We have no intention of surrendering-not now, not ever. You may win the occasional battle, Vorrik, but the Empire will always strike back.
-Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon of the Imperial Remnant
The New Republic is dead. Long live the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. (What a cumbersome name)
The war against the Yuuzhan Vong continues in Remnant; and for a change, it looks as if the good guys are beginning to get an edge. The Vong are now in the position of finding themselves spread pretty thin, and the Galactic Alliance is beginning to take advantage of that; at the same time, the Chief of State is concerned about overextending his forces for fear of being put in the same position. But the events of Destiny’s Way have convinced Luke Skywalker that there is an alternative to winning the war-an alternative that won’t involve genocide. While he remains unaware of it, it involves a world which his father visited, long ago-Zonama Sekot.
Our heroes, as a result, split off to perform two different missions. Han and Leia, along with Tahiri, Jaina, and Jag (along with a squadron of fighters) head out to fill in some communications gaps, to find out the state of the rest of the galaxy. Luke, Mara, Jacen, Danni Quee, and some Jedi head off to the Unknown Regions to see if they can find Zonama Sekot; but first, they want to make a couple of stops; the first of which involves attempting one more time to ask for an alliance with the Imperial Remnant. Meanwhile, Nom Anor is stuck on Yuuzhan’tar, a little bitter about his fall from grace (as it were); he quickly falls into a group of Shamed Ones, who have started a cult with a most surprising object of veneration.
To be honest, I didn’t find the Nom Anor portions of the book to be all that engrossing until the very end; he’s working to find a way back into positions of power, but I couldn’t really get a handle on how he expected to do that. However, his plan is typically self-serving, and audacious enough to have a chance-and it’ll really irritate the Supreme Overlord and just about everyone else. If there’s one aspect of this trilogy I’m really looking forward to, it’s seeing of Anor can pull the rabbit out of the hat and come up with something really insane!
Han and Leia’s mission illustrates the continuing dangers of the Yuuzhan Vong; while the Alliance is doing all right at the moment, worlds are still in terrible danger-illustrated when they visit the Koornacht Cluster, site of the Black Fleet Crisis (one of the less thrilling trilogies, in my humble opinion), a place that holds bad memories for Han. The parts of the mission which made me pay the most attention, though, is the change in the character of Tahiri; she hasn’t been quite the same since Anakin’s passing, but now she’s having problems that she can’t quite explain (or won’t), and they may have to do with Anakin, and they may have to do with the experiments that physically changed her. It’s an open question how this will all pan out-but early indications aren’t looking too good.
But the title of this book is Remnant, and it’s Luke’s mission that encompasses the greater part of the book. The Imperial Fleet is literally kicked out of their capital planet of Bastion as the Vong hit the Empire hard, including a serious injury to Grand Admiral Pellaeon. This means that the Jedi have to deal with the Moffs without Pellaeon’s help; Jacen reveals that he has a decent talent at diplomacy, although the Imperial Moffs aren’t exactly rational and receptive individuals. The heroes are drawn into the coming battle at Yaga Minor, which contains shipyards and is the retreat location of the Fleet. In spite of the danger, it also turns out to be a great opportunity to draw the Remnant into the Galactic Alliance as well.
Remnant proves to be a pretty solid start to the Force Heretic trilogy, with enough subplots rolling around the major plot that make me feel that the next couple of books will be just as good. The Galactic Alliance is beginning to find itself (it’s not there yet, but getting there), even though I mildly hate the name; and the heroes of the Star Wars saga are all on board with the story. And seeing that the end of the New Jedi Order books is coming up in November (well, at least the Vong war, anyway), I think we are in for a wild ride.