, TROS. I honestly loved TROS for many reasons, but my greatest disappointment with that movie is the sidelining of Rose. She was such a fascinating character and deserved so much better. I felt bad reading this about her journey and becoming brave and her own person when I knew how things finished up for her.

See you then.

Oh, just writing that line gave me goosebumps again.

4/5 stars. Fantastic. And pretty gut-wrenching sad. But worth it.
Profile Image for Shadowdenizen.
829 reviews35 followers
February 28, 2018
3.5 stars.

I confess: I loved the Last Jedi, but don't hold it against me. (That's a discussion for another time!)

That said, I love teading more about Paige and Rose (who I found to be an endearing character in the film). But was this the greatest SW novel ever written? Not by a stretch: personally, I would have liked to see what Claudia Gray could have done with these characters!
Profile Image for Neil R. Coulter.
1,055 reviews100 followers
August 18, 2018
Elizabeth Wein had an uphill battle for me with Cobalt Squadron, because I really don't care much about the central character, Rose. (And I don't mean any criticism of Kelly Marie Tran; she did her best with very weak material in The Last Jedi.) But I was still curious to see if some backstory could help me appreciate Rose a little more. As it turns out, it didn't help much, and I found the story a little bland. But the end of the book has an interesting connection to The Force Awakens, and it also explains why Rose isn't in the bomber with Paige in The Last Jedi, so that is a helpful contribution.

Reading Cobalt Squadron right after Daniel Jose Older's The Last Shot made me like Cobalt Squadron more than I would have otherwise. What the pairing of these two novels showed me is that Star Wars ages down to a younger audience much better than it ages up to an adults-only audience. Star Wars is relatively simple and straightforward, and so to make it even simpler, totally accessible to a 10-or-under reader, works just fine. Though Cobalt Squadron is very, very simple, it still feels like Star Wars to me. The Last Shot, on the other hand, adds coarse language, a contemporary sarcastic attitude, and other supposed complexities not generally found in other iterations of Star Wars, and the end result isn't at all recognizable to me as Star Wars.

I've sometimes wished that a writer or filmmaker could bring a little more complexity to the politics of the Star Wars galaxy, but I now think that I don't really want to sacrifice the fundamental simplicity of the mythology if that little bit of gain also brings with it a lot of the ugliness that marred The Last Shot.

Minor criticism: Someone at Lucasfilm/Disney always needs to check how authors write about orientation in space flight. It doesn't seem like up/down/sideways ought to be meaningful in space. In Cobalt Squadron, for example, we read that "Finch jinked, throwing the heavy bomber practically on its side. When it was upright again . . . " (30-31). How can a ship in space be "on its side" or "upright"?

"I've got a bad feeling about this" alert: p. 171.
Profile Image for Amy Sturgis.
Author 40 books378 followers
March 24, 2018
Cobalt Squadron is a short YA novel that describes a mission undertaken by these Resistance fighters (think of the Berlin Airlift) that ends up coinciding with the First Order's attack on the Hosnian System. The story ends with the squadron following Vice Admiral Holdo as she goes to assist the evacuation of the Resistance base at D'Qar, thus blending seamlessly into the first scenes of The Last Jedi.

Though this is a brief work, readers get a clearer sense of the relationship between Rose and Paige Tico, their backstory, their lives together in the Resistance, and how they came to be separated (for the first time!), flying on two different ships, in The Last Jedi. It also gives another window into the state of the galaxy at the time of the new trilogy. The ending is suitably wrenching.
Profile Image for Jeramy Lord.
10 reviews2 followers
December 18, 2017
Obvious lead in is obvious.

Clearly a book designed to give is background info on Rose, who I an quite fond of. They damn well better not make her a love interest of Finn. Because Finn and Poe belong together....anyway.

Good background on Rose. An interesting story....still doesn't justify the existence of those ugly ass bombers.

TL:DR Backstory on Rose. Fun story.
Profile Image for Robert.
1,405 reviews97 followers
March 2, 2021
Better than I'd expected, with a clever way of converting a heavy bomber squadron into a less destructive force for good.

