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Star Wars: The High Republic

Race to Crashpoint Tower

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Another exciting story in the #1 New York Times best-selling series!

The Republic Fair is coming! Visitors from all over the galaxy are traveling to the planet Valo for a massive, awe-inspiring festival celebrating the Republic. While his fellow Valons prepare for the fair, Jedi Padawan Ram Jomaram is hiding out in his favorite place: a dingy garage filled with mechanical parts and tools. But when a security alarm goes off on the nearby hilltop nicknamed Crashpoint Peak, he ventures out with his trusty droid V-18 to investigate. There he discovers that someone has knocked out Valo’s communications tower—a frightening sign that Valo, and the Republic Fair, are in danger. Sure enough, as Ram races to warn the Jedi, the dreaded Nihil unleash a surprise attack! It’s up to Ram to face down the enemy at Crashpoint Tower and send a call for help to the Republic. Luckily, he’s about to get some assistance from unexpected new friends…

Don't miss all of the Star Wars: The High Republic adventures!

199 pages, Hardcover

First published June 29, 2021

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About the author

Daniel José Older

115 books1,854 followers
Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of the Young Adult series the Shadowshaper Cypher (Scholastic), the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series (Penguin), and the upcoming Middle Grade sci-fi adventure Flood City (Scholastic). He won the International Latino Book Award and has been nominated for the Kirkus Prize, the Mythopoeic Award, the Locus Award, the Andre Norton Award, and yes, the World Fantasy Award. Shadowshaper was named one of Esquire’s 80 Books Every Person Should Read. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic and hear his music at http://danieljoseolder.net/, on youtube and @djolder on twitter.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 259 reviews
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,463 reviews9,333 followers
May 5, 2022
Race to Crashpoint Tower is another fantastic Junior Star Wars novel set within the era of the High Republic; the golden age of the Jedi.

The recently released High Republic books all take place around the time of a galaxy-wide event known as the Great Disaster.

This catastrophic event caused chaos as ships were launched out of hyperspace, moons were destroyed and a great amount of debris was left in the aftermath.

To put it in timeline perspective, these High Republic novels predate all previously released Star Wars Canon materials.

This story is set on the planet of Valo, following the Great Disaster, where a Republic Fair is about to take place.

Jedi Padawan, Ram Jamoram, is working diligently in his garage when a security alarm sounds from the communication center known as Crashpoint Tower.

Ram sets out with his trusty droid, V-18, to investigate. Once there he discovers the tower has purposefully been tampered with; blocking all communications. Nihil sabotage!

Now Ram must try to warn the Jedi and seek help as the planet comes under siege. With the galaxy teetering between balance and chaos, can order be restored?

Luckily, another young Jedi Padawan arrives from off-planet, Lula, and she joins Ram as they try to repair the comms in order to notify the Republic they're under attack. They hope Starlight will then send reinforcements.

The Nihil raiders also have new allies, other dark force beings from the wider galaxy, raising the stakes and the difficulty level of Ram and Lula's mission significantly.

This was such a fun story. I loved seeing the connections between this and the other stories within the new High Republic materials.

There was even some character crossover, as one of my favorite characters from A Test of Courage advised on this mission.

As always with the Junior Canon novels, I found this to be easy to follow, fast-paced, funny and an excellent introduction to the belief system of the Jedi and the workings of the galaxy in general.

I am really glad I had a chance to read this one. The audiobook is incredible, as the Star Wars audiobooks always include great narration and fun sound effects.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney LucasFilms Press, for providing me with the audiobook of this to read and review.

It was a ton of fun and I cannot wait for the next releases in the High Republic content!
Profile Image for Jim C.
1,489 reviews28 followers
November 25, 2021
This is a novella that is part of the "High Republic" series. This story ties in directly with the novel The Rising Storm. I would advise reading that book first. In this one we follow a couple of padawans that are attempting to restore communications after the Nihil have attacked.

I am not sure if this story had a chance with me. I wasn't a fan of The Rising Storm. This book takes us directly to that story and honestly I am not sure if I want to visit it again. We see characters pop in and out in this story that come from the novel. Even with me not being a fan of the main novel I just did not connect with this author. I am not sure why. This should have been a good story as we have battles and a mission that makes sense. I believe the problem is that everything came across as bland and had the characteristics of cardboard. My biggest complaint with this series is no connection to the characters and this story follows that pattern. The story even brings back a character from A Test of Courage and she is one of the few characters I have liked in this series. Unfortunately, she came across as bland too and I didn't even realize it was her at first. I can say the blandness is in the battles also as I was reading them and they did nothing for me.

