Cover Image: Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall

Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall

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Scoundrels, spice and space-battles! Segura perfectly captures Poe Dameron’s trademark swagger, delivering a fast-paced, planet-hopping thrill-ride that screams Star Wars from beginning to end.
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Poe Dameron: Free Fall explores the titular character’s life at the age of 16. This is his origin story, and it paints him as a mixture between Luke (farm boy on a boring planet who yearns to leave) and Han (makes questionable choices and gets wrapped up in the world of smuggling). 

Although it starts off a bit shaky with a lot of emphasis placed on Poe’s teenage angst, we do learn a lot of interesting details about his family and their connection to the Rebel Alliance. After Poe gets his wish of leaving Yavin 4, things gets a lot more exciting. 

As with most Star Wars novels, there’s a lot of action and adventure, along with some humor and light romance. Free Fall does a good job of explaining the “Poe used to be a smuggler” comments from Rise of Skywalker. 

Where the book falters a bit is in the repetitious nature of Poe’s thoughts about his career as a smuggler. The author wanted to make sure that readers really, really, really understand the conflict within the young pilot. It would have been better to cut some of this because the message would have been easily hammered home with even a 1/4 of Poe’s inner monologue. Aside from that, though, Free Fall makes a good addition to the YA line of Star Wars canon books. 

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC. This review contains my honest, unbiased opinion.
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Just a short comment for now. Alex Segura shows he is familiar with the Star Wars canon, so we can spend some time with some of the characters we may have already forgotten. Poe, the main character was also presented quite well. It is definitely a YA novel, so fans reaching for it should be aware of that, but I think that if you liked the best starfighter pilot in Resistance and the descriptions of the teenager's dilemmas don't really annoy you, you will also like this book. I think it could be a bit longer, which would be possibility to show other key moments in Dameron's life that were missing here. But maybe there will be a sequel, who knows.
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Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall by Alex Segura, with cover art by Phil Noto, follows one of our favorite newer Star Wars character in his teen years with all that entails. There comes a time in every teenager’s life when they’re away from home for the first time and trouble comes where they can’t just call mom or dad to come pick them up or tell them what to do. They have to decide what to do for themselves. Do they pick the easiest way? Do they do what feels right? Is it the ethical thing to do? Would it make their parents proud? Would it impress that person they have a huge crush on? Of course, it would be Poe to find himself in this kind of situation when it’s literally a life or death situation.

What doesn’t happen so often with books about teenagers is their parents’ perspective. The older I get, the more I feel for Owen and Beru Lars, just trying to do their best the only way they know how and keep their adoptive son from harm, including who his father really is. Kes Dameron, like most parents, doesn’t want to be the villain. He loves Poe, but Shara’s death broken him, too. How can you keep a person close to protect them when you’ve pushed everyone who cares about you away because it hurt too much? How can that rift mend? Can it mend? “What have I done?” ask several characters which reinforces the theme, but almost feels too forced and repetitive. 

Yeah, it’s a bildungsroman, but this is Star Wars so it’s a little different when you’re becoming an adult in a universe with the same growing pains. Poe was just seven when the Empire was destroyed for good in the Battle of Jakku. His parents had already retired to civilian life on Yavin IV. However, the destruction of the Empire led to a plethora of opportunities for criminal organizations taking advantage of a young government without a widespread Navy with the proper budget and numbers to keep watch. Bad for them, but good for the reader wanting excitement because this book also happens to be a crime novel with double crosses, triple crosses and crosses that are later revealed not to have even been crosses at all! Very few of the chapters can be predicted from the chapter before it. Anything can happen and anyone can show up. Alex Segura’s writing doesn’t waste a word either progressing the characterization or keeping the momentum although sometimes, the shifts in character perspective could be a little more clear or even eliminated with the less important characters.

There are times when facing your fears can lead to some of your greatest friendships and put you right on the path where you were always supposed to be. It’s a reassuring message and even nicer disguised in a Star Wars book. Being a Young Adult novel, it brings up the idea of wonderful topics for a parent and child to discuss together. 

