Book Review – The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray

Into the Dark

The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray is the first YA novel in the Star Wars: The High Republic multimedia series, which is set 200 years before Star Wars Episode I. Jedi Padawan Reath Silas may not be as Force-sensitive as his peers, but the young apprentice works hard to earn his mettle within the Jedi Order, determined to become one of its great scholars. His ideal routine of plunging into the Archives of the Jedi Temple on the planet Coruscant is stripped away, however, when his Master, Jora Malli, becomes the Jedi commander of Starlight Beacon, a space station on the Republic frontier in the Outer Rim territories of the galaxy.

Reath isn’t the adventurous type, but where his Master goes he must follow. Travelling to Starlight separately from her,  with Jedi Masters Orla Jareni and Cohmac Vitus, and Jedi Knight Dez Rydan, he is struck with trouble sooner than expected. A disaster in Hyperspace forces their transport ship to seek refuge on a derelict space station, along with a number of other refugee spacecrafts. While the reason for the catastrophe eludes them, the station itself holds a dark secret: an overbearing presence of the Dark side of the Force that Reath and his fellow Jedi struggle to understand. If they’re not careful, a nightmarish scourge that has been dormant for eons could be released upon the galaxy.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – July 21, 2021

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Nothing at the moment! 👻 I’m between books. No progress made on Hope is the Thing with Feathers: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson either.


Recently Finished

Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters Vol3Over the weekend I read through Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters Volume 3 by Jason Ciaramella et al, finishing up this little trilogy of Godzilla comics. This time around the creative team was entirely overhauled. Something tells me higher-ups somewhere weren’t happy with the way the comic was going. I don’t blame them, I haven’t been fond of this series at all, though this was certainly the best one. Gone is the weird cynicism and painfully unsubtle cultural commentary. This is simply wrapping up the story, such as it is, having the psychic twins try to control Godzilla himself and having the soldier man pilot Mechagodzilla and square off against the old King of the monsters as well. It’s more action-packed with the clear objective of just ending it all. In that way it made for simple fun, with platitudes about the human spirit tacked on at the end.

Into the DarkThe other night I also finished reading The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray, the first YA novel in the Star Wars: High Republic multimedia series. Overall, I really liked this book, though it’s not one of Gray’s better Star Wars novels. My biggest gripe with it was how it introduced the Drengir, carnivorous plant-like beings that are deeply tied to the dark side of the Force. This is technically their first appearance in the series, but I first met them in the comic book series, which made them a lot more menacing. This made them feel too much like just another sapient species, when they’re supposed to be nightmarish. I wish I’d read this novel first too, because the conflict with them seems tentatively resolved by the end, which would have made their resurgence a bigger deal. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see how this conflict spans the series.


Reading Next

Hellboy The God MachineGood Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman is next on the docket! I’m hoping I can get it finished and reviewed before the month is out. It’s a little over 400 pages long, so I’m going to have to really push some reading quotas to get through this. Seeing as it is such a dream duo as Pratchett and Gaiman, however, I’m hoping that I’ll fly through those pages. After that, I think I’m going to start reading Hellboy: The God Machine by Thomas E. Sniegoski, which is the next book I plan to read for my series challenge. I’m particularly curious about this book, though given the series track record I shouldn’t get my hopes up.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – July 14, 2021

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

I’ve made a bit more progress on Hope is the Thing with Feathers: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, though only a little. I read through the chapter of poems about Love from the first series.

Into the DarkI’m still making my way through The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray. I’m closing in on 300 pages, but I’ll still have a little ways to go after that. I think I could have finished it over the weekend under normal circumstances, but I had made some summer plans that ate up that time. Can’t dedicate all of my summertime to reading. At any rate, I’m still really enjoying this book, though it hasn’t yet leaned into the horror like I was hoping. It’s been taking its time building up to that, though it’s still a lot more foreboding than Star Wars novels typically are. One of the most interesting things about all of these High Republic stories I’ve been reading is that they’re doing what the prequels should have done but never really did: actually giving a nuanced look at what it’s like to be a Jedi Padawan. I’m really enjoying the world-building that this is doing.


