Star Wars: The New Jedi Order
Edge of Victory II: Rebirth

Author: Greg Keyes
Lucas Books
ISBN 0099410443
Available now

Hunted by the Yuuzhan Vong and treated as criminals by the New Republic the Jedi face a perilous time.

The next volume after Conquest, and by the same author, Rebirth continues the saga that is the Yuuzhan Vong invasion of the New Republic. For some time, readers have been divided into 'love it' or 'loath it' camps when it comes to opinion on this series. There are those who are lapping it up and are constantly eager for the next instalment. For the most part, the series' detractors are also the most articulate of critics and their arguments are certainly persuasive, maybe enough to make someone new to the series think again about buying the books. The backlash is vehement, incisive and informed, whereas those in support too often display a superficial understanding of literary Star Wars. Read into that what you will.

The series is frequently violent and horrific, but despite this, the books seem to be written for a younger audience. Those who have read the Young Jedi Knight series will be finding the New Jedi Order has developed a distinctly familiar quality, the focus increasingly on the teenage characters Jaina, Jacen and Anakin Solo. The original Star Wars characters are being pushed into the background, which while inevitable for a long running series, is no good if the characters succeeding lack the attraction of their predecessors, which is the problem here. Simply, what started as an impressive new concept now feels like it has lost its edge.

Rebirth is not a bad book and if you take it for what it is, it's an enjoyable read, albeit a short one (292 pages in paperback). There is plenty of action and the Yuuzhan Vong are as devilish as ever, but if you're looking for more substance, then maybe this isn't the novel for you.

Jeff Watson

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