Novel Review: The Last Jedi
- Spoiler Review -
Since the initial announcement, we’ve waited several years for the completion of this novel. I have always looked forward to it, mainly because of the characters involved in this series. The Last Jedi continues the story of the Coruscant Nights series (Jedi Twilight, Street of Shadows, Patterns of Force), and brings back memorable characters such as Jax Pavan, Laranth Tarak, Den Dhur, and of course, I-Five.
As mentioned, The Last Jedi picks up where Patterns of Force left off. It’s been several months since those events, and because of the attacks on the anti-Imperial resistance called Whiplash, Jax and his crew must move its leader, the Cerean Thi Xon Timmon, off Coruscant. It’s still very early in the book, but just when you think they’re well on their way to succeeding, the entire story turns upside down.
Vader’s fleet moves in to intercept their ship and succeeds. But that’s not his only victory.
Jax is able to escape, but the events that follow lead him into a downward spiral mentally. This makes for some tough, and at many times, questionable decisions that allow Jax to skirt dangerously close to the dark side. One such decision is a partnership with Black Sun, via Prince Xizor himself. The dark prince is all too happy to have a Jedi Knight at his beck and call, and Jax decides that because of the resources Black Sun can provide, committing himself to Xizor is worth the risk.
The Last Jedi boasts an incredibly deep look into the Force, and devotes many pages to it. Along these lines, Jax feels he must seek the dangerous knowledge contained in a Sith holocron if he’s to have any chance of succeeding in his quest. Which leads him to another risky alliance: The Singing Mountain Clan witches of Dathomir.
In the meantime, the situation on Coruscant turns grim for Whiplash, as plans are foiled and surprising actions are revealed.
All of this leads to a final showdown with Vader and several Inquisitors including the powerful Probus Telsa, who are located on a nearly impenetrable Imperial base filled with Stormtroopers. I have to admit that while exciting, the ending is not what I expected, and still leaves me with a few questions.
I enjoyed The Last Jedi. Not only does it have depth, but it provides many surprising twists. Familiar characters Den Dhur and I-Five provide their usual hilarious dialog, but also struggle right along with Jax as he deals with sadness, anger, and a thirst for revenge. Darth Vader maintains a constant presence, and is even surprised at times by Jax, who also knows that Vader is actually Anakin Skywalker. And of course, I’m always happy to see Prince Xizor.
But it’s not all about these marquee characters. Several new characters are introduced and become an essential part of the story.
I recommend you to read The Last Jedi by Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff. It is designed as a stand-alone, but you would do well to read the Coruscant Nights trilogy first, so you are familiar with the situations and characters.
DISCLOSURE: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no charge in order to provide an early review. However, this did not affect the overall review content. All opinions are my own.
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KNIGHT OF RECKONING
The Emperor’s ruthless Order 66 has all but exterminated the Jedi. The few remaining who still wield the Force for good have been driven into exile or hiding. But not Jax Pavan, who’s been steadily striking blows against the Empire—as a lone guerrilla fighter and a valued partner of Whiplash, a secret Coruscant-based resistance group. Now he’s taking on his most critical mission: transporting a valued Whiplash leader, targeted for assassination, from Coruscant to safety on a distant world. It’s a risky move under any circumstances, but Jax and his trusted crew aboard the Far Ranger, including the irrepressible droid I-Five, are prepared to pit their combat skills and their vessel’s firepower against all Imperial threats—except the one Jax fears most. Reports have raced across the galaxy that the dark lord of the Sith has fallen in a duel to the death with a Rebel freedom fighter. But Jax discovers the chilling truth when he reaches out with the Force . . . only to touch the dark, unmistakable, and malignantly alive presence that is Darth Vader. And Jax knows that Vader will stop at nothing until the last Jedi has fallen.