Star Wars: Last Shot by Daniel Jose Older

A slightly disappointing read.

Mostly set a couple of years after Return of the Jedi, Lando turns up at Han and Leia’s doorstop with some questions for Han after one of his droids tried to kill him. There’s a macguffin that has the potential to have far reaching consequences for the whole galaxy and it’s up to Han and Lando to follow the trail and put a stop to it. There are a few other timelines, Han and Chewie just after they acquired the Millennium Falcon and another with Lando just before he lost it. There are also a few chapters set twenty years ago from the POV of the bad guy.

As you would expect from the title this book as all pretty much from Han and Lando’s POV. Chewie makes a few appearances but is not really adding much to the plot. There are a few other characters with the Lando’s droid companion L3 who has a pretty unique and interesting personality standing out. Most of the rest just sort of blend into the background.

The best parts of the book were the start and the end. I loved seeing Han and Leia dealing with Ben at home and it was also quite sad considering we know how it turns out. Hans reflections on struggling being a husband and father are well done and in character and you can’t help but feel for him. The seeds of the future are already present and it really was quite sad. The end was also good in the more shoot ’em up variety as you would expect from a star wars novel, a few cool battle scenes with good shifts from Han to Lando as they experience the battle in different locations. I also really liked the bit of focus on droid rights as it seems to be an area that is neglected in a lot of star wars material, like I mean they are basically sentient but are treated like slaves, it was a good area to focus on and you would have felt some sympathy for the antagonist if he wasn’t a psychopath.

The worst part of the book was the jumping around between the different timelines. There are lots of short chapters here, mostly set in the main timeline but quite a few spread out between the early Han and Lando ones and it was very jarring and seemed unnecessary. Yeah we had to see how each of them had been involved before but it would have worked better as a couple of blocks rather than scattered throughout. It was immersion breaking and made the story difficult to follow somewhat.

I started this book on audio and while the main narrator was great (he did amazing Han and Lando impressions) the other two were not. The narrator for Lando’s early POV’s wasn’t actually too bad, she just suffered compared to the main guy, but the narrator for the early Han ones was terrible. Turned out it was the author himself but he read everything and everybody in the same strange drawl and I really disliked it. I had to switch to the hard copy it was so bad.

Anyway this was a decent book, a bit flabby around the middle and was organised very badly, but had some good moments and character growth for the main characters that layed the groundwork for what is to come in the future.

3 stars out of 5

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