Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author of the popular Star Wars X-Wing series breaks into hardcover with this lavish novel, which takes place when Han and Leia's twins are about three years old. Corran Horn, a former Corellian police officer turned Rogue Squadron pilot, learns that he has a Jedi inheritance and Force abilities. He also learns that his wife has been kidnapped while trying to infiltrate the operations of the piratical ex-Imperial Admiral Tavira. So it is not without inner conflicts that he goes to the newly established Jedi Academy on Yavin 4, where he encounters both his own limitations and the ghost of the Dark Jedi Exar Kun. At last he decides to return to use his Force powers in his original profession, to rescue his wife and dissolve Admiral Tavira's piratical band. By telling two stories between one set of covers, Stackpole has come up with one of the longest Star Wars novels yet, and also one of the best. Corran Horn is a more complex protagonist than many, formidably competent but with believable limitations. He also provides us with a minor player's perspective on superstars like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo (whom this ex-policeman still thinks of as an ex-criminal). Stackpole adds many engaging details and minor characters of his own to the Star Wars universe and puts his skill at telling a fluid action story on full display here. This novel will play well among the loyal fans and can be enjoyed even by non-fans with a taste for star-faring swashbucklers. Major ad/promo; simultaneous BDD Audio. (May)
VOYA - Tom Pearson
Corran Horn has spent his life in service: first as an officer in the Corellian Security Force and then as a pilot in Rogue Squadron, an X-wing fighter group of the New Republic that combats pirates who prey on Republic shipping. When pirates led by Admiral Tavira, an ex-Moff of the Imperial Empire, begin to experience unparalleled success in their criminal endeavors, Corran smells a rat. Either a Rogue Squadron member has sold out and is feeding Tavira information, or the ex-Moff has somehow persuaded one or more Jedis to work for her. When Corran's wife Mirax goes missing during a covert mission to locate Tavira's secret base, Corran vows to find her. Because he is the grandson of the Jedi Knight Nejaa Halcyon, Corran has untapped Jedi abilities-but he must learn to use these abilities in a hurry. Corran thus begins training at the new Jedi Academy run by Luke Skywalker, Jedi master and hero of the Rebellion, where he grows more skilled and discovers a potent secret power. Impatient to find Mirax, Corran leaves the Academy before completing his training. Corran infiltrates the pirate organization by posing as a gypsy pilot and soon catches the eye of Admiral Tavira, a stunningly beautiful and breathtakingly treacherous opponent. Corran must somehow defeat her and her secret Jedi helpers if he is to find Mirax. Star Wars: I, Jedi becomes a fast-paced and exciting read after a clumsy, jargon-laden first chapter. The characters, especially the villains, are well-drawn. Of course, there is some of the stilted and awkward dialogue endemic to the Star Wars universe, but it does not slow the plot down here any more so than it does in the films. In sum, this is another winner for Star Wars cognoscenti that casual enthusiasts can also read and enjoy. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Thomas F. Cunningham
Michael Stackpole, author of the first four books in the Star Wars: X-Wing series, presents another fine tale featuring his hero, Corran Horn.... there is a great deal to like about I, Jedi, and I recommend it. I, Jedi is smartly executed and fun reading, and that's one of the highest endorsements I can give.
From the Publisher
Rave reviews for previous Star Wars(r) Adventures
The Jedi Academy Trilogy:
by Kevin J. Anderson
"Anderson has all but assumed the title of chancellor of Star Wars University."
"Deftly puts the Star Wars characters through their paces with never a slip, and with never a dull moment."
The Sunday Oregonian, Portland
Heir to the Empire:
by Timothy Zahn
"Chock full of all the good stuff you've come to expect from a battle of good against evil."
Daily News, New York
"Moves with a speed-of-light pace that captures the spirit of the movie trilogy so well, you can almost hear John Williams's soundtrack."
The Providence Sunday Journal
The Truce at Bakura:
by Kathy Tyers
"A fast-paced, rousing adventure novel, a worthy heir to George Lucas's mighty epic."
