24 June 2014

Return of the New Jedi Order, Episode XII: Balance Point by Kathy Tyers

Hardcover, 333 pages
Published 2000

Acquired 2000(?)
Reread May 2014
Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Balance Point
by Kathy Tyers

Year One of the Invasion (Months 11-12)
I didn't have particularly fond memories of this book, but to my surprise, it turned out to be the best installment of The New Jedi Order (barring the third volume of Invasion) since Vector Prime. Tyers's book is much more focused than Stackpole and Luceno's duologies, and all the better for it: most of the actions take place on Duro, where Leia is coordinating the refugee crisis and Han is running a resettlement camp-- except communication is so bad that they're unaware of each others' presence. The Solo kids are there, too, Jacen and Anakin dealing with the fallout of Jedi Eclipse and Jaina recovering from injuries received with Rogue Squadron. The book has a strong, central plot, but even better, it has characters: in a lot of major and minor ways, Tyers really focuses on them as people, especially in their interactions with one another. It feels like damning with faint praise to say something like this, but after two volumes of the non-writing of James Luceno, Balance Point really feels like a breath of fresh air. The Han/Leia relationship is probably the centerpiece of the book, and Tyers nails that one especially perfectly.

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