- Series: Star Wars
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey (December 5, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 152479953X
- ISBN-13: 978-1524799533
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 55 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Canto Bight (Star Wars): Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi Hardcover – December 5, 2017
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About the Author
Saladin Ahmed's fantasy novel THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON was nominated for the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, BuzzFeed, and Salon. He currently writes BLACK BOLT for Marvel Comics.
Rae Carson is the author of the bestselling and award-winning Girl of Fire and Thorns series. Her books tend to contain adventure, magic, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. Originally from California, she now lives in Arizona with her husband.
Mira Grant is the pseudonym of Seanan McGuire, winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for best new writer.
John Jackson Miller is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Kenobi, Star Wars: A New Dawn, Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith, and the Star Wars Legends: The Old Republic graphic novel collections from Marvel, among many other novels and comics.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
John Jackson Miller
Vestry clasped both her pairs of hands. “Master Sonmi, you work for the casino. We work for the casino. Exactly who profits from you sitting here alone for another ten hours?” She pointed. “Go home.”
“I don’t have a—”
“Then eat something. But go.”
Kal’s throat went dry as he saw Minn’s hands move toward the undealt cards, ready to dispose of the decks. Please, don’t—
“Oooh, it’s zinbiddle!”
Kal turned to see a diminutive reptilian in a formal black coat, accentuated with a dazzling stellabora lapel bloom. The green-skinned creature flashed a smile so broad it nearly bisected his face as he dropped a fat tray of coins onto the tabletop to Kal’s right. “Deal me in,” he said, hopping up into the chair beside Kal.
Kal stared at the ebullient arrival, mystified, before looking to the dealer, who suspended her cleanup. He told Vestry, “I guess I’m in luck.”
The pit boss stared silently at the players. Kal could swear he saw her mouth form the words, That’s what you think.
“I was at the yacht races,” the newcomer said. “Were you at the yacht races?”
“You should have been at the yacht races.” He offered a chubby green hand. “Dodibin. Dodi for short—but don’t call me that.”
“Don’t call you Dodi?”
“Don’t call me short.” He looked stern for a moment—and then laughed. “And you are Kaljach.”
Lucky guess, he began to say, before remembering his badge. “Kal is fine.” He watched as the Suerton—the species he thought Dodi was—unloaded his chips. Then Dodi pushed a large stack onto the instant-win marker, a side bet the casino covered from its rake.
“That’s a long shot,” Kal said.
“Excellent.” Chipper, Dodi rocked back and forth in his chair as Minn started dealing.
It was no skin off Kal’s nonexistent nose; the side bet was against the house, not him. Though he would have loved to cover it, because there was no greater joy than taking money off someone too stupid to—
Kal gawked. “You got it?”
Dodi flipped up his cards, all in the proper suit and sequence. “Dealt pat.”
Kal hadn’t even looked at his cards yet. He quickly did, and took note of what Dodi had shown, before Minn recovered them all. That was the risk in riding “final station,” the seat on the dealer’s right; Kal saw more cards that way, but occasionally an instant winner would cut a hand short. Fortunately, the odds said that wouldn’t happen very—
“Zinbiddle,” Dodi chirped.
“She’s still dealing the hand!” Kal spouted. Calling early was a dumb move, disqualifying if the hand wasn’t as declared. Unless the fool actually had it?
“Well, what do you know?” Dodi said, overturning his four cards as soon as they’d landed. “I had a feeling.” He’d left his winnings from before on the instant-win marker; he’d won again. Minn went to work exchanging Dodi’s coins for higher-denomination ones.
And now, Kal saw, Vestry was back, keeping a discreet watch from behind Minn. She knew everything, or so she put on. What did she know about this guy?
The good news was Kal was only out two initial stakes, and the decks, if anything, had swung even more into his favor. If a hand ever lasted long enough for him to play, he could start building out his pyramid in pursuit of the progressive. But he was beginning to wonder what he was up against—
—and wondered some more when he heard a voice like Dodi’s, only lower-pitched, from behind. “There you are!”
Kal turned to see another Suerton, looking much like Dodi apart from a few extra centimeters’ height, more pronounced ears, and a necklace of silver ringlets. “Thodi!” Dodi said, hopping off his chair. “Kal, meet Thodi, my brother.”
“I’m the smart one,” Thodi said, and smiled. “At your service.” He glanced at Dodi’s stack on the table. “What are we doing?”
“Winning,” Kal said.
“Well, I know that.” Thodi pushed Dodi. “Step aside for the master, my good chump.”