Like I said this could be a case of tying in with a book that I did not like. Maybe this book was doomed for me from the very beginning. That being said if a book is good it should be able to carry its own weight on its own and sway me. I wish this book could have done that.
Profile Image for Chad.
7,455 reviews856 followers
April 12, 2022
A nice companion to The Rising Storm. Actually, it's better than The Rising Storm. It focuses on two padawans who are trying to fix a communication tower during the attack by the Nihil that occurs in The Rising Storm. While written for younger audiences, I found it to be an enjoyable read as an adult. It dovetails in nicely with the main story and has a couple of crossover points. I much prefer this type of story telling with the focus on one set of characters instead of the sprawling morass of characters that we flit around to in the main novels.
Profile Image for Neil R. Coulter.
1,053 reviews99 followers
September 18, 2021
Race to Crashpoint Tower is like a “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” (or, in Star Wars lingo, “Tag and Bink Were Here”) side story that takes place mostly on Valo during the Nihil attack on the Republic Fair. Some of the characters and events from The Rising Storm, which told the fuller story of that battle, are glimpsed from a distance in this book. But unlike Tag and Bink, Race to Crashpoint Tower isn’t a comedic retelling from another perspective; it’s just more stuff that was happening at the same time as the previous book. And that makes me wonder: why not tell the whole story in one novel? Instead of being drawn in and intrigued by the addition of new actions into the previous story, I feel annoyed. Anyway, because this book is almost a non-story and the writing style is pretty bad, I’ll write some more general thoughts about the High Republic series.

As the fifth volume in the High Republic series (not counting graphic novels), this would seem to be a good time to stop introducing fifty new characters in each book. But no. The difficulty is that when a new character enters, I have to ponder: Is this a brand-new character who has never appeared before? a minor character who was mentioned in a previous book? a major character I’ve totally forgotten? the main character in a previous book that I’ve somehow missed? The answer could be any of those, and so the High Republic is a really dispiriting method of storytelling. I don’t want to put the book down and check Wookieepedia every time a character is mentioned.

That’s related to another major flaw in the High Republic endeavor: spreading the story across different kinds of books. What is the point of publishing books for different audiences if you have to have read all of the books of every level in order to understand what’s happening in the story? There is no way someone could read the “young readers” novel Race to Crashpoint Tower without having read the “grown-ups” novel The Rising Storm. I don’t understand how this publishing strategy makes sense. This is only the second year of High Republic books, and I have tried my best to read everything and in the proper order, and still I’m lost.

Of all the many, many characters who have been introduced so far in the High Republic, the only one I find interesting is Vernestra, who makes some brief but unimportant appearances in Race to Crashpoint Tower. I imagine that eventually the High Republic will coalesce around her as the only character who has the potential to carry all the narrative weight. (I’m even cynical enough to guess that this was the authors’ plan all along, but they want us to think that we’re making our own decision about which character should take the central focus. I mean, how far could a story go with a moody, introverted Wookiee Jedi? Obviously he was never in the running to be the main character.) Still, though, even with Vernestra there’s little reason that she had to exist in a different era from what we’ve seen in the movies. She could easily live in the prequel era. Actually, she would have been excellent as one of Luke’s students after Return of the Jedi—if the sequel trilogy had been . . . well, other than what it was.
Profile Image for Alexandra Elend Wolf.
532 reviews252 followers
July 25, 2021
“He was a Jedi Padawan, and he was apparently the only one around to deal with this. It was his duty, even if he would’ve rather spent the rest of the night tinkering.”

This was a fine enough story. I'm not wild over it or anything but I definitely had fun.

First thing first, the concept of this book was really interesting to me. The fact that it is a side story from The Rising Storm and we just get to see how something came to happen was nice and, honestly, I liked it. I was curious when it all went down in the previous book and I was not disappointed over it. I just, well, I struggle to understand why this needed to be a different book? It would have fitted quite neatly with, what I am calling, the main book; it wouldn't have been weird or out place or anything. My only guesses are that they didn't want the book to be that long or that they wanted to keep it focused on the characters from Light of the Jedi.

If the idea was to keep the worlds from colliding too harshly in the previous book I must say that I found it really cool and nice here. And I would also have thought so before.

“They moved like they were extensions of the same person – not a word exchanged.”

Still, it isn't enough of an issue that it diminished my enjoyment of the story. Because it was a fun story. It had quite a bit of action and the relatable, quirky characters you'll expect from a middle-grade book to a T.

Bringing characters from The High Republic Adventures comics series as well as from A Test of Courage was a really fun move. Their interactions were nice and I really liked their chemistry.

