Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 13, 2022
Cavan Scott's 'The Rising Storm' is the second book in the flagship series of the ambitious new timeline of the Star Wars Universe known as 'The High Republic'. 'Storm' is the first of Scott's work I'd had the pleasure of experiencing. In writing it he had the formidable task of maintaining the high level of quality incontrovertibly established by his series predecessor, Charles Soule, in 'Light Of The Jedi'. I have always marveled in admiration when skilled writers like Scott & Soule can maintain a consistent atmosphere, tone, & character balance as they take turns writing different entries in a trilogy, such as this one. It can't be an easy job to pull off successfully, but when done by an accomplished group of minds such as these two men most assuredly possess, the results speak for themselves. When Book III of the series releases in early January, Claudia Gray's 'The Fallen Star', it will be a Star Wars novel now inexorably on my radar of awaited titles. I'm quite sure the novel will maintain, if not exceed, the superior quality of its precursors.

When I read 'Light Of The Jedi' perhaps the most conspicuous of the novel's strengths lay with Charles Soule's incredible talent in creating immersive, unique, & most importantly, interesting planets & locations for the reader to learn about & enjoy as the novel's plotline progressed. Exotic locales such as Hetzel Prime & its breadbasket satellite, the Rooted Moon, added an extra dimension of depth & lore to the Star Wars Universe, just as the volatile new antagonistic faction, the Nihil, bring a new vein of unpredictable villainy to the mythology, not normally found in Dark Side teachings, Sith Order axioms, or within the rigid structure of the Imperial Fleet's ranking hierarchy. You won't catch Hego Damask, Darth Bane, & Mitth'raw'nuruodo listening to wreck-punk & getting juiced on whatever stim-drugs the crazed followers of Nihil Eye, Marchion Ro, inject prior to going on raids like their strike on the Cyclor Shipyards early in Scott's 'Rising Storm'. I think the Nihil in general are a brilliant addition to the Star Wars mythology, & whoever at Lucasfilm conceived of the faction has both my respect & my admiration, for whatever meager pittance a compliment originating from me is worth. Little & less, I'm afraid.

'The Rising Storm' adds interesting new locales to the series such as the abandoned prison facility on Grizal used by Marchion Ro's Nihil as a base of operations. The newly-promoted Talpini Tempest Runner, Zeetar, with his cybernetic exoskeleton is an intriguing addition to the volatile triumvirate, as he takes the place of Kassav next to the Dowutin Pan Eyta & the deadly Twi'lek, Lourna Dee. The Eye of the Nihil, Marchion Ro, leads the group of outlaws as its unofficial leader & his 'Rule Of Three' is predicated upon the concept of the Nihil being divided into three 'Tempests' each led by a Tempest Runner, all of which are subordinate to the Eye. It's an interesting dynamic, & Marchion Ro's unpredictable behavior is even more interesting to read about with Scott's experienced hand adding depth & dimension to the character just as he enhances other existing cast members like Lourna Dee by showcasing her lethal Twi'lek fighting ability, both with melee weapons & in hand-to-hand combat. I think Lourna Dee was probably my favorite character of the entire novel, which surprised just as it impressed me. I wasn't expecting the character to have the additional exposition the author provided; it made for a more engaging experience as I devoured the novel. I've nothing but admiration for Cavan Scott's talents as a writer, & I'm going to have to read 'Dooku : Jedi Lost' because his 'Rising Storm' is such a force to be reckoned with.

The marsh planet Safrifa where an intriguing new character, the Tholothian ex-Jedi Ty Yorrick, encounters the plant-based Drengir menace is an exciting location that piqued my interest, just as I was impressed by Scott's passage describing Marchion Ro's harrowing confrontation with the subterranean abomination, the horrific Cobonica, in the ice caverns beneath Golamaran. Even Ro's private flagship, the 'Gaze Electric', has a classy, sophisticated name which exudes style, in my opinion.

The Republic's High Chancellor, Lina Soh, collaborates with the Jedi Order to celebrate the hard-earned victory at Hetzel Prime with a monumental Republic Fair in Lonisa City on the planet Valo as one of her Great Works. It's a breathtaking event to learn about as Scott deftly weaves together all of the narrative elements that make it fun to read about as you progress through 'The Rising Storm'. He also does a remarkable job of integrating into his story the unique, lesser-known alien species in the Star Wars Universe. Feral apex predators such as Onderon's three-headed primal nightmare, the Hragscythe, & the venomous Lamproid, the Nihil outlaw Quin Amarant, bring a primal aggression to the villains in Scott's book that maintains intensity in the 'Storm's action sequences. These unique alien species bring to mind the evolutionary perfection achieved by Starcraft's ruthless Zerg race, made possible by the domineering Overmind & its cunning cerebrate subalterns.

In closing, I can't say enough fantastic things about 'The Rising Storm'. Cavan Scott is an author I now have a tremendous amount of respect for, & I'm so excited to see what new contributions authors such as him & Charles Soule make to the Star Wars mythology. I literally finished Scott's book in three days, I was hopelessly addicted to his writing style. The High Republic timeline is very self-contained which make the books very easy to jump into. I would recommend reading Charles Soule's 'Light Of The Jedi' prior to picking up 'The Rising Storm', as the events of 'Light' occur before & lead into what transpires in Cavan Scott's novel. Thanks so much for reading my review, I hope you learned a bit about Star Wars & the High Republic. Thank you !
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