|Mass market paperback, 292 pages|
Reread July 2014
by Greg Keyes
Year Two of the Invasion (Month 8)
Rebirth is not quite the triumph that Conquest was-- it's too diffuse to be as good a novel. Instead of the sharp focus on Anakin that Conquest gave us, Rebirth divides up a number of characters: Luke and Mara on the run from the government, Han and Leia and Jacen trying to organize the Great River, Jaina and Kyp and Rogue Squadron investigating a Yuuzhan Yong superweapon (picking up a dangling plot thread from Ruin), the shaper Nen Yim trying to save a dying worldship, and Anakin and Tahiri and Corran on a supply run that goes horribly wrong.
It's reminiscent of the expansive approach used by Luceno in his Agents of Chaos approach, but Keyes makes it work much better: each of the threads follows interesting characters, and he hangs a good character development thread on each plot. Han and Leia and Jacen fighting the Yuuzhan Vong is exciting, Star Wars action, but there's also a nice examination and improvement of the relationship between Jacen and his father. I also really liked the birth of Ben Skywalker in the Luke/Mara plot. The strongest of the plots is the Anakin and Tahiri one-- like in Conquest and Emissary of the Void, Keyes keeps the twists and turns coming, providing a rollicking fun adventure that allows some youngsters to grow into the roles of heroes. It's not a great book, but it's one of the better New Jedi Order ones.