Everything is moving so fast that we have just enough time to expend a bit with Lula and Ram, our main characters, and I would have loved to see more of Vernestra only because I love her so much. It is a book for quite a young audience though and both main characters do a great job of exploring the story.

“Being a Jedi is about balance. Balance of the Force within you, the Force in the wider world. Balance of the Force as it flows through us.”

As I said, the story is pretty action-packed, but we still have some time for reflection and philosophizing... which was a little weird.

The ideas were certainly fun and I liked them. They were relatable, which I think is what you must want to go for. But, and this is a big but, they also made no sense at all? I don't know if it was jsut the phrasing of them, but I found myself, sure, understanding them but also having no clue what it meant. They kind of seemed like a sausage of words that are supposed to have meaning when strung together but really don't.

Nevertheles, it was weird.

There were other sentiments that made a little more sense but anything that resembled life-altering advice was just weirdly phrased. Worst of all, they would be repeated over and over again only enhancing the weirdness.

Really, that's probably my biggest issue with the whole book, the writing style. It just... it never clicked with me and I found it weird. I've read Daniel José Older's comics, I love them really, and I feel like he just didn't know how to translate these characters he has worked on in that format to a solely written one.

“Padawans learned the forms, memorized each step, and honored their lightsabers as a part of themselves, and in doing so, they walked the path of every Jedi before them, and every Jedi yet to come.”

Overall, weird writing aside, I enjoyed this book and had great fun.

I would still re-read it, if merely for that one really big piece of information we are given. That makes it all totally worth it. Not that the rest wasn't fine as well, but, yeah.

Whatever comes next will be fun for sure and I'm really looking forward to it.

“Because I care about life. And the light. I’d save them because it’s the right thing to do.”


Well, this was definitely a fun little adventure.

Admittedly, most of this was just that, a nice and fun adventure, but the little tidbits of information were nice!


Alright, initially I wasn't sure why this book as well as The Rising Storm had been released the same day but now I think I know and, well, I like the idea.

It seems short and sweet which is something I want from it and like, it's just gonna be a bit of fun after the ending of its companion book. I'm ready for some of it.

Whatever the case that this ends up being, I know that I will have fun seeing these new characters because, at this point, I have a bit of blind trust in The High Republic content. Just a smidge.
Profile Image for Khurram.
1,536 reviews6,640 followers
April 12, 2022
I enjoyed this book much more that I though I would. This book is a great companion to the Rising Storm. Apart from returning characters for A Test of Courage it also introduces other characters.

For a continuity lover life me I really like how this book flows perfectly into The Rising Storm. The other thing I like about the book and thus series is that they show others force users and the Jedi way is not the only way.

The Republic Fair attact was a huge battle it is great that this books concentrates on some of the battles that the main book did not. Itvus great idea for Older to use his characters from Star Wars the High Republic Adventures here. I will definitely be getting that series next.
Profile Image for Ben Brown.
375 reviews119 followers
October 12, 2021
Daniel Jose Older’s “Race to Crashpoint Tower” is exactly what it appears to be: a relatively self-contained, tightly paced quick read that neither wastes the reader’s time, nor inspires much in the way of fervor. Fans who have been following the entire “High Republic” initiative will find some fun Easter eggs sprinkled in here and there – particularly those related to the ongoing “High Republic Adventures” comic line – but on the whole, this is pretty standard stuff that is pretty much the definition of a read that is “strictly for the fans.”
Profile Image for Sarah.
372 reviews37 followers
May 27, 2021
Read more: https://www.friendsoftheforcepod.com/...

Race to Crashpoint Tower sports a slim frame, coming in at just about 200 pages, but it packs a big punch! In this second installment of The High Republic’s middle-grade offerings, Daniel José Older gives us a story starring Ram Jomaram, a Jedi Padawan on Valo, where the Republic Fair is set to be held. Ram’s talents lie not with combat, but in mechanics, and he soon realizes that that local comms tower (aka Crashpoint Tower) is broken! On Ram's mission to fix the comms, the threat becomes much larger, leaving him with more of an adventure than he bargained for.

Older’s writing is wildly funny and action-packed. Readers will immediately fall in love with the characters of this story: there's our hero Ram Jomaram, the tiny bonbraks of his workshop, and, of course, his droid V-18. In addition to these new characters, we also see the return of Vernestra Rwoh from Justina Ireland’s A Test of Courage as well as Lula Talisola from the High Republic Adventures comics, also authored by Older. Older weaves all these stories together with a mastery, making their coming together feel natural and necessary. We also get to see more of the villains that we were introduced to in the Wave 1 stories, which are, without a doubt, some of my favorite moments in this book!