Recently Finished

Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters Vol2Last night I read through volume two of Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters by Eric Powell et al. It wasn’t as blatantly critical of pop culture and politics as the previous volume and some of the story was actually halfway decent. The idea of the emergence of giant monsters being something humanity is utterly unprepared for is an interesting idea. I’m definitely interested in a story like this, examining the human cost of all of this destruction, the refugees it would create. Problem is, the book is still weirdly irreverent and painfully cynical, to the point where the shortcomings of humanity’s countermeasures always felt like a punchline. It’s woefully on-the-nose too. I think I rolled my eyes the hardest when a mob of people were desperately fighting over supplies, and an onlooker remarked “Makes you wonder who the REAL monsters are…” Give me a break.


Reading Next

Plans have not changed on this front. I’m sure I’ll be finishing volume three of Kingdom of Monsters, just so I can finish this weird little trilogy up. I’m still committed to reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman next too, it’s only a matter of finishing up Into the Dark first.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – July 7, 2021

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Still no progress on Hope is the Thing with Feathers: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. I’ll pick it back up any day now. 😅

Into the DarkMeanwhile, I’ve started reading The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray, the first YA novel set during the High Republic era of Star Wars. I’m a little over 150 pages in at the moment. Though this book has been a bit of a slow burn so far, I’m really into how this story is integrated with Light of the Jedi, the cataclysmic incident at the start of that book being the reason a trio of Jedi and a bunch of other refugees find themselves holing up in a derelict space station. While I’m sure it won’t get too extreme, it’s developing into a genuine horror story, which is an uncommon thing to see in the franchise. I believe this is actually setting up the monsters I’ve seen in the High Republic comic book series, so it’s a shame I didn’t read this book first.


Recently Finished

Godzilla Kingdom of Monsters Vol1Over the weekend I read through the first volume of Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters by Eric Powell et al. Oh geez, this was not what I was expecting. I think I need to retroactively thank my old comic shop for botching my subscription all those years ago. The art is very good and the monster mayhem is just fine, but the story is a weirdly shallow and irreverent critique of popular culture circa the late aughts. Potshots are taken across the board at the Media, Democrats and Republicans, aggressive rednecks, judgy liberals, and more! There was a laser focus on fictional equivalents of Lady Gaga and the Jersey Shore for some reason, making me painfully aware that even back then we lived in a Society. I didn’t hate it, though, it was a humorous relic. There were two murderous psychic schoolgirls who bond with one monster and declare themselves the new Queens of France too. The whole book should have been about them.


Reading Next

Good OmensI do intend to continue with the second volume of Kingdom of Monsters, for whatever that will be worth, but I think for my next novel I will finally crack open Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman. I’ve been a big fan of both authors for so long, and really loved the miniseries, so it’s about time I actually get around to reading this book. It is a bit of a shame that most of the story will be familiar to me, but I will not be deterred. Maybe it will touch upon some elements left out of the miniseries that will better justify a second season. I’m excited about that, but also confused. I liked it as a one-and-done sort of thing.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – June 30, 2021

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

I’m between books at the moment, but technically still at the beginning of Hope is the Thing with Feathers: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. I haven’t read any more of it since last week, though, so I’ve got nothing to say this week!


Recently Finished

Slaughterhouse-FiveI read through all of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut since last week. Hooray for me, sticking to yet another reading deadline. I’m on a small roll here. So, at first I thought I had remembered very little of what interested me about this book enough to buy it. As it turns out, I did vaguely remember the bit about the aliens and time travel. This was an excellent novel, one of those books that you start reading and immediately recognize as 𝐿𝒾𝓉𝑒𝓇𝒶𝓉𝓊𝓇𝑒. That’s not always a fun thing to run into, but I really enjoyed reading this book too. It was so darkly humorous, dryly matter-of-fact, and utterly bleak. One passage actually hit me like a surprise brick too. An unexpectedly strong emotional response is always welcome. This is one of those books that I’m not sure how to go about reviewing. It would feel a little presumptuous. I still may, I haven’t made up my mind yet.


