Big city girl goes back to her hometown and reunites, then falls in love with her childhood friend…in space! Nothing but good things in Zoraida Córdova’s A Crash of Fate, the YA Galaxy’s Edge novel released in 2019, the year both theme parks in the US opened. And because Galaxy’s Edge theme parks only exist in the US parks, it seems appropriate that the story would mirror such an American institution of formula storytelling as the Hallmark movie.
I could seriously review this novel but instead, I will sell you on it by comparing it to a Hallmark Holiday movie. If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching one, Hallmark Holiday films number in the hundreds and every year about 40 new ones air every day on the Hallmark channel from November through December. They all center around a romance and have certain tropes that are eerily addictive and you run the risk of wasting your whole Saturday and Sunday in front of the TV. There are drinking games, movie plot generators, and hundreds of memes dedicated to their cliches and they pull in millions in views.
So, imagine my delight when while listening to A Crash of Fate, I started noticing similar story beats against the backdrop of the Star Wars universe. And that formula has been imported into a Star Wars Young Adult novel successfully. And so, if your interest is piqued by a Star Wars/Hallmark charming tale that doesn’t have high stakes outside of the characters in the novel, then consider the C&C June recommend: A Crash of Fate audiobook.
I will discuss why I am specifically recommending the audiobook later but, first, let’s talk basic story points. A Crash of Fate starts with a young Izzy Garsea and her best friend Jules Rakab climbing a mountain top outside of Black Spire Outpost on Batuu. Through their dialogue, you get the sense that they have become close given the short amount. Unfortunately, Izzy’s parents have to leave in the middle of the night and she is taken away without being able to say goodbye to Jules. Thirteen years later, having seen the galaxy and currently working on a smuggling team, Izzy finds herself on her own when her team abandons her (which includes her boyfriend Damar Olin). With her relationship status now complicated, she finds herself taking a job from an acquaintance of her parents that brings her back to Batuu and the inevitable reunion with Jules.
At 33, Zoraida Córdova has accomplished a lot as a young writer and is known for her Brooklyn Bruja series about three witch sisters living in Brooklyn and inspired by the show Charmed and has a gift for capturing the sense of culture and history in a location. And she must have made an impression at Lucasfilm with her short story in A Certain Point of View “You Owe Me A Ride” about the Tonnika sisters.
Perhaps this novel indicates that the best approach to writing stories around Galaxy’s Edge is to treat the theme park location as a small town in a Hallmark movie wrapped around an adventure romance. And also like the TV movies, there are checklists. In the Holiday films, there are always tree decorating, shopping montages, and town tours. In Galaxy’s Edge novels, it seems like the characters have to do these things: visit the Wishing Tree, go to Dok-Ondors, and visit Olga’s Cantina.
Even if you are not familiar with Hallmark movies, you can probably guess how everything plays out so I highly recommend listening to the audiobook because the production value is one of the best for a Star Wars novel. The score that plays during a bar fight scene early on in the book is wonderfully tense and compliments Córdova’s writing. Brittany Pressley’s narration is great and she handles the multitude of alien and human voices that populate the world well and A Crash of Fate is ultimately about the people who inhabit Batuu. However, understanding that the audiobook is not available in every language, reading is still enjoyable (for vacations and staycations). If you plan on visiting a park with Galaxy’s Edge, A Crash of Fate is the perfect book to read or listen to, before you visit.