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Last Shot by Daniel José Older

Last Shot

by Daniel José Older

Series: Star Wars

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806215,473 (3.25)5



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
What Made Me Read It Being a Star Wars fan all my life that's pretty much a given.
The Good There is plenty of humor to go around and Han and Lando's banter is on point. The author nails the voice and characterization of Han and Lando both in their young and mature selves. There's a good character development that feels natural with both characters struggling to find their places in the galaxy, in life and in love. At first it seems ridiculous to have an Ewok as a genius hacker when her race is barely out of the Star Wars equivalent of the Stone Age. But she ends up being an extremely useful and resourceful crew member, not shy of using even primitive traps as a last resort. Another breaking of old stereotypes comes with Aro N’Cookaala the Gungan, a security guard working for the New Republic in a former Imperial security base. Aro proves that the ability to speak does make you intelligent, contrary to Qui-Gon Jinn's own words. As it is usual in the Star Wars universe there is ample diversity and complex ethical issues with the focus here being on droid servitude, liberation and sentience.
The Not So Good The plot constantly jumps back and forth between 4 different timelines with each subplot/timeline being told from a different point of view. The different time periods are all interrelated and do end up weaving together, with the doomsday techno thingy everybody is searching for being the thread that loops through all the eras. But all the non-linear skipping with no apparent order ends up being very confusing. If you don't read the book in one sitting, or at least several chapters each time, you quickly lose track of the who, what and where. The overuse of Earth slang and latino words was a poor choice on the part of the author. They weren't inappropriate per se, they just don't fit in in the Star Wars universe. The book also has more than the "normal" violence and adult themes usually seen and expected in this universe, with some of the scenes being downright creepy and horrific. So fair warning, some scenes are extremely graphical and cross into borderline horror territory at points.
Read the full novel on: https://literaryportals.blogspot.com/2018/07/book-review-last-shot-han-and-lando.html
Final Rating Personally this book was a big disappointment. Truth be told Han Solo was never my favorite character of the Star Wars franchise. Smugglers, scoundrels, swindlers and the whole underworld side of the Star Wars universe never appealed to me either. But a psychotic villain with his army of killer zombie droids was an immediate turn off. Still recommended somewhat for hardcore Star Wars fans who enjoy a silly little adventure in a galaxy far, far away... as long as they don't mind all the gore. ( )
  LiteraryPortals | Nov 9, 2018 |
Took a second to get going, but the villain (revealed at first only through brief, tense flashbacks) is very compelling. ( )
  scarylullabies | Aug 29, 2018 |
This book opens with a time sometime after Return of the Jedi and Lando is back on Cloud City with a droid making company. He's managed to get the Twi'lek Kaasha Bateen to bring her class there so he can see her. They are spending a night alone when one of his droids attempts to kill him. He catches a glimpse of a man in a green cloak running and leaving the planet once he gets away from the droid. This is Fryzen Gor who has told him to turn over the Phylanx that he got with the Millennium Falcon ten years ago. Only he didn't have the Falcon then. Han did. So he goes to Han and Leia's and baby Ben's house and punches Han in the face for his trouble. Han tells him that ten years ago he was with Chewie and Sana his "ex-wife", but that they have it exactly.

This book flips back and forth through time and goes to when Han and Chewie were at Maz's castle and Sana comes up to them with a proposition. She needs a fast ship to get something out of there fast and she can pay a lot of money to do so. What she doesn't tell them is the number of people that are after what she has or what she is looking for which is the Phylanx.

It also goes back in time to fifteen years ago when Lando was with L3-37 and they chased down something that L3 was after in a far-off section of space. Imperial ships were after this man and what he had, but L3 wants Lando to get it from him. For some reason that eludes Lando, this is very important to L3.

In the present day, Lando, Han, Chewie, an Ewok slicer named Peekpa, Kaasha, and Taka a pilot with a prison transport ship that they need for the mission plan to go to a prison colony to get some information on Gor. When they arrive, the Republic fleet is there going toe to toe with some pirates so they have a little bit of trouble getting docked on the moon but even more trouble leaving the place when their cover is blown while they're inside.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the complex issues it brought up concerning artificial intelligence. It's also fun to see Han and Lando work together again. It's also pretty cool to read about Lando and L3 and Han and Sana two very different relationships, yet quite complicated in their own way. This book is a great read and a real adventure. I highly recommend this book. ( )
  nicolewbrown | Aug 22, 2018 |

I wanted to like this book. I really did. But... no. Just, no.

And I'm not one of the SW haters, either. Even the stuff I generally don't like, I can still find something to relate to in the story. Last Jedi? Loved it. Solo? Went into it expecting to not like it, was pleasantly surprised by how much I did end up enjoying it. I can accept new ideas in the SW universe, and I can be persuaded to change my mind about something I'm sure I'm not going to like.

