The High Republic continues with the release of Cavan Scott’s The Rising Storm!
Having previously penned the very good Dooku: Jedi Lost, the effervescent Adventures in Wild Space alongside tales within the Star Wars comics, short stories, and the previous High Republic entry The Great Jedi Rescue (AND future High Republic audio production The Great Tempest Runner), I had little doubt in Scott’s ability to write Star Wars. I have always been impressed with his characterizations, ability to grasp the ‘tone’ and ‘feel’ of Star Wars, and, of course, his knack for writing good stories. Having read The Rising Storm, I can happily confirm that Scott has produced another very decent Star Wars story.
Taking place one year after the events of Charles Soule’s excellent Light of the Jedi, The Rising Storm finds the Republic continuing to rebuild following the Great Hyperspace Disaster. The Jedi are further revered throughout the galaxy for their heroic exploits during the events, however, Chancellor Soh isn’t receiving entirely unanimous praise – especially when it comes to our antagonists, the brutal Nihil. Soh decides a celebration of the Republic’s prosperity and the need to acknowledge the approaching bright future in required but, you guessed it, the Nihil – who have been laying low – aren’t in the mood for celebrating.
The Rising Storm is loaded with great action sequences, Scott really manages to describe these moments in such a way that it’s so very easy to create the events in your mind and that can be said of the majority of the book. Locations, ships, and characters are all detailed and expressed well enough to allow the reader to envisage these sometimes elaborate new additions to the galaxy. It’s an easy read that has moments of great momentum, however, I did find issues with the pacing of certain areas of the book – I found myself willing these moments to hurry along so I could return to the more interesting aspects of the story. There were times where chapters would end on delicious cliffhangers or plot threads but, frustratingly, some of these were never followed up with any real detail or depth.
As with Light of the Jedi, I can’t level any complaints towards the characters. I have been extremely impressed with the characters across the entirety of The High Republic releases so far and the returning characters receive further development and layers and the new additions in The Rising Storm are captivating and slot alongside their existing counterparts effortlessly. As mentioned previously, the Nihil, led by Marchion Ro, are back again to wreak havoc…and wreak havoc they do – enough time is allocated within the story to continue the inner machinations of the marauders and this helps to ensure they remain engrossing and prevents the Nihil from becoming ‘stock bad guys’. There’s a satisfying feeling that everything is ‘well rounded’ when it comes to the writing in The High Republic.
I’ve had half a year to sit and absorb Light of the Jedi and a similar time with Claudia Gray’s Into the Dark (another strong offering) therefore I’m not in a position to firmly state how this compares to those, however, despite some minor issues throughout regarding plot aspects/resolutions and pacing qualms, The Rising Storm is an enjoyable read and one that very much sets up future installments in the most tantalizing of ways.
**** 4.0/5Confident and, at times, thrilling, The Rising Storm is another strong addition to the burgeoning new era in a galaxy far, far away.
Listen to Matt’s non-spoiler review here.
Thanks to the team at Del Rey UK and Penguin Random House for the advance copy of The Rising Storm – it’s massively appreciated as usual!