The Knoxville News-Sentinel
Read an Excerpt
None of us liked waiting in ambush, primarily because we couldn't be wholly certain we weren't the ones being set up for a hot-vape. The Invids--the pirate crews working with the ex-Imperial Star Destroyer Invidious--had so far eluded the best efforts of the New Republic to engage them. They seemed to know where we would be, when we would get there, and in what force, then planned their raids appropriately. As a result we spent a lot of time doing battle-damage assessments on their efforts, and they really pushed to give us plenty of BDA work.
Rogue Squadron had gone to ground to wait on several of the larger asteroids in the K'vath system. This location put us in close proximity to K'vath 5's primary moon, Alakatha. We powered down our engines and had our sensors in passive mode only to avoid detection by the folks we wanted to trap. According to our mission briefing, New Republic Intelligence had gotten a tip they considered reliable that at least part of Leonia Tavira's pirate fleet would be hitting a luxury liner coming out of the resort coast on Alakatha's northern continent. Mirax and I had actually honeymooned there three years ago, before Thrawn turned the New Republic inside-out, so I had fond memories of the place and could well remember the wealth dripping in jewels and precious metals from the throats and hands of the New Republic's elite.
I glanced at my X-wing's chronometer. "The Glitterstar is still on schedule?"
Whistler, nestled behind my cockpit, hooted with just a hint of derision in his voice.
"Yes, I know I told you to let me know if there was a change and, no, I didn't think it had slipped your circuits." I forced my gloved hands open, then rotated my wrists to get rid of some of the tension. "I'm just anxious."
He blatted a quick comment at me.
"Hey, just because patience is a virtue, that doesn't make impatience a vice." I sighed and turned the latter half of it into a piece of a Jedi breathing exercise Luke Skywalker had urged upon me when trying to recruit me as a Jedi. Breathing in through my nose to a count of four, I held the breath for a seven count, then exhaled in eight beats. With each breath I let more tension flow out of me. I sought the clarity of mind I'd need for the coming battle--if the Invids materialized--but it eluded me with the ease the Invids had shown in escaping the New Republic.
Things kept seeming to happen fast. Mirax and I married fast, and while I did not at all regret having done so, events conspired to make our married life extremely difficult. Grand Admiral Thrawn and his antics ruined our first anniversary, and rescuing Jan Dodonna and the others who had once been imprisoned with me on the Lusankya had called me away during the second. And then the reborn Emperor's assault on Coruscant dropped a Star Destroyer on what had been our home. Neither of us were there at the time, which was standard operating procedure far too often.
In fact, the only benefit of being assigned to go after the Invids was that their leader, ex-Moff Leonia Tavira, seemed to have a taste for a life of leisure. When her Invidious vanished between raids, we usually had a week of down time before having to worry about another attack. Mirax and I put this free time to good use, rebuilding our home and our relationship, but with that came some consequences that I saw as incredibly disruptive--on the scale of Thrawn disruptive.
Mirax decided she wanted children.
I have nothing against kids--as long as they go home with their parents at the end of the day. Expressing this opinion in those terms to Mirax was not the smartest thing I had ever done and, in fact, proved to be one of the more painful ones. The hurt and pain in her eyes haunted me for a long time. Deep down, I knew there would be no dissuading her, and I wasn't even sure, in the end, I wanted to.
I did try, however, and employed most of the standard arguments to do so. The "this is an unsettled time in the galaxy" ploy lost out to the fact that our parents had faced a similar choice and we'd turned out pretty well. The "uncertainty of my job" argument wilted beneath the logic of my life insurance and then withered away when Mirax gave me a glimpse at the accounts files--the real ones--for her import/export business. She pointed out that she could easily support the three or four of us and I'd not have to work a single second, outside of caring for the children. And, she noted, that carrying a child for nine full months meant she would already have 3.11 years of forty-hour weeks of child-care logged and that I would owe her.
Over and above all that, she said I'd make a great father. She noted that my father had done a great job with me. Having learned from him the skills of being a father, she just knew I'd be wonderful with kids. In using that argument, she turned the love and respect I had for my father around on me. She made it seem as if I was dishonoring his memory by not bringing children into the world. It was a most persuasive argument, as she knew it would be, and hammered me pretty hard.
