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Dark Tide I: Onslaught

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In this epic of unsurpassed action and imagination, Michael Stackpole helps to launch an exciting new era in Star Wars® history. ONSLAUGHT pits the battle-tested heroes of the past--Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa Solo--along with the next generation of Jedi and droids, against fearsome never-before-encountered enemies from beyond the galactic rim . . . It is a pe In this epic of unsurpassed action and imagination, Michael Stackpole helps to launch an exciting new era in Star Wars® history. ONSLAUGHT pits the battle-tested heroes of the past--Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa Solo--along with the next generation of Jedi and droids, against fearsome never-before-encountered enemies from beyond the galactic rim . . . It is a perilous time for the New Republic. Just when unity is needed most, mistrust is on the rise. Even the Jedi feel the strain, as rogue elements rebel against Luke's leadership. When alien invaders known as the Yuuzhan Vong strike without warning, the New Republic is thrown on the defensive. Merciless warriors, the Yuuzhan Vong glory in torture. Their technology is as strange as it is deadly. Most ominous of all, they are impervious to the Force. Now Luke must wield all the awesome powers of a Jedi Master to defeat the gravest threat since Darth Vader. As Leia and Gavin Darklighter lead desperate refugees in a fighting retreat from Yuuzhan Vong forces, Mara Jade, Anakin, Jacen, and Corran Horn find themselves tested as never before by a faceless, implacable foe determined to smother the light of the New Republic forever beneath a shroud of darkest evil . . .


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In this epic of unsurpassed action and imagination, Michael Stackpole helps to launch an exciting new era in Star Wars® history. ONSLAUGHT pits the battle-tested heroes of the past--Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa Solo--along with the next generation of Jedi and droids, against fearsome never-before-encountered enemies from beyond the galactic rim . . . It is a pe In this epic of unsurpassed action and imagination, Michael Stackpole helps to launch an exciting new era in Star Wars® history. ONSLAUGHT pits the battle-tested heroes of the past--Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa Solo--along with the next generation of Jedi and droids, against fearsome never-before-encountered enemies from beyond the galactic rim . . . It is a perilous time for the New Republic. Just when unity is needed most, mistrust is on the rise. Even the Jedi feel the strain, as rogue elements rebel against Luke's leadership. When alien invaders known as the Yuuzhan Vong strike without warning, the New Republic is thrown on the defensive. Merciless warriors, the Yuuzhan Vong glory in torture. Their technology is as strange as it is deadly. Most ominous of all, they are impervious to the Force. Now Luke must wield all the awesome powers of a Jedi Master to defeat the gravest threat since Darth Vader. As Leia and Gavin Darklighter lead desperate refugees in a fighting retreat from Yuuzhan Vong forces, Mara Jade, Anakin, Jacen, and Corran Horn find themselves tested as never before by a faceless, implacable foe determined to smother the light of the New Republic forever beneath a shroud of darkest evil . . .

30 review for Dark Tide I: Onslaught

  1. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    Onslaught book 2 of the New Jedi Order was an alright sequel to Vector Prime. The author did well overall, but it demonstrates one of the Star Wars novels weaknesses...varying authors. Different authors provide different experiences which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it makes it hard to know what to expect. Plus I've found I dislike a few authors in the Star Wars series which makes it difficult to enjoy the series. Onslaught was solid, but I missed seeing a Yuuzhan Vong as a point of view Onslaught book 2 of the New Jedi Order was an alright sequel to Vector Prime. The author did well overall, but it demonstrates one of the Star Wars novels weaknesses...varying authors. Different authors provide different experiences which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it makes it hard to know what to expect. Plus I've found I dislike a few authors in the Star Wars series which makes it difficult to enjoy the series. Onslaught was solid, but I missed seeing a Yuuzhan Vong as a point of view character. Having a Yuuzhan Vong point of view character made them more interesting rather than simply monsters to be slayed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Scott Rhee

