This novel was a must-buy for me after seeing Rogue One twice in the theaters in one week. I had to know if it gave any insights into the characters and I needed to spend more time with Cassian, Jyn, Chirrut, Baze, Bodhi and Kay-Two. So how did it stack up?
The writing was smooth and competent, so there was no hindrance to just picking up the book and sailing through the story. It was a quick read. The plot and story beats followed the movie closely, with very few (if any) scenes that we hadn’t viewed on screen. Where it shone was in giving us the internal musings of many of the characters — both Jyn and Cassian gained more depth with this additional information. Baze and Chirrut did not fare so well, with only one or two scenes giving us insight into their thoughts, but I hear that a junior novel about the Guardians of the Whills is coming out this spring, so I have hopes that we will see more about these mysterious men. Bodhi also did not get as much pagetime as I had hoped. Several mysteries remain about character motivation and backstory, which is disappointing.
My verdict: Definitely worth reading if you loved the movie and wanted to know more about the characters. Probably worth reading if you just wanted to know what the hype was about but didn’t want to watch the movie. If you don’t care about Star Wars, then… probably not something you’d want to pick up.