Star Wars: New Jedi Order: Balance Point - Reflection Review

Jacen Jaina Anakin Solo
(c.) 2000 by Del Rey
I'm going to call these "reflection reviews" ... not formal book reviews per se, because of the time between since I last read them, but more like the thoughts and impressions I remember. This entry was originally written December 2013. Book first read in October 2005, and re-read 5+ times since. 

Title: Balance Point (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order #6)

Author: Kathy Tyers

Publisher: 2000 by Del Rey 

Thoughts and Reflections:
This was my first "New Jedi Order" [NJO] book . . . I loved that the Solo kids were fairly prominent in it, but it was a switch from the Young Jedi Knights [YJK] and the other "Bantam Publishing era" Star Wars books. =) First impressions of the Yuuzhan Vong were that they kind of reminded me of the Wraith from Stargate: Atlantis [SGA] tv show which I was watching at the time. However, it'd be more accurate to say that the Wraith remind me of Yuuzhan Vong since the NJO series began in 2000, several years before SGA. Though while they were both into organic "living technology" and were both quite violent, I was still a bit stunned by the pure brutality of the Yuuzhan Vong. As it has been mentioned before, the NJO series marked a new point in the Star Wars EU. The Yuuzhan Vong were the enemy no one (readers or characters) had faced or seen before in that galaxy far, far away and on that account they succeed mightily. 
In the "Bantam era," the Solo children were delegated to minor roles (minus the children's books which featured them) so seeing them here with more developed personalities and storylines was exciting. I understand why Jacen's personality switch from the YJK series is off putting to some readers ... for now, I kind of buy the in-world explanation. Jaina seems to have the most consistent personality from YJK and I can see how she could have a strained relationship with her mother (though the YJK series never indicated that). I especially liked Anakin and Mara's sidestory. Considering that the prequel movies were being made during this time, it's interesting to see how Anakin Solo was dealing with similar pressures and the expectations of a prodigy that his namesake did. 

The Artist Librarian notes:  Interestingly, I've found out that Kathy Tyers work, Firebird, originally published in the 1980s, was rewritten by Tyers in the late 1990s as Christian Sci-Fi.  She's published sequels since then and it's currently  known as the Firebird Trilogy.  I may have to get my hands those ... I can't say I've ever read Christian Sci-Fi other than C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy.
For those who might want to know, I'd recommend NJO for older teens to adults (just based on the "darker" tone of the series).  However, my youngest brother read the majority of the series when he was thirteen or so ... As always parents/guardians, you know your children best.

Book Summary (via goodreads):  
"Poisoned by centuries of technological excess, the planet Duro is an unlivable hell, long abandoned by its own inhabitants, who dwell above their polluted world in orbital habitats. But there is no place else to channel the flood of refugees fleeing the murderous Yuuzhan Vong. So a deal is struck: In exchange for a new home, the refugees will work to restore the planet to health, under the watchful eye of Leia Organa Solo. 
As tempers begin to flare between the Duros and the New Republic, and between groups of refugees, Han Solo, his son, Jacen, and the Ryn called Droma arrive to keep the peace. They are unaware that Leia is on Duro . . . and that Luke, Mara, and Anakin are on their way, searching for a missing Jedi apprentice. And none realize that the Yuuzhan Vong have chosen this embattled planet as the next target in their brutal coreward thrust. 
The unrest only strengthens Jacen Solo's growing belief that a true Jedi should not fight, but should lead others to peace through a deeper understanding of the Force. Now, as the fragile stability on Duro threatens to collapse into violence, Jacen Solo must face his greatest dilemma: At what point does the use of power become aggression? Whatever he decides, his next step could tip the galaxy's destiny toward the light or toward darkness with the life of someone he loves hanging in the balance."
*Disclaimer: I am a member of the Del Rey's SWAT Team (Star Wars Action Team) through Fancorps.  I may earn points through their rewards program for completing missions such as posting book reviews or promoting new books but they are required to be my own opinion (whether positive or negative).  I am disclosing this connection according to FTC guidelines.*

[Updated labels Jan. 4, 2015]


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