For the hard-core Star Wars fan, there is so much revealed that it will probably need to be read at least twice, probably more like 3-5 times to fully appreciate and write down everything learned within for use in fanfiction, fandom essays and more. After downloading my Advanced Reader Copy a week ago, I’ve read it twice and am looking forward to my third reading. Pre-order your copy now wherever books are sold for August 4, 2020!
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This book provides great detail into Poe's background with a fun and interesting story. I now watch The Rise of Skywalker with a different insight into his and Zorii's relationship, which is a lot of fun. Definitely recommend reading!
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I love Poe and the Damerons and previous books and comics about them. This is faithful to those stories. The author definitely did his homework.    I was intrigued by Poe’s seedy past and I think Alex Segura did a great job expanding on that little nugget from the movie. I enjoyed Zorii and her own struggles. It added a lot to their scenes together in the movie.  I would recommend this book. Look for it in August.
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Straight from the offset, you recognise Poe. He’s a teenager, but he still has that rebellious streak, the one that will do whatever he wants because HE thinks it’s the right thing to do. Behaviour that gets him in to a world of trouble.
I love Zorri’s introduction. It keeps the suspense going about “who” she is whilst you go on a journey of discovery through Poe’s eyes. 
The light speed skipping scene  is fantastic. You feel like you’re right inside the ship with the Spice Runners, so now I understand why Rey was so mad!!
These little nods to the Rise of Skywalker give you enough connection to the movie without it being about the movie, and without having to plug existing characters. 
It feels like Star Wars, sounds like Star Wars and it’s authentically Star Wars. 
Loved learning about the different gangs, that was a pleasant surprise as some of the gangs are known to the Galaxy (like the Guavian Death Gang) 
The only thing that’s a little jarring is the jumps in time in the first half of the book. Just as you settle in to one period of time, it ends and skips forward a few months. 

Chapter 26 was an unexpected surprise, and from there the book has so many unexpected twists and turns.
This is a proper “space pirate” battle, with Poe hitting a crossroad that you know which path he will choose, you just didn’t know how.
This is a super fun, fast paced story that fills that TROS backstory of why Zorri Bliss hated Poe when she saw him again after all those years. 

Whether you’re a young reader or a seasoned Star Wars veteran, this is well worth a read!
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Free Fall is everything that you would expect from a YA book focused on Poe Dameron: it’s a fast-paced bildungsroman involving a young hot-shot pilot getting into trouble with criminals in a galaxy far, far away. Poe’s parents are former rebellion heroes who settled down on Yavin 4 after the fall of the Empire, but the peace that his father values is driving Poe crazy. All Poe wants is to fly, like his mom, and have a life of adventure. His father only wants Poe to be safe. This opposition leads Poe to hastily accept a job as a pilot before he learns that he’ll be flying for the Spice Runners of Kijimi. Although he didn’t anticipate joining a criminal organization, Poe quickly falls into a life of adventure and into friendship with Zorii Bliss. 

One of the most important things for me when reading a SW novel is to hear the voice of known characters when reading. Segura captures the voice of Poe, Zorii, and Babu Frik and they come life on the page. It’s great to read about what is obviously a pivotal time for Poe in his teens and to learn more about his backstory. I was also excited to learn more about the mysterious Zorii whom we met in TROS. I do wish that the interaction with Poe and Zorii had been shown more on page. They share many adventures, but we are told many times about their friendship and the quiet moments when they bonded away from the crew, yet we don’t see that foundation of their friendship. Nevertheless, when it comes to giving background on events that are hinted at in TROS, this book does a great job.

Free Fall is a fun adventure story and a good addition to the SW canon. TROS hinted at an intriguing backstory for Poe and Zorii, and Segura delivers.
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Poe Dameron: Free Fall has just the right amount of… how did author Alex Segura put it? Oh yeah, “subterfuge, shady dealings and murky morals.” 

Throw in extreme piloting, numerous blaster battles and countless colorful characters and you have got yourself one heck of a Star Wars story.

A young Poe struggles with his mother’s death while his relationship with his father dwindles. Pushing boundaries and always on the run, Poe yearns for something more than the monotony of life on Yavin 4. After all, both his parents fought for the New Republic. How did they become so resigned to this ordinary life? And what does their past mean, if anything, for Poe’s future? 