In retrospect, I should have given up at the start and saved the two of us a great deal of grief. She makes her living--a very good living, it turns out--convincing all sorts of folks that junk no one else wants is absolutely vital to them. While she engaged me in logical discussions--focusing my defenses on that avenue of attack--she slipped past my guard on a purely emotional level. Little comments about what kind of child our genetic lottery would produce got me investing brainsweat in solving that puzzle. That went straight to the detective training in me--the training that wouldn't let me drop a case until I had an answer.
Which, in this case, meant a child.
She also managed to flick on the HoloNet monitors when some event featuring news about Leia Organa Solo's three-year-old twins was being shown. The children were frighteningly cute and their very existence had been blamed for a baby-binge in the New Republic. I knew Mirax was not so shallow as to be wanting a child out of envy or to be trendy, but she did note that she was Leia's age, and that it was a good time to have a child or two.
And that cuteness factor really can get under your skin. The New Republic media avoided showing the twins drooling and dripping the way children do, and they really maximized the appealing things about the toddlers. It got so that when I did remember dreams, they were of me cradling a sleeping child in my arms. Oddly enough, I stopped thinking of those dreams as nightmares pretty quickly and did my best to preserve them in my mind.
Realizing I was lost, I began to bargain for time. Mirax flat refused to accept fixed time dates, mainly because I was thinking in years, so I made things conditional. I told her once the Invids were taken care of, we'd make a final decision. She accepted my decision a bit better than I expected, which started preying on me, and making me feel guilty. I would have thought that was a tactic she'd decided to use, but she thought guilt was a hammer and she's definitely a vibroblade fan.
I exhaled slowly again. "Whistler, remind me when we get home, Mirax and I need to make a decision on this baby thing, now, not later. Tavira's not going to dictate my life."
Whistler's happy high staccato sailed down into a low warning tone.
I glanced at my primary monitor. The Glitterstar had lifted from Alakatha and another ship had appeared in-system. Whistler identified it as a modified bulk cruiser known as the Booty Full. Unlike the liner's sleek design, the cruiser was studded with warty protrusions that quickly detached themselves and began to run in on the liner.
I keyed my comm. "Rogue Lead, three flight has contact. One cruiser and eighteen uglies heading in on the Glitterstar."
Tycho's voice came back cool and calm. "I copy, Nine. Engage the fighters with two flight. One has the cruiser."
I flicked over to three flight's tactical channel. "Light them up, Rogues, we have the fighters."
I started the engines, then shunted power to the repulsorlift coils. The X-wing rose like a ghost from a grave and came about to point its nose toward the liner. As Ooryl's X-wing pulled up on my left and my other two pilots, Vurrulf and Ghufran, arrived on the right, I punched the throttle full forward and launched myself into the fight.
A smile blossomed on my face. Any sapient creature making a claim to sanity would find hurtling along in a fragile craft of metal and ferro-ceramics to be stupid or suicidal. Pushing that same craft into battle merely compounded the situation, and I knew it. By the same token, very few experiences in life can compare to flying in combat--or engaging any enemy in a fight--because doing that is the one point where civilization demands us to harness our animal nature and employ it against a most dangerous prey. Without being physically and mentally and even mechanically at my best, I would die and my friends might even die with me.
But I had no intention of letting that happen.
With a flick of my thumb I switched from lasers over to proton torpedoes and allowed for single fire. I selected an initial target and eased the crosshairs on my heads-up display onto its outline. Whistler beeped steadily as he worked for a target lock, then the box surrounding the fighter went red and his tone became a constant.
I hit the trigger and launched my first proton torpedo. It streaked away hot and pinkish-white, trailed by others lancing out from my flight. While employing proton torpedoes against fighters is seen as overkill by some pilots, within Rogue Squadron using such a tactic was always seen as an expedient way of lowering the odds against us--odds that were usually longer than a Hutt and decidedly more ugly.
From the Paperback edition.