    The Dangers of Neutrality: Political Strife in the New Republic Why Pacifists Within the Galactic Senate are Attempting to Block a New Jedi Council and What that Could Mean in the Face of Potential War with the Yuuzhan Vong (This article first appeared in the New Republic magazine, The Lightsaber, on 03.16.9054, 25 A.Y. It was pieced together from several articles by several journalists. Parts of Michael A. Stackpole’s book “Dark Tide I: Onslaught” were used as inspiration for this article.) Af The Dangers of Neutrality: Political Strife in the New Republic Why Pacifists Within the Galactic Senate are Attempting to Block a New Jedi Council and What that Could Mean in the Face of Potential War with the Yuuzhan Vong (This article first appeared in the New Republic magazine, The Lightsaber, on 03.16.9054, 25 A.Y. It was pieced together from several articles by several journalists. Parts of Michael A. Stackpole’s book “Dark Tide I: Onslaught” were used as inspiration for this article.) Aftermath of Dubrillion Nemoj Emjad, 9, rummages through trash bins for half-eaten MREs or galga berries. He has not slept for five days. During the short nights at Refugee Camp CR-12C on planet Anglu, he still hears the echoes of the screams of his family in his dreams, and most nights he avoids sleep altogether. His face momentarily brightens in the light of the twin moons of Anglu as he finds the motherlode: three ripe galga berries, each the size of his head. He voraciously bites into one, the blood-red juice dripping down his cheeks. They smell like bantha fodder, and they taste just as awful, but there is not much human food on Anglu. Most of the inhabitants of this third-world planet are Twi’leks and Bothans, and most are smugglers. What little human food that is available is due to New Republic Emergency Management Corps. (NREMC) and the efforts of former New Republic General and hero of the Rebel Alliance, Lando Calrissian. It was Calrissian’s planet, Dubrillion, that was attacked by the alien race known as the Yuuzhan Vong. Of its roughly two million inhabitants, only 84,690 escaped. Refugees have taken shelter on Outer Rim planets Muunilist, Dantooine, and Yaga Minor, with a majority going to Dantooine. It has been difficult to determine the number of casualties from Dubrillion due to the fact that the Dubrillion system has been quarantined and is now controlled by the Yuuzhan Vong. Attempts to communicate with any representatives of the Yuuzhan Vong to determine a count have failed. Emjad doesn’t talk much about what happened to him and his parents on Dubrillion. It is not surprising. A team of New Republic psychologists and medics stationed on Anglu have reported numerous cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a shocking number of attempted suicides by survivors. “After witnessing first-hand the viciousness of the Yuuzhan Vong, it’s not hard to understand the feelings of fatalistic hopelessness among the survivors,” said Calrissian. “Even Emperor Palpatine and his army of stormtroopers were occasionally capable of moments of mercy. I don’t think the Yuuzhan Vong even have a word for “mercy” in their vocabulary.” Emjad may be young, but he has grown up in rough surroundings. Both his parents were spice miners, and the town in which he lived was notorious for illegal spice smuggling. His only schooling was working with his mother on the carrier equipment at the space hangar in town. Despite this, Emjad recalls happy times with his parents, and he also remembers fondly the few times that Calrissian paid visits to the space hangar. “Mr. Lando always had silver sabacc coins for us kids,” Emjad said. “Everyone liked Mr. Lando.” Calrissian has, in the two months since the fall of Dubrillion, been an extremely loud proponent of more military spending in the Galactic Senate. He has also led a small but growing grass-roots campaign to convince the New Republic government to declare war on the Yuuzhan Vong, a call to arms that has continuously fallen upon deaf ears. Yuuzhan Vong: Elaborate Jedi Hoax or Proof of Life Outside the Galaxy? The newest threat to the galaxy, the Yuuzhan Vong, allegedly appeared in the Outer Rim and is rumored to be from an unknown source outside the galaxy, according to a new report recently released by Princess Leia Organa-Solo, former President of the New Republic. If true, this marks the first time an extragalactic alien race has introduced itself in this galaxy, leading numerous scientists within the New Republic to cast serious doubt on the report. Xard D’Yart, a Mon Calamari astrophysicist, adamantly denies the possibility that the Yuuzhan Vong are an extragalactic race. “Every scientist knows that the space between galaxies is filled with potent gases and turbulent dark matter, making hyperdrive capabilities impossible,” said D’Yart. “The countless species within our own galaxy have yet to create a safe and reliable method of extragalactic transportation. It is ridiculous to think that a species from another galaxy could have such an advanced technology.” Regardless of where the Yuuzhon Vong comes from, Dr. D’Yart added that the race “poses a clear and present danger to the New Republic.” Sadly, this is not an opinion shared by some of the more powerful members of the Galactic Senate, including President Borsk Fey’lya. “It is difficult to give credence to this report,” said Fey’lya, referring to former President Organa-Solo’s report to the Senate. “It is clearly an attempt by former President Organa-Solo, and her brother, Luke Skywalker, to institute and install a new Jedi Council which will usurp the powers of this Galactic Senate and bring martial law throughout the galaxy. It has only been a few short years since the long war with the Empire came to an end. We are still picking up the pieces here on Coruscant, a planet which did not even receive the worst of the Empire’s evil campaign of conquest. Our constituents here in the Core Worlds, the Inner Rim, and even the Mid Rim are tired of war. Now Princess Leia, her husband, Han Solo, and her brother, Luke Skywalker---along with these so-called “peacekeepers” known as the Jedi---want to engage in another galaxy-wide war? I vehemently oppose any attempt to stir up another war, especially if it means giving any more power to these Jedi Knights, practitioners of an outdated religion.” Fey’lya’s statement comes upon the heels of rumors of a possible coup de’ tat attempt led by Organa-Solo, in conjunction with certain members of the New Republic military. Organa Solo has neither confirmed nor denied these rumors, leading many within the Galactic Senate to believe that this is, in itself, a confirmation. Could the Yuuzhan Vong be an elaborate ruse devised by the Jedi Knights to garner support for a new Jedi Council? According to a recent galactic poll (spearheaded by the Sullustian government), roughly 85% of the population within the Core systems do not believe that the threat is real. Roughly 10% believe that the Yuuzhan Vong is real but not a serious threat, and only about 5% believe that the Yuuzhan Vong poses a clear and present danger. A Conflict Within the New Jedi Order Hero of the Rebel Alliance, Luke Skywalker is still admired and revered by nearly every citizen within the galaxy. He is, after all, the man who single-handedly destroyed the first Death Star at Yavin 4 over 25 years ago, killed the ruthless Sith Lord known as Darth Vader, and ultimately put an end to the rule of Emperor Palpatine, striking a powerful blow to the Empire, which exists today as a mere shadow of itself on the planet Bastion, led by the kinder, gentler Admiral Gilad Pellaeon. Yet, criticism surrounds Skywalker and his handling of the Jedi Academy that he founded 20 years ago on Yavin 4. Now considered a Jedi Master, Skywalker has been criticized for not providing tighter reins on the roughly hundred new Jedi Knights that have graduated from his Academy. Many critics within the Galactic Senate---President Fey’lya being the most vocal---oppose the idea of having Jedi Knights at the forefront of any military operation. Indeed, several Jedi Knights are currently members of the now-famous X-Wing Rogue Squadron, led by General Wedge Antilles. Among these Jedi Knights are Kyp Durron, Corran Horn, and Jaina Solo (who happens to be the daughter of former President Leia Organa-Solo and former-smuggler-turned-hero-of-the-Rebel-Alliance, Han Solo). Mara Jade, wife of Skywalker and former (reformed) Imperial assassin, publicly defends her husband. “It’s ridiculous to think that Luke has any control over the behavior of his former students,” she said. “My husband may be a powerful Jedi Master, but that’s asking a hell of a lot. He may not agree with the views and politics of some of his students, and he may offer occasional advice, but part of being a Jedi Knight is finding one’s own path through life, not relying on any one person or even a group of people to make decisions for you.” Skywalker declined to be interviewed for this article. What We Know About the Yuuzhan Vong When the ExGal-4 scientific outpost on planet Belkaden stopped transmitting data one year ago, few planetary systems heard the silence. Not much is known exactly as to what transpired on that small, uninhabited planet. Only one scientist survived the alleged Yuuzhan Vong invasion. Danni Quee was abducted by the Yuuzhan Vong, tortured for months, and forced to watch as her other human cell-mate, a Jedi Knight named Miko Reglia, was tortured until his eventual death at the hands of his captors. Quee thought that her life was over, too, until a daring rescue attempt, led by Annakin Solo (the youngest son of former President Leia Organa-Solo and Han Solo), set her free. Most of what we know about the Yuuzhan Vong comes from Quee. Quee, a Force-sensitive now undergoing Jedi training, has written an article about the Yuuzhan Vong in the latest issue of Xenological Journal. In it, she writes that “this highly evolved warrior race is somehow “immune”, or biologically disconnected, to the Force, giving them an evolutionary advantage against the Jedi Knights.” This controversial fact alone has led supporters of a full-scale war against the Yuuzhan Vong to push harder to convince the pacifistic members of the Galactic Senate, citing the possibility that, if true, the introduction of a Jedi Council to lead the military would be irrelevant anyway. “The Jedi Knights count on, and draw strength from, the Force,” Quee writes in her article. “If they go up against an enemy whose very existence negates the use of the Force, to say that the playing field would be level is an unfair assessment. Indeed, the Yuuzhan Vong automatically has the biological advantage, given their biotechnological advances and the fact that they are a culture whose sole purpose is waging war. How can a group of Force-sensitives, founded on the principles of peace-keeping, ever hope to compete, let alone win, against such a race?” (Michael A. Stackpole is a free-lance galactic journalist whose books, “Dark Tide I: Onslaught” and “Dark Tide II: Ruin” have become intergalactic bestsellers. Even the Imperial Booklist on planet Bastion has announced that Stackpole’s books have outsold the long-running Imperial bestseller “My Struggle” by the late Emperor Palpatine.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    Although Michael Stackpole is to blame for many of the problems that weigh down Dark Tide I: Onslaught (which I'll get to in a moment), I'm pointing my finger at the entire New Jedi Order editorial team. The decision to publish Onslaught directly after the cataclysmic Vector Prime is the novel's true undoing. Don't get me wrong, this is far from what I consider to be a good read, but its failures are compounded by its ill-conceived timing. The events of Vector Prime had introduced a drastically d Although Michael Stackpole is to blame for many of the problems that weigh down Dark Tide I: Onslaught (which I'll get to in a moment), I'm pointing my finger at the entire New Jedi Order editorial team. The decision to publish Onslaught directly after the cataclysmic Vector Prime is the novel's true undoing. Don't get me wrong, this is far from what I consider to be a good read, but its failures are compounded by its ill-conceived timing. The events of Vector Prime had introduced a drastically different adversary to the Star Wars universe, one that instilled fear and pessimism by way of untold aggression and discriminating hatred. The novel crescendoed to a paradigm-shattering climax, one that left me in eager anticipation for what was to come next. Unfortunately, what came next was Onslaught, a shallow and irrelevant installment in the New Jedi Order series. Luke Skywalker gathers many of his Jedi Knights on Yavin 4, there to assign them a slew of reconnaissance missions in hopes of learning more about the Yuuzhan Vong's current and future activities: Corran Horn and Ganner Rhysode are sent to Bimmiel to investigate the loss of some missing scientists, Anakin accompanies Mara Jade to Dantooine as she continues to stave off her deadly disease, and Luke brings Jacen along as he visits the Ex-Gal facility on Belkadan. Of these three (main) plots, not one is interesting, nor do they add anything substantial to what we know about the Vong. Corran and Ganner's mission to rescue the scientists lacks any real purpose. The scientists are of no particular importance, and the entire sub-plot seems contrived just to pit these two opposing Jedi against one another for the fun of it. Their dichotomy, while occasionally interesting and entertaining, does little to spruce up this storyline. Neither develops beyond what they were at the novel's outset. While Anakin does learn a few things about himself and the force during his time on Dantooine, we continue to be bombarded with droning details about Mara's illness. Yes, she's still sick. We understand. Move on already. Luke and Jacen, thankfully, discover some information that is useful to us, namely that the Yuuzhan Vong are using humanoid slaves as a means to grow their bioequipment. I have read several reviews that praise Onslaught for being Luke-heavy; frankly, I don't know what they're talking about. He receives just about as much face time as anyone else; no more, no less. If you were planning on checking out Onslaught based solely on Luke alone, you are better served elsewhere. As can be expected, all plot threads eventually converge in the end, building towards a confrontation with a Yuuzhan Vong strike force. Enemies are defeated. Good wins the day. I know, shocking stuff. Stackpole tries to convince us that there are grave consequences as a result of this event---Rogue Squadron loses two-thirds of its pilots, over fifty troopers are killed in battle, the Vong slaughter countless people on Dubrillion, and Dantooine refugees suffer 50% casualties---but the reader never actually feels like lamenting these losses. Stackpole doesn't make us care for even a moment. The reason for this is that Stackpole has completely undermined the Yuuzhan Vong's credibility. In Vector Prime, R.A. Salvatore introduced us to a fearsome, destructive force that could stand toe-to-toe with the Jedi. And what's more is that they appeared to be just the tip of the iceberg, the vanguard to a massive invasion force. You'd never know this from reading Stackpole's interpretation. His Vong are nowhere near the imposing foes that we were led to believe they were. Furthermore, Onslaught offers absolutely nothing in the way of Yuuzhan Vong development. We only see them from a distance, and they serve as little more than a convenient way to stage a series of tedious battles that up the page count. We are quickly introduced to the Embrace of Pain (which will apparently play a larger role in Dark Tide II: Ruin), but that's about all we get. Out of 37 chapters, the only Vong POV is the epilogue, which is essentially a throwaway. I would be remiss not to mention the fact that Onslaught almost completely avoids what is doubtless the most pressing storyline at the moment: the death of Chewbacca (in Vector Prime). Han appears for only a handful of pages---in what is one of the few good scenes in the book---and then inexplicably disappears from the story. Again, I can't blame Stackpole for this, as Han is purposely ignored so that his story can continue in books four and five (it's done for marketing/sales purposes, so that's not his fault). Now, I can understand why the NJO brain trust structured the books like this, but I disagree wholeheartedly with the decision. Revealing only faint glimpses of Han only frustrates the audience, and it stalls any momentum created at the end of Vector Prime. Perhaps the most significant event of the book (or, at least the one that will have a significant impact on the series moving forward) is Jaina Solo's joining of Rogue Squadron. One would think that Stackpole would make a big deal about this, being the Rogue Squadron obsessive that he is. Jaina joins Rogue Squadron at 16 (an impressive feat), and it seems quite clear that being a part of Rogue Squadron is going to factor heavily in Jaina's development during the New Jedi Order series. I felt that this was a fairly important moment. Evidently Stackpole didn't think so. The whole scene occurs in one underwhelming paragraph. To be fair, Onslaught is certainly not all bad. Amidst all the action there are actually a few intermittent "quiet" scenes, in which the characters are allowed to breath. I may be one of the few people that loves Jacen Solo and his force philosophizing, and there are several good scenes involving him, Anakin, and Luke. His quest to find the Jedi's true relationship to the force continues to fascinate. Near the end of the novel, during one of his talks with Anakin, Jacen says something that I found particularly interesting, considering where Jacen's future lies: "For now, I'm Jacen Solo. What I will be in the future, however, is anyone's guess." For now, I'm still enjoying the New Jedi Order. Whether I'll still enjoy it after Dark Tide II: Ruin, is anyone's guess.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    "Easy isn't for Jedi" The Yuuzhan Vong have entered the Outer Rim of the galaxy. Leia is attempting to garner support from the New Republic; Luke and Jacen head off to Belkadan to get further developments; Corran and Ganner head to Bimmiel to check up on some missing academics; Mara and Anakin head to Dantooine to attempt some R&R for Mara. NOTE: Based on audiobook and novel. I thought Vector Prime was a great entry into this most recent, more gritty series. But Onslaught is amazing. It is a perfe "Easy isn't for Jedi" The Yuuzhan Vong have entered the Outer Rim of the galaxy. Leia is attempting to garner support from the New Republic; Luke and Jacen head off to Belkadan to get further developments; Corran and Ganner head to Bimmiel to check up on some missing academics; Mara and Anakin head to Dantooine to attempt some R&R for Mara. NOTE: Based on audiobook and novel. I thought Vector Prime was a great entry into this most recent, more gritty series. But Onslaught is amazing. It is a perfect second novel: gradually building the conflict, displaying the players/characters, and intensifying the story. In Onslaught, Stackpole brings back fan favorites, Corran (who is now a Jedi), Wedge, Tycho, and Elegos A'Kla (among others, including a Bothan admiral who ISN'T sneaky and duplicitous). Corran is in prime form. It's nice to see him married with kids, to have him a more mature Jedi, and to have him bounce off with the younger Jedi, Ganner Rhysode. His mission with Ganner on Bimmiel is interesting and relevant to the story (even though at first sniff it doesn't appear to be). But Stackpole does a brilliant job with our major characters. Probably my favorites were Mara and Anakin. Mara gives Anakin a good lesson about using the Force (similar to one she gave Luke in Vision of the Future and one Anakin got in the Junior Jedi Knight series). I also enjoyed how they stumbled upon their own Yuuzhan Vong crisis. Luke and Jacen are also great, as they argue over each own's perception about the Force. One thing sorely missed in the audiobook, however, is Jacen's capture by the Yuuzhan Vong's Embrace of Pain, where Luke has to rescue him. That was a critical scene and shouldn't have been omitted, in my opinion. I'll admit, I wasn't too fond of Stackpole's treatment of Leia, Jaina, and Han. Yet again, Leia comes off shrill and demanding, as she argues with Gavin Darklighter about allowing 16 year old Jaina onto Rogue Squadron. I understand this galaxy has different rules (as evinced by a 14 year old queen and an 18 year old senator), but nonetheless, I found it disgusting to hear Leia pouting about her daughter not getting into Rogue Squadron. Similarly, the Solo kids tend to be treated as if they were in their twenties instead of teens and are UBER AMAZING at everything. This is best seen in Jaina, a 16 year old Rogue Squadron member. Talk about cheapening what it means to be in the Squadron! Lastly, Han is barely visible in the novel, and only at the beginning as a drunken idiot. The characterization seemed a bit off, even considering the events of the last book. But what makes Onslaught so good is how Stackpole begins to up the ante and weaves in all the storylines. I liked how the Yuuzhan Vong are spreading out to cover as many planets as possible (creating a base from which to launch further campaigns), the discoveries that the Jedi make about the Yuuzhan Vong, and the intimacy between the characters (such as between Luke and Mara, Mara and Anakin, or Luke and Jacen). If you liked Vector Prime, be prepared for an even better book (especially if you liked the X-Wing series). If you didn't like Vector Prime, there is a good chance this will change your mind about the series. Great book; I can't wait to move on to Ruin!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lance Shadow

