Path of Vengeance, by Cavan Scott (Canon). This YA novel is the final book in Phase 2 of the High Republic, and at 500 pages, it was a whopper of a good book. It continues the story of Marda and Yana Ro, of the Wave 1 YA book Path of Deceit. It spans the events of the Battle of Jedha (as told in the Battle of Jedha audiobook) and the Battle of Dalna (as told in Cataclysm), and follows the doings of the two Evereni cousins, Marda and Yana, from the Path of the Open Hand. We hadn’t seen them since the Wave 1 YA novel, Path of Deceit. Marda is still naively following the Mother, the self-proclaimed prophet of the group, and Yana, disillusioned with the Mother after the death of her girlfriend on a mission from the Mother, is trying to distance herself; she keeps getting pulled back in with concern for her younger cousin. She also forms an uneasy alliance with her deceased girlfriend’s father, the Herald, who the Mother threw under the bus during the Battle of Jedha. They return to Dalna together, he to wrest power from the Mother, and Yana to try to convince her cousin to leave the Path. But Marda is already gone when she arrives: she’s on another mission from the Mother, this time to Planet X to retrieve more eggs of the Nameless, the Force-feeding monsters that kill Jedi. I find it interesting that both the Ro’s talk to and have visions of their dead loved ones: Marda sees Kevmo, a Jedi Padawan she loved and who was killed in Path of Deceit; and Yana sees her dead girfriend, Kor. They’re not really actual ghosts, but extensions of their conscience and their own inner dialogue. It’s also the story of Matty Cathely, a Jedi Padawan who is sent to Jedha, and Jedi Master Olivia Zeveron, who has a surprising connection to the Mother. This book is a very satisfying end to Phase 2, even though I still have some questions–I’m hoping Phase 3 will somehow answer them, perhaps through flashbacks.
Star Wars: Rebel Force Book 3–Renegade, by Alex Wheeler. (Legends).
Book three in the Rebel Force series, this one focuses on Han Solo (the first focused on Luke, the second on Leia). The Imperial assassin X-7 attempts to kill Luke (and fails) and frames Han for the crime. Leia, investigating the crime and trying to be objective, comes off as doubting Han’s innocence. This angers Han, naturally, so Chewie busts him out of jail and they flee Yavin 4. While Han tries to get back into his old life of smuggling, Leia and Luke go to Tatooine to hide Luke from any other attempts on his life, reuniting with his old friends, though they end up arguing. It’s clear Luke still has a lot to learn about being a Jedi, as he’s quick to anger, eager to impress his old friends, and acts reckless, to Leia’s disappointment. Jabba gets wind of Luke’s presence on the planet, and because Luke is Han’s friend (and Han owes him money), sends the bounty hunter Bossk after him to lure Han to him. Meanwhile, Han ends up on an Imperial station on a job to steal various supplies, gets betrayed by his partner, and while trying to escape the Imperials, finds out that Tobin Elad, the man who became a friend and part of their group, is actually X-7 and is the one trying to kill Luke. This whole scheme of Han going to the Imperial base is apparently orchestrated by the ghost of Ben Kenobi, which is a tad weird, to say the least. Anyway, Han and Chewie end up on Tatooine to save Luke just before X-7 attempts to kill Luke again. X-7 gets away, but you know he’ll be back at some point to finish the job. I do feel bad for X-7; he’s been tortured into who he is, forgetting his former life and living only to please the Commander. We get flashbacks of his “training,” and for a junior novel, it’s difficult to read. No gory details, but it’s clear what the guy went through. Sometimes it’s obvious these books are junior novels, taking us back to familiar faces and places, and elicits the occasional eye roll, but they’ve grown on me, and I’ll keep going on the series.
The next Star Wars book in my queue is Shatterpoint, by Matthew Stover. It’s a Legends book that focuses on Mace Windu. I’ve never really liked Mace (I thought he was mean, lol) but I’ve been softening my stance a little bit lately, mostly because of his character in the Clone Wars animated series. I thought I’d give him another chance in this book; I’m curious to see how I feel about him, and this book written by Stover, who wrote the brilliant novelization of Revenge of the Sith. Eager to dive in.
Have you read these books? What did you think? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!