As a general practice, I hate comparing new works to books of that past. Every new novel should be given a chance to stand on its own regardless of what came before, and as a reader, my expectations of a story should not be affected by my love for a completely separate project.
However, ever since A Crash of Fate was originally announced, voices across the Star Wars fandom have been wondering if this young adult romance amidst the spires of Batuu would be the next Lost Stars that the fandom has been waiting for. The parallels were clear, the hope was palpable, and after finishing Zoraida Córdova’s whirlwind adventure of Izzy and Jules…
I think we’ve found our spiritual successor.
A Crash of Fate takes us through one insane day in the lives of Izal Garsea and Julen Rakab as they find themselves reunited over a decade after the former left their home on Black Spire Outpost. Childhood friends experience new, passionate feelings that instantaneously erupt when they return to each other’s lives, and a mysterious package solicited by the enigmatic Dok Ondar proves to cause just enough trouble to bring them closer than they had ever imagined.
As a whole, A Crash of Fate affected me in the exact way that I had wished and expected. Córdova’s characterizations of Izzy and Jules are deeply emotional and wonderfully specific, and the way they interact with each other and think about each other as we are gifted looks into their inner monologues provide the brightest highlights of the book. The authenticity with which she writes the confusing nature of late teenage passion is a marvel, and anyone who has ever thought way too much about a first kiss will find plenty of comfort here. First love can be overwhelming, messy, luminous, and taxing, and each color of this passionate experience is used to paint the tapestry of these two characters, and the supporting cast fills out the canvas just enough to keep the pages flying by.
Those said supporters include some faces Galaxy’s Edge visitors may know well including Dok Ondar and Oga Garra while others like Volt and Damar will be new to all readers regardless of park experience. That being said, I would be remiss if I did not mention one final character that encompasses the entire novel: Batuu, itself.
A book like A Crash of Fate could have easily become nothing more than an advertisement for the Disney park, and Córdova avoids that trap beautifully by imbuing Batuu and Black Spire Outpost with a characterization all its own. Throughout the book, you really get a feel for the years and years of history that live within every stone and spire of the planet, and by the end of the book, I began to think of Galaxy’s Edge as a portal into the story, itself, rather than simply the most exciting vacation of my life.
While the scope of the novel isn’t as galactically based as a Lost Stars or a Thrawn novel, the presence of the overall conflict is definitely felt as Izzy and Jules make their way around Batuu. Shades of the First Order have fallen over Black Spire Outpost during the previous years, and whispers of the rumored Resistance are getting louder and louder in response.
Without spoiling anything further, I can simply recommend to pick up this book as quickly as possible. A Crash of Fate filled me with the warm satisfaction and happiness of two people falling in love and finding their way within my favorite galaxy, and as I closed the final page, I couldn’t wait to see what Zoraida Córdova will bring next to Star Wars.
Let’s hope to the spires we don’t have long to wait.