Dodi resisted. “I was doing fine on my own.”
“I doubt that.”
Minn was befuddled. “Who’s playing, gentlebeings?”
“I was hatched first,” Thodi said. “Ten seconds earlier. Mom said.”
Dodi smirked at Kal. “He always gets me with that.” The slightly younger brother withdrew, and Thodi climbed into the chair. He looked down at Dodi’s winnings. “Oh, now, see, you’re making these silly blind bets again.” He pulled the stacks of coins back from the table and began to sort them. “What you need to do is add up the values of your cards, and bet that. If the number is even, double it. And if it’s prime, you bet your age.”
Wow, Kal thought. That is completely wrong.
“Thodi,” Dodi said, “that is completely wrong.”
“You’re just a gambler,” the elder Suerton said. “Me—I’m a gamer. Watch.”
Thodi played the hand his way—and, in the end, was completely wrong. Kal won some coins, but not many. He must not be that old, Kal thought. But he could live with it. The green guys’ fortunes seemed to dim as the brothers bickered—and that meant the hands lasted longer, giving Kal more data about the decks with every card. And the Ion Barrage chance was ever closer.
This is it! Kal fought to stay calm. Forget the brothers. This was him against fate, months and months of it. This hand, he’d be all in, buying extra draws as necessary to build his pyramid. And then all his problems would be—
“Hi ho!” shouted someone in the aisle.
“Wodi!” the brothers replied in unison. “Over here!”
“What now?” Kal said. He shot an anguished look at Vestry, whose steely reserve had yet to crack. Her eyes were on the aisle, where a Suerton with a bounding gait approached—and then receded, in pursuit of a droid carrying liquid refreshments.
Dodi poked Kal in the ribs. “Wodi, my kid brother. You’ll like him, Kal. Dad used to call him the kind of guy who’d fly all the way to Alderaan if he heard a party was starting.”
“Didn’t Alderaan blow up?”
“Well, Wodi wasn’t responsible.” Dodi pursed his giant lips as Wodi, having scored a tray of beverages, let out a loud whoop. “At least, I don’t think he was. When did it happen?”
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Full disclosure: Star Wars novels are my guilty pleasure. They aren't all great, but I read most of them anyway (Legends before and the now new ones as well).
Canto Bight is the name of the Las-Vegas-like casino city in The Last Jedi. However, this should not scare you away. Many people complained about the Canto Bight story line in The Last Jedi, feeling like it could have been cut out of the film. Maybe it could have, but there was some good character development that happened there. No matter how you come down on the debate, we now have a new location in the Star Wars universe that was hardly explored in the movie itself.
The book Canto Bight is actually a set of four short stories by four different authors. Each story is set Canto Bight and explore the city in different ways. Several other reviewers have talked about the individual stories, so I will not review each separately. As a whole, all the stories are engaging. Each author brings his/her own style to the prose, but each draws you in. I read this book just after finishing Phasma (another tie-in Star Wars novel) and I must admit I enjoyed Canto Bight more than Phasma.
What you really need to know about these short stories is that they are about real people and aliens, not Jedi and Sith. These stories could have worked without the Star Wars universe shroud, but the fact they are set in the Star Wars universe allows you to be immediately comfortable that you understand the rules of the universe. For example, the authors don't have to spend time explaining that money is called "credits" or what is happening in the broader universe because you already know.
These stories will not give you insight into the mysteries of the overall Star Wars saga, but if you are looking for a good read by some fantastic authors, this is a good buy.
“The Wine in Dreams” - this one didn't really appeal to me, but that may be because I am not a wine person.
“Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing” - Loved this one. Wonderful trick of turning the tables. Loved that Lexo’s 13 year-old daughter was more tech savvy than he was even thought he was a very clever guy. Nice touch.
“The Ride“ - John Jackson Miller - Another really good story. The only way to gamble is to consider the money already spent and just have fun. If you win some, fine; if you don’t, well at least you had fun. Wodi, Thodi and Dodi are a riot with all their luck and craziness. Fun story. Very nice touch at the end with the connection to the first story.
I came back to it and enjoyed the stories of these everyday people in the galaxy. It was nice to see these people overcoming obstacles with companions they’d found along the way. I don’t drink, yet the sommelier story was still interesting. The gambling story had me reminiscing about playing Knights of the Old Republic.
This is very similar to the books that came out before The Force Awakens that were focused on side characters that end up being cut from the film.
My favorite story was the final one from John Jackson Miller featuring Kal, Dodi, Wodi, and Thodi.