Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void

An old diary hinting of long lost technology in a forbidden city, kept secluded by the Je’daii. A secret they want kept at all costs…one that falls into the hands of a Je’daii Ranger. Welcome to Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void. The star of this book is a reclusive Je’daii Ranger named Lanoree Brock, a character apt to wanderlusting and skilled at alchemy. She has a balance in the Force. Her life is one of contentment and happiness. But now her past is coming back to haunt her. Can she maintain her balance in the Force in a time when Je’daii use both the light and the dark side of the Force? As Tim Lebbon says in the book, “there are depths.” Into the Void certainly lives up to that maxim.

“At the heart of any poor soul not at one with the Force, there is only void.”

For readers who yet to explore the Dawn of the Jedi comics, Into the Void provides a great introduction to the setting. Tim Lebbon explains everything you’ll need to know without ruining those other stories that lie in wait. The book even includes a fifteen page, full color excerpt from the first comic issue of Dawn of the Jedi: Prisoner of Bogan. For those who have already read the comics, you’ll get to explore the words of Typhon in greater depths. Lanoree goes on quite an adventure.

Unlike a lot of Star Wars novels, this one has a very tight focused cast. The primary character is Lanoree, a Jedi Ranger who is tasked with stopping a mad cultist planning to use dark matter to activate a hypergate, an act that could destroy the entire system if it goes wrong. The journey that unfolds is told in two parts. Half of the story is her quest to track down and stop the mad cultist. The other half is a series of insightful flashbacks into her past. It’s a great way to flesh out the character, but it also reveals a lot about the setting. Through her flashbacks, readers discover what Je’daii have to go through for their training. The mysterious world of Tython is filled with dangerous creatures and exotic landscapes. Yet her quest to track down the mad cultist brings its own variety of imaginative locales as she travels to other worlds in the Tython system.

The story itself is a very enjoyable read. Not only are the plot and characters fun, but the prose is very engaging and effective. Tim Lebbon does a great job of providing descriptions of the strange environments. I never found myself bogged down or lost in what was going on or where the characters where. He also does a good job of creating intriguing characters. As the story progresses, we learn that Lanoree had a brother. He traveled with her in their Je’daii training, but he was very troubled with the Force. Its very presence stirred resentment in him. His difficulty dealing with the Force turns out to be one of the most interesting aspects of the book as small details are slowly revealed. I often found myself plunging forward from flashback to flashback, eager to figure out what Dal’s issue was with the Force and what his fate would be.

“I have depths waiting to be filled. Places you can never see, and go, because you’re a Je’daii, and my depths are my own. Not steered by someone else.” -Dal Brock

In a story filled with adventure, intrigue, and great quotes, there’s a lot to like in this book. Tim Lebbon dives into his very first Star Wars story with a great deal of success. He manages to spin a tale that feels like Star Wars, but also feels different from other stories that have been told before. While there is some threat of system wide destruction, the point is never pushed to being ridiculous. The characters feel believable and provoke interest. The attention to the characters never takes away from the plot. There’s also a remarkable balance between world building, plot and character development, and action. When it comes down to it, Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void is just great storytelling.

I give Into the Void a five out of five metal bikinis and I hope we’ll see Tim Lebbon come back for another Star Wars book, as I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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