Hello, everyone! Today’s post is my last book review of the week, and I couldn’t be more excited to bring it to you. I almost fainted from excitement when I was approved for the eARC of this Star Wars book, and I’m still riding the high this book gave me. So, head below to see what I thought of Star Wars: The High Republic: Midnight Horizon by Daniel Jose Older.
Centuries before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, in the era of the glorious High Republic, the Jedi are the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy!
After a series of staggering losses, the Republic seems to finally have the villainous Nihil marauders on the run, and it looks like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Until word comes of a suspected Nihil attack on the industrial cosmopolitan world of Corellia, right in the Galactic Core.
Sent to investigate are Jedi Masters Cohmac Vitus and Kantam Sy, along with Padawans Reath Silas and Ram Jomaram, all fighting their own private battles after months of unrelenting danger. On Corellia, Reath and Ram encounter a brazen young security specialist named Crash, whose friend was one of the victims of the Nihil attack, and they team up with her to infiltrate Corellia’s elite while the Masters pursue more diplomatic avenues. But going undercover with Crash is more dangerous than anyone expected, even as Ram pulls in his friend Zeen to help with an elaborate ruse involving a galactic pop star.
But what they uncover on Corellia turns out to be just one part of a greater plan, one that could lead the Jedi to their most stunning defeat yet….
The New York Times best-selling series continues…. For light and life!
***Thank you to NetGalley and Disney Worldwide Publishing for providing a copy of the book. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***
OMFG. This book was so good. I stayed up until 2:30 AM this morning because I could not put it down. It is hard to talk about this book without giving away spoilers because so much happens! So, I’ll just start by saying something big to give you an idea of how much I adored this book. This is now my favorite of all The High Republic books! Not only that, this book has some of the best Star Wars scenes to ever grace the page. I read A LOT of Star Wars. So, for me to stay that is truly the highest praise I can think of.
I was hooked from the opening scene. Older’s style of describing action completely sucked me into the story, and the opening set the stage for all the awesome stuff to come. The world-building was excellent, and I loved the grittiness of Corellia and getting to see more of that world. Jedi in an all out bar brawl? Who knew that’s exactly what I needed to read? lol. I will say, however, that it took me a while to get used to the writing of some of the main characters because the first two parts of the book utilized a more juvenile writing style. If you like Older’s humor, you’ll probably really like it, but if you don’t, please hang in there because it faded more into the background as the book progressed. Personally, I didn’t mind it and actually found some of the jokes quite funny, but the writing style for the first third of the book felt like it would have been more appropriate for a middle grade installment.
I enjoyed each of the characters’ journeys in this book. Reath struggled with finding his path, which is something I think most teenager’s (and many adults) can easily relate to, and Ram had to figure out how to balance his extreme emotions. The characters from Older’s comic book series also played a huge role here, and I enjoyed seeing Zeen grow up a lot while having to deal with her feelings about Lula and Krix. The new characters were enjoyable and had a found family feel to them, and Crash’s character taught important lessons about the downfalls of isolating yourself from those you love and the privilege often associated with neutrality. I was quite surprised to see the adult characters get so much character development, as well. I loved getting to know Kantam better, and Cohmac made some big decisions here that left me feeling unsettled.
There were so many great themes in this book, but the ones that resonated with me the most were attachment and emotional balance. All of the character’s struggled with these topics as they fought for their lives and watched the horror at Starlight Beacon unfold from afar. Older used his words expertly to build scenes that had me right there alongside the characters as they tackled these things head on. I was an emotional mess by the end of this book, and I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much over a Star Wars book. All the danger, fear, loss, and fury just felt so real while reading. I was completely lost in it. On a lighter note, I have come away from this first phase of the The High Republic wondering how the Jedi could have screwed up so much with Anakin after pretty much ALL of them during this time period wanted to leave the Order because of attachment/relationship problems. lol. I guess Yoda didn’t learn much from the struggles of his colleagues. 😉
I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a second to also point out that I think this is the queerest Star Wars has ever been. I loved all the representation in this book, and it was done in a way that was seamless.
Overall, the action, emotion, and excellent character progression all combined to make this book one of my favorite Star Wars books ever. It was an excellent ending that wrapped up the YA trilogy storyline, and the larger phase one story, perfectly. The last part of this book blew my mind, and I would probably kill to see it on the screen. Sorry. That’s not a very Jedi-like thing to say, but it’s true. 🙂 So, what are you waiting for?! Go read it now! Obviously, I rate this book 5 out of 5 shining stars!