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Star Wars: The High Republic: Out Of The Shadows Book Review

“Star Wars: The High Republic: Out Of The Shadows” is the best High Republic book since “Light Of The Jedi.”

Written by Justina Ireland (who has penned several SW books now), “Star Wars: The High Republic: Out Of The Shadows” takes place after the Republic Fair disaster. The Jedi have begun to push back on the Nihil but maybe not quite enough according to some. The story of this particular YA novel is a bit of an ensemble piece (although the stories eventually connect). The book kicks off with a cargo hauler named Sylvestri Yarrow who encounters a hyperspace issue in the Berenge Sector of space before having her ship stolen by the Nihil. Syl (as she goes back) then attempts to tell the Republic about the issue and that’s when her life quickly becomes turned upside down as a wealthy and suspicious man (Xylan Graf) approaches for intel about the Berenge Sector. Naturally, he has his own agenda. Syl’s life further becomes complicated by the mystery regarding her mother (who was believed to be dead) and ex lover Jordanna.

Another key plot involves young Jedi Knight Vernestra and her Padawan Imri along with Master Cohmac and his apprentice Jedi Reath being roped into situations involving the Berenge dispute, a mysterious puzzle box, and the Nihil.

But wait, there’s more! Nan (previously featured in “Into The Dark”) has her own storyline as she is now working alongside Marchion Ro. She is assigned to a job that involves a gravity weapon, but that’s all I will say about that.

As I mentioned in my review for “Race To Crashpoint Tower,” the High Republic book series relies heavily on knowledge of each and every book as it’s essentially one big continuous multimedia story. While this is an ambitious refreshing change of pace for the SW book universe, it’s getting to the point where you might need a flow chart to follow everything now. Personally, I am enjoying the ride, but it’s all becoming too connected to a fault. Getting new readers on board for this series will be an issue as you really do have to read every book in order to follow the events and characters. With all of that said, “Out Of The Shadows” is a nice continuation of the story (especially a continuation of “A Test of Courage” and “Into The Dark”).

After the thrilling “Light Of The Jedi,” I’ve been waiting for a High Republic book to really dig into the characters and overarching story more. You definitely get that with “Out Of The Shadows.” Not only do new characters pop up such as Syl (who gets a lot of focus here), but familiar faces like Vernestra, Nan, and Reath get more attention. Vernestra in particular has quite the journey in this book and her Force Powers are a pivotal component of the plot.

‘Shadows’ actually covers quite a bit of ground overall. There’s more world building, the story explores some of the wealthy and powerful families in the galaxy (some of whom will be familiar names), and perhaps the biggest takeaway here is that the hyperspace mysteries are front and center. I don’t want to give too much away as you really need to read those parts for yourself, but expect the hyperspace elements from “Light Of The Jedi” to be more developed here. 

As far as the rest of the plot goes, it can be a bit overwhelmed by exposition and character scheming in spots, but the main thing is this story has actual weight to it. There’s a lot going on here that not only furthers the High Republic era storytelling, but also provides much needed characterization.

June 17, 2021 - Posted by | Book review | ,

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