Star Wars
Balance Point

Author: Kathy Tyers
Lucas Books
ISBN 0-7126-8496-4
Available now

Refugees fleeing the murderous Yuuzhan Vong have been offered the polluted planet of Duros as a new home. In return, the refugees will restore the planet to health under the supervision of Leia. Unfortunately, not all goes to plan and Han Solo, his son, Jacen and the Ryn called Droma arrive to keep the peace, unaware of Leia's presence on the planet. Also, Luke, Mara and Anakin are on their way, searching for a missing Jedi apprentice, but unknown to anyone, the Yuuzhan Vong have made Duros their next target...

Continuing the series that started with the New York Times bestseller, Vector Prime, Balance Point marks the latest instalment in the struggle against the Yuuzhan Vong. The Yuuzhan Vong are invaders from another galaxy, armed with a powerful organic technology that is more than a match for the New Republic, and even the Jedi cannot bring their powers to bear as the Yuuzhan Vong are devoid of the Force.

Kathy Tyers has done an excellent job, her clear writing style carrying the story along, although sometimes the narrative plunges into the action without much scene setting, leaving the reader a little confused. All of the characters are very well portrayed, and their relationships are interesting and realistic. It was particularly enjoyable to see that Han is getting over his grief at the loss of Chewbacca in Vector Prime, and is returning to being the scoundrel we all love. The novel is mainly about Jacen's struggle to find a balance between his aggressive and defensive use of the Force, but Leia and Han are also given focus as they try to stay a family in the face of numerous difficulties. The novel ends on a cliffhanger that will have you screaming for the next book, and features one of the most attractive covers we've seen for a long time.

Jeff Watson