Go/No-Go: Phasma

nasa-mission-control-3Welcome back to Go/No-Go, Tosche Station’s regular feature where we offer our spoiler-free opinion as to whether or not you should spend your hard-earned money on a book, film, or other entertainment. Today on the launch pad: Star Wars: Phasma. It may be Delilah S. Dawson’s first Star Wars novel but we’ve definitely enjoyed her stories about other Star Wars ladies. What did we think about her take on the shiny and chrome captain? To mission control for the verdict!

Bria: Admittedly, I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of Fury Road but this book mash up between it and Star Wars was something I never knew that I wanted until Delilah Dawson delivered it via Phasma. And then she also gave me more First Order goodness and honestly what more could a girl ask from a book? Phasma tells two stories in parallel: Resistance spy Vi’s interrogation by the First Order Captain Cardinal and the secret history of Captain Phasma as relayed to Vi by a woman the mysterious captain once knew. The book can be unrelentingly brutal at times but then again, so can Phasma. It makes sense and it’ll make readers nod and go “Ohhhh” in regards to why she lowered Starkiller’s shields. She will do what it takes to survive and doesn’t care about your revolution and I can respect that. While Phasma doesn’t quite reach my top tier of favorite canon books, it’s definitely worthwhile of your time and something I’m looking forward to reading again in the near future. It gets a GO from me.

Nanci: Phasma is a hard book for me to review. I loved Mad Max: Fury Road, and was excited when I heard that Phasma was described as Fury Road in space. Fabulous, right? Well, the combination didn’t work for me as much as I would have liked. I realized towards the middle of the book that the problem lies in the fact that Fury Road is a visual spectacular, and for me that style of non-stop chase/fighting did not translate as well to prose. Another problem was something Cardinal says to Vi toward the end of the book: The book is Siv’s story, not Phasma’s, and he doesn’t care about Siv. I was hoping to learn more about the First Order, but this book, as much as it is an origin story for Phasma, didn’t deliver on that as much as I would have liked. Besides those quibbles, Phasma is a well-written novel and I found everything in the present-time framing story on the Absolution, utterly fascinating. I loved the interplay between Vi and Cardinal and wanted more of that, which is perhaps why I got frustrated with the middle of the novel when it went chapter upon chapter without returning to the frame. Once the book hit about 75%, I found it hard to put down. The end was especially fascinating, and delivered on the novel’s build-up to an inevitable confrontation between Phasma and Cardinal. Phasma is an utterly terrible person, the First Order is an utterly despicable organization, and I hope they all implode like Starkiller Base. 😛 That said, the novel did make me a lot more interested in seeing what the rest of the Sequel Trilogy has in store for Phasma. (As an aside, can I get a story about what the hell went wrong with the Con Star Mining Corporation on Parnassos and how the hell humans got as far out as the Scyre in that post-apocalyptic hell?) While I had some issues, I did enjoy Phasma overall and would give it a GO for those interested in learning more about the character and gaining some background context about the First Order.

Flight Director’s Ruling: Phasma is a GO for launch!