Cover Image: Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall

Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall

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Member Reviews

The family dynamic between Poe and his dad, Kes Dameron, was interesting to look into during the beginning of the book. It was cool how it starts off in space, in the action, and dives into why Poe loves flying so much. But after Poe faces off with his dad, he runs off with a group of he just met in search of adventure. Little did he know they were spice runners and among them he meets Zorii. It’s interesting how the two meet, and I liked how their interactions throughout the book added some context to their dynamic in The Rise of Skywalker. Although it was nice learning more about Poe’s backstory, I found it difficult to stay focused on the story when the plot seemed less engaging at times. If you’re a Poe Dameron fan and want to learn more about his backstory or if you’re into reading up on the latest canon and looking for a quick read, this is the book for you!
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As a huge Star Wars fan, it was great to get to read more from the new canon. Poe Dameron is the best.
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One of the recurring complaints I heard coming out of The Rise of Skywalker was that Poe’s backstory had been changed from the New Republic turned Resistance hero pilot to the backworld spice runner turned Resistance hero pilot. So naturally, when I heard that Poe would feature in his own novel, I was very interested to see how that would fall into place.

Granted, some of that probably came from the weird place Star Wars had been in since a couple years before, where many were actively looking for things that were wrong. Still, though, my main questions when reading Free Fall by Alex Segura were two-fold: does it bridge that gap in Poe’s backstory, and is it fun? Let’s jump into the review and answer them both.

Let’s start with what I consider the less important of the two questions. Yes, I feel Free Fall adequately answers how Poe can be both a spice runner and later a respected New Republic pilot. Why do I find this to be less important of the two questions? It’s simple, really. There was no reason from the start the he couldn’t have done both, and essentially, this novel just establishes that.

But if continuity and canon and retcons are supremely important to you, I think this novel will do well in easing those fears.

Now, on to the good stuff. Is it fun?

For me, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” Remember that this is a young adult novel, so at times some plot points feel a little convenient or the dialogue a little simple. But for a young adult novel, this is pretty stellar.

It starts with a very restless Poe on Yavin 4, wanting very much to break free of everything that he feels is holding him back. His mother, Shara Bey, is dead, and he misses her terribly. His father Kes is overprotective and Poe, as any 16-year-old would, has difficulty dealing with that. So he sets out with the Spice Runners of Kojimi. What ensues are a series of close calls, action-filled encounters with other pirates and gangs, all while running from the New Republic.

Along the way, Poe meets Zorii Bliss (who goes by Zorii Wynn for a good portion of the novel), and this is really their story. So all that tension in The Rise of Skywalker? It has context now. And it’s very well done. Their first meeting in Episode IX has so much more meaning for me now, because I know what went down and it was written in such a way that it feels like it ties perfectly into how Zorii feels when they are reunited.

Zorii and Poe aren’t the only familiar characters that make an appearance in Free Fall. Babu Frik is back, and fans of the comics will also remember L’ulo L’ampar. And the fun of recognizing characters and names doesn’t stop at those two. The planet Sorgan is a main stop along the way, a place we’ve seen in The Mandalorian. It was also fun to see the Guavian Death Gang make an appearance.

I really couldn’t help but equate a lot of this story to Solo. Very much like what happened with Han in that story, this is Poe’s coming of age tale, mixed with a compelling love story and great use of the pirates and criminal enterprises of this galaxy. I think that’s one of the elements that made it such a fun read for me. And if Solo is a film you enjoy for those reasons, I think you’ll enjoy this novel as well.

My only real complaints about Free Fall are tiny little nitpick things. For example, the name “Spice Runners of Kijimi” is pretty bland. When you’re used to things like the Pyke Syndicate, the Hutt empire, or even the Guavian Death Gang, something as simple as “who they are and where are they from” isn’t quite as original as I’d hope for. Also, as much as I love seeing Babu Frik, his Basic is just a tiny bit too good. He seemed to know barely enough of it in Episode IX, but in Free Fall, he’s able to string sentences together pretty effectively. It’s far easier to read than Anzellan, that’s for sure, and for a young adult novel I can understand that need.

