5/5 Rancors - Well, I am making progress in reading all of The New Jedi Order books.
Over halfway now, and I admit that I have struggled to maintain interest
through part of the series. We seem to have had a huge amount of
emphasis on Jedi philosophy and the appropriate way of doing things. In
the meantime, the Yuuzhan Vong have been sweeping through the worlds of
the New Republic.
The tide has now begun to turn. Traitor by Matthew Stover is a
particularly unusual book. Yes, there is still a lot of discussion about
the nonphysical aspects of fighting a war against the Vong and why
things must be done in certain ways, but there is also progress. The
book really has two main characters – Jacen Solo and Vergere. Jacen has
been out of action for a while and most people were afraid he was dead.
It turns out that he has been in the care (captivity?) of Vegere. We
really don’t know much about Vergere. She is a fascinating, powerful
creature, but we don’t know what she really wants. Is she cruel towards
Jacen or is she truly trying to teach him a new way of experiencing the
force? Arguments could be made either way.
By the end of the book
Jacen is a powerful figure and one bound to have a huge role in dealing
with the Yuuzhan Vong. Vergere remains a mystery. However, at least at
this point, some hope exists that the Vong can be defeated.
is the first Star Wars book in a while that really forces the reader to
pay attention, read, and think. It is not always easy to understand,
but it is an extremely important book in The New Jedi Order. Matthew
Stover deserves credit for that.
Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand by Aaron Allston Page 53 - Interesting description of a female character
"A crew chief, a black-haired Corellian woman whose build suggested that there might be a rancor or two in her ancestry, waved frantically at the other members of her unit."
Pages 234/235 - A great rancor scene. Even the Yuuzhan Vong recognize their usefulness.
"A snuffling noise emerged from the gap, then something like a low, muted roar. Then something emerged. Like a Yuuzhan Vong, it had two arms, two legs. But its stance was low, crouching, animalistic. It had tremendous muscles, hard and corded enough to support its tremendous weight, for it was as tall as the gap through which it emerged. Its face was tusked, its teeth were huge, and its head swiveled as it spotted the Yuuzhan Vong on the chamber floor. Its eyes followed these small creatures with the avidity of a hungry beast. "This is a rancor," Tsavong Lah said. "A beast of this galaxy..." Through the gap emerged another rancor, then a third, and a fourth. They spread out from the gap, moving along the walls of the chamber, circling their tiny prey."
5/5 Rancors -Rebel Stand by Aaron Allston is book #12 of the 19 in the New Jedi Order
and is the second book in the Enemy Lines duology. I have struggled at
times making my way through NJO, but I believe that the tide has begun
to turn. There may be hope after all in the battle against the Yuuzhan
Vong, and the books are beginning to spend more time with action and
accomplishments than with Jedi philosophy questions. I applaud that.
story in Rebel Stand picks up where Rebel Dream left off. You can
easily finish the first book and then go right into the second. You will
immediately recognize that the good guys are still defending Borleias
and trying quietly with a small team to do some things on Coruscant.
Luke, Mara, and company (including some members of Wraith Squadron) are
moving around Coruscant trying to gather information about the alien
invaders. The planet is a mess. The Vong tend to change things when they
It turns out that Coruscant has more dangers than one
would expect. An unknown evil power is in evidence, and Luke must figure
out how to get rid of it. The surprise evil turns out to be Lord Nyax, a
horrible creature who has made previous appearances in other books.
This element makes for an interesting turn away from just having to deal
with the Vong.
Other characters make return appearances as well.
The traitor Viqi Shesh is back, and they must deal with her. The author
gives us a large battle scene involving the Dark Side with Luke seeming
to be in extremely perilous situations. Mr. Allston is good at
describing action scenes when he decides to do it. In a different story,
Wedge is still leading the defense of Borleias. The manipulations and
trickery involved here are extremely interesting. Some fine space
battles. The Super Star Destroyer Lusankya even plays a role.
have enjoyed the Enemy Lines duology. There hasn’t been quite as much
agony about deciding on appropriate courses of action, and the New
Republic heroes finally seem to be making some headway against the Vong.
5/5 Rancors -Rebel Dream by Aaron Allston is book #11 of the
19 in the New Jedi Order and is the first book in the Enemy Lines
duology. I admit that I am still struggling somewhat to wade through the
New Jedi Order. Many of the books could benefit from some severe
editing. However, I had my hopes up for Mr. Allston’s book, and he did
not let me down. This is more like it. More action and less
philosophizing. I believe the seriousness of the threat posed by the
Yuuzhan Vong has finally sunk in. Heroic deeds are being done.
has fallen. That is a sentence I never expected to write. However, it’s
true. The cityworld is in ruins in many places, and the invading aliens
are in control. The New Republic is falling apart. Things look grim.
an effort to fight back, Wedge Antilles leads a force to retake
Borleais from the Vong. Once this is accomplished, he works with
high-level friends of his such as Luke Skywalker to see what kind of
damage they can inflict on the Vong. His plans are not received
favorably by some erstwhile leaders of the Republic. A group of
politicians holding themselves out as the New Republic Advisory Council
comes to Borleais, meets with Wedge and the other leaders, and tries to
order them to accept a suicidal plan. Through some deft maneuvering,
Wedge manages to refuse their plan and send them packing. This was a
very clever section of the book.
From there Wedge and the other
leaders on Borleais form what they refer to as the Inner Circle to
spearhead resistance against the Yuuzhan Vong. We are back to the days
of the Rebel Alliance and it is fun to read about. Skywalkers, Solos,
etc. – all the big names are involved and seem enthusiastic about it.
Their plan is to go into action against the Vong without having to put
up with the paralyzing bureaucracy that has been so prevalent so far in
the New Jedi Order. It makes you want to offer a round of applause.
author has included a couple of new twists in the Yuuzhan Vong.
Ex-Senator Viqi Shesh is now physically with the Vong and is trying to
prove her worth to them. She is truly a Machiavellian character and
cannot be trusted by anyone. I will not miss her when she is gone. We
also are introduced to Czulkang Lah, the father of Warmaster Tsavong
Lah. The older Lah is a warrior with a legendary record, and he is an
interesting character in the book. On the whole, the Vong are still
extremely disgusting and very difficult to understand.
Antilles plays a huge role in Rebel Dream as does Jaina Solo. It is
interesting to watch both in action. I especially enjoyed watching Jaina
create havoc among the Vong in her role as the Trickster while at the
same time resolving some of her own issues and developing into a very
worthwhile character. At the end, Mr. Allston does a good job of setting
up the next book, Rebel Stand. Wedge has led his forces to an important
victory while Luke has led a team back to Coruscant. There may be hope
for the remaining books in the New Jedi Order.
Star Wars: The New Jedi Order - Dark Journey by Elaine Cunningham A new rancor term in Dark Journey
Page 212 Three men slumped in the prison cell, awaiting Hapan justice in glum silence. They were still wearing the red garments they'd had on the day they brought that she-rancor princess aboard their ship. An assortment of bruises and bumps gave painful testament to the Jedi woman's unexpectedly strong resistance.