Race to Crashpoint Tower feels like a true sequel but still maintains its accessibility for readers who just want to hop into The High Republic during this wave of stories or who haven’t read all the materials of Wave 1. It’s a really fun ride and one that feels appropriate for middle-grade aged readers and older readers alike. Don’t sleep on this one just because it's written with younger readers in mind!
Profile Image for Jay DeMoir.
Author 14 books53 followers
July 21, 2021
2.5 stars.
Though not as strong as “A Test of Courage”, this entry into the High Republic Era was still fun. I felt the characterization was under developed but it was enough to understand the characters. I wish there’d been a tad bit more development but also, as a middle grades book I get it. However, test of courage was well rounded and developed so I won’t use that as an excuse.

P.S.- This one links closely to The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott
Profile Image for Caleb Graham.
83 reviews2 followers
April 10, 2021
Not sure why people leave ratings before a book is even out, but I’m helping this one with a five star instead of all the pre-hate. I’ll update when I’ve read it.
Profile Image for Lisa.
78 reviews1 follower
July 3, 2021
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.

Rating: 4/5

Thank you to Disney Lucasfilm Press for providing an uncorrected galley proof for review purposes.
Profile Image for Brett Wyman.
100 reviews
September 29, 2022
Cute and fun little side story to the events of Valo from The Rising Storm. The characters fight Nihil and Drengir on the way to fix the communication tower but have to go through a few speed bumps along the way. The Drengir were reduced to Looney Tunes type villains but this is a kids book after all.

We get a good cast of characters. Ram Jomaram, a Padawan from Valo, meets the characters from DJ Older's High Republic Adventures comics, Lula Talisola and Zeen Mrala. Zeen is force sensitive but not part of the Jedi Order. Lula is a Padawan that is envious of the teenage prodigy, Vernestra Rwoh, introduced in Justina Ireland's A Test of Courage. Being the same age, Lula feels under-accomplished compared to Vernestra who is already a Jedi Knight. Vernestra and her go on a mission together and we get some nice scenes between them. Ty Yorrick (conveniently misspelled as Yorrik throughout the book) also makes an appearance. She is a Padawan turned Mercenary. Adds a little bit of tension when she has to work with the members of her former Order.

In my review for Mission to Disaster by Justina Ireland, I made a comment that she should have had full control over the High Republic middle grade line of books. I would have liked to see a full trilogy following Vernestra, Imri, and Avon, but Race to Crashpoint Tower was a good enough entry that I'm not upset over it. 3.5 stars rounded up.
Profile Image for Arezou.
218 reviews10 followers
September 24, 2021
Star Wars is a lot of things. It’s full of action. It’s got big emotions and a lot of heart. It has characters that are relatable and that stand the test of time. Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older has all of these things, but it also has something most Star Wars just doesn’t: it is laugh-out-loud funny.

I’m serious. I’m not the type to laugh at something if I’m reading it or watching it by myself. And yet, by the time I got to the end of this book, I had actual tears in my eyes - the good kind, thankfully. I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Daniel José Older has brought his characteristic kind of funny to the GFFA before, with 2018’s Last Shot and the more recent (and relevant) Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures comic series for IDW.

Race to Crashpoint Tower pulls off the remarkable feat of being inextricably linked to both the IDW High Republic Adventures series, and to The Rising Storm and yet somehow functions perfectly as a standalone novel for younger readers - and older readers too. See again: me with tears in my eyes.

[READ FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW: https://thegeekywaffle.com/home/2021/...]

Special thank you to Lucasfilm and Disney Publishing for an advance copy of this book for review purposes.
Profile Image for Christy.
1,505 reviews258 followers
September 26, 2021
I imagine some people will skip this because it’s YR but it contains important info for the overall story! Directly tied into THR Adventures, Race to Crashpoint Tower is not to be missed!
Profile Image for Ryan Hixson.
489 reviews9 followers
April 1, 2022
Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older is the second middle grade novel in Star War's High Republic Series. I was blown away by the first book in this series and how the stories are about children but are still taken seriously in the Star Wars Universe. This novel is way more connected to the High Republic's other novels especially The Rising Storm. Reader might feel disappointed because the heroes that we spent time with time with in the first middle grade novel A Test of Courage are barely in this novel, we instead get new heroes that have not existed previously in the High Republic. Of the new young padawans Ram is might favorite which his force powers able to connect to machines than they do people. The story is really action packed character development takes a backseat. This novel tells the story with two perspectives Rams and Lula and Zeen's which were introduced in High Republic Adventures comics ( which I haven't read). This novel is good but I feel it relies heavily on having read The Rising Storm. It's is almost an echo story we take a disaster and then we focus on one part of it but we still want to include everything that happened in the other novel.