But with those really being the only elements of this novel that I feel I can gripe at, I have to say that means it’s a success. And it really is. I read this novel front to back in the span of about 3 days, which is not the normal for me. It helps that it’s an easier read, but it also helps that it’s just a well-written novel that captures the essence of the characters I wanted to know more about. Alex Segura did remarkably well on this novel, and I’d love to see him work with these characters again in some capacity in the future.

Free Fall by Alex Segura releases August 4, 2020 wherever you buy books. We hope you check it out!
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It was surprising to say the least that Poe Dameron, the great man and loyal soldier of the New Republic, used to have a life as a spice runner. When this information was revealed to us in The Rise of Skywalker, along with the introduction of Zorii Bliss, I immediately looked forward to getting their backstories in any form at some point. That being said, this book has done the job of establishing Poe's backstory perfectly.

This book is, in actuality, a coming of age story masked as a typical Star Wars adventure. There's something for everyone in this book: action, romance, criminal scheming, and even a little mystery. There are some great twists in the story that pays off in a major way at the end. Zorii Bliss is such an intriguing character, and I'm glad we got more of her backstory. And did I mention that this book has Babu Frik in it? That'd be enough to sell me in the first place.

Overall, this was a well-written book that focuses heavily on character development. My only criticism would be that there are some small time jumps that feel abrupt, but otherwise, this is an incredible book. This novel was extremely fun to read, and I enjoyed getting to know Zorii after meeting her briefly in The Rise of Skywalker. Plus, getting more stories with Poe is always a great thing. I highly recommend this book to any fan of Star Wars.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Lucasfilm Press for providing this eARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Poe Dameron : Free Fall starts to fill in the gaps for this beloved, at least by me, Star Wars Sequel character. It follows Poe Dameron on Yavin 4, young and full of that spirit that we know and love. He's itching to fly, a skill that his mother had begun to teach him and having in inherited her love for the freedom it affords he is acting out. 

After facing off with his old man, Kes Dameron, Poe runs off with a group of trouble makers he met at a local watering hole. Spice traders, smugglers and among them a young and fiery Zorii. 

This shows that there is a lot of history left within the Skywalker Saga, focusing on the lives of the characters before and after the events of the film. It's just the start of Poe's story, but does so much to expand the universe, dipping into the world of smugglers Post-Han Solo. 

You can feel the chemistry between Zorii and Poe in the film and the same is true in this book. Even though I already knew who she was, the way the characters play off each other is so satisfying. Along with Zorii we also get a few scenes with Babu Frikk and a droid that likely sets the stage for Poe's future bond with BB-8.

Poe doesn't just grow up in this story, he finds his place. The son of two heroes in the Rebellion looking for his own adventure, he finally finds his footing and learns what type of man he wants to be. 

I did really enjoy this and I hope this turns into a series and his character is expanded upon more. I'd love to see him starting out with BB-8 or when he first meets Leia. If Poe is a favorite if yours, you'll love this.
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Really enjoyed this introduction to Poe Dameron. Great action (as expected) and nice intrigue to fill out his backstory and make this popular character more well rounded. Some nice appearances of new favorite characters as well.
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Alex Segura is a great mystery writer, but unfortunately Poe Dameron: Free Fall was very tough to get through. The characters felt flat, the plot meandered without going anywhere until the last third of the book, and the entire first half of the novel was in desperate need of basic editing -- I got this copy through Netgalley, so that might change.

Segura tried to use his writing chops to include a small mystery --and a very effective twist at the end--... that only affected a couple of secondary characters that then went on to die on the page. His original characters are really good -- kudos to lovely droid Eevee and to Trune, a Galactic Javert if there ever was one, but the villain's plan is moronic, we never learn what Spice does in a book about Spice Runners, and Poe and Zorii's relationship is convenient at best.

The book shines in a couple of places -- the final scene, where Poe finally finds his calling, is quite moving. Zorii also has a quite intermission with Babu Frik where we get to hear her thoughts, and the little backstory that we get about Kijimi is quite interesting. 