Tedious Unsolicited Autobiographical Detail: My late grandfather flew as a navigator on night bombers with the RCAF in the Second World War in Europe, so the camaraderie between the crew and the tension onboard during missions really reached me in surprising ways.
Profile Image for Lee.
946 reviews33 followers
December 20, 2019
Rose and Paige Tico are refugees from a planet that was destroyed by the First Order. Afterwards, they join the Resistance wanting to make sure that no one else, no other world, goes the way theirs did.

I was thrilled to dive into this. Learning more about about Rose and the relationship with her sister and with it narrated by Kelly Marie Tran I couldn't see how this could go wrong, but it did.

Throughout this, I don't feel like new information was really put in here. For a world that is so big and vast, this book felt flat. There was little action or tense moments either. This really does focus on the relationship between Rose and Paige, but I had hoped for a few more tense moments of action.

Rose and Paige together were adorable together!I loved seeing and learning about their bond and it does make me said that they weren't on screen together more than they were. I would have loved to see that.

Overall, this wasn't bad, but I would have liked to get a little more of what felt like new information about them with a little more oompf to it that could have kept me engaged a little more.
Profile Image for Lucille.
1,006 reviews199 followers
January 31, 2018
Awww my heart 💔 it was really nice reading about Paige and Rose, understand their background and relationship, what led them to be where they were on The Last Jedi.
A really nice short novel
Profile Image for Dakota Morgan.
2,240 reviews25 followers
January 22, 2018
I so wanted to like this book. The other middle grade volumes in the new canon, like Smuggler's Run and Moving Target, have been excellent little adventures featuring characters we know and love. Obviously, Rose is a new character from The Last Jedi, but it seems like she'll be a core character going forward, so I was excited to find out more of her backstory.

Sadly, her backstory appears to be that, prior to The Last Jedi, she was the dopey kid sister hanger-on to her charismatic older sister, Paige. "Kid sister" really gets at the core of my issues with the book. In The Last Jedi, she's clearly an adult, capable of making decisions and being a love interest. But in Cobalt Squadron, which takes place during The Force Awakens, she comes across as a ten year old. She's all nerves and fear and a glaring lack of self-confidence or ability to make decisions. Far too much time is spent on Rose's internal fretting. Sure, we need to see her learn and grow and figure out that she's a smart big girl who can make choices.

But that's the other issue - she barely comes into her own by the end. Essentially, she notices that the other fearful character is no longer fearful, so maybe one day Rose won't have to be fearful either. Uh, cool, I guess, but that's like ending the book at the midpoint of her character arc. "Oh, maybe I can be confident one day! For now I'm still a nervous wreck! The end."

I could gripe about Rose even more, but I should take a moment to note that the plot is fine and the other characters are fine and Leia makes a brief, welcome cameo. The ending ties into the beginning of The Last Jedi in a fairly emotionally devastating way. It's not a tough read. It goes relatively fast. The stakes are extraordinarily low, though. The bomber squad's biggest competition are a handful of TIE fighters and space mines. Maybe Elizabeth Wein has never written a space dogfight before? It showed a bit that she's uncomfortable with the more "Star Wars" elements and preferred to focus instead of Rose's boring interior life.

I came into this book hoping for a reason to like Rose more and found myself disliking her instead. Sorry, Rose. Not your fault.
Profile Image for Emily.
88 reviews24 followers
December 18, 2017
Ahhh, I loved this book so much! I listened to the audiobook because it was narrated by Kelly Marie Tran, and her narration combined with the fantastic, emotional storytelling made for a great read!

This story helps connect Rose, her sister Paige, and—surprisingly—Amilyn Holdo to the events in the Force Awakens. More importantly, it provides a great look into the relationship of Rose and Paige, and I’m sure I’ll be crying over it the next time I see the Last Jedi.

Fathiers have never been more important than after reading this book.
Profile Image for rachael ♡.
154 reviews94 followers
April 10, 2018
"Rose swallowed. Then, suddenly, she gave a sharp nod. She let go of Paige's hand. She knew that now she was going to be able to navigate new uncharted stars alone."