    Special thank you to my goodreads pal Crystal Starr Light for sending me this entire book series! My attempt to read this massive storyline continues with Dark Tide I: Onslaught! Vector Prime may not have been my favorite reading experience when it comes to Star Wars novels, but it proved to be a serviceable start to the series by introducing the Yuuzhan Vong in an interesting way and handling a major character death very effectively (view spoiler)[ it was Chewbacca (hide spoiler)] . Michael A. Special thank you to my goodreads pal Crystal Starr Light for sending me this entire book series! My attempt to read this massive storyline continues with Dark Tide I: Onslaught! Vector Prime may not have been my favorite reading experience when it comes to Star Wars novels, but it proved to be a serviceable start to the series by introducing the Yuuzhan Vong in an interesting way and handling a major character death very effectively (view spoiler)[ it was Chewbacca (hide spoiler)] . Michael A. Stackpole's followup does a pretty good job continuing the story from the first book in this series. I haven't read any of the X-Wing books or I, Jedi, but this novel turned me into an immediate fan of this author, got me excited to read Dark Tide II: Ruin, and sparked an interest in me to check out his previous Star Wars work in the future. THE STORY: Two months have passed since the Yuuzhan Vong began their invasion of the galaxy, and our heroes are still processing the devastating loss of a character who was close to their hearts, as well as ours. Han Solo is hopelessly depressed and has taken up heavy drinking to cope with his grief. Anakin Solo may still be suffering from survivor's guilt, but we still have 18 novels worth of adventures to get through, and he must continue the fight alongside his siblings and the other members of the Big 4. Joining them will be new characters freshly introduced in the NJO as well as a whole ensemble of fan-favorites. The jedi are beginning to face a new schism as one faction, lead by Kyp Durron, calls for aggressive action against the Vong threat. But the other half of the order remains loyal to Grand Master Luke, who believes in exercising caution. With that, Luke sends Corran Horn and Ganner Rhysode to Bimmiel to rescue a team of scientists as well as to investigate strange activity. He sends Mara to Dantooine so she can recover from her disease away from the fight, and Anakin is sent as her protector. Luke and Jacen return to Belkadan to learn more about the Yuuzhan Vong and further investigate the threat they pose to the galaxy. Leia attempts to gain the backing of the New Republic in the fight against the Vong, but is forced to find Allies elsewhere after finding little support from the senate. Danni Quee accompanies her as a witness that can offer concrete evidence, and Luke sends Jaina with them so she can help Danni refine her nascent force talents. Gavin Darklighter works to prepare a new generation of Rogue Squadron pilots for the coming fight, but can they stand against an enemy with unfamiliar and superior technology? THE BAD: There's no major overarching problems with this book. The pacing can get a little slow in the middle, but it doesn't take long for things to pick up as everything comes together for the climax. It all comes down to a number of various smaller moments not landing for me that prevented this book from receiving a higher score. After a very well-done spotlight in Vector Prime, Han Solo gets relegated to the sidelines. This would have been a big problem had I read the book when it first came out in 2000, but I can forgive this because I know that the further exploration of Han's grief is going to be saved for the Agents of Chaos duology. This book is also part of its own Stackpole duology, so maybe he will have a bit of a larger role in Stackpole's second NJO book. Regardless, it allows for Luke and Leia to get more of a spotlight after they just faded into the ensemble during Vector Prime. The rest comes down to a bunch of specific moments that go heavily into spoilers. (view spoiler)[1. Leia has a moment in the middle of the book that felt out of character to me When she is trying to get Jaina into Rogue Squadron, she acts very patronizing towards Gavin, citing Jaina's connection to the skywalker bloodline as to why she innately deserves to become one of their pilots. Even if this behavior has a precedent in previous EU novels that I haven't read, its inconsistent within Dark Tide 1 itself. Earlier in the book Leia becomes frustrated with the senate's refusal to offer help to those fighting the Vong, but she acts very professional by calmly disagreeing with the senators ON TOP OF acknowledging that she is proud of them for carrying on the New Republic's values after she left the political arena. 2. After setting up Rogue Squadron as helplessly outmatched in the opening, I don't think Stackpole did a good job following through with keeping the vongs a formidable threat in the Rogues' subplot. At the beginning, Gavin is rewarded for surviving longer than any pilot against the coralskippers in a simulator, despite lasting for only 17 seconds. He an admiral Kre'fey come up with a solution to counter the dovin basals, but it felt too easy because the parts with the vong killing refugees and wiping out ships was heavily glossed over. Especially because this is a duology, it Stackpole could have dedicated more time to the Rogue's struggle in combating the Vong technology. 3. I felt a bit cheated by the resolution of an otherwise amazing fight sequence towards the last third of the book. Anakin and Mara have to flee a trio of Yuuzhan Vong warriors. Mara is too sick to fight. Anakin appears to be hopelessly outmatched as he uses every ounce of effort he has to protect Mara and succeed in the mission Luke gave him. How does this end? Luke and Jacen just so happen to be able to conveniently track them, and mop the floor with the three vong warriors at just the right time. what a disappointing an anticlimactic way to end this close to perfect scene! 4. There's a problem with sequencing between the Luke/Jacen subplot and the Corran/Ganner subplot that made it all feel repetitive and took me out of the book. I don't have a problem with the portrayal of the characters themselves, but it made for a clunky chapter in the novel itself. Both Luke/Jacen and Corran/Ganner discover the Vongs' slaves pretty much back to back. Both pairs argue about what to do, with the younger one wanting to save them and the older one preferring caution. Fortunately these parts play out differently afterward. 5. I still don't like Danni Quee. I commend Stackpole for the way he attempted to give her character a flaw. It turns out she's a little shy, but it doesn't seem to have too much of an effect on the plot or prove to big of an obstacle for her. So in my eyes, she hasn't escaped Mary Sue territory yet. 6. This book makes the mechanics of Mara Jade's disease very confusing. Mara is so ill for most of the book that she can barely do anything. The chase scene with the vong warriors is so tense because she is unable to outrun the trio of warriors, forcing a completely outmatched Anakin to defend her (this is the same scene where I took issue with Jacen and Luke's overly convenient rescue). But then in the final battle at the refugee camp, she seems perfectly capable of fighting, leaving me confused. Making it more convoluted was her deduction that the presence of the vong makes it worse... so why is she all of a sudden able to fight at the end? 7. Stackpole is guilty of breaking the "show, don't tell" rule several times, particularly in the climax. First, you have Dubrillion. In Vector Prime, the heroes successfully push back the Vong. Then when the heroes return to Dubrillion again Lando describes how the Vong came back and devastated his holdings. Afterwards the Vong return for another battle as the heroes try to evacuate Dubrillion's citizens, only to fail as the heroes succeed in the evacuation. Second, the battle on Dantooine pretty much puts all the focus on the main heroes, none of them being killed off or facing major setbacks themselves. This makes the battle look like a pretty clear victory for our heroes even though afterwards they talk about the evacuation of Dantooine as if it were a complete disaster. They mention how almost all of the Rogues and the fighter pilots in the other squads were blown up even though the dogfighting pretty much centers on Gavin and Jaina dominating the skies. We see Jacen and Anakin successfully fighting off the vong and Mara and Leia successfully rooting out infiltrators followed by a successful evac of the refugees, but then they mention how 50% of the refugees die. Why don't we SEE any of these setbacks inflicted by the Vong? (hide spoiler)] THE GOOD: This book does an excellent job building upon Salvator's efforts to introduce the Vong and kick start this massive story in Vector Prime. Not only does Stackpole manage to recontextualize some of the weaker plot points from Vector Prime in compelling ways, he integrates them effectively into the plot that he set up for his Dark Tide novels. Despite the large number of simultaneous parallel subplots that play out in this novel (just like Vector Prime), they feel more cohesive in Dark Tide 1 because of how well they come together towards the end (with one exception, I'll get to that momentarily). More importantly though, it feels like all these subplots have a strong unifying theme- while the subplots in Vector Prime largely felt like they were mostly killing time until the Yuuzhan Vong came, in Dark Tide 1 they all are serving a common purpose established from the start of the book. Even the one subplot that didn't really link up with the others (Corran and Ganner's) at the end works because the epilogue teases that Dark Tide 2 is going to continue it. The characterization all around is great. Stackpole brings in many fan favorites from earlier in the EU (ie, his own X-Wing books), as well as working wonders to expand upon the familiar characters from where R.A Salvatore left them in Vector Prime. Despite not reading the X-Wing novels and I, Jedi, I really got into Corran Horn. His characterization as a mythodical jedi master with a propensity for quipping was able to stand on its own in this novel specifically, but Stackpole's summary of his backstory from the earlier EU novels helps keep him more grounded and relatable. Ganner Rhysode (newly introduced in this book) works well as Corran's younger, more eager foil. Gavin Darklighter, also from the X-wing series, was also great- his fear of not living up to his predecessors is a nice way to utilize the lore from previous books, but its made more relevant with the sim sequence in the beginning of the book. I think Stackpole did an excellent job with Kyp Durron and describing his motivations. While Durron's motivations are perfectly compelling given what happened just in Vector Prime, a summary of Durron's story from the Jedi Academy Trilogy also is used to increase the complexity of those motivations and make him even more compelling. Elegos A'kla, first introduced in I, Jedi, is integrated seamlessly here as well. Luke gets to be more interesting than he was in Vector Prime as his abilities as a leader are tested. (view spoiler)[ I really liked his scene where he uses the force in the climax, because this book proves he still can be challenged after hearing about his reputation of being an OP force god in earlier novels. (hide spoiler)] Aside from her scene in the middle of the book, Leia works better here too- I loved the scenes she has with the senate both at the start and at the end of the book. After Jaina Solo didn't get much to do in the first NJO book, she becomes a bit more interesting here. She still has a long way to go before catching up to her brothers, but Stackpole setting up a character arc for her is a good start. Heck, even Danni Quee gets a nice character moment when she helps Jaina through her identity crisis and her disagreements with her mother. I was surprised to see Jacen getting a little mini-arc in this book during his adventure with Luke. Trying to discover what it means to be a jedi, it actually serves Jacen's larger story in the NJO but still leaves plenty of possibility open for later books to continue it. I was absolutely floored by Anakin and Mara Jade, with their subplot being by far the best despite how little is actually going on in it. I'm continuously impressed by how complex Anakin Solo is. Stackpole could have just focused on Anakin's survivor's guilt from the previous book but instead he decides to give him a mini-arc that plays into his overall portrayal as an idealistic young jedi. As for Mara Jade, I am constantly surprised by how much the NJO is winning me over when it comes to her character. I loved the arc that she goes through in this novel as her strong sense of independence is challenged and she must come to terms with the new reality that her illness imposes upon her. I also found her scenes with Luke to be incredibly sweet- despite not having read the novels where their relationship blossoms, I still can see how strong the chemistry between them is. Finally, Stackpole's action sequences are a blast. Between the awesome dogfighting between the starfighters and the coralskippers and the exciting melee showdowns between Jedi and vong, I can see why people loved Stackpole's earlier Star Wars work. His writing talents really shine through in this NJO entry. THE CONCLUSION: Final rating is 4 stars. While there were a good number of minor problems that added up and prevented this book from true greatness, I really enjoyed it. The plot is cohesive despite how many characters it focuses on, and the characters themselves are well written and likable. The action is exciting, and the writing overall does a good job building upon Vector Prime while also turning me into an immediate fan of Michael A. Stackpole and building up my anticipation for Dark Tide II: Ruin. I will still stand by my opinion that you can get into the NJO without having read much of the expanded universe taking place after Return of the Jedi, but I can admit now that there may be some benefit to be had if you had previously read some of those other books. While I can see that reading the X-Wing books or I, Jedi before the Dark Tide duology will definitely be rewarding, this book does offer enough summarized backstory within its text to get behind the motivations of Stackpole's creations, or at least it that did for me. If you happened to read the X-Wing series and/or I, Jedi before this, awesome. But if you haven't, there's no need to backtrack to those earlier novels before continuing the NJO with Dark Tide 1, Onslaught. The only truly prerequisite novel you'll need to understand what's happening here is Vector Prime. R.A Salvatore got me interested in this series, but Michael A. Stackpole was the one to get me fully invested. The series has yet to reach true greatness in my eyes, but this is a promising step in the right direction.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    3.0 Stars A fun romp in the Star Wars legends universe, but not as good as the first book in the Jedi New Order series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jiří Budinský