The Plot: Ram a padawan who toils in repair shop Crashpoint Peak has noticed a group messing with the communications Tower on Valo. This is on the Eve of a galaxy- wide fair that is working a Republic peace talk as well. Ram discovers it is the Nihil a dangerous group that killed a lot of Jedi mere months ago blowing up a starship as the Jedi plan to patrol the outer rim. The Nihil fire upon him as he tries to go about fixing it, he retreats and must tell the bigger Jedi, but they are concerned with pulling off the big event. He deals with a security guard that looks him up while sending a message out. Lula and Zeen are on a mission investigating a Nihil attack and learn of a bigger one that they can't pinpoint then they see Ram message and must help him since now Valo is radio silent as all the towers have been taken. Can Lula and Zeen get with Ram to stop this Attack or get help to Valo.

What I Liked: Ram's force power of connecting with machines was cool and I liked how it helped in aiding him and I liked how he struggled in the Jedi Powers we know like mind control. The mind control scene where the security wouldn't say exactly what was asked and the moving of the hand got called out for being unnecessary. There was a big moment in The Rising Storm where a zoo is breached and all the creatures are released, which we got a couple more creatures to see. The action is pretty non stop.

What I Disliked: Is how connected this story is to The Rising Storm, I don't think the reader would be able to figure out the whole plot without reading The Rising Storm first. There's barely any character development which is a shame because that is what I enjoyed some much from A Test of Courage the first middle grade book. Zeen's reasons for not being a Jedi didn't make much sense, maybe it is explained more in The High Republic Adventures comics.

Recommendations: This is a fun book, but ultimately I felt readers can not enjoy with out having read The Rising Storm. I can not recommend it with out having read that book. Then you have a laugh or two and go as fun as that story was it wasn't necessary, to the larger story and didn't add anything to the characters. I rated Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older 3 out of 5 stars.
Profile Image for Kelvin.
103 reviews15 followers
July 9, 2021
Not as good as Justine Ireland's High Republic novel

Compared to Justine Ireland's Middle-Grade novel, this one was just all right. This novel was written in a way that readers at 8 to 12 would be engaged with but enough to keep adults turning the pages too. This book is heavy on the action, especially at the end. I like the first half of the book more due to Older giving detail to the characters and their quirks and motivations. He also introduces and reintroduces a lot of characters from this era in Star Wars.

The last 50% was straight up nonstop action. I did like some aspects of the action that went down, especially when other than that, the Nihil are just a cartoonish biker gang with nothing else to offer. These guys are straight out of every generic bad guy movie you've ever seen. I'm nowhere near a fan of them or their involvement with fighting the Jedi and the Republic but so far, after everything I've seen about them, the Nihil haven't done anything that surprises me yet.

In the end, this was a Middle-Grade book to the core, and it's easily forgettable once you finish reading it. I felt that the ending was rushed but it does end without a cliffhanger, so the story itself stands on its own. You do not have to be familiar with the other High Republic novels to get into this one. Each one can be read in whichever order you choose.
Profile Image for Anne Pauline.
485 reviews99 followers
May 18, 2022
As always with the High Republic, I had a great time reading.

This is particularly thanks to the characters who are always so interesting and diverse. I was very happy to meet Ram and Lula, and especially to find Ty whom I had adored in the previous volume.

My only complaint would be the writing style, which I didn't like at all, and the story, which is very anecdotal. I think I'll forget most of the events of this tome very quickly.
Profile Image for TheGeeksAttic.
108 reviews25 followers
June 15, 2021
Star Wars: Race to Crashpoint Tower was written by New York Times Bestselling Author, Daniel Jose Older. Older is also writing the Star Wars Adventures High Republic series.

Summary: The Republic is getting ready to celebrate its accomplishments on the planet Valo, at the Republic Fair. Chancellor Soh will be present, along with many Jedi, to celebrate the unity and power of the Republic.

A security alert reaches a young Padawan, Ram, there seems to be an issue at Crashpoint Tower (a communications tower). Ram takes it upon himself to go check out the tower. It’s the Nihil! Ram does his best to fight them off, to see what it was they were doing to the tower.

When Ram attempts to reach his master or any other Jedi to inform them of what he'd witnessed but he has no luck! Somehow, Ram must reach out to Starlight Beacon, to inform them that the Nihil have been spotted on Valo, and have tampered with the communications tower.

