- Colleen McMillan
Colleen’s Book Corner: New Jedi Order: Vector Prime
Author: R.A. Salvatore
Published October 1999
Set set 25 ABY
Back to the Legends and a Long Series!
Oof. I can only imagine how SW fans felt after reading this novel. Salvatore pulls no punches, and his writing style is both brutal and enticing. I was never sure what to expect from the next chapter, because he kept me guessing, often to emotional terrorism levels. I write this semi-in jest, but damn I wasn’t prepared for this book.
I knew I was signing up for a very long (19 books!) and arduous series, but I was shocked from the first few pages onward. To say that Salvatore is the most surprising SW author I’ve encountered is an understatement. The twists and turns of this book were accompanied by a heavy dose of body horror, not a major SW mainstay. I was reminded of John Carpenter’s The Thing more than of SW. Which isn’t a bad thing! In fact, this new vibe added another layer to the story and gave the reader a villain to actually fear. SW has had some great villains, but all of them were bound to the galaxy’s rules. The Yuuzhan Vong...are not. Just how they differ from our usual heroes and baddies...I’d rather not say. One thing’s for sure: Thrawn might have been a match for them.
Cast List, Assemble!
Most of my favorite characters featured in the novel, except Talon Karrde, though I’m sure he’ll show up at some point, and a few other minor characters. I did enjoy spending time with the Solo kids: Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin. The last time I read about them, they were still young, so it was nice to see them grown into formidable yet still green Jedi. Their struggles were intriguing, and none of them were annoying, as some teen characters can be. They have a penchant for not listening to their parents, but should Leia and Han be surprised by that?
Poor Luke and Mara were trying to deal with rogue Jedi knights who were wandering the Outer Rim, dispensing justice on smugglers and pirates. I could tell that I wouldn’t be a fan of these Jedi, and I wasn’t disappointed. Kyp Durron might be a great pilot, but here’s where Salvatore put all the cocky, immature teenage vibes, and Kyp wasn’t even a teenager! He will probably redeem himself at some point, but I won’t hold my breath.
Check That Map!
Most of the action took place in the Outer Rim, and my book featured a handy map in the beginning. One thing I do love about the books: they expand the universe to an insane degree. There are new planets and people behind every hyperspace jump.
Final Grade: 8/10 Lightsabers
Interestingly, this is Salvatore’s only SW book. It felt like he set up the entire story, told people to run with it, then disappeared into a cloud of smoke. His plot was full of creeping dread, a foreboding I could see lasting the entire series. I’ll just have to wait and see.