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Dark Journey (Star Wars: New Jedi Order) Paperback – January 29, 2002
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From the Inside Flap
The New Jedi Order continues as Jaina Solo struggles with anger and despair after the Jedi Knights' harrowing adventure behind enemy lines.
Though the Jedi strike force completed its deadly mission into Yuuzhan Vong territory, the price of success was tragedy: not everyone made it out alive. In a daring getaway, hotshop pilot Jaina Solo stole an enemy ship, taking along her fellow survivors--and leaving behind a huge piece of her heart.
With the enemy in hot pursuit, Jaina is forced to seek haven in the unprotected, unfriendly Hapes Cluster, where the Jedi are held responsible for a past tragedy--and where the royal family has grim plans for their famous Jedi guest. Even more sinister are the intentions of the Yuuvhan Vong, desperate to capture Jaina for a hideous sacrifice.
Grief-stricken and obsessed with revenge, Jaina is blind to these threats--and to the overpowering evil dangerously close to consuming her. In the coming conflagration, Jaina will be fighting not for victory or vengeance, but fore her very being . . .
About the Author
A former music and history teacher, Elaine Cunningham has written more than a dozen fantasy novels and many short stories. She is best known for the Songs & Swords books, particularly Elfshadow, a mystery in a fantasy setting. She lives with her family in a coastal New England town.
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I am grateful for the calm AFTER the storm. My heart needed to recover from Star By Star. As good as SBS was, the pace and heartbreak were brutal. I was beyond exhausted.
I’m actually surprised that the number of significant storylines that began to take shape in this installment went unappreciated by some people. After all, this is where the Jag and Jaina story kicks in, Tenel Ka steps into her bigger role, and many key mysteries are left to simmer and build. It struck a perfect balance, and gives readers necessary plot developments on the ground AND a few suspenseful moments in space.
I always find it hard to remain blissfully immersed in the suspension of disbelief when SW writers get a tad too technical. There were a few of those moments in this book, and I wonder if having a degree in biochemical engineering might be needed. I simply take these pages at face value and figure I’ll get it when it moves from the technical jargon to actual use. As always, patience paid off. I suppose they have to talk about what’s under the hood to give the ideas credibility and keep the really smart folks engaged, while the rest of us are satisfied just to go along for the ride.
First, the good. I personally thought Star by Star had too much action and appreciated Cunningham's character development and political intrigue in Dark Journey. It's nice to get to know Jaina better. Most of the New Jedi Order books have focused on Jacen and Anakin, so we've learned little about the Solo daughter. Moreover, Cunningham makes her out to be a complex character with conflicting emotions, intelligent and ambitious, willing to use her femininity to get her way. I also appreciated Cunningham's use of Kyp Durron, who too often in the New Jedi Order series has been treated as an irredeemable rogue. We get to see a Kyp burdened by his past and also wise enough to realize his mistakes.
Unfortunately, because we hadn't gotten to see much of Jaina before the death of her brother, her character development in Dark Journey seems a bit incomplete. It's difficult to tell how much of her "sassiness" is due to her flirtation with the Dark Side, as opposed to a trait she possessed long before. It would have been useful if Cunningham had allowed one of the other main characters to act as a "mirror" for Jaina (Luke, Mara, Leia, and Han are in the book, but only have small roles). Moreover, Jaina's epiphany at the end seemed far too sudden and wasn't particularly clear. I would also have liked to have seen Cunningham show us how Jaina dealt with the consequences of her actions. I don't think leaving it to the next author was a good idea because frankly Jaina is unlikely to play such a large role in the next book.
Overall, Dark Journey is a nice change of pace from Star by Star. It's not one of the best books in the series, but does allow us to learn more about some of the younger Jedi knights.
This is a revision of my first revieww, because after I read this book a few times my perception of it changed. This story is another well written addition to the New Jedi Order series. It wraps up many of the loose storylines that James Luceno's NJO books started. The story itself focuses on Jaina Solo and the escape of the Jedi strike team from a Vong held world as told in Star by Star. With the recent death of Anakin and the capture of Jacen, Jaina is dangerously close to the dark side. As they strike force flees from the Vong, they go to the Hapan system where more intrigue awaits. Kyp Durron is prominately featured again, and he continues to evolve in a well rounded character. It is really up to Durron to make Jaina see how dangerous the line she is treading is. This story revolves around Jaina, Kyp, Jagged Fel and the Hapan Royal family. While the Skywalkers, Han & Leia all play minor roles, almost nothing is said of Jacen. None of the chapters are from his point of view. The reader hears about him early in the story, but nothing is confirmed. Again this is a good story, the characters are well written, but the lack of any of the story from Jacen's perspective is a bit of a let down. At first this story seems a bit lacking when compared to other NJO books, but that is simply not the case. Its a very subtle book, in perfect harmony with Jaina's first steps on the path to the dark side. Many readers dismissed this book out of hand, I encourage NJO fans to read this story. Its essential to the continuation of the NJO, and is really a good book on its own.