I'm so disappointed in this book. I've been immensely enjoying how the books that have been released in the new Disney streamlined storytelling have tied into some aspect of the SW universe, how you can connect the dots from other books or movies. Last Shot had no feeling of continuity to it with the larger story. In fact, it doesn't really feel like a SW story at all; it feels like a story that Older had already written and then reworked into a SW novel. There's just too much working against this story for me to have really gotten into it (possible spoiler territory).

First off, it falls back on a too-often used scifi trope: That droids are going to rise up and attack the organics, but this time adding in a Frankenstein/zombie aspect that just seemed more awkward than original. That definitely didn't feel like SW. Older's writing style is clearly not for me, as there are far too many awkward chapter breaks (Why break what is essentially one chapter into 2 or 3 separate mini-chapters?), too many repetitive elements (When you make a point of having multiple characters yelling the same thing over each other so many times that the reader begins to notice this is happening, that's too much), and way too many time frames. The whole space jet suit thing? Again, doesn't feel like SW. Computer genius Ewoks? Nope, given that just 2 years prior to this story they still thought droids were gods. Gungans who speak in normal basic? Nope, since this would appear to be the only Gungan who can, and actually felt like it was written this way as an intentional excuse to show, thru Han, that RACISM IS BAD! The inclusion of a gender non-binary character is nice, but after all the other things that seemed wrong in this book, that little aspect got lost.

The multiple time frames is very problematic for me. There is Fyzen Gor, the main antagonist's, back story; Lando's back story how he and L3 encountered Gor; Han's back story on how he & Chewie also encountered Gor in the past; and then the story occurring in the now, where all three of these back stories are supposed to come together. Each of these time frames are broken up throughout the book, so there is a lot of bouncing around. I think if maybe one time frame was told and that led into the next, with the book culminating in the final story arc, this would have flowed much better, maybe. Adding to this problem for me is that I listened to this on Audible, and there are three narrators for four time frames: one for Han's story (January LaVoy), one for Lando's story (Daniel José Older), and one for Gor's story and the current story (Marc Thompson). There were numerous times that I got confused about which time frame was being handled when the story jumped between the now and Gor's story, since it was the same narrator. There really should have been four narrators total for this book. And speaking of narrators, Marc Thompson and January LaVoy did their usual spot on narrations, but I think Older needs some practice still before he narrates his own work. He narrates too quickly, and doesn't handle each of the characters as separate characters. Everything he reads sounds exactly the same, as if he's just speeding thru a reading of the book, instead of a performance of the book.

Given the amount of build up to the conclusion of the story, and given how much is at stake in the galaxy, the resolution seems far too quick, and too easy. L3's participation in the conclusion seemed too contrived (and honestly, I would have much rather seem more of her in this story) and of course, everything is resolved in just the nick of time so that there was never really any threat at all in the end. About the only thing that this book resolves is a possible explanation as to where Lando is in the current trilogy movies. And if that is all this book was supposed to do, I don't think that's really a question that was all that important in answering.

I really do hate writing reviews like this, but every book can't be a winner. I will be hard pressed to read anything by Older again; Last Shot is simply not a satisfying book. ( )
  tapestry100 | Jun 21, 2018 |
I wanted to love this book, and at moments I did. Older has a great grasp of Han and Lando's voices, and I enjoyed some members of the ensemble crew that they assembled. But there were other members of the crew who hardly signified and who tended to re-appear randomly, long after I'd forgotten they even existed (e.g., Ugnaught guy and Taka's dog-creature).

The story, however, was all over the place. There are four different story lines happening in four different time periods, so there's that. But even within a single narrative, I could hardly follow what the heck was going on half the time. This may have been exacerbated by the fact that I listened to the audiobook (which was superbly performed, incidentally).

If you're a big fan of Han and/or Lando, or if you really enjoyed L3 in Solo: A Star Wars Adventure, I'd recommend giving this one a read or a listen. Just be prepared to kind of go with a lot of stuff that doesn't quite hang together, and to shrug at some terminology that wasn't translated into the wording of the GFFA. ( )
  readrunandrepeat | Jun 11, 2018 |
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THEN: It's one of the galaxy's most dangerous secrets: a mysterious transmitter with unknown power and a reward for its discovery that most could only dream of claiming. But those who fly the Millennium Falcon throughout its infamous history aren't your average scoundrels. Not once, but twice, the crew of the Falcon tries to claim the elusive prize--first, Lando Calrissian and the droid L3-37 at the dawn of an ambitious career, and later, a young and hungry Han Solo with the help of his copilot, Chewbacca. But the device's creator, the volatile criminal Fyzen Gor, isn't interested in sharing. And Gor knows how to hold a grudge. . . . NOW: It's been ten years since the rebel hero Han Solo last encountered Fyzen Gor. After mounting a successful rebellion against the Empire and starting a family with an Alderaanian princess, Han hasn't given much thought to the mad inventor. But when Lando turns up at Han's doorstep in the middle of the night, it's Fyzen's assassins that he's running from. And without Han's help, Lando--and all life on Cloud City--will be annihilated.… (more)

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