Probably more like 3.5 stars! Damn the whole star only Goodreads rating scale.

To begin: Rose Tico was definitely a standout character in Episode 8. She felt so realistic and naive yet hardened at the same time. That characterization was definitely reflected here in COBALT SQUADRON. I love that we got to go on a journey with her in this novel to explore who she is with and without her sister - and what her place could be in the resistance.

We spend most of the novel with the Cobalt Squadron making relief drops into dangerous territory to help freedom fighters on Atterra. Reeve & Casca, a grandmother and grandson duo, spearhead the makeshift rebellion group on that binary star system. I love that Rose explores so much of her own fears of separation from her sister and insecurity of her ability to lead and take responsibility in this story - a lot through her observation of these two relatives. She sees a lot of herself in Reeve and applauds both of them for their bravery, helping herself make the decision at the end of the novel to believe in her ability to work without her sister in the resistance.

I love that Leia, Holdo, and Fossil all got to appear as older women and badass leaders overseeing the resistance fighters in this novel. Leia's dynamic with Rose and Paige broke my heart - It was nice to see these women in power remaining cool and collected in this crisis while also offering empathy for the squadron's struggles. It was interesting to see how Leia and company had to balance both the extreme desire to help the freedom fighters and necessary initial hesitation to trust them. The politics in this novel surprised me, as it is a middle-grade read - some morally grey areas were brought up and discussed and I enjoyed hearing about the

The side characters of the Cobalt Squadron itself besides Rose and Paige did not feel very fleshed out and were not very memorable, for me, personally. I wish I could have differentiated more between their personalities and gotten a better picture of who they were and their relationships to the girls.

Elizabeth Wein definitely has the experience and expertise to write about these warships, to the point where I have never actually been able to relate starfighters and bombers back to ships in "our world" as much as in this novel. So much detail went into the descriptions of their mechanics and nothing about how they work was sped up for the sake of plot movement. Unfortunately, I didn't connect as much with her dialogue, as I felt that too much was repetitive in order to drive home some of the themes of the book - I love the exploration of those themes but I feel like they could have been expressed more fluidly with more emotion, even though this is a middle-grade novel. Since there were some very dark occasions in this book and scenes of violence and horror that even I was shocked with, I think that the middle-grade age group would have been able to catch onto those themes of nostalgia, empathy, and reminiscence without the same type of dialogue being repeated.

"There's one part of my life you absolutely need to understand: nothing is more important to me than my little sister Rose."

LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW CUTE PAIGE AND ROSE'S RELATIONSHIP WAS. I loved their walks on the base throughout the nature of D'Qar, I love that Paige was so obsessed with because it gives so much more weight to a lot of the scenes in Episode 8 with Rose, unfortunately, experiencing stuff without her sister alive. I loved their consistent family time in the gunner station, and how protective Paige was of her younger sister while also believing wholeheartedly in her ability to lead and work without her guidance. It was really sweet to see a sisterly relationship like this in Star Wars canon, and even though we all know what happens in Episode 8, it was nice to get more of an insight into the past of these girls. Learning what happened to their homeworld and how , my heart broke for them and I completely understand why they are so attached to each other.

Paige and Rose Tico further prove themselves as enduring, persistent heroes in this novel and although I felt there could have been stronger dialogue and smoother delivery of the more emotional content by the author, COBALT SQUADRON is an endearing and unique look into the new Star Wars canon and Resistance.
Profile Image for Melissa.
1,067 reviews72 followers
April 7, 2020
I enjoyed this one, my library luckily had it on audiobook since the physical library is closed down and it was a nice quick listen and distraction from news overload this weekend.