Reading Next

Into the DarkI still intend to start reading Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters by Eric Powell et al soon, especially with my having read through three novels since my last comic book now. In accordance with my recently laid out summer reading TBR, however, I am also going to start The High Republic: Into the Dark by Claudia Gray soon. It hasn’t been all that long since I last read a Star Wars novel, but I was good about staying on top of my challenges in June, so I welcome the detour. With the follow-up to Light of the Jedi having also arrived at my doorstep the other day, I want to make sure I stay on top of all the books coming out in this series.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

Book Review – The High Republic: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule

Light of the Jedi

Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule is the first novel of The High Republic, a multimedia series of stories set in the Star Wars universe, 200 years before Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. It is a time of great prosperity for the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. New systems are regularly coming into the fold and the Republic is looking to expand their outreach to the more overlooked corners of the galaxy. Central to this cause is Starlight Beacon, a new space station located in the Outer Rim territories that will soon act as a prominent Jedi outpost, safe haven, and literal beacon to aid travelers as they navigate these dangerous regions.

 All is not as well as it seems in the galaxy, however, as a seemingly freak accident in hyperspace has caused massive pieces of debris to enter the Hetzal system, travelling at near light speed and threatening death and destruction to anything in their path. With billions of lives on the line, only a contingent of Jedi and the fleet of the Republic Defense Coalition have a chance of mitigating this great disaster. As more and more systems eventually come under threat as well, attention turns to an infamous group of marauders known as the Nihil, who pose a greater threat than the Republic and the Jedi could possibly imagine.Read More »

WWW Wednesday – May 5, 2021

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

ThePrincessDiaristLast night I started reading The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, the author’s memoir of her experience starring in the original Star Wars, including excerpts from a journal she kept at the time. I’m only about 50 pages in, and so far it’s just been memoirs. I’ve been enjoying it so far, though her writing style took a bit of getting used to so soon after I finished the last novel I was reading. It’s straightforward enough, but being more reflective of a life lived, she has jumped back and forth a bit between periods of time, though not dramatically. It’s got a nice conversational tone, at any rate, and I really like her sense of humour, which is honest, irreverent, and a little biting.


Recently Finished

Light of the JediMonday night I finished reading Star Wars: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule, the first novel in the The High Republic series of media, set 200 years before the Skywalker Saga. I ended up committing to some reading quotas over the weekend, helping me to power through the book a lot faster. The catastrophic incident that took up a great deal of the beginning of the novel was a little protracted, but I ended up really loving the way events unfolded in its wake. A few of the perspective characters felt superfluous, but I enjoyed a good majority of the new characters introduced in this book, especially the way the villains were built up over the course of the story. I’m really excited to read more of these books. I should have a full review up soon.


Reading Next

The High Republic Issue 1I’ve got a couple of ARCs to choose from that I want to be starting next, but I haven’t decided which I want to read first, so I’ll refrain from being too specific until I’ve made up my mind. What I’m pretty excited to dig into finally, though, are the issues I’ve slowly accumulated of a High Republic comic book series that has been coming out since January. I’m happy I restrained myself from starting there, because from the scant details I know, it seems to be dealing with some of the fallout from Light of the Jedi.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.

WWW Wednesday – April 28, 2021

www_wednesdays

WWW Wednesday is a weekly book meme run by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Check out her post and others over on her blog!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

Over the weekend I started reading Star Wars: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule, one of the first books under the banner of The High Republic, which is an era set hundreds of years before the film saga. When I started this over the weekend I had lofty ideas of reading quotas, getting 50 pages done a day to speed up reading. I read just over 50 pages on Saturday, and have made no progress since. So that’s a bad start with that. I’m enjoying the book so far though, which has been introducing a large cast of new Jedi characters. An unexpected catastrophe is affecting and entire star system and a large force of Jedi, alongside a Republic fleet, are trying to save as many people as they can. It’s exciting stuff, but I want to see where the story goes once things quiet down too.


Recently Finished

Sadly, nothing this week. I’ve continued to neglect comics. Boo to me. 👻


Reading Next

I’ve still had trouble deciding what I’ll read next from my to-read lists, but to do away with the indecision I’ve just now decided to go with The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, which is a collection of her old journal entries she wrote during the filming of the original Star Wars. I want to make sure I keep up with my lists in May, but I intend to get two ARCs finished that month too, so I’ve mainly picked this above the others because it’s relatively shorter. I am excited to finally read some of Fisher’s writing too, mind you.

Until next week, thank you for reading! Feel free to share your own post down below.