Canto Bight by Saladin Ahmed

Canto Bight

Soon to be seen in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, welcome to the casino city of Canto Bight. A place where exotic aliens, captivating creatures, and other would-be high rollers are willing to risk everything to make their fortunes. Set across one fateful evening, these four interconnected stories explore the deception and danger of the lavish casino city. - An honest salesman m...

Title:Canto Bight
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Canto Bight Reviews

  • Shane Phillips

    Bleech. This did not have the feel of being Star Wars related. This could have been any generic 'casino' science fiction book. Maybe the "Last Jedi" movie will change that. I am posting this 1 week before movie comes out. It might have been better to listen after the movie.

  • Brandon St Mark

    Over all none of these are bad stories, but none of them are that great. Kind of a reoccurring thing in the New Canon. None of the books are bad (well, except for the Aftermath books, a majority of them are bad sadly), but they just aren’t that interesting to me. And, Phasma aside, the ones I do like have to do with the Jedi. Which apparently is something the New Canon just doesn’t want to follow.

  • Peter Hammond

    I started to get depressed reading Canto Bight. So I furiously started mapping out the new canon with magazine clippings and twine and big question marks like Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind. Then I got online and started making petitions, spent all my money on billboards, and turned on fandom like a jackal nipping at the tail of an elephant. I sank down into a deep, dark, lonely hole. Just screaming into the abyss. Finally I awoke from this fever dream. I realized that just like the EU there

    I started to get depressed reading Canto Bight. So I furiously started mapping out the new canon with magazine clippings and twine and big question marks like Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind. Then I got online and started making petitions, spent all my money on billboards, and turned on fandom like a jackal nipping at the tail of an elephant. I sank down into a deep, dark, lonely hole. Just screaming into the abyss. Finally I awoke from this fever dream. I realized that just like the EU there are going to be stories that are awesome, and well some like the last couple that I've read. Still more good than bad... for now...

    THROW IN THE SARLAAC PIT (3 Piles of Poodoo)

    Canto Bight

    Adventures of Luke Skywalker

    Inferno Squad

    Life Debt

    Aftermath

    Heir to the Jedi

    NOT BAD FOR A LITTLE FUR BALL (1 Pile of Poodoo)

    Rebel Rising

    Thrawn

    Empire's End

    Ahsoka

    Before the Awakening

    Moving Target

    Smuggler's Run

    Tarkin

    A New Dawn

    Lords of the Sith

    GREAT SHOT, KID! (No poodoo! Thank the maker)

    From a Certain Point of View

    Leia, Princess of Alderaan

    Phasma

    Catalyst

    Bloodline

    Twilight Company

    Lost Stars

  • Lata

    3.5 stars. Like the collection of short stories "From a Certain Point of View", this collection of four novellas focus on the little guys in the background, the ones you might catch for a second before turning back to the main action. Canto Bight is where the rich of the galaxy go to play, and the rest, well, they get to keep their lives, if they're lucky. Though each author focuses on a different main character, there are characters common to each story. A guy on his first vacation as a reward

    3.5 stars. Like the collection of short stories "From a Certain Point of View", this collection of four novellas focus on the little guys in the background, the ones you might catch for a second before turning back to the main action. Canto Bight is where the rich of the galaxy go to play, and the rest, well, they get to keep their lives, if they're lucky. Though each author focuses on a different main character, there are characters common to each story. A guy on his first vacation as a reward for best Salesbeing, a sommelier and a wine of dreams, a massage therapist and his fathier-caring daughter, and a gambler whose debt's been called are the subjects of each story. There's plenty of venality on display at Cantorica, and plenty of people living close to the edge. People are often desperate, and find themselves having to make unusual choices to survive. The overall tone of the stories is light and pleasant. And Kedpin Shoklop, Vaporator Salesbeing of the year (and naive schmuck), gets to bookend the quartet of novellas.

  • Timothy Martin

    The stories we see in this book each do a good job of of keeping you interested while making you care about the characters. Being able to see a planet so thoroughly built and described is a rarity in the EU, and it is very refreshing.

    However, given that it is full of short stories it is still difficult to get too invested in characters and you more of feel the obligatory "good guy should win" feeling. Overall, a good read for those already invested in the Star Wars Universe.