Disaster strikes at the Republic Fair!

Ram Jomaram is a Padawan in Lonisa City on the planet Valo. He loves tinkering with machinery, breaking them down, understanding how they work, and putting them back together. His love and understanding of machines, such as droids, speeders, etc. really helps him attune to the force. He’s a peaceful young man with hopes of remaining on the quiet and peaceful Valo. He's slightly fearful and a intimidated by the thought of battle. However, he knows fear is all in the mind, he just needs to learn to control himself.

Lula Talisola, from the High Republic Adventures comic series plays a large roll in this book! She knows that her attachment to things and people are a great weakness. Not only is her attachment a weakness, but she fears it could bring her down, into darker places of the force. Lula wants to break away from her attachments, it's the only way she could possibly achieve her life long goal of becoming one of the greatest Jedi Masters. Vernestra Rowh becomes somewhat of a mentor to Lula, helping her through this emotional set back.

OVERALL THOUGHTS: Race to Crashpoint Tower was pretty good! I wasn't a big fan of Older's previous Star Wars book, Last Shot. But my dislike for that story, will stay with that book, not the author. I open each book with an open mind, ready for adventure. I'm pleased to say I enjoyed this story.

The event that takes place in this book is one that, once again, knocks the galaxy off its feet. The execution of this event was a little muddled down, but after I let it marinate in my brain for a bit, it's better off that way. After all, this is a kids book and shouldn't be graphic, besides, the event on Valo is the primary focus of the adult novel, The Rising Storm, I recommend reading that book before this one to get a better understand of what's happening on Valo. This story doesn't focus too much on all that is happening during the tragedy. It's focused on certain characters being pushed to their limits, and the tasks they needed to accomplish to help resolve the tragedy at hand.

I only have a few issues with the story, mostly with the dialogue. Some of the names of people and creatures are far too goofy. The Nihil are a vicious bunch, but the other villains that show up, the Drengir, are just far to silly to be taken serious. However, it is a book designed for kids, so it's fine, the Drengir are a decent fit for this age group.

It's quite fun to see familiar characters from the other books and comics weave through the multiple stories in the High Republic era. In this young reader book, we have several characters and locations that make an appearance, and they're handled so well. I really enjoy how the characters each have a personal conflict or set back that they must overcome. The challenges they face are both interesting and risky.

I highly recommend reading The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott before diving into this book. Race to Crashpoint Tower is a fun junior reader book, and it reads really fast.

Rating: This book receives a B+
Profile Image for Blue Milk Mama.
6 reviews8 followers
July 1, 2021
Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel José Older is the second middle grade novel in the new High Republic era of Star Wars…

Padawan Ram Jamoram is happy living at the Jedi outpost on the planet Valo, where it’s quiet and predictable. He’s happiest when he’s alone tinkering with engines and electronics, but when things go horribly wrong at the Republic Fair will he be able to get to the comms tower, fix the problem and get word to Starlight Beacon?

Ram’s Jedi Master Kantam Sy is fond of telling him:

“You must see the whole for the whole, each part for the role it plays--not for what you want it to be, not for what you fear it to be. Just for what it is.”

As Ram learns to play his part, he meets Padawan Lula Talisola and Force-sensitive Zeen Mrala who feature in IDW’s High Republic Adventures. Other familiar faces appear to guide and assist our young heroes, but ultimately, what happens is on their shoulders as they face imminent danger.

Ram’s trusty sidekicks also include the tiny mechanically-inclined (and kindred spirit) Bonbraks and V-18, a droid who is about to get some serious upgrades!

Older’s use of humour is absolutely on point, and young readers will delight in zany laugh out loud moments. This helps to balance the book’s darker themes. It’s not all United in Song exhibits, rycrit wraps and bantha milkshakes! Like its predecessor, A Test of Courage, this book is not afraid to toss its young protagonists head first into destruction and despair. They face both the evil Nihil marauders and the carnivorous, plant-like Drengir who are intent on destroying everything and everyone at the fair.

The beautiful illustrations by Petur Antonsson are one of the highlights of the book. I adore the art style, and getting to see some of the characters and events is an absolute treat. The book itself is a fun, almost square size, easy to hold and is about 200 pages long.

I’d recommend reading IDW’s High Republic Adventures before diving into this book. Can you read this book without having read about Lula and Zeen’s escapades first? Absolutely, Older provides a good amount of backstory so it remains accessible on its own. However, as with all of the High Republic, it certainly benefits from having read more in this interconnected universe.

