Title: I, Jedi
Author: Michael Stackpole
This was my FIRST EVER buddy read with one of my best friends; the wonderful and amazing David Green!
I realized who I was. I saw my reflection in the mirror and heard the wind call to me. I had, since before I could remember remembering, always held as the highest possible ideal a commitment to serving others. My job was to provide others shelter and shade, to be a fortress against all the cruelty and wantonness out there. Selflessness is the only antidote to evil. It provides the light that destroys the dark…
This book takes place in the Star Wars extended Universe, after the Jedi Academy trilogy and features X-Wing pilot Corran Horn as he searches for his beloved kidnapped wife and taps into his past and the deepest reaches of his heart as he discovers who he is and what it means to be a Jedi of the New Republic. He faces many challenges and hardships as he begins his journey at Luke Skywalker’s newly established academy only to become quite frustrated with the way that Luke teaches. Thinking he could advance faster on his own, Corran leaves the Academy and strikes out on his own in a desperate attempt to recover his wife. But in addition to space pirates and other obstacles Corran must also attempt to stay away from the dark side of the Force.
This book was fantastic on many levels, but also felt lacking on some levels as well. While I loved the middle and the end, there were some parts in the middle that seemed to drag a little. It almost felt like this book could have been split into a duology rather than being one whole book. There were also aspects of Corran’s personality that irked me at times, mostly when he disagreed with Luke about how the academy was run and treated him almost condescendingly because of it. I mean, sure, there were some aspects of Luke’s teaching methods that I may have done differently but give Skywalker a break! It’s his first time in this type of role and Corran didn’t really have any right to correct Luke about it! Also, he is his Master (in regards to teaching) and to me that means that he commands a level of respect that Corran just did not give him. I am really big on the relationship between student and teacher when it comes to Jedi training so this bothered me.
The other aspect of Corran that really irked me was when towards the end of the book he was seriously considering sleeping with the pirate queen Tavira. Really? The whole book is about how much he loves his wife and wants to find her and then he gets his man bits in a knot because he wants to bang Tavira. And although he thinks that it would help his cause and help him get another step closer to recovering his wife, he also explicitly thinks that it is also because he just wants to get jiggy with it with this hot pirate. O__O; Now don’t get me wrong, I think infidelity can be romantic and hot if done in the right way (one of my favorite romance books after all is The Bridges of Madison County for chrissakes) but in this instance all it made me feel was that Corran was a bit of a hypocrite.
But. Aside from those little things I absolutely loved this book immensely. The action scenes were unique and very intense and kept me on the edge of my seat. There were also lots of ship battles in space which is something I always love to see in Star Wars books! I loved seeing some of my favorite characters return and play their part in this story, like Luke, Leia, Han, Wedge, and OF COURSE Mara Jade’s appearances which were some of my favorite moments in the book. I loved the parts that took place at the Jedi Academy and thought it was just so fascinating to see the students grasp their knowledge of the Force and become respectable knights. And it was great to see Corran’s transformation from kind of an impatient rogue to a Jedi with patience, humility, and compassion. The writing style was really great as well. I have never read anything by Michael Stackpole before and I found his style to be descriptive as well as engaging.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and hope to see more of Corran and also the Jedi Academy in the future!