Star Wars: Cobalt Squadron – Elizabeth Wein

Wow. It’s actually been over a year since I reviewed a Star Wars novel. I feel ashamed. But, in truth, I just have not had a lot of free time. Thankfully, my schedule has normalized somewhat and I’m now back to a semi-normal schedule. So, I guess I’ll pick up where I left off – somewhere in the middle of The Last Jedi tie-in novels. So let’s see… the last book I reviewed was Canto Bight. Before that, it was The Legends of Luke Skywalker and Leia: Princess of Alderaan.

Today, I’m going to share my thoughts on Cobalt Squadron. As is the case with many of these tie-in novels, Cobalt Squadron is marketed as a “young readers” book. But, it isn’t written in childish way. So, if you’re a fan of Star Wars novels in general, don’t be put off by the fact that many of these books are marketed to kids.

This novel focuses on the character of Rose Tico and her sister Paige. Both of these characters were featured in The Last Jedi. Cobalt Squadron serves to provide a little backstory for the Tico sisters and also helps to set up the events leading up to the film. Sadly, while it ultimately accomplishes both of those goals, I found it to be largely unentertaining. The book is decently written, but it starts off slow and keeps that pace until the very end of the story. It simply didn’t keep enough momentum to hook me and hold my interest long term. In fact, once I reached the halfway mark, I really had to push myself a bit to keep reading. Almost all of the entertainment value in this book are found in the last three chapters.

I know the character of Rose is somewhat controversial with a certain portion of Star Wars fans. Personally, I like her and I was looking forward to learning more about her. With this in mind, I was pretty excited to start this book. But ultimately, I was let down. While Rose is certainly the central character of the novel, and her backstory is touched on pretty heavily, there’s not much in the way of character development. I didn’t feel like I knew Rose any better after reading this book than I did before I picked it up.

Story: Starts off painfully slow and keeps a slogging pace until the near-end. Does provide backstory for both Rose and Paige and sets up the opening scenes for The Last Jedi, but I feel it could have been presented in a much more entertaining fashion.

Recommended: For hardcore fans only. This book is tough one to recommend to casual fans. But, if you’re interested in what led up to the opening scenes of The Last Jedi, look no further.

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