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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Star Wars: The High Republic: Midnight Horizon by Daneil José Older

Cover to Daniel José Older's MIDNIGHT HORIZON

Star Wars: The High Republic: Midnight Horizon

by Daniel José Older
Published by Del Rey • February 1, 2022
ISBN 978-1368060677 • Hardcover • 496 Pages

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Book description:
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....
Still not a fan of Daniel José Older's take on Star Wars. Midnight Horizon is full of plots that don't really seem to have much to do with the overreaching arc of the other High Republic books. There is an abundance of characters that are carryovers from his High Republic Adventures comic from IDW, so I feel if you haven't read that series, you're going to be confused about who these new characters are (I was - I've only read the first 6 or so issues, so didn't know who some of the characters even were in this book, which has not been an issue with the other High Republic books). While the book is YA, Older writes these characters in a far more juvenile fashion than they've been written by the other High Republic authors who have written the YA books. The shoehorned mention of the Halcyon seems so unnecessry (not necessarily Older's doing, but more Disney making sure the new hotel is name-dropped yet again in canon here).

The first 2/3 of the book is some convoluted story dealing with the Nihil possibly getting a foothold on Corelia, with Padawans Ram Jomaram & Reath Silas getting wrapped up with a security detail on Corelia, and something to do with Zeen portraying a pop star at a party to try to flush out the potential Corelian traitor? It all got overly complicated and none of it seemed to make much sense to me, quite frankly. It wasn't until the other Jedi showed up and the Nihil make their actual appearance that things begin to happen in the book and against the backdrop of what is happening at Starlight Beacon at the end of Fallen Star, events in the book finally begin to feel that they are going to have consequences to the main story line.

I hate to say it, but I feel like the biggest fan of Daniel José Older's writing is Older himself. He doesn't write other creator's characters well, and he overemphasizes his own characters. This is one of the few High Republic books that I feel could be skipped, and readers wouldn't necessarily feel like they've missed something in the grand scope of the story.
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