This book is the backstory of Rose and Paige, I wish we would have seen more of them on screen together, as a team, before where we finally meet them in the films. I enjoyed this story of one of their earlier missions.
Profile Image for Julia.
469 reviews81 followers
April 16, 2018
Ich bin ein großer Fan des aktuell noch neusten Star Wars Films „The Last Jedi“. Passend zum Film kam eine ganze Reihe neuer Star Wars Bücher raus, die begeisterte Fans mit neuen Infos rund um den Film versorgen. Die Kobalt-Staffel ist eines davon und sofern ihr diese Rezension auf meinem Blog lest, findet ihr untern alle weiteren Bücher dieser „Reihe“. Besonders Die Kobalt-Staffel zog mich jedoch an, da sie sich mit den Tico-Schwestern Rose und Paige auseinandersetzt, von denen ich gerne mehr erfahren wollte. Während Paige schon zu Beginn des Films stirbt, sorgte Rose durch ihre Storyline mit Finn für viele unterschiedliche Meinungen. Ich selbst glaube, dass hinter ihrem Auftreten noch mehr steckt, als uns in „The Last Jedi“ bewusst wird und bin sehr gespannt auf ihre weitere Geschichte.
Ich hatte erwartet, dass Die Kobalt-Staffel mehr von der Vergangenheit der Schwestern erzählt. Diese wird zwar häufiger angeteasert und angeschnitten, viel erfahren wir allerdings nicht. Stattdessen erwartet den Leser ein actiongeladenes Abenteuer ganz im Stil von Star Wars. Die politische Situation ist hierfür zwar nicht unbedeutend, allerdings nimmt sie eine geringere Relevanz ein und der Spaß am Lesen steht im Vordergrund. Rose habe ich dabei ebenso ins Herz geschlossen, wie ihre große Schwester Paige und ich freue mich besonders jetzt darauf, „The Last Jedi“ noch einmal zu sehen.
Die Handlung dreht sich um die Rettung der Zwillingsplaneten Attera Alpha und Attera Bravo, die von der ersten Ordnung beschlagnahmt und kontrolliert werden. Die Rebellen versuchen, den Bewohnern des Planeten zu helfen und erkennen dadurch erst die gesamte Gefahr, die von der ersten Ordnung auszugehen scheint. Dabei überzeugt Die Kobalt-Staffel aber mehr mit Weltraumschlachten und riskanten Manövern, als mit vielen Infos über die Hintergrundsituation, was das Buch eher ansprechend für ein jüngeres Publikum macht. Ich persönlich hätte mir mehr Einbindung in de Filmgeschichte gewünscht. Das Buch spielt übrigens direkt vor „The Last Jedi“ und endet mit dem Befehl, D’Qar bzw. die Rebellen dort zu evakuieren. Gerade vor diesem Hintergrund hätte ich eine stärkere Einbindung tatsächlich wichtiger gefunden, als viele actionreiche Szenen.
Die Kobalt-Staffel ist ein actiongeladener Roman, der direkt im Vorfeld von The Last Jedi spielt und sich um eine Mission der Tico-Schwestern dreht. Im Zuge dieses Romans habe ich Rose Ticoo zwar sehr lieb gewonnen, mir fehlte aber eine stärkere Beleuchtung ihrer Geschichte, weshalb mich das Buch damals eigentlich angesprochen hatte. Zudem hätte ich mir eine stärkere Einbindung in die gesamte Geschichte der neuen Film-Trilogie gewünscht. Nichtsdestotrotz kann das Buch aber genau wegen seiner leichten Lektüre und dem Fokus auf das Abenteuer selbst auch jüngere Zielgruppen sehr gut ansprechen.
Profile Image for Lizz.
228 reviews1 follower
January 15, 2018
3.5 stars. The mission/plot of the story was okay but the book shines in the scenes between Rose and Paige, when we get a chance to see how devoted to and protective of each other they are (were). Because The Last Jedi just wasn’t sad enough. Will someone please hug Rose for me?!
Godspeed, Rebels.
Profile Image for Lata.
3,509 reviews187 followers
March 11, 2018
Not as tension-filled as I was hoping, though it was wonderful to focus on Rose and her older sister Paige and their close and loving relationship. Most of the story’s action takes place while a squadron of Star Fortresses (those ridiculous looking bombers in Last Jedi) make secret drops of vital supplies on a planet suffering under the First Order. Rose is responsible for creating and maintaining baffle systems to muffle each bomber’s energy output. She’s quite dependent on Paige, as the sisters have only each other since leaving their planet, and Rose insists on always working on the same ship as Paige. As this story progresses, Rose gradually learns to trust herself enough to work on another ship, which takes her to Admiral Holdo's ship as the First Order and the Resistance begin working openly against each other.
Profile Image for Marlowe.
880 reviews16 followers
February 19, 2018
After watching The Last Jedi, I wanted to know more about Rose Tico. She's an intriguing character who doesn't get much exploration in the movie, but just enough to hint at a lot more depth.

