Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing Mission to Disaster by Justina Ireland, the latest in the Star Wars: The High Republic middle grade books.
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! The Jedi think the dreaded Nihil marauders have been all but defeated. Their leader is on the run and their numbers have dwindled. Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh hopes this means she will finally have time to really train her Padawan, Imri Cantaros—but reports of a Nihil attack on Port Haileap soon dash those hopes. For not only have the Nihil attacked the peaceful outpost, they have abducted Vernestra and Imri’s friend, Avon Starros. The two Jedi set off for Port Haileap, determined to figure out where the Nihil have taken their friend. Meanwhile, Avon must put her smarts and skills to the ultimate test as she fights for survival among the Nihil—and uncovers a sinister plan. Can Vernestra and Imri find their friend before disaster strikes? The New York Times best-selling series continues…. For light and life!
***Thank you to NetGalley and Disney Publishing Worldwide for providing a copy of the book. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***
This was an enjoyable entry to the ongoing High Republic middle grade story. I always love Ireland’s writing, and this book was no exception. The plot was simple, yet interesting, and I was happy to see several characters from Ireland’s last middle grade book back again for this installment. This story was a pretty standard abduction and rescue plot set within the time frame just prior to the events of The Fallen Star. It had plenty of action, and I was pleasantly surprised to see quite a bit of information about kyber crystals weaved into the narrative, as well. I always love seeing lore integrated into the story in fun and/or interesting ways, and Ireland accomplished that here really well. The characters felt a bit flat in this story compared to the last installment, but it was mostly because they were utilizing the things learned in previous stories rather than experiencing a great deal of growth in this one. It was nice to see them all using their new skills effectively and consolidating what they learned, though, and I once again felt that Vern was believable in her role as the youngest person knighted in recent memory. Her relationship with Imri definitely deepened, and I enjoyed seeing the dynamic between them as master and padawan here more than in previous installments. Overall, this was a good Star Wars story that added context to the High Republic era but is ultimately not required reading if you aren’t fans of these characters or the middle grade series of novels.