This is not the author's fault -- a gig is a gig -- but why was this specific book necessary right now? Poe is the only character from the sequel trilogy that is getting a novel even after he got a long-running comic-book series of his own... and the only answer that comes to mind is that this was commissioned to plug the holes that The Rise of Skywalker blew in Star Wars canon, and, if possible, to convince the fanbase that Poe is definitely not gay (the jury is still out on that one, even after this book). 

I'd love to read more about Eevee and Trune in the future. I wanted to know more about Spice and Babu, and I will pick up more of Segura's mystery series... but I cannot, in any good conscience, recommend Poe Dameron: Free Fall in the state I got it.

Two stars, one for Trune and one for Eevee.
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This book just did not work. It failed to capture anything of Poe that we know from the films. It could easily have been about someone else and have been the same.

I had so many issues with this book. Poe having a dead mom, like the Star Wars universe doesn’t already have enough of those?

Zorii being described as a woman from the get-go even though she’s a teen; while Poe is called a boy for the majority of the book.

The way the characters’ full names were given, like it was being written for SEO and not as a storybook. What was up with that? Also, why was Poe speaking in full sentences without contractions? It makes him sound weird and not like a real person.

The story fell flat for me. It was repetitive and focused on a very short period in Poe’s life. This book could easily have been 200 pages shorter and said the exact same things!

Zorii being reduced to a love-lorn sidekick was so frustrating. Can’t a female character ever be more than that?

And honestly, the tone was just off. We saw Poe and Zorii together, they’re funny, and they tease each other. Nothing like that comes across in this book at all because it’s so serious. That isn’t Poe at all.

If you’re hoping to find out more about Poe’s connection to the Resistance, you’re going to get half a page of Poe seeing Leia on a broadcast. Sigh. 

Not a good book by any means.
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I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. 

Where do I start with how bad this book is? The writer was given one brief - elaborate on Poe’s spice runner career. Using the keywords Poe, Zorii, spice runner and Kijimi, the author came up with this travesty.

Reading this book made me feel like someone was pulling a fast one. The story is written as if a robot churned it out. There is no emotion, no depth. It lacks stakes and connection between the characters. The writing is so tired and full of old fashioned idioms and proverbs. There’s nothing Star Wars about the writing - no matter how many creatures and references to the Rebellion are thrown in. 

Poe falling in with the runners at age 16 is the silliest take. A better, smarter writer would have dug into the insidious ways that drug dealers entice young innocent people into the trade in the real world. We could have witnessed another side of Poe if he were a young man being pulled into a world that was bad for him. What toll does it take on Poe who has lived a sheltered life? How do his mistakes really affect him? Instead we’re saddled with a dead mother, daddy issues and a hotshot pilot who can do it all and get the girl. Wow, we’ve never read any of that before. 

We don’t get any sense of urgency or fear in this book because all the important stuff happens off-page or has no bearing. This comes down to the horrifying pacing that speeds up when establishing the dynamic between Poe and Zorii but slows down to tell us that they’re now very close and have a connection. Show, don’t tell, is not this author’s motto. 

The final act clinched how directionless the writing was. Suddenly the points of view were everywhere and Poe and Zorii, the characters we had picked this book up for, were taking a backseat to a fight between two people we didn’t care about. 

It’s obvious the author wrote this with a cinematic mind which meant the writing was stripped down to the minimum. The flare came in describing the species but not in expanding our understanding of these characters and their criminal lives. 

I hate that the author actively makes Zorii a villain. She has no morals. I am going to have to scrub this take on the character from my mind because it’s just unfair. Zorii could be a spice runner for a million reasons and she didn’t necessarily have to be murderous. There’s no redeeming her in this book and that undermines her heroic arc in the film. 

I’m astounded by how phoned in this writing was. I’ve read other Star Wars novels and while they may not be purple prose, they work wonders with exploring the human condition through their characters. 

This is further proof that we need diverse minds to expand on pop culture. It’s not enough to give the safe bet every chance. They’ll just churn out the same boring tropes and stories that have come before. Hard pass on this book.
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This is a poignant tale of how young people fall in love before figuring out who they want to be themselves. Young Poe and Zorii are in over their heads on this fast-paced, action-filled, love story gone wrong. Hoping for a sequel to learn more about what happens next to the Spice Runners of Kijimi and where Poe goes from here with more character development.
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Poe Dameron: Free Fall, written by Alex Segura, shows the events from when Poe grew up on Yavin IV, to him joining the Spice Runners of Kigimi and meeting Zorii, to him eventually joining Leia. 

