Daniel Jose Older takes us back to Corellia where there can’t possibly be any Nihil shenanigans right?
Reports of Nihil shenanigans bring Jedi Cohmac and Kantam along with Padawans Reath and Ram to investigate. Along the way, there are bodyguard ambushes, union disputes, privileged idiots, pop stars in the making, child assassins, and a Nihil Masquerade!
Midnight Horizon is simultaneously somehow the funniest adventure and hits with real seriousness at the apathy and ruthlessness of those in power!
SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD!
Crash and the Boys
Crash and her bodyguard crew are some of the most colorful characters we meet in this book! Young bodyguard entrepreneur extraordinaire Alys “Crash” Ongwa runs a protection agency and employs some varied and fun characters that make up a great little ragtag crew. A perfect little Star Wars family in my opinion.
Masters Still Learning
Cohmac and Kantam lead this mission to Corellia… or at least that seems to be the plan… But in Star Wars few things ever go according to plan. Both characters are familiar to those keeping up with The High Republic but Kantam in particular gets a lot of exploration in this book. Kantam talks of their past experiences as Yoda’s Padawan and finding their way in the galaxy. I loved Kantam’s back story and how it’s such a breath of fresh air to see different characters find their own paths.
Cohmac also seems riveted by the story…
Ram and Reath and Zeen
Reath and Ram are like, best friends now and that’s just great. This book is such a great look into how far Reath has come since we met him back in Into the Dark. Conflict can really change a Jedi, just look at the Clone Wars. In fact, a lot of these later books and comics have given us some deep introspection on the Jedi and how they struggle and change to adapt to this ongoing conflict. Reath just isn’t the shy, book-smart, homebody anymore. Ram is the baby of the group and I love that the rest of the padawans (and Zeen) treat him as such! Ram has also come a long way from the isolated mechanic with only a droid and some Bonbraks as friends. He’s come out of his shell! He’s cracking jokes and reveling in partnering up on Jedi missions! Ram is clearly the fun funny character in this book but he’s so fresh-faced, eager, and excited that it’s impossible not to love him! Zeen is really going through stuff here. The book kind of dovetails beautifully with the last couple of issues of The High Republic Adventures. We get deep into Zeen’s thoughts and feelings much more though and seeing what she’s going through is extremely well done and worth every second.
The Core Problem
Most of the book takes place on Corellia, which is quite a few hyperspace jumps away from the Outer Rim. Here we see the people of privilege and their apathy towards the Nihil problems which they consider to be more of an “Outer Rim problem.” It’s a really disturbing look at the ways that people dismiss real problems when they aren’t the ones affected. It’s also something that feels unfortunately so damn real it makes me mad. Not in an “I dislike this book” way. More of an “I hate this in real life” way. It feels so real as we’ve seen in our own history (distant and recent) REPEATEDLY. Right down to the mocking and dismissive way some of the “dignitaries” in the book talk about Nihil infiltration and attacks. It’s a wonderful way to paint a picture of a society where those in power have zero empathy or concern for the people whom they claim to represent. Something I think we should all pay close attention to.
Oh yeah! Grindalids too!
Nihil: The Masquerade
When I heard there was going to be a Nihil Masquerade in this book I was hella intrigued. Fancy? Nihil? Bouginess? R A D. The actual in-story event is as awesome as described AND another example of these privileged jerks and their rich nonsense. And when you start to think of the real-life implications it isn’t hard to see why it’s so upsetting. Once again it’s such a Star Wars thing that shines a light on real-life things that deserve our attention.
But just look tho… R A D.
Bits and Pieces
Once again DJO knocks this out of the park. The book has such a unique voice and fresh perspective that it really stands out. I love the characters and their growth and development and this book puts a nice cap on Phase I of The High Republic.
This is a must-read for anyone looking for a fun but somehow real-life look at some of the effects of an escalating conflict on people of all kinds in the galaxy. Including some of the young ones who are fighting in it.
- Sal P.