Synopsis: When Jyn Erso was five years old, her mother was murdered and her father taken from her to serve the Empire. But despite the loss of her parents she is not completely alone—Saw Gerrera, a man willing to go to any extremes necessary in order to resist Imperial tyranny, takes her in as his own, and gives her not only a home but all the abilities and resources she needs to become a rebel herself.
Jyn dedicates herself to the cause—and the man. But fighting alongside Saw and his people brings with it danger and the question of just how far Jyn is willing to go as one of Saw’s soldiers. When she faces an unthinkable betrayal that shatters her world, Jyn will have to pull the pieces of herself back together and figure out what she truly believes in…and who she can really trust.
Holly: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Saw Gerrera rescues a young Jyn Erso. That is where Rebel Rising’s story is told, right up until when she is on Wobani in Rogue One!
This was a well-crafted prequel with Beth Revis filling in the gaps between Catalyst & Rogue One. We see the hardships that Jyn has gone through, how she is abandoned again & again.. yet she keeps on fighting. Continues surviving. She is a goddamn warrior!
Don’t be turned away because of the YA label it has gotten. It would be a shame to dismiss this backstory to such a fantastic installment in the Star Wars universe because of that. I mean, most Star Wars books are fairly straight-forward, comfortable reads anyway! This is another great addition to the canonical Star Wars timeline!
Corey: Agreed, this really nestles in nicely between Catalyst & Rogue One! It almost makes for an odd trilogy that way.
I really enjoyed this one! It fleshed out the relationship between Jyn & Saw so much, and we get to see a side of Saw Gerrera that’s only hinted at in The Clone Wars and Rogue One. A not-entirely pleasant side at that. There are some pretty shocking & violent scenes in this book, for sure. A couple that caught me off guard!
This isn’t a book that’s full of surprises, and it suffers from something that plagues a lot of Star Wars novels: somewhat forgettable new/minor characters. But for anyone who fell in love with Jyn Erso, and wants to dive deeper into her character, and more specifically her relationship with Saw, this is a great read.
Holly: There is an emotional depth to Jyn we don’t see within Rogue One, which this provides. Finding out everything Jyn has gone through, seeing more of her personality.. it was just lovely. But heartbreaking. So fucking heartbreaking.. because we know eventually what becomes of her story.
You are right in that the minor characters feel just that.. minor. Other than Idryssa, Akshaya & Hadder, the various other secondary characters aren’t all that memorable. However, the planets were far more interesting to me! I am super intrigued by Wobani (Imperial Detention Center & Labor Camp) & Inusagi (diverse, artistic planet close to Naboo). I hope this won’t be the last time we hear about them!
I really dug the character development of Jyn, how this delved more into those that go up against the Empire, the brutally violent scenes.. but I thought it lagged in the middle & I could have done without the sappy love bits. Overall, I thought it was a solid effort within the Expanded Universe & would certainly recommend it!
Corey: I spoke too hastily! Akshaya was a pretty delightful character, and her relationship with Jyn definitely provided some heartbreaking moments.
In addition to the darker violent moments, Revis isn’t afraid to take this story into some pretty bleak emotional territory as well. Seeing Jyn struggle, watching as she loses faith in…basically everything. It’s hard to watch. I’m trying to think of another Star Wars character who’s been dealt such a rough hand.
And yes! Some great planet-hopping takes place in this book! From grittier, more hostile environments, to gorgeous palaces, and bustling cities…I loved traveling the galaxy far, far away in this book!!
The Grimdragons Rating: 3.5 out of 5 kyber crystals!