The events that take place in the book make numerous events from The Rise of a Skywalker easier to understand. A few examples of this is hyperspace skipping, which we learn more about in the first few chapters of book, and the events that took place between Poe and Zorii which resulted in Poe leaving Zorii and the Spice Runners of Kigimi. We also get to see what happened from the time when Poe, Rey, and Finn left Kigimi to the destruction of the planet, and how Zorii and Babu escaped.

Segura does an incredible job of telling the backstories of two already known big screen characters. The young adult novel explores what happened between the two characters between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, as well as giving insight into the characters’ relationships with their families. The book also shows the newly formed New Republic and how they dealt with crime after the Battle of Jakku like the Spice Runners of Kigimi. We get to see the organization’s history and how they operate, along with the enemies of the crime organization.

Sigura writes the Poe’s coming of age story beautifully, keeping me on the edge of my seat and guessing what would happen next, when though I was rarely right. The book keeps the reader’s interest throughout the story by telling smaller stories and adventures within the overall novel. Once I got to the end of the book, I couldn’t believe that it was over. The final events of the story are told amazingly and leaves me wanting to learn more about the rest of Poe’s life before The Force Awakens. 

Segura makes it easy to understand and bond with the characters. He presents both Poe and Zorii as relatable teenagers growing up and finding their place in the galaxy. The relationship between the two characters as they both grow up really made me like them and makes me almost feel bad for them because of how much they went through. Segura also includes amazing side characters that add so much to the story. 

The book can be confusing at times. The beginning starts out immediately in a space during a skirmish with the law enforcement. I had to reread sections of the book once in a while to fully understand what was going on, mainly during action sequences, but it rarely took away from what was going on. The book also tends to jump a period of time after an important event, which can cause the first pages of the next chapter to be confusing, but Segura tends to put a passage in the explains what has happened, normally as Poe thinking to himself. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who takes interest in the criminal underworld of the Star Wars universe or anyone who was interested in Poe or Zorii or their relationship when they were younger. Also, if a main problem that you had with The Rise of Skywalker was Poe, Zorii, and Kigimi, I definitely recommend reading this to clear up everything that took place.
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Thank you to Disney Publishing Worldwide for an advanced reader copy from Netgalley!

This is a hard review to write for multiple reasons. I was super excited to receive this ARC because Poe Dameron is one of my favorite Star Wars characters and I feel that he had so much potential that was wasted in the movies. I wanted to know so much about him, his past, his romantic interests, etc. And then the last movie came out and Zorri got introduced and I didn’t care that much. I personally didn’t like her as a character. But I believed this book would answer so many questions I had, but it really did nothing for me. 

“Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall” takes one line Poe says in “The Rise of Skywalker” about being a spice runner, and turned it into a whole book which explains how he got into the action, how he met Zorri, but drags it out for 300+ pages that just wasn’t worth the time to me. 

Before I get into the book more, I think my reading experience would tell you how I approached this book. I read about 30% of this book over the course of about 2 weeks and then I read the last 70% in under 24 hours because the book had such little dialogue and plot points that I didn’t even need to read all of the page to understand what was going on. 

Moving on to the book itself, I thought it was pretty mediocre. Nobody has to read this book to understand Poe or his character anymore than the movies do. There are a lot of other books that cover Poe as a character before the events of the sequel trilogy that would probably cover him better, and this book actually made me want to pick up those books instead. I would honestly just recommend this book if you want to know more about Zorri because she is covered more in the book than Poe. 