    While Vector prime was merely an introduction of new Yuuzhan Vong era of Star Wars univere (altough left many of readers scared by certain death), Onslaught unleashes te full potential of NJO describing new arch enemies as something completely different than what readers have been used to. As a Star Wars space tech enthusiast I really apreciated Stackpole's focus on Rogue Squadron. Some might miss the "classic" star wars character, but I consider it as a good thing, because the book is set about While Vector prime was merely an introduction of new Yuuzhan Vong era of Star Wars univere (altough left many of readers scared by certain death), Onslaught unleashes te full potential of NJO describing new arch enemies as something completely different than what readers have been used to. As a Star Wars space tech enthusiast I really apreciated Stackpole's focus on Rogue Squadron. Some might miss the "classic" star wars character, but I consider it as a good thing, because the book is set about 21 years after movies, so it is logical, that younger generation is now the main moving force of upcoming events. It's much darker than any other Star Wars (this trend shall continue trough all NJO books) and it's exactly what the name of series is - NEW Jedi Order, its new star wars, new era, new characters and a lot of changes in the universe. If you can cope with it, you'll enjoy the ride, but if you like SW as you know it from the movies and don't want to change your view to the universe this book (and any other from this series) isn't for you. For anyone else (who didn't buy it yet) it's a buy!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    This is the first Stackpole book I've read and he's a decent hammer and nails kind of writer. He doesn't get flowery with his prose but he is willing to ask some deeper questions about the role of the Jedi in the universe. This series "The New Jedi Order" is very interesting in that the younger generation (Skywalker and Solo children) are trying to find themselves while living in the tall shadows cast by their parents. They ask questions about the force that Luke and Leia didn't have the luxury This is the first Stackpole book I've read and he's a decent hammer and nails kind of writer. He doesn't get flowery with his prose but he is willing to ask some deeper questions about the role of the Jedi in the universe. This series "The New Jedi Order" is very interesting in that the younger generation (Skywalker and Solo children) are trying to find themselves while living in the tall shadows cast by their parents. They ask questions about the force that Luke and Leia didn't have the luxury asking as they were too busy saving the universe. But now the next generation's time is coming to face a great evil and will they be up to the task? As I said in my comments while reading it, the Yuuzhan Vong are some of the best villains ever seen in the Star Wars universe. If only Lucas would had been willing to take a chance at a more mature storyline with his second trilogy. This series proves that the Star Wars universe has legs and the ability to stretch into more adult territory.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Seth