If you’re an adult reader wondering whether or not to delve into this book, I wouldn’t hesitate. This little book is expertly woven into the events that take place in Cavan Scott’s The Rising Storm, so definitely read that first. Then you’ll delight in learning even more about what happened during the Fair.

I found myself wishing Crashpoint was just a little bit longer. The plot lines are well-crafted and come together at the end, but the conclusion feels a tad incomplete. However, on July 7th there is still issue six of the High Republic Adventures to look forward to, and hopefully more stories to come!

As a mother of three and a former early childhood specialist, I highly recommend Race to Crashpoint Tower for younger readers. It’s a fun, fast-paced Star Wars adventure full of humour, a diverse cast of delightful characters and of course, light versus dark.

I give it 4 out of 5 glasses of blue milk!
Profile Image for Emma.
24 reviews
July 2, 2021
Race to Crashpoint Tower, being a junior novel, didn’t release with the same level of expectations as a book like The Rising Storm. When will we ever learn to not underestimate Star Wars junior novels? This book was brilliantly written by Daniel José Older, incorporating elements from all over the second wave of the High Republic as well as characters from his comic series, The High Republic Adventures. Reading The Rising Storm without reading this book doesn’t give you the whole story: Race to Crashpoint Tower contains some absolutely essential information regarding the events at the Republic Fair. And not only was the plot exciting and tied in well to its adult novel counterpart, the story flowed beautifully with quieter moments between characters. Don’t sleep on this book just because of its target audience: Race to Crashpoint Tower is a phenomenal read with more great High Republic lore.
Profile Image for Meggie.
400 reviews40 followers
January 12, 2022
Some History:
Daniel Jose Older’s Han Solo-centric novel, Last Shot was definitely intended for adult audiences, but his original fiction runs the gambit from adult and young adult urban fantasy (Half-Resurrection Blues & Shadowshaper) to middle grade alternate history novels featuring dinosaurs (Dactyl Hill Squad). Race to Crashpoint Tower is the second middle grade novel within the High Republic series, and shows readers another side of the Nihil attack on the Republic Fair. Race to Crashpoint Tower made it to number four on the New York Times children's middle grade hardcover bestseller list for the week of July 18, 2021.

The Republic Fair is coming to Valo! But when a security alarm goes off on nearby Crashpoint Peak, Padawan Ram Jomaram discovers that someone has knocked out Valo's communications tower—a frightening sign that Valo and the Republic Fair are in danger. Luckily, he's about to get some help from unexpected new friends…

The Good:
—I really liked Ram Jomaram. I love when we get characters unlike the stereotypical Jedi, and Ram reminded me a lot of Anakin Solo from the old Expanded Universe: he’s very mechanically adept, and he’s good at seeing how things work together. He struggles with the combat side of his Jedi training, but his skills end up benefiting everyone around him. He’s able to get the communications tower up and running, but he’s also able to disable Nihil vessels specifically because of his innate mechanical skills.
—I also liked how we were able to fill in some of The Rising Storm’s gaps, in particular how and why Ram ended up in jail at the same time as Ty Yorrick. (He found out that Crashpoint Tower was offline, so he tried to alert the Jedi and send a message to Starlight Station, only for the Valo Security Forces to disbelieve him and throw him in jail.)

The Bad:
—Unfortunately, Race to Crashpoint Tower reiterates to me how interconnected the High Republic books and comics are...sometimes to their detriment. Our other main POV character is Padawan Lula Talisola, who was first introduced in the High Republic Adventures comic. (I know the first five issues are on the Hoopla library app, but I haven’t read them yet!) While Older gives us the basics of her character and what she’s recently encountered, she and her Master Sy and her friend Zeen are completely new to the reader. I felt like the beginning of her plotline relied too heavily on the reader being knowledgeable about that comic.
—Likewise, I felt like the Nihil’s attack on the Fair relied too much on information and events from The Rising Storm. We have the Nihil’s gas attack, Ram and Lula wandering into the zoo and the animals running amok--which you can follow, but it’s probably easier to follow if you’ve read The Rising Storm. And since that’s an adult novel, I’m not sure how well child readers will be able to follow along with these events.
—And finally, the tone was a little silly, which I think was entirely intentional. (When you read a middle grade book as an adult, you have to admit that this kind of book isn’t written for you, it’s written for a child between the ages of 8 and 12.) So while I appreciated that the Drengir scenes were not too scary, there was some tonal disconnect for me because their previous appearances in the adult and YA novels has been pretty darn frightening! While they’re a threat to our young hero and heroines, they’re much more comedic relief than I expected. Sometimes the dialogue of our main characters felt too much like 21st century Earth slang to me; but again, I’m not the target audience here.