It just felt like any other Star Wars book to me, which made me very sad. I love Star Wars, and Poe is one of my favorite characters but it just didn’t do him justice for me. I would love an in-depth look at him and his past and his family, but what was covered in this book just scraped the surface. I could just be a little too old for the intended audience but this book was not my favorite and would suggest looking at one of the other amazing Star Wars books that are out/coming out in the future. I appreciate the ARC but I don’t think I would recommend it.
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If you love Star Wars and Poe, you'll love this story. Star Wars fans will enjoy it, if you aren't one, then it is a solid starting point as well.
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Poe Dameron: Free Fall by Alex Segura starts off as a tale about teenage Poe Dameron as he begins to get involved as a spice runner before he joins the rebellion. It's a fun, fast-paced adventure that jumps from mission to mission. It does a decent job of bringing young Poe and Zorii to life and letting us in to their world. Poe Dameron is one of my favorites characters from the new Star Wars films, but I wasn't terribly thrilled with where his character ends up over the course of three films. Either way, I was pretty excited to see the character I loved from The Force Awakens gets his start. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by this novel. The characterizations, relationships, and world-building were a little too flat for my tastes. My expectations were quite high and it just never got there, but to be honest usually any day I get to see a Star War is a good day.
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The first act starts off with a bang and does a great job introducing us to the characters as well as Poe’s motivation. I feel that his thirst for adventure, while compelling and relatable, perhaps isn't a strong enough motivation to sustain the choices he’s making in the second and third act. The story seems to remind us that Poe's joined the wrong side and that the criminal life conflicts with his own morals, but I feel as though it doesn't provide a strong enough reason for him to stay in the situation, which sometimes makes it hard to root for him. I think I'd like him to fight for a good moral cause or be caught in a situation where he has to do morally ambiguous things to survive, but it feels like he’s voluntarily living on the wrong side in order to satisfy his need for adventure.

That said, what the book does, it does well. The action is exciting and engaging, and the story is well-paced. I enjoyed Poe and Zorii's relationship, as well as Trune's journey. Despite maybe needing a stronger motivation for the main character, this was a fun and engaging read.
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Crime writer Alex Segura turns back the clock to add another layer of backstory for fan favorite Poe Dameron and takes a swan dive into the galaxy’s vast and complicated criminal underbelly. Sixteen-year-old Poe is a gifted pilot and is desperate to get off his home planet of Yavin 4. He yearns for adventure and since the death of his mother a riff the size of a parsec has grown between Poe and his father as they both continue to grieve in their own ways. Poe’s desperation leads him to volunteer to help a group of travelers escape Yavin 4, only to learn later that they’re actually the infamous Spice Runners of Kijimi. 

Free Fall is nothing short of an action-packed adventure that’s driven by the tongue-and-cheek dialogue Star Wars fans have come to know and love. Characters like Zorii Bliss and Babu Frik also make an appearance. And overall it’s the kind of wild backstory one would expect from Poe Dameron. The downside to the plot-driven storyline is that Poe is forced to be more reactionary than acting with a sense of purpose and agency, which at times can leave his character feeling a little two dimensional. Nevertheless, given his own writing background, Segura doesn’t shy away from the gritty and often horrifying consequences that comes with a criminal lifestyle, which offers Poe multiple opportunities to reflect not just on the mess he’s gotten himself into, but also further explore his moral values and define his ethical code––a journey that many of today’s young readers will certainly find relatable .
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First off and as always, thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and review!

I greatly enjoyed this as an addition to the Star Wars sequel story! It gives some great background to Poe and to how/why he was a spice runner, as well as how he met and knew Zorii. There was plenty of action, space travel, and adventure! Anyone that loves Poe and his amazing piloting skills will love this one, so I highly recommend it!
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I really enjoyed reading this, it really brings more light to Poe Dameron's backstory. The way it was written was great and it had what I was looking for in both a Star Wars Story and a Poe Dameron story. Overall I really enjoyed reading this.
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Give me all of the Poe Dameron stories. I will read them all and love them. Seriously this was just what I wanted. I could picture him in my head and the voicing and conversations felt realistic to the character. 
Give me more.
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I struggled with the first half of this book as the plot developed it felt disjointed and confused. The second half and esp last 1/3 were significantly more solid. 

The Character of Poe in the book felt flat at points and was improved by the Zorii's POV. 

From a mystical / mythopoeia perspective, it follows the Hero's Journey which is important to Star Wars in general. 

I enjoyed The Droid immensely, and the last 1/3 which shows very much endings matter. 

My podcast will be out just before the book and is not available now. Will update,
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