    Much like the previous book in the series, it’s better than I remembered.

  10. 5 out of 5

    April

    Second time around I enjoyed this book more the second time. I have always enjoyed the character of Corran Horn. I am sad he is not canon.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jay DeMoir

    uuuugh. im sorry. i just couldn’t do it anymore, i just didn’t care. this was boring AF. DNF at 24%

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meggie

    For 2021, I decided to reread Del Rey’s first attempt at a multi-author book series in the Star Wars universe: The New Jedi Order, which was published between 1999 and 2003. This shakes out to 19 novels, two eBook novellas, three short stories, and a tangentially-related prequel era novel. This week’s focus: the first book in the Dark Tide duology, Dark Tide: Onslaught by Michael A. Stackpole. SOME HISTORY: Michael A. Stackpole originally planned to write the Dark Tide trilogy, not duology, but the For 2021, I decided to reread Del Rey’s first attempt at a multi-author book series in the Star Wars universe: The New Jedi Order, which was published between 1999 and 2003. This shakes out to 19 novels, two eBook novellas, three short stories, and a tangentially-related prequel era novel. This week’s focus: the first book in the Dark Tide duology, Dark Tide: Onslaught by Michael A. Stackpole. SOME HISTORY: Michael A. Stackpole originally planned to write the Dark Tide trilogy, not duology, but the middle volume Siege was cancelled and its plot points mostly redistributed to Dark Tide II: Ruin. This move allowed Del Rey to stretch James Luceno’s Agents of Chaos from one book to two. Dark Tide: Onslaught made it to number fourteen on the New York Times paperback bestseller list for two straight weeks--from the week of February 20 to the week of February 27, 2000, and was on the NYT list for three weeks. MY RECOLLECTION OF THE BOOK: I remembered around half of this book. Parts of this story--Anakin’s time with Mara on Dantooine and Jacen’s misadventures on Belkadan--felt very familiar to me, but other aspects (like Jaina joining the Rogues) didn’t trigger that déjà vu feeling. PRINCESS LEIA COSTUME COUNT: I stopped tallying up costumes in the second half of the Bantam era books, because it became too sad when there were no notable outfits in a book. But Stackpole delivered for me! Leia wears a warrior-like ensemble of a cerulean tunic, black pants and boots, and an updo when she speaks before the Senate, and robes embroidered with waves when she appears before the council on Agamar. Corran Horn wears traditional Corellian Jedi clothes (his grandfathers would be proud), and even Ganner Rhysode sports spiffy Jedi robes. Thumbs up on the costume count! A BRIEF SUMMARY: As refugees from Dubrillion flee from the incoming Yuuzhan Vong forces, our Jedi heroes find themselves tested by a relentless foe determined to forever smother the light of the New Republic… THE CHARACTERS: Since Stackpole breaks the characters up into various teams, I thought I’d tackle them group by group. First up was Luke Skywalker and his nephew Jacen Solo. I actually like Jacen’s philosophical questioning and searching, as it feels very apropos for a sixteen year old Jedi. Jacen’s trying to reconcile his view of the Force and his role within the Jedi Order, and this book shakes his confidence in his viewpoint a little. Luke is still attempting to unite his Jedi Order and instate a supervisory Jedi Council, so in Dark Tide: Onslaught he recalls all the Jedi back to Yavin IV and sends them off on fact-finding missions. He assigns Jacen and himself perhaps the most difficult one: returning to Belkadan to discover why the Yuuzhan Vong terraformed the world, and for what purpose. As soon as they arrive, it becomes obvious that the Vong are using the planet as a biotech factory for their coralskippers and dovin basals, and that the Vong are also using slave labor. Jacen wants to save the slaves; Luke argues for caution; and after having a vision of himself freeing the slaves, Jacen heads out to handle everything solo. Except his vision doesn’t come true, and he ends up captured by the Vong and facing the same fate as the slaves. Luke gets two very good action scenes in this book, and the first is his rescue of Jacen. He uses two lightsabers (I love that!!), it’s an amazing sequence, but he’s completely drained afterwards. The downside to Luke’s realizations about the Force in the Hand of Thrawn duology is that while he receives more guidance from the Force if he forgoes the overuse of brute force feats, those great outlays of power completely wipe him out. Likewise, he’s able to destroy a Vong craft during the Battle of Dantooine by using the Force to manipulate the dovin basals, but he passes out afterwards. There’s definite limitations to his Force abilities now. Mara Jade is paired off with her nephew Anakin Solo. Mara and Anakin go to Dantooine in hopes that she can recuperate from her mysterious illness, and (rather like Luke in Vision of the Future) Anakin comes to some revelations about how and when to use the Force. Mara is a patient teacher, and Anakin learns that some things (like setting up tents and chopping firewood) are better to do yourself. I found it a little strange that after struggling physically for so much of the book, Mara was able to help Leia hunt Vong saboteurs in the refugee camp, but I can excuse that as a plot necessity. And Stackpole reintroduces one of his most popular characters, Corran Horn. After the Hand of Thrawn duology, he has quit Rogue Squadron and become a Jedi full-time; I found him unbelievably obnoxious in Rogue Squadron, but he’s mellowed out in the intervening years and books. I actually like him at this point! He’s paired off with Ganner Rhysode, one of Kyp Durron’s proteges. Ganner uses the Force for everything and thinks that he knows better than anyone else, so Corran (gently) tries to point out the errors of that. They’re dispatched to check on some archaeologists, discover the Yuuzhan Vong, and barely get out alive. Leia appears before Borsk Fey’lya and the Senate to ask for support against the Yuuzhan Vong, and is pretty much turned away. Instead, she heads off with Elegos A’Kla (the Caamasi Senator), her daughter Jaina, and the scientist Danni Quee to request aid from Agamar and then check in on Lando’s operation on Dubrillion. The Vong have decimated Lando’s world, and he decides to abandon Dubrillion; fortunately Rogue Squadron and Admiral Kre’fey appear in the nick of time to assist with the evacuation. Elegos sees the destruction caused by the Vong, Leia helps with the refugees, Jaina joins Rogue Squadron, and Danni starts to develop her Force skills. While I loved Leia’s scene in the Senate--she’s frustrated and angry, but she stays calm and composed--I was not as pleased with how she guilt-tripped Gavin Darklighter into adding Jaina to Rogue Squadron. I felt like she was a little too combative, and should have instead focused on Jaina’s own merits. But I was so glad for Jaina, because she’s an amazing pilot and she’s already contributed a lot to the squadron. I had forgotten she joined in this book, and instead thought it happened in Dark Tide II: Ruin. I’m happy to see that Gavin is happy and thriving after his sad ending in Isard's Revenge. He was so serious about being a father that he adopted two orphans! He married the social worker who helped him with the adoption! He has five kids now and he’s the commander of Rogue Squadron after the old guard retired! Good for you, Gavin. (I also strongly suspect that Admiral Kre’fey’s unorthodox teacher at the Bothan Martial Academy was Asyr Sei’lar under her new identity, but that’s just speculation.) We don’t get anything from the Yuuzhan Vong perspective until the epilogue, so while they remain a huge threat, their designs and desires are unknown. The main opposition to an active, effective war effort against the Vong comes in the form of Borsk Fey’lya and the Senate. Borsk is leery of committing to any action, distrusts the Jedi, and suspects Leia of trying to retake power. It’s frustrating to see this ineffective response on the part of the New Republic, but it also contributes to the feeling of “scrappy fighters, lacking resources, against an impossible foe”--Rebels vs. the evil Empire in essence if not in name. ISSUES: I felt like we missed out on some battle scenes, either for suspense purposes or to keep the book to a manageable length. Leia, Jaina, and Danni arrive on Dubrillion only to find that the Vong have been continuously attacking it and Lando is evacuating his people. They engage the Vong so the refugee ships can escape, but we don’t see much of it. Likewise, we see a lot of what Luke and Jacen and Anakin are facing during the Battle of Dantooine, but we only find out after the fact about Rogue Squadron losing half their pilots and the uglies' squadrons being decimated. Luke & Jacen and Corran & Ganner’s plots were initially too similar for me. They both discover that the Vong are using slaves, Jacen/Ganner argue that they should free them while Luke/Corran say that they’re unprepared. No slaves are freed! Fortunately they diverged later on, but it left me wondering why both pairing needed to cover the same ground--it was a little too repetitive. I wish we could have seen some of the other Jedi missions, but I understand why Stackpole chose to omit them. (Not every book needs to be 600+ pages like Star by Star!) I also questioned why no one has tried to parley with the Vong (sure, our heroes were attacked first, but Leia and Elegos are diplomats), but I know that will play more of a role in book 2. I also feel like Onslaught’s lack of a Vong POV (until the epilogue) made the villains feel more distant than in Vector Prime. Yomin Carr and Nom Anor were our introduction to the Vong, incomplete as that was, so it’s strange that in Onslaught we’re left completely in the dark about what they’re thinking and planning. Their society is entirely foreign to our heroes, and while we learned a little more about their culture--their callous use of slaves and their obsession with pain--we’re not any closer to understanding them. IN CONCLUSION: I thought Dark Tide: Onslaught was a good follow-up to Vector Prime, and I enjoyed following along with our different Jedi teams. It felt a little short, though, and I missed the presence of a Yuuzhan Vong perspective. (I'm hopeful in the end that my issues will be addressed in book 2!) Next up: a tangentially-related prequel era novel! Star Wars: Rogue Planet by Greg Bear. My YouTube review: https://youtu.be/9mhjwVI68Ao