  • Matthew Sciarrino

    This “prequel” in the road to the Last Jedi features a location that will be a setting in the upcoming movie. It features 4 novellas that take place in Canto Bight. Canto Bight reminds me of the many Cantinas and Casinos in the Star Wars games, i.e Knights of the Old Republic etc. It also makes me wonder why Lando Calrissian isn’t in this movie. This is his kind of place. Han, too would have been right at home. The 4 stories are very good. They certainly give you a feel for this city. I would al

    This “prequel” in the road to the Last Jedi features a location that will be a setting in the upcoming movie. It features 4 novellas that take place in Canto Bight. Canto Bight reminds me of the many Cantinas and Casinos in the Star Wars games, i.e Knights of the Old Republic etc. It also makes me wonder why Lando Calrissian isn’t in this movie. This is his kind of place. Han, too would have been right at home. The 4 stories are very good. They certainly give you a feel for this city. I would also be very surprised if the characters in these stories aren’t featured in the background or in some way in the movie. I enjoyed the book.

  • Jordan Anderson

    may be the richest, most fantastic place in the galaxy but you sure as hell wouldn't know it based on these stories...

    As has come to be pretty much par the course with all these new canon tie-ins,

    is a

    disappointment. In and of itself the

    and the

    behind getting fans super pumped up and excited for the events on Cantonica in the upcoming

    are good ones. Just think how much more fun Naboo and Kamino would have been had something like this was

    may be the richest, most fantastic place in the galaxy but you sure as hell wouldn't know it based on these stories...

    As has come to be pretty much par the course with all these new canon tie-ins,

    is a

    disappointment. In and of itself the

    and the

    behind getting fans super pumped up and excited for the events on Cantonica in the upcoming

    are good ones. Just think how much more fun Naboo and Kamino would have been had something like this was published before the prequels.

    Unfortunately, it's in the execution of these ideas that

    really suffers. There's 4 novellas here and aside from Rae Carson's "See Nothing, Hear Nothing, Do Nothing", they're all disastrous attempts at trying to tell stupid stories that aren't fun or even bear any importance in the grand scheme of things. Saladeen Ahmed's "Rules of the Game"

    have been decent but it's totally ruined by his amateurish, YA type prose...and its ending is ridiculously joyful and happy, putting me off and making me feel like Ahmed couldn't let his audience off without smacking them in the face with an over-the-top happy conclusion. I'll admit that "The Ride" by Miller was decently written (and should be since the guy is like the 3rd most famous author in the

    universe), but it was just so boring and even though it had the requisite

    aliens, it didn't feel anything like

    .

    I might have been willing to give

    a low 3 out of 5 had it not been for the absolutely stupid "Wine of Dreams". I'll skip past the fact that the story about selling wine made little to no sense and come right out with the fact that the pseudo-artsy present tense prose of the hipster style literary fiction that is so popular today has

    place in the

    universe. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a well worded, descriptive literary novel every once in a while, and they do have their place in the book world, but, sorry Mira Grant, trying to be all clever and unique in a franchise that doesn't need it or even garner any desire for it, makes you out to be a wannabe "artiste extraordinaire" and weakens the entire story you're trying to write and makes your novella a total chore to get through.

    I had high hopes that

    would continue where Claudia Gray's

    , Dawson's

    and, to a lesser extent both

    and Christie Golden's

    , left off, making a good mark in the new canon and just being a ton of fun to read. Well, my high hopes were dashed and I'm, once again, left feeling like a total chump for thinking there was a chance that Disney had finally gotten their act together.

  • Khurram

    A very disappointing book. One of the reasons it took me so long to finish this book is I could not really summon to motivation to carry on reading it. For short stories, the stories are very slow paced. I did not really care for most of the characters, and it DEFINITELY DOES NOT add anything to the Last Jedi movie. The one think I did like in this book was that as were re-used/mentioned from story to story.

    I could have learned everything I needed to know about Canto Bight from the two lines spo

    A very disappointing book. One of the reasons it took me so long to finish this book is I could not really summon to motivation to carry on reading it. For short stories, the stories are very slow paced. I did not really care for most of the characters, and it DEFINITELY DOES NOT add anything to the Last Jedi movie. The one think I did like in this book was that as were re-used/mentioned from story to story.

    I could have learned everything I needed to know about Canto Bight from the two lines spoken by Rose in the movie, it is a bubble. The playground for the super rich, and once in the life time vacation for tourists, but build on the broken dreams of people who have lost too much or never had enough to leave the place.

    It is written by three writer who are new to writing in the Star Wars universe. Then Jason Jackson Miller as a veteran Star Wars writer to finish off the book. Even though I did not like the book as a whole there were part that were ok to good.

    Saladin Ahmed’s story to start the book off was ok. I would have given this story 3.5 stars. It is a slow start to a trusting tourist on a dream holiday that is quickly turning into a nightmare courtesy of the seedy residents of Canto Bight.

    Rae Carson’s story is so confusing even after finishing I still am not sure what the point of it was. I don’t understand why the two main characters did what they did or what the point of the effect they had on the side characters. 1 star at best.

