This review is going to be a little different, as the reviewer I have to get something off my chest first before diving into the latest book in The High Republic‘s second phase. This series was teased all through 2020 as Project Luminous. When it was finally announced what the project was going to entail, I was excited. I love the Jedi and the thought of seeing them at their peak was something I was ready for. As we got closer, my excitement grew because the art for the series looked fantastic. Then came the release of the first book, Light of the Jedi. I was disappointed. The book was just too cluttered with characters and it felt like being thrown in the deep end of a pool with no idea how to swim. The Mandalorian had created a blueprint for how to tell new Star Wars stories with characters you did not know, start off small and progressively build out from there. Sadly, The High Republic took the complete opposite approach.
This series also had another issue, it was taking place between the adult line of books, young adult, middle grade, comics and even picture books. Every subsequent release seemed to have more characters that made caring about any of them difficult. It may be cliché but to say but it was like being in front of a fire hydrant.
As the first phase of the series came to a close it was announced that the second phase would go back another 150 years into the past. So, every character you’d finally started to get a sense of, every story line you’d finally gotten a chance to get your head around was just gone. To make matters worse, the first two books in phase two have been frustratingly uninteresting and dull.
Enter Convergence by Zoraida Córdova. This third book in the second phase of The High Republic has finally delivered what I’d hoped this series would be from the beginning. Córdova has started off small. There are a manageable amount of characters in the book and even of those, she focuses on an even smaller core. Then, the story itself is classic Star Wars,taking a couple different genres that readers are all familiar with and using them to craft her tale. And if that was not enough, the themes of the book are the heart of George Lucas’ creation, the fight between selfishness and selflessness on a micro and macro scale.
For this reviewer, The High Republic series should have begun like this. The story is compelling and drew me in with each successive page. The characters felt real and made me want more of them, for the first time in the series. Phase two is a third over and this is the first time I’ve felt invested in this series at all. This story has not only done the job of telling a good tale but has also set up well, what is coming next! I’m thankful to Zoraida Córdova for helping me finally find an “in” to The High Republic, I hope the upcoming stories will continue the trend.
I do have some minor quibbles with the book and they come at the end of the story. I hope that the way it ends does not mean we don’t see the main Jedi protagonist again (she was a character I want to see more of). Even with these minor frustrations, Convergence is rated 4 out of 5 stars.
This review was completed with a review copy of Convergence from Del Rey Publishing.
This review originally appeared on The Star Wars Report.