Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: The Final Prophecy
Author: Greg Keyes
Published By: The Ballentine Publishing Company
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
The living planet of Zonama Sekot has become the center of attention throughout the galaxy. Once thought of as only a legend, there was now proof that the planet exists. Jedi Knight and former Yuuzhan Vong familiar, Vergere, had been to the planet in the past and was convinced that it holds the key to the war against the Vong. After the death of Vergere, the Jedi Knights searched for Zonama Sekot, in hopes of persuading it to help them win the war. Once they found the planet and explained their plight, Sekot, the living intelligence of the planet, agreed to aid the Jedi in their cause.
But the Jedi are not the only ones interested in Zonama Sekot. Lord Shimrra has been approached by a Yuuzhan Vong warrior with news of the legendary planet’s existence and a disable ship hailing from the living planet. In order to keep news of the planet’s existence a secret, Shimrra has the warrior killed and orders heretic shaper Nen Yim to conduct tests on the disabled ship. This intrigues Nen Yim, as Shimrra seems strangely concerned about this legend of a living planet. She has heard rumors in the past - rumors that would hint at the idea that Shimrra’s rule was not chosen by the gods. There were also rumors that the Yuuzhan Vong had ties to Zonama Sekot - rumors that her examination of the disabled craft prove may not be false after all.
When Nom Anor learns of the warrior who lost his life bringing news of the living planet, he senses that this planet means something to Shimrra. He senses fear in the Dread Lord. In his guise as Prophet to the Shamed Ones, Nom Anor raises his followers’ hopes by telling them that he has seen a vision in which a living planet has redeemed the Shamed Ones at last.
Yuuzhan Vong Priest Harrar is also intrigued about Zonama Sekot. Shimrra is fearful of the planet – fearful enough to destroy the one warrior daring enough to bring back proof of its existence. Desiring more information, he approaches Nen Yim with a plan. Nem Yim would find a way to contact the Prophet and convince him that the he should contact the Galactic Alliance, entreating them to assist him in finding Zonama Sekot. Harrar is certain that once the infidels learn of this faction of Yuuzhan Vong that are opposed to Shimrra, the Galactic Alliance will be more than happy to assist the Prophet. If they have found Zonama Sekot, Harrar believes that the Jedi will allow the Prophet passage, and he and Nen Yim would see to it that they were included in that trip.
None of the trio realizes the hidden intentions of the other. Nen Yim is a scientist and is fascinated with the idea of a living world, but knows that it could be a threat to her people. She is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that Zonama Sekot no longer presents a threat. Harrar is intrigued by the rumors of the planet and wishes to see it for himself, but he refuses to shirk his duties to his people. He will discover if there is truth to this planet’s existence, wipe out the Jedi and destroy Nen Yim and the Prophet for their acts of heresy. Meanwhile, Nom Anor is hoping that the planet will somehow mean redemption for him in the eyes of Shimrra. He plans to turn the location over to the Dread Lord and deliver Harrar, Nen Yim and the Jedi as part of the bargain.
As hypothesized, the Galactic Alliance is more than happy to discover that there is truth to the rumors of rebellion within the Yuuzhan Vong ranks. They enlist Jedi Knights Tahiri Veila and Corran Horn to infiltrate Yuuzhan’tar, assist the Prophet in escaping and learn more about the rebellion. But Tahiri and Corran were not counting on having a Yuuzhan Vong shaper or a Yuuzhan Vong priest along for the ride. Tahiri, who has just come to accept the grafting of Vong and human personalities that the Yuuzhan Vong forced upon her, is completely unprepared to come face to face with the shaper who assisted in it all.
As you can see, The Final Prophecy by Greg Keyes is a tale filled with twists and turns and a bit of espionage and back-stabbing. But that’s not all! There is a side story regarding the enemy’s ability to destroy communications throughout the galaxy. Without the holonet, the fate of the Galactic Fleet hangs in the balance and for Wedge Antilles, foremost in a push to take the Bilbringi system, lack of galaxy-wide communication could have devastating results.
A veteran writer in the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order series, Greg Keyes proves once again that he is a perfect selection for writing the characters of Tahiri Veila and Wedge Antilles. Keyes has a knack for writing Star Wars, and unlike the three novels prior to The Final Prophecy, everyone in this novel stays true to character. He even finds a way for us to sympathize with and come to enjoy Yuuzhan Vong characters Nen Yim and Harrar, a particularly amazing feat to accomplish considering their portrayal in earlier novels. Nom Anor is just as dastardly and hateful as ever - just when the readers were starting to sympathize with his plight, he turns around and does something to remind us that Nom Anor is all about himself. The well thought out plot, the well-written characters, the captivating storyline – all combine to create an enjoyably fast and action-packed read. The Final Prophecy by Greg Keyes is quite possibly the best novel in The New Jedi Order series.
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