    Mira Grant’s story of a resident masseuse forced fighting back against the “big fish” who will do anything to get what he wants, was ok but a bit too far fetched. Security on Canto is a joke if this is the case. 3 stars.

    The final story is about Kal a gambler who meets a trio of brothers who make him question everything he has worked and believes it at the worst possible time. This was one of this and the first story were really the only ones that drew me in towards the end. Still very slow paced though. 3.5 stars.

    Really this is the story of the underworld in the world of bright lights, glitz and glamor, a good premise but really nothing was add to release this under the “journey to the Last Jedi” title. I guess I will have to wait 2 years before I find out if any of these stories have any influence on the next movie. Quite disappointed really.

  • Jason

    Canto Bight is a collection of 4 short-to-medium stories about the Legendary gambling City of Canto-Bight on Cantonica. This is the place to go if you want to be involved in gambling of any sort, and those involved in the high stakes are always at Canto Bight. Lando and Han would have LIVED at Canto Bight back in their time if it had existed. Whilst these stories don’t follow any of the main characters, they give us the feel for Canto Bight, those that live and visit, the type of business dealin

    Canto Bight is a collection of 4 short-to-medium stories about the Legendary gambling City of Canto-Bight on Cantonica. This is the place to go if you want to be involved in gambling of any sort, and those involved in the high stakes are always at Canto Bight. Lando and Han would have LIVED at Canto Bight back in their time if it had existed. Whilst these stories don’t follow any of the main characters, they give us the feel for Canto Bight, those that live and visit, the type of business dealings and the general, overall ambience. If you are a Star Wars fan, this is a fantastic book, with some really great stories and some brilliant characters. This is what Star Wars short stories are all about, fun, action, adventure, aliens, strange and amazing creatures, abilities and technology.

    Following are reviews of the 4 individual stories for those interested – but this is brilliant!

    Rules of the Game – 4.5/5 – The first of our stories introduces us to Kedpin Shoklop, vaporator sales being of the year in his company, and winner of an all expenses trip for 2wks to Canto Bight. Of course Kedpin is totally clueless and this is like dropping a baby seal covered in fresh blood into the middle of a pack of hungry sharks. He doesn’t even make it through customs before he has lost pretty much everything. Poor Kedpin is not off to a good start. Even worse, he unbeknownst to him, he has been chosen by one of the best assassins on Canto Bight to help kill the corrupt Police Chief in the local Police station.

    What unfolds is like a Mr Bean movie as Kedpin stumbles through one event after another, never quite realising the danger he is in, but at the same time, never quite dying either. This is a story that is incredibly well written, were even though Kedpin is annoying at times, you can’t help but back the little guy. You even like the assassin.

    Wonderfully clever, with exceptional characters, this is Star Wars at its absolute best.

    The Wine of Dreams – 4/5 – this was a rather fascinating story about a wine sommelier, Derla Pidys, looking for this perfect bottle of wine that she has heard about, ‘The Wine of Dreams’, that is sold by a pair of Sisters, who are reportedly from a different dimension. She has been tracking the Sisters all over, and has finally found them in Canto Bight and set up a meeting, but of course, being Star Wars, things do not go exactly to plan. For starters, Derla is intercepted en-route to her meeting by Ubialla Gheal, owner of the establishment and all-round general rogue. However, the Sisters like to be ‘entertained’, and when they decide to be entertained, chaos ensues.

    What unfolds is utter entertainment. It is incredibly well written, with lots of little bits and pieces going on that I am sure will turn up in side stories and possibly even movies. This has the Cantina scene all over it from ‘A New Hope’, and I am sure that the Sisters will make an appearance later down the track in other stories to.

    Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing – 4/5 – Lexo is a Dor Namethian masseuse, one of the finest in all of Canto Bight, working in one of the finest establishments in Canto Bight, Zord’s Spa and Bathhouse. However, he is getting on a bit now, and his hands are starting to suffer a bit. He found a human child years ago and adopted her, Lula, who is now 13, and she cares for him. Lexo has a policy of keeping to himself, not listening, seeing, hearing or saying anything to his clients so he doesn’t get involved in anything he shouldn’t, and hopefully staying out of trouble. However, this policy all goes wrong for him one day when his Daughter is kidnapped. She is taken by one of the local crime lords who has decided that Lexo would make a great source of information for him, and that he is going to work for him, or else. Of course what the Crime Boss, Big Sturg Ganna, doesn’t count on, is that Lexo has not only a huge amount of courage and strength, especially when it comes to his adopted daughter, but that Lexo has a past that not many people know about. Again, this is another thrilling and captivating story that is absolutely brilliant in the Star Wars Universe, with all the different aliens, the mystery of Canto Bight, and the history of the galaxy allowing people to have unique pasts and stories that create this incredible tales.

