Out of the Shadows

Disney Lucasfilm Pr. (Star Wars High Republic). Jul. 2021. 352p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781368060653.
Gr 9 Up–Eighteen-year-old hauler Sylvestri lost her mother to the Nihil and then her ship is lost after it is pulled out of hyperspace. While trying to get Coruscant authorities to listen, she receives a suspicious offer from the uber-wealthy Graf family—an offer connected to the mother it seems Syl didn’t know at all. Meanwhile, Syl’s ex-girlfriend Jordanna is exhausted defending a settlement the Nihil keep attacking and wishes she could win Syl back. She links up with the Jedi who come to her aid, including 17-year-old Vernestra, a green-skinned Mirialan who has Force visions that may lead her to the truth about the Nihil’s weapon. When they, along with with several other characters, meet up, they must survive a journey into the heart of the Nihil mystery. Assuming familiarity with the High Republic–era Star Wars universe, this book features multiple viewpoints and venues, and focuses on plot and suspense rather than action and description. Combining multi-strand storytelling with an extensive cast can make the plot occasionally confusing, though still enthralling. Depth of character development varies, with most attention paid to Vernestra and Sylvestri, who have the most compelling plot lines. The mostly human main characters have a variety of skin tones and hair colors/textures, like Syl’s “dark skin” and “wild, kinky curls” and Jordanna’s “sandy-hued skin” and “long, dark, curly hair.”
VERDICT This complex and suspenseful but occasionally confusing, story and its compelling characters will appeal most to fans of the Star Wars franchise and of mysteries.

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