Unfortunately, she doesn't get much exploration here, either. The story is about Rose and her sister, Paige, trying to help a local rebellion on the planet Aterra Bravo. Set before the outbreak of war with the First Order, Rose and Paige have to operate in secrecy while the rebellion gathers evidence against the First Order.

So far so good. Except that the narrative is fairly superficial, and we don't get a whole lot of character exposition or development. There's a bit there about Rose's relationship with Paige, and what development there is is about her learning to function independently of her sister (giving the last few chapters quite a bit of pathos, considering what happens in the first few minutes of The Last Jedi).

There's certainly enough plot to fill a full length novel, but the author opts for repetition of the superficial, rather than depth. So over and over again, we hear about how Aterra Bravo reminds Rose of her homeworld, and over and over we hear about the difficulty of navigating the heavy bombers through the Aterran asteroid field. It's so repetitive that even my six year old was getting annoyed! This book does not trust its readers at all.

Which is such a shame, because Rose is an interesting character, and because the plot is interesting on its own.

This isn't a terrible book, but it is a disappointing one. The author seems to have confused writing for a younger audience with writing for a lazy, uninterested, and unengaged audience. She sacrificed depth for the assumption that her audience wouldn't remember details from one chapter to the next.
Profile Image for Ross Buffa.
Author 1 book3 followers
December 15, 2017
I really didn’t care for this book. It was like the X-Wing books in the Legends where there is just a lot of fighting in space. Reading that isn’t like seeing it. If that is enjoyable then the book was okay. The only thing that was great was Roses’ backstory and how she relates to Episode VII. So the last part of the book was good. Overall, worth reading as a tie-in, but it’s just a really boring time.
Profile Image for DiscoSpacePanther.
330 reviews11 followers
April 4, 2018
This took me far too long to get through than a lightweight children's Star Wars novel ought to. Perhaps I am burnt out after reading too many of these children's novels in quick succession (the Star Wars completionist in me insists that I must read them all), this being the fifth one I've tackled in the last few months, but I found myself struggling with the lack of depth in characterisation in Star Wars: Cobalt Squadron.

Like Star Wars: Before The Awakening, Cobalt Squadron suffers from being a story about the days in the lives of movie characters just before their movie appearance - there is no room for a character arc in the novel, because that should be left to be shown in the movie, and the events shown in the story cannot outshine what happens in the movie. So, we are left with a story that must necessarily be not quite as exciting and not quite as meaningful as the movie it is supposed to set the scene for.

This is not the author's problem - she has done the best that can be expected given the constraints of the form - it is the nature of the product that is a setup for disappointment.

However, there is some enjoyment to be had here. The story is that of Paige and Rose Tico, characters who appeared in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (note: I really enjoyed the movie, and found it both better written than The Force Awakens and more thematically satisfying than that exercise in storytelling by committee). It was pleasant to read about the relationship between the Tico sisters before the events of The Last Jedi - it turns Paige into a character of interest instead of being an anonymous Resistance gunner - and it gives a bit more depth to Rose, who was already an intriguing element in the movie.

Unfortunately, the rest of the story is pretty run of the mill. The mission the characters find themselves on turns out to be a supply run so that the inhabitants of a world can get on with their own rebellion (which will happen offscreen). At first their tactics are unbelievably stupid, but at least that gives them the opportunity to show a little progression and intelligence later. Villainy is observed, but not really combated (although there is plenty of hand-wringing), so the heroes end up feeling insipid, and there is no satisfying climax where an evil opponent is defeated, the immediate conflict just sort of peters out.