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wade Schacht

    Somewhat of a repeat of Vector Prime.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Michael A. Stackpole is back, so of course Corran Horn's present as well. But as has been discussed previously, I like Corran, even for all his Mary Sue-ness, so that's fine. Myriad groups are engaged in trying to figure out just who these Yuuzhan Vong are. Meanwhile, the Vong are invading, like, everywhere in the Outer Rim, including poor Lando's latest mining operation. This is another thing that distinguishes the Vong more than just about any EU antagonist since Thrawn. The conflict is galacti Michael A. Stackpole is back, so of course Corran Horn's present as well. But as has been discussed previously, I like Corran, even for all his Mary Sue-ness, so that's fine. Myriad groups are engaged in trying to figure out just who these Yuuzhan Vong are. Meanwhile, the Vong are invading, like, everywhere in the Outer Rim, including poor Lando's latest mining operation. This is another thing that distinguishes the Vong more than just about any EU antagonist since Thrawn. The conflict is galactic, and here in the second book for as bad as it is, it's still only just beginning. I have some memory of Lando disappearing for several books. At some point I had a conversation in the high school band room (where else would I find the other people nerdy enough to read EU books?) about what if it turned out that Lando is God? That is not germane to this review, I suppose. But Corran Horn: one reason why he's less potentially irritating is because he is in the company of a younger, more brash and cocky Jedi, namely Ganner. It's like he's looking ten or fifteen years into the past. So he ends up being the mature one, which is a little interesting. A decade later, my analogy to this is the reaction that Jaime Lannister has towards Ser Loras. There's always another young firebreather coming along.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Corey

    As I was looking through the timeline of books before I started reading the New Jedi Order series I was a bit disappointed that Michael Stackpole wrote the #2 and #3 books. The only Stackpole book I've read previously was I,Jedi and I was not a fan of that one at all. I considered skipping these books all together. I'm glad I didn't. The book read very quickly and was full of action and some good political drama as well. I think the book may suffer a bit because it's so early in the New Jedi Ord As I was looking through the timeline of books before I started reading the New Jedi Order series I was a bit disappointed that Michael Stackpole wrote the #2 and #3 books. The only Stackpole book I've read previously was I,Jedi and I was not a fan of that one at all. I considered skipping these books all together. I'm glad I didn't. The book read very quickly and was full of action and some good political drama as well. I think the book may suffer a bit because it's so early in the New Jedi Order series but I was a worth while read. My issues with the book are that the Yuuzhan Vong seem like they've been dumbed down since Vector Prime and we don't get to see any narration from their perspective until the end of the book. Another issue I had with the book is that Han is almost nonexistent. The good points about the book outweigh the bad however. I really enjoyed the scenes with the Solo kids and look forward to them expanding their roles in the war with the Yuuzhan Vong. All in all I would suggest not skipping this book if your a EU fan but keep in mind it's book 2 in a 19 book arc so there is a long way to go before resolution will be found.

  16. 5 out of 5

    William

    I appreciated the fact that Stackpole had so many issues to deal with here as he tried valiantly, and with great success, to portray what each one of the main characters was dealing with as the Yuuzhan Vong began their invasion. Anakin was still dealing with Chewie's death, Jaina's wish to fly with the Rogues, Jacen's exploration of the Force, Mara Jade's illness, Leia's confrontation with Fey'lya, etc. He added a Corran Horn and a Gavin Darklighter storyline too, and still pulled off an impress I appreciated the fact that Stackpole had so many issues to deal with here as he tried valiantly, and with great success, to portray what each one of the main characters was dealing with as the Yuuzhan Vong began their invasion. Anakin was still dealing with Chewie's death, Jaina's wish to fly with the Rogues, Jacen's exploration of the Force, Mara Jade's illness, Leia's confrontation with Fey'lya, etc. He added a Corran Horn and a Gavin Darklighter storyline too, and still pulled off an impressive, well paced novel. Of course, I am sure Dark Tide 2 will continue some of these storylines, and further develop the Yuuzhan Vong's brutal march into New Republic territory. I would have liked to have seen more of the novel from the perspective of the Force-absent aliens, but maybe Dark Tide 2 will give us more of them than this first effort. Great job.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    The new Jedi order completely outpaces anything in the Starwars genre. This series was Dark, exciting, fast paced, and inspired. The writing was fantastic and the level of philosophy and force history was unparalleled. If your a fan at any level of the Starwars Universe than this series is a must read. It is on my top 5 of all time for a series and I treasured every moment I spent in that time. But beware, this isn't your typical Starwars book, be ready for a level of intensity that you've never The new Jedi order completely outpaces anything in the Starwars genre. This series was Dark, exciting, fast paced, and inspired. The writing was fantastic and the level of philosophy and force history was unparalleled. If your a fan at any level of the Starwars Universe than this series is a must read. It is on my top 5 of all time for a series and I treasured every moment I spent in that time. But beware, this isn't your typical Starwars book, be ready for a level of intensity that you've never seen. May the force be with you.!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ren the Unclean

    This book does a lot of housekeeping for the New Jedi Order series, which makes it interesting, but not incredible. Most of the characters settle into their roles in this new series and there is a lot of character development that fleshes out the personalities of the major players, especially the solo children.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John

    Very good book.More about the Yuuzhan Vong invasion was revealed.All three of Han and Leias children play big roles in this book and Mara Jade Skywalker continues her battle against a undiagnosed life threatening illness.When master Jedi Luke Skywalker shows worry everyone should be afraid.Very afraid.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    Better than Stackpole's usual, though the hokey ending sort of ruins the whole thing. Better than Stackpole's usual, though the hokey ending sort of ruins the whole thing.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell George

