Welcome back to The High Republic! In Daniel José Older’s latest book we get all kinds of adventures and excitement that a Jedi may or may not crave! Like most younger reader books, the story is fast paced and action packed and (as Older promised) dinosaur filled! The new characters are dimensional and original which again, is something Older is great at. Original characters and storytelling!
While this book is the shortest of the second wave of the first phase… or something… the book is packed full of Star Wars spirit, energy, and wackiness!
And I love it.
SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD!
Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram Jamoram
Meet a new and unique Padawan in the High Republic era! Ram is a Padawan who is mostly hands on with tech and adept with mechanics. He sees the force like a machine and all the pieces that it requires to give something function. Once again an original idea and a unique Padawan is fresh and exciting for those of us who see things differently from the norm. Ram may not be the most courageous lightsaber enthusiast but his skills and specializations give him tools no one else has.
Lula Talisola is no stranger to those who have been following The High Republic Adventures (also written by Older.) Lula is one of the brightest stars among the Padawans. But when she meets Vernestra (whom we might have met in A Test of Courage,) another prodigy who has been the youngest Jedi Knight in ages, Lula starts to question her own capabilities. The interaction between Vernestra and Lula is really wonderful and shines in a unique way that really makes it stand out. The two characters interaction is everything helpful, heroic, and heartfelt.
The cast is full of awesomeness. Ram’s droid, V-18, plays a wonderful role along with his mechanic helpers the Bonbraks! These little guys are teeny adorable mechanics that help Ram accomplish wonders! There’s also Zeen Mrala, another familiar character if you’re reading The High Republic Adventures! So when trouble strikes on Valo, at least Ram and Lula aren’t alone!
I cannot stress enough the awesomeness of V-18 and the Bonbraks. Their energy is just wild y’all.
Another of Chancellor Lina Soh’s grand ideas is The Republic Fair! A massive undertaking showcasing wonders from across the worlds of the Republic and bringing the entire galaxy together! Let’s all stop right now and assume everything works out perfectly and nothing horrible happens.
Well… it’s Star Wars… so dank ferrik you know it goes down in a spectacular fashion. Once again, the spectacle is covered from one side here in this book and if you pick up another book you’ll get a whole different part of the story!
Really loving how The High Republic stories have been so interconnected.
Karabast it gets REAL.
We’re talking Nihil attacks and poisonous clouds. We’re talking the Drengir invading and infesting, hungry for more MEAT! We’re talking giant flying dinosaurs versus Nihil starfighters! The story moves fast and our little Padawans are thrown up against it all!
Bits and Pieces
Daniel José Older is one of my FAVORITE authors because of his ability to give us such original characters! It’s so refreshing to see something unique in these timeless tales and that strength is definitely here in this book!
This is a must-read for any High Republic fan of course, but I’d also add in the readers who stand outside of the norm. Ram is a Jedi who is different from all the other Jedi and watching him find his strength in that is powerful and empowering. Watching these young ones rise to the challenges before them is masterfully done and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for them. So kick back in your garage with your Bonbrak homies and check it out!
Did I mention there’s a flying dinosaur?
- Sal P.