I appreciate that I'm again not in the target demographic, but I also found the 'gee-whiz lets all have a picnic and shoot TIE fighters' tone a little jarring. Paige and Rose are adults (despite the story being written for children to identify with), so when they are more animated about being given fruit than about the deaths of comrades, it punctures my suspension of disbelief and makes me think more of first years at Hogwarts than war veterans and freedom fighters from the Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Best point: space combat involving Lancaster bomber analogues.

Worst point: More reference to the stupidity that is Starkiller Base from The Force Awakens. Please, please, please can we cease and desist with superweapons in general, and Starkiller Base in particular. Every reminder of it is a twist of the knife in my Star Wars-loving heart.

I didn't love this book, but I didn't hate it either. Ultimately, for me new Star Wars is better than no new Star Wars, so I'll say that, if you are in the target demographic and you want to learn more about Rose and Paige Tico, go ahead and read it.
Profile Image for Ian Sharman.
Author 50 books10 followers
January 17, 2021
This book charts Paige and Rose Tico's final mission together before the events of The Last Jedi...so you already know how it's going to end...ominously. With a sense of looming tragedy. Knowing that their last goodbye really is going to be their last goodbye.

Spoilers for The Last Jedi, I guess, but Paige Tico dies at the start of the movie.

Now, had I read this before I'd seen The Last Jedi, it might have meant that death had more impact for me (I read Catalyst before I saw Rogue One, which meant that Lyra Erso's death hit me like a ton of bricks and I was crying before anyone else in the cinema knew what was going on).

(Seriously, I cried so much during that movie that my youngest leant over in the cinema and asked me if I was okay...)

Anyway, I liked Rose Tico, and wanted more of her and her sister, and this book does give you that...but it's incredibly hard to get into. Paige and Rose end up part of a mission delivering supplies to a First Order occupied planet. What this means in practice is a lot of lengthy runs to drop supplies that are described in detail, while we're given little reason to care about the occupied planet or anyone on it. Which is a shame. At times Wein gets it right, and creates a real sense of tension during these runs...but at other times we feel literally nothing. There's no sense of threat. No tension at all. Well...until she weaves in a sense of impending doom at the end.

I feel like the biggest problem this book has is the complete lack of any antagonist. The First Order exists as a largely abstract threat, just nameless and faceless TIE Fighter pilots...we have nobody to root against, just a crew to root for, and none of them are particularly fleshed out beyond Rose. We don't even really get to know Paige, other than how she relates to Rose. She's never allowed to exist as a character in her own right.

That said, I still enjoyed the book, and I'm aware that I'm being hypercritical, mostly because it feels like something of a missed opportunity. Hopefully we'll get more of Rose in the future, because she was tragically underused in The Rise Of Skywalker. And maybe we'll even get a chance to get to know Paige too.

All in all, a little disappointing, but if you do want more of the Tico sisters after the movie, it does at least go some way towards giving you that.
Profile Image for Neil.
1,131 reviews9 followers
January 13, 2018
This was an okay read. For a book as small/short as it is, it sure seemed to take "a while" to read hahahah. It details a "final" mission of Cobalt Squadron that takes place just before the events of The Force Awakens and ends just before the start of The Last Jedi. I guess it is supposed to provide more background to the relationship between Rose and her sister, Paige? I would say the book focuses more on Rose than on Paige, as it does not really seem to add much depth to their interpersonal relationship. That is not to say the character development is "all bad" or "not good"; it is alright and works for the length and depth of the novel. It just felt more "superficial", in general, is all. I realize this book is probably written for "early teens" and was not written to be the "next great American novel", but there were some parts that were excruciating to read.

I do think the author did a good job in terms of describing Rose that shows how imperfect she is. She struggles with various fears, various levels of doubts, some selfishness, and insecurity throughout the course of the book. She has feet of clay, and she does strive to learn from others and better herself. While she is far from perfect, she works hard and takes pride in her work. She started off annoying in the beginning but was not quite so annoying at the end (for some reason).

Now, something did strike me as funny, but only because of the realization that settled in as I was getting close to the end of the book.

