The Dark Tide Duology

Dark Tide I & II

I am combining my reviews for the second and third books of the New Jedi Order Series into one post.

***Contains Spoilers***

Michael Stackpole is the author of these two novels; Dark Tide I: Onslaught and Dark Tide II: Ruin. He is well known amongst EU fans for writing his X-Wing series (a good series focusing on Wedge Antilles and the rest of Rogue Squadron). His style of writing has a lot of detail in the fight scenes, especially space battles. This is not to say that he is not talented at writing dialogue, it is just his style. I think he is an excellent writer and in this endeavor does a great job with a great deal of character development.

This installment begins with Leia trying to convince the New Republic government that the threat still exists. They of course reject her, although she is not without friends and many in the military are sympathetic. Several (Admiral Traest Kre’fey and Colonel Gavin Darklighter) find ways to obey orders but still end up doing needed recon and staying nearby in case of more Yuuzhan Vong sightings. Luke is still trying to organize the Jedi, which have split into two camps. We have Luke’s camp which has a more reserved and defensive approach and Kyp Durron camp which has a more aggressive offensive view. We also see the Yuuzhan Vong begin their real effort to invade the galaxy.

The series ends with the New Republic trying to brace themselves and prepare the rest of the Rim and eventually the Core worlds for the Yuuzhan Vong. The Empire, after helping at the Battle of Ithor, withdraws to Imperial space to prepare for the Yuuzhan Vong. Several more New Republic worlds have fallen; Ithor is made unlivable after Corran defeats Sheadao Shai in a duel.

One thing that is great about a series like this is that it allows for a lot of character development. Since the team of writers were all collaborating to make the larger story they had a lot of time to develop many characters. A lot of older characters get their chance to shine as well as some new ones. Fans of the EU get to read about familiar characters like Gavin Darklighter, Corran Horn and (one of my favorites) Gilead Palleon. We also get to see new characters like young Jedi, Ganner Rhysode and Yuuzhan Vong Commander Sheadao Shai (who gives us our first real image of a Yuuzhan Vong warrior).
These two novels show a lot of development for the Solo children and Ganner. The Solo children are 16 and 15 and are being forced to mature quickly under difficult circumstances. Ganner changes a lot from the beginning for Onslaught to the end of Ruin, in a dramatic, but believable way. We also see true Yuuzhan Vong warriors. The initial invasion force (as seen in Vector Prime), we learn were mainly politicians and spies. In our next installment we get to see how the Yuuzhan Vong priesthood works.

Some of my favorite quotes;

“Sure. I can’t move a rock with my mind, but, boy, can I make that rock think it’s been moved.”
-Corran Horn(a Jedi who lacks telekinesis)

“People like us assume responsibilities so other people don’t have their lives ruined.”
-Leia Solo

“If we go out there thinking we’re invulnerable, we’ll get stupid. Stupid people die, and all too often, they take friends with them.”
-Colonel Gavin Darklighter

“But then, hindsight criticism is always based on fantasy foresight. What we should have known will be touted as facts we chose to overlook.”
-General Wedge Antilles

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