Star Wars The High Republic: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule.
This is the first book in an as yet unexplored era of the Star Wars universe. As a mysterious accident brings catastrophe, the forces of the Republic and the Jedi come together to provide aid and what relief they can as the event that becomes known as the Great Disaster heralds in this era of Star Wars story telling all the while a new danger is appearing from the darkness of the outer rim.
I really enjoyed the Light of the Jedi. It reminded me a lot of the Legends New Jedi Order series of books which started 1999 with the publication of Vector Prime by R.A. Salvatore. It is very refreshing to see the Jedi at their pinnacle instead of the waning days of the Republic or the rise of the Empire or even that of the lack of Jedi of the Resistance era. Personally for me Star Wars has always been most interesting when dealing with the Jedi and the Force and so one of the aspects I particularly enjoyed was how different Jedi experience the force in different ways, one sees it like music another as an ocean to give but a couple of examples.
“Avar Kriss closed her eyes. She stepped up into the air. The Force Sang to her, telling her of peril and bravery and sacrifice, of Jedi fulfilling their vows, acting as guardians of peace and Justice in the galaxy.
The song of the Force.”
It was also intriguing to see some of the technological differences, what struck me straight away was how different hyperspace is in this come compared to those books set later on and the new development of bacta is a nice background touch. The writing was good, it kept my attention and it was fast paced. I enjoyed the mix of investigation and action and some of the background politics. I was excited to see the Nihil, the new enemy that will be the challenge for the Jedi and the Republic in the new series. Charles Sould has done a wonderful job with the characters in this book be they Jedi, members of the Republic or even the Nihil they were interesting and deep despite the limited amount of space to explore such an array of characters that we are introduced to in this book (inherent in the first in any multi novel series nevermind one set a long time ago in a galaxy far far away) The author has made me feel for all of them light and dark. The mystery of the Eye of the Nihil is one I cannot wait to see developed in future books.
Above I compared the series to the New Jedi Order there is an element of darkness in both and in Light of the Jedi one can see the hope and the light to combat the darkness where that light was so much fainter in the New Jedi Order series as we start from a place a light and move to the dark. I cannot stress how much I enjoyed seeing Jedi be Jedi and the light of the galaxy the “guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic” that we first hear of in A New Hope and after all “We are all the Republic”. I am excited to see this new era of Star Wars develop and eagerly look forward to the next installment.