May 6, 2022

REVIEW Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel Jose Older

Race to Crashpoint Tower by Daniel Jose Older
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: June 29, 2021
Format: Audiobook (library)
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press

Daniel Jose Older’s Race to Crashpoint Tower is a fun, kid-friendly addition to the Star Wars Universe. A book that’s equally suitable for fans of the franchise and those without pre-existing knowledge, you don’t need to have watched the movies or read other books to understand what’s going on. However, if you would like the best reading experience I suggest picking up Justina Ireland’s A Test of Courage first. 

Part of the story explores the Force and the balance that Jedi Masters teach their Padawans further within this book, and I loved diving into those explanations! The High Republic books have given me a deeper understanding of the abstract concept that is the Force, and I really appreciate that. You can only get so much info from a movie or a TV show compared to the freedom that a book offers. 

Race to Crashpoint Tower is on the shorter side at just around 200 pages or roughly 3 hours if you listen to the audiobook, but the author makes every page count. Given that it's on the shorter side, it would be great for young readers who don't have the attention span to be able to commit to longer reads. I also want to note that despite the book being geared towards middle-grade readers (those between the ages of 8 to 12), I feel that it would be entertaining for readers of all ages. It never felt too childish or “kiddy” (though some of the humorous moments are obviously geared towards a kid’s sense of humor rather than an adult's). 

I enjoyed Todd Haberkorn’s narration of the book. He's been one of my recent favorite middle-grade narrators. His performance was fun and engaging; it's sure to catch the attention of young listeners and readers as well as keep their attention. Todd Haberkorn also did a fantastic job with the various character voices - it actually sounded like a young padawan speaking versus an adult trying to imitate a child’s voice. In addition to the voices and the actual performance, It’s always fun to get to hear lightsabers, alien languages, and other sound effects included in the full soundtrack. My imagination is good, but it's not that good to be able to make all the droid noises and alien vocalizations by itself. 

Overall, Race to the Crashpoint Tower is a fun and fast-paced middle-grade read. I would happily recommend it to those who are already fans of the Star Wars franchise, or those looking for an entertaining sci-fi read for a young reader in their life. If you'll excuse me, I'm off to go check out the other books in the High Republic series!


About Daniel José Older:

Daniel José Older, a lead story architect for Star Wars: The High Republic, is the New York Times best-selling author of the upcoming Young Adult fantasy novel Ballad & Dagger (book 1 of the Outlaw Saints series), the sci-fi adventure Flood City, the monthly comic series The High Republic Adventures. His other books include the historical fantasy series Dactyl Hill Squad, The Book of Lost Saints, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, Star Wars: Last Shot, and the Young Adult series the Shadowshaper Cypher, including Shadowshaper, which was named one of the best fantasy books of all time by TIME magazine and one of Esquire’s 80 Books Every Person Should Read. He won the International Latino Book Award and has been nominated for the Kirkus Prize, The World Fantasy Award, the Andre Norton Award, the Locus, and the Mythopoeic Award. He co-wrote the upcoming graphic novel Death’s Day. You can find more info and read about his decade long career as an NYC paramedic at http://danieljoseolder.net/

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