Colleen’s Book Corner: New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse
Author: James Luceno
Published October 2000
Set 25 ABY
How Did They Edit So Quickly?
I’m looking at the release dates for these novels, and folks from 1999-2003 didn’t have to wait long for the next installment to come out. Nineteen books in five years is crazy! The project had a singular vision and multiple authors, so it makes sense that the publication timeline was quick, but still, props to that team.
Finishing an Arc
Luceno’s second novel in the Han duology was excellent, about on par with Hero’s Trial. I continue to enjoy how Luceno writes Han’s voice. He’s still grieving, but his grizzled and loveable rogue side was more apparent in this book. This might be due to Droma’s influence - let’s face it, Han needs a co-pilot - or it could be that Han simply needs a mission to keep him going. Now that his kids are grown and have jobs of their own, “restless Han” reasserts himself. This isn’t the best thing for his marriage to Leia, and though she’s often on his mind, she’s not often in front of him. Most likely because he knows what she’d say to him...and he doesn’t want to face that part of his grief yet.
Talon Karrde You Say?
While Han gets plenty of time to shine, other characters are also in the forefront. You should’ve seen my face when I saw Talon Karrde in the Dramatis Personae! He wasn’t in a lot of the story, but anytime he came on-page I smiled. He’s one of my favorite Legends characters, so I was ready to get up to shenanigans with him. Also present were the notorious space gangsters, the Hutts. Angling for a mutually beneficial alliance with the Vong (YEAH RIGHT), the Hutt leadership soon finds out just what allying themselves with the destructive extragalactic baddies means. I do enjoy a great gray character, so while the Hutts might not quite qualify on the good side enough yet, it was fun to get their perspective.
This Effing Kid
One character I found myself drawn to was Jedi Knight Wurth Skidder. He’s been popping up in the last four books, usually to cause a ruckus or side with Kyp Durron’s more aggressive Jedi faction, but he finally got some viewpoint sections here. I wished that he had more time on-page, because while he’s kind of an obnoxious idiot, his storyline was compelling and could have gone in many directions. Getting to know these new Jedi has been one of the sneaky joys of these novels. Just when you think you’d rather spend more time with Luke, the authors give the newbies surprising depth and focus. BUT WHERE IS CORRAN HORN?! If he seriously doesn’t show up until the final book…
Here Comes the Matriarchy!
This was also the first time I met characters from the Hapes Consortium! I don’t want to say too much about them, but this is a semi-isolated system, and it’s a matriarchal society! It’s a nice inverse of the Imperial Remnant, which comes across as more masculine. I can’t wait to see more from them.
Final Thoughts 8/10 Lightsabers
While this book didn’t hit me quite as hard as the first and third, it was still a great read. Luceno’s style is a bit more verbose than the other authors, but I enjoyed some of his longer sections, particularly when he described a planet or a space battle. The devastating finale could have packed a bit more punch if I had read a few other Legends books, but this was still a great finish to the duology.
Note: watch out for those droid characters...that’s all I’ll say. :)