My review of The Last Jedi novelisation:
Sadly, this was a disappointment. It’s quite clear Jason gave it his best shot, but his aim was fatally compromised and hindered by the fact he was novelising TLJ. The one thing that would have made it far, far better is more Luke, but that just wasn’t here. I was hoping for a better sense of Luke’s viewpoint, but what’s here is more or less what the film gives us minus Hamill’s killer performance to sell it. In that respect, most of the weaknesses of the film are replicated here.
As to the fabled NR references, either it was a sentence here, another there or they were too damn subtle I missed them completely. (Quite, quite seriously - gimme the page numbers.) In this respect I can recognise that Fry’s hands were probably tied by the lack of knowing whatever is being done in Ep 9, but I still feel it’s a missed opportunity. Especially with regard to Bloodline, this could have paid that book off but doesn’t.
The big success of the book lies elsewhere then - Luke, Rey, Holdo, Poe, Ren, Hux - they are very much as they are in the movie. Where Fry does work a good amount of magic is in character recollections:
Snoke’s musings about the true nature of the Contingency
Poe learning to fly in the atmosphere and orbit of Yavin with his mother Shara, including flying around the Death Star wreckage
Hux recalling that the Jedi used child soldiers - he has the Imperial version
Snoke running through the list of his rivals - Brendol Hux, Sloane, Rax
Luke’s adventures in the decades before were aimed at uncovering the greater truths of the Force
Snoke aided the Empire in the Unknown Regions - that demands to be expanded on, as does the greater truths he claimed to hold and wished to deny Skywalker
These were excellent and hinted at a grander tapestry that absolutely has to be developed further.