Book Review: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule

It is a golden age. Intrepid hyperspace scouts expand the reach of the Republic to the farthest stars, worlds flourish under the benevolent leadership of the Senate, and peace reigns, enforced by the wisdom and strength of the renowned order of Force users known as the Jedi. With the Jedi at the height of their power, the free citizens of the galaxy are confident in their ability to weather any storm. But even the brightest light can cast a shadow, and some storms defy any preparation.

When a shocking catastrophe in hyperspace tears a ship to pieces, the flurry of shrapnel emerging from the disaster threatens an entire system. No sooner does the call for help go out than the Jedi race to the scene. The scope of the emergence, however, is enough to push even Jedi to their limit. As the sky breaks open and destruction rains down upon the peaceful alliance they helped to build, the Jedi must trust in the Force to see them through a day in which a single mistake could cost billions of lives.

Even as the Jedi battle valiantly against calamity, something truly deadly grows beyond the boundary of the Republic. The hyperspace disaster is far more sinister than the Jedi could ever suspect. A threat hides in the darkness, far from the light of the age, and harbours a secret that could strike fear into even a Jedi’s heart.

I don’t read a lot of Star Wars books although I have read a few in the past. This book was the Goldsboro Books SFF Fellowship choice for January, I joined partly to read book I wouldn’t necessarily have picked for myself, while being genres I enjoy so I was excited to give this a try.

It was interesting to read about a period in the Galaxy when the Jedi were at the height of their powers, a well respected organisation who helped out around that Galaxy where they could in a time of relative peace.

Overall though I found it was a bit of a hit and miss read. Some bits and characters I really loved while other bits didn’t really work as well for me. The pacing wasn’t always steady with some sections much more enjoyable to read. The author also had a tendency to kill characters off just as you were starting to engage with them – not necessarily a problem in itself but it almost always happened at the end of a chapter which took away from the suspense and flow of the story somewhat.

I still enjoyed the story enough to finish the book and to be intrigued as to what comes next that was hinted at towards the end so I may well pick up the sequel if and when there is one but it was a firm middle of the road read for me.