Perhaps Poe will be a hero, a villain or a teenager trying to work through his largely-criminal life choices. Whatever the case, we already know from our well-established Star Wars fandom that there are few, if any, dull moments in the life of Poe Dameron.

Following suit with not a dull moment in sight, Segura’s story soars through the galaxy at top speed. Fast-paced and heavily plot driven, Free Fall peppers in character development sparingly without losing the emotional integrity of an anticipated origin story. It queries the sensitive balance between the stability of home and the hypnotic appeal of adventure. The grass is always greener on the other side and the reader contemplates the good and bad, legal and illegal, alongside Poe every step of the way.

An easy read and a long-awaited introduction to the beginnings of Poe and Zorii’s friendship (not to mention at least a few encounters with our favorite Babu Frik), Free Fall deservedly earns its place among unforgettable Star Wars stories.
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This book was amazing! Strong plot! Powerful characters! A plot that held my attention the entire time!!!! I couldn’t put it down. I needed to find out what happened next!
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What an awesome tie-in to the sequel trilogy, an adventure for our favourite hotshot pilot. Several years after the death of his mother, Poe’s relationship with his father has deteriorated and he is feeling increasingly smothered on Yavin 4, needing something more. After a major mishap he comes across a group of misfits looking for a pilot to take them off-planet. He jumps in with both feet, not considering the consequences of his actions.

Alex Segura brings Poe to life on paper; the book is easy to read, flows well, and is a personal growth story rooted in the Star Wars themes of family and identity. It ties nicely into the Rise of Skywalker, not just giving us a backstory for teenage Poe, but also other characters from the movie, and introduces us to a previously hinted at underworld with a mysterious leader.

Don't let the 12+ label stop you from picking this up. This is a fun trip around the Outer Rim for adults, YA and teens alike.
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Author: Alex Segura

Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Books

US Release Date: August 4th 2020

UK Release Date: September 2020

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Ages 12 and up

Learn more about the dashing hero from the new Star Wars films! Telling a story hinted at in The Rise of Skywalker....It's been a few years since Poe's mother passed away, and Poe and his father, who was a pilot for the Rebellion, have had more and more trouble connecting. Not sure what he wants to do with his life, teenage Poe runs away from home to find adventure, and to figure out what kind of man he is meant to be.

Thoughts: Well, there’s yet to be a Star Wars novel, canon, or legend, that I don’t enjoy and this was no exception. A gripping and fun adventure with one of the sequel trilogies finest characters, Poe Dameron himself! Alex Segura brings our cocky resistance pilot to life with skill and ease and I loved every second of his story. It’s very easy to read, flows well and quick too - but when it’s rated ‘Ages 12+’ you have to expect that quick and easy middle grade vibe. That being said, it’s no way off putting to an adult reader and i enjoyed reading something light and fun. I’d love to see more adventures following Poe on his path to becoming the resistance superstar we meet in Force Awakens. Marvellous!
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Poe Dameron: Free Fall is a fantastic companion to 2019's The Rise of Skywalker, and it works as a bridge to several other stories in the Star Wars canon. The novel follows sixteen-year-old Poe as he ventures away from home for the first time, embarking on a galaxy-spanning adventure. It acts in a similar capacity to stories like Treasure Island (or as a foil of sorts to Solo: A Star Wars Story). Rooted in themes of family and identity, Free Fall has many tangible elements that anyone can relate to. As Yoda might say, "a page-turner, it is."
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What an addictive space backstory! Sixteen-year-old Poe Dameron's young adult book was quite the page-turner and well written, full of intense action and suspense. This story provides all the elements of an authentic  Star Wars story: the conflict, family drama, foreshadowing, and humor. In this novel, Poe must discover his purpose, leaving his home planet with the desire to see the world. Going against his parents' will, Poe joins the Spice Runners of Kimiji, providing readers TONS of new information about this group led by the ominous Zeva and company, as well as many rival smugglers and bounty hunters. Alex Segura's novel ties this story to other Star Wars planets and characters from many shows, books, and movies across the universe, which made me very excited. I definitely will be recommending this YA novel to the teenage science fiction readers in my library!
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