The reading experience of Resistance Reborn is a story of two halves for me. I enjoyed Rebecca Roanhorse’s writing, I find the way she uses a sparring amount of words to build a mood, and from a mood a setting to be incredibly effective. On the other hand, though, I wasn’t floored by the actual story covered within the pages of this book.
Broadly, in this novel, Poe Dameron, General Leia Organa, Rey, and Finn struggle to rebuild the Resistance after their defeat at the hands of the First Order in Star Wars: The Last Jedi after the defeat and narrow escape at Crait. We join action in progress as Dameron and the other members of Black Squadron defeat a small First Order force on the planet Ikkrukk but fail to gain it as an ally. Maz Kanata meets with Dameron on the planet Ephemera, but she also declines to join the Resistance, but she does share that those who would be potential allies across the galaxy are disappearing, often suddenly and without explanation.
From there we are introduced to the threads that make up the larger narrative. On Corellia, the planet’s shipyards have been turned over to the production of new ships for the First Order, using slaves, droids and political prisoners. Winshur Bratt, the executive records officer of the shipyards, is tasked by the First Order with accepting 15 political prisoners and hiding them within the shipyard workers’ population. The Millenium Falcon arrives on the planet Ryloth, where Leia calls on former Rebel allies, who take them in secretly. Yendor, the head of the Ryloth Defence Authority, agrees to hide the Resistance on Ryloth temporarily, allowing the Resistance to regroup, but they are immediately under threat from the First Order who is demanding payment from Ryloth or a blockade. Prisoners need to be freed, a base needs to be secured, and the Resistance needs to gather the people and supplies to continue the fight.
I probably would have liked this book more if I had read it before having seen The Rise of Skywalker, or even just closer to having seen it. This novel also ties the movies in with the Aftermath trilogy (which I haven’t read) and Bloodline (which I have). Wedge Antilles, Norra and Snap Wexley all have supporting roles, which was enjoyable but not enough to push this one above three stars for me.