Science Fiction
 

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Conviction

Author: Aaron Allston

Published By:
The Ballentine Publishing Company


Reviewed by Melissa Minners

 

            Well, here we are at the seventh installment of the Fate of the Jedi novel series and things are really starting to get interesting.  Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Conviction by Aaron Allston features Tahiri Veila on the front cover and Tenel Ka Djo on the back.  We havenít seen Tenel Ka for a while and when we last saw Tahiri, she was in some deep bantha poodu.  Without even opening the book, I knew Conviction was going to be a great read.

            Conviction opens with the ďdefrostingĒ of Valin and Jysella Horn, two young Jedi who were placed in carbonite by order of Galactic Alliance Chief of State Natasi Daala after the two were struck with the ďJedi craziesĒ.  We have long since discovered that the illness plaguing the Jedi who hid out in the Maw during the Yuuzhan Vong war was brought about by a mysterious Force-using being known as Abeloth.  Since Abelothís recent defeat at the hands of Luke Skywalker, all of the Jedi suffering from this illness have been cured, all but Valin and Jysella who have been frozen in carbonite.  As the Jedi release these fallen heroes from their frozen tombs, they can only hope that they are also releasing them from their illness as well.

            Meanwhile, the rest of the Jedi clan are plotting a coup to oust Natasi Daala now that she has gone too far in her dealings with the slave uprisings all over the galaxy.  The Jedi donít sit well with species genocide and arenít about to allow Daala to sick her Mandolorian allies on the uprising slaves of the world.  Unfortunately, what the Jedi donít realize is that there is another coup planned amongst members of the old Empire and Daalaís own entourage.  Will the two opposing groups cancel each other out, or will they join forces to take down an unhinged evil?

            Far away from Coruscant, on Nam Chorios, Luke Skywalker, his son Ben and former Lost Tribe of the Sith member Vestara Khai are tracking down the injured Abeloth.  If the name Nam Chorios sounds familiar, it should - it was the featured planet in Star Wars: Planet of Twilight and it is teeming with disgusting life-force suckers known as drochs, kept in line by the Force-steeped crystal beings known as tsils and their allies, the Theran Listeners.  Knowing that Abeloth needs Force-empowered souls to heal, Luke, Ben and Vestara have embarked on a mission to prevent that from happening, but are they too late?

            Oh, and why are Tahiri and Tenel Ka on the cover?  Well, Tahiriís trial comes to an end in this novel and the verdict brings about quite an interesting turn of events.  Meanwhile, Tenel Ka is asked to come to a meeting of Galactic Alliance delegates and a slave uprising group in Klatooine in an effort to mend fences and put an end to the centuries long enslaving of the Klatooinians by the Hutts.  Unfortunately, a few members of the Lost Tribe of the Sith, bent on preventing the Sarasu Taalon vision of a Jedi Queen from ever becoming a reality, have other plans from Tenel Ka.

            Thereís a lot going on in Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Conviction.  At first glance, one might think itís too much, but all of the stories meld into one eventually and make for a fun and exciting ride.  Itís nice to see the Jedi on the offensive for a change and Conviction sure has a great deal of offensive action for our Jedi, what with fighting off evil Sith, tracking down monstrous Force wielders, deposing unhinged rulers and more, our Jedi are certainly moving in the right direction.  Too long have they been on the defensive - this is a definite positive change in events in the Fate of the Jedi series.

            I thoroughly enjoyed the bits of banter in this novel.  Aaron Allston has been writing these characters for quite some time and has them down perfectly.  The insertion of light moments in a dark storyline is a genius way of offering a reader a break from the relentless seriousness of a struggle to keep the galaxy from destroying itself.  Laughter is the cure in all stressful situations and you get the feeling that it is the lighter moments that keep our characters sane in the face of danger - a very human trait that we can all relate to.

            The action is incredible - lots of lightsaber play, hand-to-hand, gun action and even some battles in space keep the adrenaline up.  Despite all the moments of intrigue and political backstabbing, the momentum of the novel is kept at lightspeed thanks to the action scenes.  I especially enjoyed the space battle between the Jedi and the Sith made more complicated by the flight of Abeloth in Ship.  Fun stuff!  There is another scene I enjoyed immensely featuring Natasi Daala, Tahiri Veila and Boba Fett (yes, heís back!), but if I tell you why I enjoyed it so much, Iíll be giving away a major plotline and I refuse to be a story spoiler!

            To date, I believe Conviction to be the most fun, exciting and enjoyable novels in the Fate of the Jedi series.  If the rest of the novels to come are even half as good as this one, things are going to become a lot more interesting for our Jedi friends.  I canít wait until the next novel hits the store shelves!


 

For more about the Fate of the Jedi series, check out these links:

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Outcast

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Omen

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Abyss

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Backlash

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Vortex

For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at talonkarrde@g-pop.net.