I did find myself wondering why these bombers were not used in The Force Awakens. Considering their payload, they could have been chilling in hyperspace until the shield was dropped and the Resistance fighters had pulled most of the TIE fighters out of the area as decoys. The bombers could have popped in out of hyperspace, dropped their payloads, scooted out of the area, and 'saved the day' (in my opinion). But I could be wrong. They seemed to do a pretty good job of surviving the Imperial fleet [until the TIE fighters came in, for some reason].

This book does have a few characters from The Last Jedi in it (other than Rose and Paige, that is), so it was a nice tie-in, that way. All too often, it seems, the new Disney Canon books seemed to want to avoid using any of the "main characters" from the original movies (other than maybe Leia or, to a lesser extent, Han Solo and Chewbacca), but that trend seems to be changing with some of the more recent books that have been released.

I am glad that I pressed through the initial chapters; those were probably the hardest-to-read chapters in the book. It did get (relatively) better, though, as I continued reading. Overall, I am glad that I read the book.
Profile Image for Jean.
197 reviews12 followers
April 14, 2018
Beautifully written, as expected from author Elizabeth Wein, of Code Name Verity fame. I liked the tone, steering away from the typical Star Wars kind of adventure and more towards suspense. Again, as expected from the author of Code Name Verity. And I'm sort of in awe of how well she fits the story into the timeline, how masterfully it's done.

But I had a few basic problems. For someone who is not used to "doing talking" with Resistance heroes, Rose sure has a lot of interaction with Leia, and to a lesser degree Holdo. Actually, I'd have liked Holdo to have handled the mission, it would have meshed nicely with Holdo's attitude towards Poe in the movie, and losing the bombardier squad. Getting to go on this big, exciting mission, which is admittedly small potatoes for the Resistance but not exactly what I imagined for unassuming Rose.

It also seems exceptionally cruel to have Paige's death happen the first time they're separated. I am not sure why Rose, who seems like a ground technician, is flying in the first place. I know what the story tells me, because of her sister, but I'm not even sure the book realizes that it makes her sound and feel as in the way as she actually would be. That rang so false with me. It might have been better to show Rose and Paige's escape from their home planet, or maybe just a smaller story. It isn't exclusively a problem with this book; plenty of Star Wars expanded universe materials have this issue.

Overall, it's a good book, a fun read. I just don't know if I believe it as a prequel for Rose.
Profile Image for Jeanne.
509 reviews300 followers
January 12, 2020
This has a lot of cool insights into Rose and Paige’s backstory and relationship, but also felt kind of surface level. Perfunctory. Maybe it’s the lack of a plot that really goes anywhere. Like they do stuff, but not much. Which isn’t necessary bad but didn’t really help make the story or characters all that compelling. The facts are interesting on paper and the implications of the sisters being separated for the first time going into the events at the start of The Last Jedi, but I didn’t feel the impact of any of it like I expected to.

I’ve heard a lot of people comment on how many of these character books don’t do much beyond providing info on characters. I’d argue that isn’t at all true of the Leia books or Resistance Reborn, but after reading this book I understand the criticism.

I’m just disappointed. I love Rose and Paige. I was really hoping to get a more substantial story for them. Still I enjoyed what I did learn about them.

I’d only recommend this to fans of the Tico sisters that want more info than what’s on wookiepedia or completists who have to read all the new canon.
Profile Image for Colin McEvoy.
Author 2 books15 followers
June 12, 2019
It's fine. This is a middle grade novel, and it reads that way, so if you're a grown-ass adult like I am, you're probably only going to get so much enjoyment from the book itself. Lol But if you're a completionist Star Wars nerd like I also am, who absorbs every piece of media associated with this awesome franchise, you won't be dissatisfied either. It gives you everything you want in that regard: you get an established back story for a major character (Rose), fleshed out details about minor characters (Paige), and brief cameos by the likes of Leia, Holdo, etc. There's nothing particularly special about the story, but it was cool to see the relationship and rapport between sisters Rose and Paige, how Rose overcomes her fear and comes into her own, and it was neat to see how the story weaved into the first two films of the sequel trilogy. And as an added bonus, I listened to the audiobook, which was read by the great Kelly Marie Tran herself (which was the primary reason I sought it out in the first place). So I have no complaints.
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