Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It almost seems pointless to write a review of this book as it’s already been discussed so much online…often by people who haven’t actually read it but have been told by angry people on YouTube that it solely exists to further Kathleen Kennedy’s feminist, SJW, woke agenda and that Avar Kriss has been created purely to give Brie Larsen a character to play in Star Wars so she can spread her hatred of men…and…yeah…
So, does this novel further the feminist, SJW, woke agenda? Well, it has women in it…and they’re Jedi. There are also Jedi who aren’t women in it. There are a LOT of characters in it and Avar Kriss actually plays a very small part in the book.
What’s it about? It’s mostly about the Jedi and the Republic dealing with the aftermath of what seems to be an accident in hyperspace, which brings them into conflict with the Nihil. The Nihil are basically a criminal band of outlaw marauders…think the biker gangs from Mad Max, but in space. They have access to secret hyperspace “paths” which enable them to go anywhere and do some other hyperspace tricks which makes them a particularly deadly foe.
But, of course, there’s more to it than that, there are schemes within schemes, and that’s where this book really shines. Marchion Ro, the Eye of the Nihil, seems like he’s going to be a fairly one dimensional villain at first. One that doesn’t really control the Nihil but is more of a figurehead. But as the story progresses you find that everything is unfolding…well, not necessarily according to his plan…but to further his goals.
As others have pointed out, the book introduces us to a lot of new characters, but it does it well, and you find yourself caring about a lot of them. Particularly Padawan Bell Zettifar and his master, Loden Greatstorm.
This book suffers a bit from being the first in a series, and establishing a whole new era in the Star Wars canon, and as such it can’t possibly deliver a satisfying conclusion. This is not a complete story, and if you’re expecting one then you’ll be disappointed. What it does do, however, is leave you excited to read more, and as such it’s a resounding success.
Light of the Jedi is a bold new venture and a very welcome addition to the Star Wars canon. It’s exploring new ground, something which hasn’t happened in the Star Wars novels since Disney took over, and for that it should be commended.