Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Diversity Alliance
When we last left our young heroes, Jacen, Jaina, Tenel Ka and Lowbacca, together with Lowie’s translator droid Em Teedee, had just returned from an adventure in the asteroid field that was once Alderaan. Hoping to find a meaningful birthday present for Princess Leia, the friends came across more than they bargained for when they were ambushed by Boba Fett, who mistakenly believed the group had information about Raynar Thul’s missing father.
In Diversity Alliance, Jacen, Jaina, Tenel Ka, Lowbacca and Em Teedee travel with Raynar Thul to the Tradewyn, the Thul family flagship. Raynar has been summoned home by his mother, as his father, Bornan Thul, is still missing and she worries about the family’s safety. A thwarted kidnapping attempt aboard the Tradewyn confirms her suspicions about their safety.
While with the Thuls, the young Jedi Knights learn that, prior to his disappearance, Bornan was supposed to meet with someone on the ancient Mandalorian planet of Kuar. The group decides to head out to Kuar in Tenel Ka’s ship, the Rock Dragon, to investigate. While there, Lowbacca makes a shocking discovery about a childhood friend.
Meanwhile, Zekk embarks on his first mission as a bounty hunter, traveling to Gammalin in search of a scavenger/trader/bounty hunter named Fonterrat who disappeared with a shipment of ronik shells belonging to a three-armed bartender named Droq’l. What Zekk finds on Gammalin is horrific and calls into question the intentions of the Diversity Alliance and their Twilek leader, Nolaa Tarkona.
This novel is a bit darker and more mature than previous Young Jedi Knights novels, dealing with such topics as genocide, teenage attractions and more. There is plenty of action to be found in this novel, with space battles, combat arachnid attacks and a battle with IG-88 and his assassin droids. The story reveals quite a bit about Jacen Solo and his actions in future tales regarding his feelings toward Tenel Ka and his desire to prevent bad things from happening to people he cares about.
This chapter in the series brings us one step closer to uncovering what has happened to Bornan Thul. The reader is given the impression that they are actually right there with the Young Jedi Knights, embroiled in the mystery and uncovering clues abut Bornan’s disappearance right along with the young heroes.
I had a lot of fun reading Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Diversity Alliance and actually learned more about the future actions of the heroes in the novel. I also learned a great deal about the budding romance between Jacen and Tenel Ka that would eventually result in the birth of Allana Solo. I can’t wait to read the next novel in the series!