    Vector Prime was both a massive fresh breath of air to me, someone who wasn't really happy with how the Sequel Trilogy turned out, and just a dang good book on it's own. With it marking the first volume in the long-running New Jedi Order series, I was chomping at he bit to continue, as I did in Dark Tide I: Onslaught. My expectations were high, I won't lie - after how engaging Vector Prime was, a mere prologue to the coming conflict, Onslaught was sure to be even more so. Well, yes and no. The gro Vector Prime was both a massive fresh breath of air to me, someone who wasn't really happy with how the Sequel Trilogy turned out, and just a dang good book on it's own. With it marking the first volume in the long-running New Jedi Order series, I was chomping at he bit to continue, as I did in Dark Tide I: Onslaught. My expectations were high, I won't lie - after how engaging Vector Prime was, a mere prologue to the coming conflict, Onslaught was sure to be even more so. Well, yes and no. The growing scale of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion is becoming clear - and the heroes of the New Republic are the only ones who believe it! And with the Republic already suspicious of the growing New Jedi Order, Luke and his allies spread out to try and see if what they defeated in the events of Vector Prime were all the Yuuzhan Vong forces consisted of - or perhaps merely the first wave of a far more terrible invasion. I felt this book did a much, much better job of fleshing out the younger generation of characters then Vector Prime did. Chief among these are Anakin - after the tragedy that struck him and Han in Vector Prime, seeing Anakin deal with what he blames himself for, and his personal growth, both within and with the Force, are a sight to see. His interactions with his aunt, Mara Jade, are also probably my favorite sections of the book, which is funny considering they are some of the quietest overall. Jacen also stands out once more, his complicated relationship with both The Force and his uncle Luke leading to a lot of interesting dialogue and some really chilling confrontations between Jacen and members of the Yuzhan Vong. I was a little sad by how little of a role classic Star Wars characters played in this book, despite being main characters. Leia just feels exactly the same, running around trying to make allies, whilst Han and Lando do practically nothing - though in Han's case, this is perfectly reasonable. I understand the focus is a little more on the Solo children, but the under utilization of the classic cast doesn't feel great if they are there in the events. At the very least, Luke gets to show off just how powerful he is as a Jedi Grand Master, though it's interesting to see how an aged Luke Skywalker is, making me think of how we saw him in The Last Jedi. Additionally, the Yuuzhan Vong are again depicted brilliantly, being a un-understandable, monstrous, conflict-driven race that seems unstoppable. On one hand, I miss the Yuuzhan Vong POV chapters that were present in Vector Prime, but at the same time, this kind of 'barrier' to understanding their culture just heightens the terror and danger they're capable of. The language, culture, galaxy barrier that separates our heroes from them feels immeasurable, and I think the lack of POV from them actually works in their favor. Everything we learn of them in this book feels like a guess - how their technology functions, how they gather slaves, and it's all building somewhere, somewhere that feels very, very exciting to head towards. The action also really ramps up on the ground within Onslaught. It was very clear this was a different author to Vector Prime, in a very good way. The person-to-person combat seems to flow much better in Onslaught, or at least I could picture it in my head a lot more clearly. Chief among these scenes in Anakin's desperate defense and retreat from the Yuuzhan Vong on Datooine, and probably stands out as one of my favorite sequences in the series so far. Several big action sequences also feel very 'un-Star Wars', in the best way - the desperate defense on Dantooine against the Vong, with Jedi cutting down slaves en-masse feels brutal, disturbing, and akin to madness - just like it should be. I think the biggest issue with Onslaught is how far it divides it focus. It follows four main storylines - Luke and Jacen visiting Belkaden to investigate the Vong, Leia's attempts to warn the galaxy of the encroaching threat, Mara Jade and Anakin Solo's relaxation and recuperation on Dantooine, and Coran Horn's investigation of Bimmiel. Easily the weakest of the four are the Mimmiel subplot; whilst I really enjoyed Coran as a character, and the final chapter of his section is among the best in the book, the entire storyline feels tacked on and more filler then anything - what we learn of the Vong is shown pretty much through Luke and Jacen on Belkaden, and it really is just a few extra dozen pages of showing how horrifying the Vong are as an opponent. There's also this niggling feeling that Onslaught has a bit of a 'been there, done that' feel to it. Much of it feels like the events of Vector Prime playing out again once more, just with a little more 'umph' to it. This isn't really an awful thing, but it just makes the events of Onslaught have a lot less impact, at least until the final, chaotic battle against the Vong takes place, which is an amazing, insane mess of combat across two fronts against impossible odds. Onslaught is a worthy follow-up to Vector Prime and really sets the stage for the rest of the New Jedi Order - it just feels like a lot of what happened in Vector Prime happened once more here, and a little bit of fodder could've been chopped away here and there. Regardless, it's still great reading, with fantastic action and really solid characterization, and still encapsulates a lot of what seems to make the EU such a haven for so many people - and just like before, I can't wait to get my hands onto even more of the EU!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jesús Jr.

    Dark Tide I: Onslaught is the second book of the New Jedi Order and the first book of the Dark Tide Duology . While Vector Prime set up the Yuuzhan Vong, Onslaught continues to establish the new fearsome enemies to the galaxy. The book takes a slightly more diplomatic approach, with focusing on the Senate not believing Leia’s claims of the invading force. Due to this, an investigation is launched that Senator Elegos A’kla oversees along with a Bothan admrial and Gavin Darklighter, commander of R Dark Tide I: Onslaught is the second book of the New Jedi Order and the first book of the Dark Tide Duology . While Vector Prime set up the Yuuzhan Vong, Onslaught continues to establish the new fearsome enemies to the galaxy. The book takes a slightly more diplomatic approach, with focusing on the Senate not believing Leia’s claims of the invading force. Due to this, an investigation is launched that Senator Elegos A’kla oversees along with a Bothan admrial and Gavin Darklighter, commander of Rogue Squardon. The three work with Leia to prove the Yuuzhan Vong are indeed a threat. Luke also seeking prove just that sends Jedi across the galaxy in areas that are believed to be Yuuzhan Vong targets. Overall, Onslaught is paced well, with a lot of different points of views. The breath of fresh air comes in the form of Gavin Darklighter, who has no force powers what so ever, he’s a good pilot and a great commander. How he handles the threat and the stress that comes with being a leader is a nice counter balance to the larger than life characters of Luke and the other Jedi. On that note, following two Jedi, Corran and Ganner on their journey of investigation is quite enjoyable. The two are at odds in their views on how the Jedi should serve the galaxy, but work together to achieve the same goal. There is a noticble lack of Han Solo in Onslaught. He appears near the beginning in a drunken state over the lose of his best friend, Chewbacca. Leia leaves him behind to prove the Yuuzhan Vong are a threat and seek aid for the Outer Rim. This seems rather odd, but at the same time Leia is justified in leaving, though it still seems tactless. There are no Yuuzhan Vong points of view until the end, where a brief glimpse of the new Yuuzhan Vong commander is introduced. With that said, Onsalught is a fun adventure in the New Jedi Order. The Yuuzhan Vong are becoming more of a threat. It’s revealed the Yuuzhan Vong had sent scout some fifty of so years before, which adds a layer of mystery and intrigue to their invasion. While there is another book in the Dark Tide duology, Book 1 was a fun step into introducing other characters to the crisis unfolding.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hidekisohma

    If there's one thing I will say about this book i will say this. If you're looking for a be all, end all battle book, or even book with a whole lotta stuff going on....this probably isn't the book for you. What i WILL tell you, is that this is a setup book. What i mean by that is that they're using this book to setup stuff in the future for a bigger more epic battle with the bug people. Nothing really gets resolved in this book. There's a few battles here and there, but overall, it lacks the big If there's one thing I will say about this book i will say this. If you're looking for a be all, end all battle book, or even book with a whole lotta stuff going on....this probably isn't the book for you. What i WILL tell you, is that this is a setup book. What i mean by that is that they're using this book to setup stuff in the future for a bigger more epic battle with the bug people. Nothing really gets resolved in this book. There's a few battles here and there, but overall, it lacks the big feeling of other star wars books, or the character driven stories such as the boba fett trilogy. The book breaks into around five different groups - Male Solo kid and Mara - Male solo kid and luke - Female solo kid and Leia - two random jedis i don't care about - Bigg's (that mustache guy who exploded in a new hope) cousin with rogue squadron (yes really) The book is then basically cut into five as the five different groups go off and do their own things. It's about as interesting as it sounds at times. Leia has to deal with the republic not listening to her about the evil bugs, all three solo kids are having existential crisises about who they really are, and exciting stuff like that. I can tell this is leading up to some crazy stuff later on, but overall, by about 10% into the book you're like "ah, okay, it's one of these books." In the beginning you know that Han isn't going to be a part of it because he's super sad about a moon squishing Chewie in the previous book. he shows up for a few pages, is sad and doesn't show up again. A good chunk of the book is dedicated to the story of Corran and...other jedi whose name i can't remember. They're both pretty...not great characters who aren't very interesting. I know they were probably in other books and have a rich history or something, but i read a lot of the extended EU and i don't remember them. That goes to show how memorable they are. Overall, the book's all right. I wasn't too enthralled with it, but it wasn't BAD as some of the other star wars books can be. hopefully Dark Tides II which this book spends a lot of time setting up will be better. 3/5.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Darryl Dobbs

