Okay, it is time to admit, I am a heavy reader. Barely a day goes by without me reading something. So I have decided to include book reviews in my blogs to help share my love of reading. Since my blog is primarily dedicated to gaming, I will try to start with books with subjects that gamers might enjoy. What better way to start this off than with a Star Wars book?
The first thing that caught my eye was what was obviously in the title; this book covers the relatively new character Phasma, a captain of the storm troopers. She appears in The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi, but doesn’t have much to do in those movies except look menacing and get easily defeated. I thought it might be worth it to see if there was more to this character in this book. It should be noted that this book takes place between episodes 6 and 7.
That being said, this book doesn’t show things from Phasma’s point of view, but reveals Phasma’s history through Vi Moradi, a rebel spy who discovered her full story. Vi is captured by another captain of the First Order, Cardinal, who is seeking incriminating evidence on Phasma. As such the tale of Phasma’s rise to power is told as Vi is being interrogated by Cardinal.
This setup seems to remind me of the classic Arabian Nights, where the narrator tells stories to her captor to buy time so she may have a chance to survive. In this case, it is only one story, but I am reminded of this classic nonetheless.
Now, a good chunk of Star Wars: Phasma takes place on Phasma’s home planet Parnassos, a wasted world where everyone struggles to survive in tribes. Phasma happens to be part of the Scyre tribe, and much of this tale feels like a tribal story, and less of a story in the Star Wars universe.
Not too long after setting up Phasma’s tribal life, a space craft crash lands on Parnassos, and Phasma and the Scyre tribesmen find General Brendol Hux of the First Oder and some storm troopers, who are trying to find their ship. The people of the Scyre and Phasma in particular hope that they can leave their wasted planet and live happier lives among the stars with the aid of the First Order.
Most of this book features Phasma, her tribe, and Brendol Hux traveling dangerous lands on Parnassos, which includes a mostly barren desert with some very dangerous creatures. It should be no surprise that Phasma is slowly shown to be a ruthless warrior who will do anything to improve her standing. Other parts of the story are predictable as well, particularly (Spoiler) that Cardinal is unsuccessful in taking Phasma down (End Spoiler).
Ultimately, this story is pretty cleanly told, with most of the information being revealed when it needs to. However, most of the events of consequence involved revealing to the reader how Phasma got to where she was by the beginning of The Force Awakens. I would have liked to see just a little more of why Phasma was the way she was, and not just be shown that she was always this way. Even so, Cardinal happens to have a good story arc near the end, though it seems to impact only this story, and not the rest of the Star Wars universe. (Correct me if I am wrong about this in the comments, I would like to know more if I missed something!)
Before I move on, I’d like to list the Pro’s and Con’s of this book:
- Clean, consistent writing.
- One good character arc.
- Unexpected storytelling format (told trough interrogation, a possible con).
- The tribal sections don’t feel like a Star Wars story.
- Conclusion seemed to be of little consequence.
So what is the final verdict?
7/10 Good, but needs more character development for the title character.
That was my opinion on Star Wars: Phasma. Does my review encourage you to read this book? Have you read it and liked it? Do you feel that the movies should flesh out Phasma more? Tell me why you feel the way you do in the comments below!