My Verdict:
Race to Crashpoint Tower is an exciting kid-friendly look at the Nihil attack on the Republic Fair. We meet a new mechanically-minded Padawan, and we’re also reintroduced to some interesting characters from the High Republic Adventures comic. I do question how well a child reader would be able to follow along with the events of the story, though, as it relies heavily on information given in The Rising Storm, a novel for adult audiences. I wish that Race to Crashpoint Tower stood on its own a little more.

My YouTube review: https://youtu.be/Xn9AUgtp990

Illustrations by Petur Antonsson: https://imgur.com/a/YwEUufh

“I’m just trying to make myself laugh - Daniel Jose Older on infusing humor into Star Wars: The High Republic”: https://www.starwars.com/news/daniel-...
Profile Image for Chelsea.
1,708 reviews44 followers
May 5, 2022
What the hell.
This is almost completely not connected to the first middle grade High Republic book. But from glances through other reviews, it apparently ties into a different High Republic book for older audiences. Which makes no sense and is just frustrating. Because as a stand alone, this sucked. Like it didn't work.
There were so many new characters and none of them really stood out. There was absolutely no adults, and given that this is middle grade I figured there wouldn't be but it was so weak of an excuse of why there's not any. There's some big celebration for the election...however, why isn't the Padawan EVER with his Master?!? The actual title of the book amounts to almost nothing as there's a lot of off-screen action including fights with the actual mob gang they're establishing as the big bads for this series...in favor of man-eating plants. Ugh.

This was silly and annoying and I hope the last of the Middle Grade High Republic books pick up again.
Profile Image for Emma.
185 reviews30 followers
March 22, 2022
this was fun !! i liked how this book tied in more with the rising storm because there’s such a huge battle in that book and it was cool to see another side of it. ram is an absolute delight and i love him with all of my heart. the padawans are really sticking out to me over the course of all these high republic books. these kids carry the weight of the world on their shoulders and i applaud them for it. i can’t wait to read high republic adventures vol 2 and see what else ram, lula, and zeen are up to.
Profile Image for Patricia.
167 reviews23 followers
July 5, 2021
This story was so cute! I wish we would have gotten a bit more time with the characters, especially the lead Ram, though. He went through compelling character development but the pace was extremely fast, so I would have loved to read a few more chapters! Some aspects of the story also made me go "huh? reeeally?" but I suppose I need to have a higher suspension of disbelief tolerance for middle grade books as I'm certainly not their target audience. But still, even as an adult, this book was extremely enjoyable.
What I absolutely loved was the crossover with The Rising Storm, as well as with DJO's The High Republic Adventures. And yay for non-binary representation!!
If you love The High Republic, this little story has to be on your shelves!

Profile Image for Mols.
88 reviews
May 2, 2022
lula, zeen, and ram world domination
Profile Image for Shannon McCarter.
118 reviews363 followers
July 1, 2021
After reading Last Shot from Older, I was so excited to see him back in the Star Wars Universe! Race to Crashpoint Tower takes place on the planet Valo, where two padawans must fix the comms tower before the Nhial destroy the peace and joy the Republic has built. By far, the best part about this book is it’s characters; full of personality and dimensions, these are the types of Jedi I have been dying to see! And it makes me want to go back and pick up the High Republic Adventures comic so I can see where some of them got their start (but you can definitely start here!)

I do wish we could have gotten more time with a few characters, as the book was mostly action heavy, and I do think it might be better to read this after The Rising Storm if you are planning to read both. But overall, I absolutely adored this and can’t wait to see the adventure continue! 4.5/5
Profile Image for Tyler Sampson.
39 reviews
April 20, 2022
Perhaps the weakest of the High Republic novels. It really feels like a side quest as apposed to a story that NEEDED to be told. It does introduce a new character that’s kind of cool, Ram Jamoram. He is a Padawan who is more into mechanics than the force or lightsabers. But in time of great tragedy he rises to be a hero nonetheless.
99 reviews
May 31, 2021
Overall, the story is interesting as a companion piece to The Rising Storm, but I found the narrative moved along much too quickly, which made it difficult to connect with the characters, especially the lead, Ram. There are neat insights and revelations and it's interesting to see events from The Rising Storm happen from a different point of view (heh). I'd say this book is better suited for kids (the target demo) and perhaps even those who may not be the strongest of readers.

For the full review, check out my thoughts here! :https://screenhub.blog/2021/05/31/sta...
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