    This has some wonderful characters in it (apart from Lexo), there is Big Sturg Ganna, the Contessa who runs the city of Canto Bight and numerous others. This is a great story for learning of a lot of the history, and as we come up to the Last Jedi, and Canto Bight is going to make an appearance in the Movie, it will be a lot of fun trying to match characters from the story to the book.

    Exceptional read and a lot of run!

    The Ride – 5/5 – This was one of the best stories in the set just because of the side characters. The story follows Kaljach ‘Kal’ Sonmi, who play cards for a living at one of the casinos as a professional player to try and make some money for himself, but he is also employed by the Casino to entice other people to play and have fun.

    During the course of the story, he loses big, loses his job, and is now basically on death row, with 24hrs to come up with a huge sum of money or he is going to be cashed in by the mob. This is where it gets kind of hilarious. He lost to a set of brothers, known as the Lucky 3. Now the brothers, Dodi, Thodi and Wobi, play for fun, not caring if they win or lose, and on that particular game, Kal had this special hand, so big, he could have paid off all his debts and been a free man. However, with the 3 brothers together, a 2nd ‘special’ hand was drawn in such a way so as to beat him, and is basically impossible the odds on it are so improbable. So Kal goes a bit silly, loses his job, and is now on death row so to speak. However, the brothers spot him a coin. And with that coin he wins a small fortune beating on ‘ONE’ of the brothers. And then Kal works it out with the brothers, he thinks. And so it goes, Kal has the most amazing night of his life, and he plays all sorts of things for ‘FUN’ for the first time in a long time.

    The way this story plays out is like Lando and Han on steroids at a Sabaac table, only with a lot more fun. The story itself is not only the true meaning of Creativity and Fun in the Star Wars Universe, it is utterly brilliant. The character work is exceptional, and what is really great is that the Author has included bits from the other stories in this one so there are guest appearances.

    This is absolutely brilliant and outstanding fun, plus another great look at the Star Wars Canto Bight universe.

    Definitely worth the read!!

    Canto Bight is a fabulous collection of short stories and is a must read for any Star Wars fan, but absolutely if you are looking forward to the new movie ‘The Last Jedi’, just to have the ability to compare and contrast the book to the real Canto Bight in the Movie (yes, of course it's real!!)

  • Josh

    I’d suggest reading Canto Bight after watching the Last Jedi. The film gives some context and perspective to the casino town which is hard to imagine from the limited exposure the 4 novellas offer. Whilst good in their own right, the lack of a predefined visual aide dampers the atmosphere in the novellas – the casino town is not Las Vegas nor does it compare in the film to it as such, so having a preconceived notion of the cityscape is recommended.

    The first novella, Rules of the Game by Saladin

    I’d suggest reading Canto Bight after watching the Last Jedi. The film gives some context and perspective to the casino town which is hard to imagine from the limited exposure the 4 novellas offer. Whilst good in their own right, the lack of a predefined visual aide dampers the atmosphere in the novellas – the casino town is not Las Vegas nor does it compare in the film to it as such, so having a preconceived notion of the cityscape is recommended.

    The first novella, Rules of the Game by Saladin Ahmed is a great way to open the collection. The story centres on a lowly long term employee (who had clocked up 102 years for the company) who finally wins the coveted employee of the year award which in turn provides him a holiday to the casino town. He’s promptly swindled out of his cash and luggage before nearly being killed. His innocence is a joy to read and I really felt for the character. The cityscape is used well, providing a glimpse into greater playground for the rich outside of the scenes from The Last Jedi.

    The Wine of Dreams by Mira Grant didn’t feel like a star wars story or a story which used the setting of the Casino world Cantonia at all. Contained largely to a night club and primarily focused on the sale of a rare wine of a little known and largely elusive vintage, the novella’s saving grace is the characters which are well defined and unique. Canto Bight is more an afterthought than critical element to the story and it’s this aspect that ultimately lets it down.

    The third novella, Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing by Rae Carson puts the collection back on track. There’s also some nice connectivity with The Wine of Dreams with the night club owner being named dropped on occasion. This story is centred on a masseur and former hitman who gets roped into murder for hire once more in order to save the life of his adopted daughter.

    The last novella by long time Star Wars scribe John Jackson Miller, The Ride, is perhaps the most ‘casino’ based of the collection. Despite the story not having much depth, we do get a decent look at the various gambling outlets Canto Bight has to offer. The crux of the plot: a gambler loses money owned by an underworld figure and has one night to win it all back, luckily for him; he stumbles upon three aliens who have a strange knack for winning, and winning big. I liked this one.

    My rating: 3/5 stars. Whilst the stories themselves are well written and entertaining, I would’ve liked more exploration of Canto Bight.


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