    The storyline got a lot better as I started to get used to the Yuuzhan Vong, an alien race who could not be felt in the Force and who didn’t use technology, but rather living ships and living implements for communication and weaponry. This is the first real story of the new Jedi order together and fighting a common evil. That includes an older Corran Horn, and a grown-up Kyp Durran. The Solo children are more deeply involved in ‘real’ Jedi business. A very exciting story with plenty of action, t The storyline got a lot better as I started to get used to the Yuuzhan Vong, an alien race who could not be felt in the Force and who didn’t use technology, but rather living ships and living implements for communication and weaponry. This is the first real story of the new Jedi order together and fighting a common evil. That includes an older Corran Horn, and a grown-up Kyp Durran. The Solo children are more deeply involved in ‘real’ Jedi business. A very exciting story with plenty of action, though some of the other obstacles (besides the Yuuzhan Vong) took things a little extreme. For example, the new chancellor is Fey’lya, who is a little too much of an annoyance. His hunger for power, as well as some of his friends on the council, takes it a little too far in their denial of what is happening in the galaxy. People aren’t quite so blind. The biggest problem I had with it though is the Jedi. There is a faction that is hungry for war and that faction sides with Kyp Durran. Their attitude is not only quite clearly a Sith attitude, but their behavior and whining borders that of children. They need to be reined in and disciplined, or simply booted from the Jedi order. They take it too far, letting their tempers take hold and lash out. But these are easy things to get past and enjoy what is developing into a great story.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    Good, but not great book. The upcoming "real" battle with the Vong's seems to be coming soon and this book does a nice job of setting it up. They really don't expand the Vong's in general thought. I liked some of the character development of the Solo kids although they are only 16 and 15 right? He treats them like they are 25 or something. The whole Jacen thinking Danni is hot or something is pretty much typical of what a 16 year old would think of a 21 year old girl. Makes sense, right? Well im Good, but not great book. The upcoming "real" battle with the Vong's seems to be coming soon and this book does a nice job of setting it up. They really don't expand the Vong's in general thought. I liked some of the character development of the Solo kids although they are only 16 and 15 right? He treats them like they are 25 or something. The whole Jacen thinking Danni is hot or something is pretty much typical of what a 16 year old would think of a 21 year old girl. Makes sense, right? Well implying the 21 year girl thinking a 16 year boy is a little bit weird... I just don't see that at all, no matter how good looking a Han and Leia kid would look like...just me??? Right... I am still not believing Danni was the lead scientist or person in charge of some sort of planet thing back in the Prime Vector book. Otherwise a few deaths of a couple of characters...oh not really... Although they finally handled Leia's bodyguard. I don't remember, which book they came to be with her originally, but finally it is put to rest and they don't have to mention it every once in a while that they are there in the shadows... So thank you for that. Other than that where is Han? Lando got a really small part and was annoyed that his shirt got ruined...really? And where is Chewie...oh never mind... I look forward to the next book Ruin.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Will

    Book 2 in the New Jedi Order series, continues to follow the New Republic's issue with a new enemy, the Yuuzhon Vong. Stackpole does a good job with a battle filled novel, with limited political and just jibber-jabber. Most of the SW characters are involved, except Han Solo, who is struggling with the death of his best friend from the previous novel. The Yuuzhon Vong are used very well, and not until the end of the novel, does one even have a name per se, with speaking. They remind me at times to Book 2 in the New Jedi Order series, continues to follow the New Republic's issue with a new enemy, the Yuuzhon Vong. Stackpole does a good job with a battle filled novel, with limited political and just jibber-jabber. Most of the SW characters are involved, except Han Solo, who is struggling with the death of his best friend from the previous novel. The Yuuzhon Vong are used very well, and not until the end of the novel, does one even have a name per se, with speaking. They remind me at times to the Borg in Star Trek, in their ruthlessness. The either kill, or capture and use slaves to help grow their ships. This seems a bit weird, as they do not use technology, but organisms for their ships and weapons. Political issues do involve the New Republics, Senators, and the military, and Leia. The Senate fills that the Vong are not really a threat, as they were thwarted earlier, but Leia and those who fought them are well aware of what force they pose. This leads to Leia and and a group of Jedi, plus a few military commanders, to head out to the Outer Rim. We visit several worlds, with a culmination of battle taking place on Dantooine. Again, may have said this in the review of Vector Prime, but Disney really messed up but not going down this storyline, as it the Empire vs Jedi, has gotten stale.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michael Joosten

    Continuing my New Jedi Order reread with the actual book I read first--largely because the local library has a copy of Dark Tide: Onslaught before it has a copy of Vector Prime. I read a lot of Star Wars in those days, but I didn't spend money on it, and I hadn't yet figured out inter-library loan, so my reading was a bit spotty, especially for anything post-dating Del Rey's replacement of Bantam as Lucasfilm's print publisher. Onslaught is generally superior to Vector Prime, though it's not a fa Continuing my New Jedi Order reread with the actual book I read first--largely because the local library has a copy of Dark Tide: Onslaught before it has a copy of Vector Prime. I read a lot of Star Wars in those days, but I didn't spend money on it, and I hadn't yet figured out inter-library loan, so my reading was a bit spotty, especially for anything post-dating Del Rey's replacement of Bantam as Lucasfilm's print publisher. Onslaught is generally superior to Vector Prime, though it's not a fair comparison because a.) Vector Prime had a lot more heavy lifting to do as the first book of the new era and b.) there was no Corran Horn in Vector Prime, and the New Rogue Squadron Order is part of what I love about Michael A. Stackpole's contributions to this era (interestingly, I'm almost positive that this was my ACTUAL first encounter with Rogue Squadron, other than in the Thrawn trilogy--the Rogue Squadron series being one that got inter-library-loaned later, and my first encounter with those books had me knowing what would happen to Corran Horn and Gavin Darklighter).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christian Santos

    Okay, so Vector Prime is justified for its great story telling, but what about veteran author Michael Stackpole's change on the story created by R.A. Salvatore? Will I be able to justify much? Let me sum it up, yeah. Mostly. The first book of the Dark Tide duology, Onslaught covers the massive invasion of the Yuuzhan Vong on the certain undefended parts of the galaxy- making their onslaught look like one hell of a galactic standpoint that desperately needs the bumbling council's decision to enac Okay, so Vector Prime is justified for its great story telling, but what about veteran author Michael Stackpole's change on the story created by R.A. Salvatore? Will I be able to justify much? Let me sum it up, yeah. Mostly. The first book of the Dark Tide duology, Onslaught covers the massive invasion of the Yuuzhan Vong on the certain undefended parts of the galaxy- making their onslaught look like one hell of a galactic standpoint that desperately needs the bumbling council's decision to enact all hell on the latest threat- but of course in Star Wars history, the government is nearly "BAD" in terms of such. The book isn't all glitz and glamour somehow- it's pretty mature for its stature and all out dialogue is bombarded here. No eye-popping sequences much, the story's gist is summarized through a series of talks, and the inclusion of a splendid action sequence in the end is alright for me. Now, I am not saying this is a terrible novel. It really isn't. It can get quite boring at times, but I managed to read it all for the sake of reading it- for the continuation of the novel I came to like (Vector Prime, natch). But do read unless you're not into talky-talky sequences.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Anderson

    I had some slight doubts going into Onslaught. Between the disappointing comic version of Rogue Squadron and the average reviews of other readers, I feared Stackpole was going to drop the ball, so to speak, on only the second novel in The New Jedi Order series and completely undermine what R.A. Salvatore established with Vector Prime. Thankfully, it’s safe to say that those fears were unfounded. Onslaught is a worthy successor to Vector Prime and easily carries the story into the next book. Onsla I had some slight doubts going into Onslaught. Between the disappointing comic version of Rogue Squadron and the average reviews of other readers, I feared Stackpole was going to drop the ball, so to speak, on only the second novel in The New Jedi Order series and completely undermine what R.A. Salvatore established with Vector Prime. Thankfully, it’s safe to say that those fears were unfounded. Onslaught is a worthy successor to Vector Prime and easily carries the story into the next book. Onslaught may not be as deep as the first book in the series, cutting out the importance of some characters (Han and Danni, mostly) and yes, the Yuuzhan Vong are reduced to a mindless horde of killers instead of the society that Salvatore set up, but in all honesty, I was ok with these choices. We already know why Han is nearly MIA this entire story and the Vong’s background and militaristic background so there was really no need to rehash it all over again. Instead, Stackpole chooses to move the story forward and not dwell on things that readers have already been informed of.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Abe Froman

    After a very disappointing first book of New Jedi Order, I wasn’t sure I would be committing to the series. I’m still not sure, but Onslaught was a solid installment in the story. Stackpole’s writing is quick and doesn’t overly focus on detail, making this a quick read. The low point for me was definitely the Corran chapters. It didn’t heavily affect the overall plot, and if they had been taken out altogether, nothing would have changed. It is more a matter of personal preference, but I enjoy cha After a very disappointing first book of New Jedi Order, I wasn’t sure I would be committing to the series. I’m still not sure, but Onslaught was a solid installment in the story. Stackpole’s writing is quick and doesn’t overly focus on detail, making this a quick read. The low point for me was definitely the Corran chapters. It didn’t heavily affect the overall plot, and if they had been taken out altogether, nothing would have changed. It is more a matter of personal preference, but I enjoy character work in Star Wars more than I enjoy heavily detailed space battles. Given that Stackpole has mostly written x-wing books, I knew that space battles were his specialty and I’d have to really concentrate to stop my eyes from glazing over. I was surprised at how well he did with interpersonal scenes. His Luke and Mara scenes melted my ice cold heart. I will give NJO a couple more books before I decide if I want to commit fully. I give credit to this series for introducing a new kind of villain to the Star Wars universe.

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