“Survivor’s Quest” (Star Wars) by Timothy Zahn

Survivor's Quest book cover

Summary

Survivor’s Quest is a story in the Star Wars universe focused on an expedition by a combination of parties including the Empire (what remains of it), the New Republic (represented by Luke Skywalker and his wife and fellow jedi Mara Jade), and other alien cultures with their own territorial and historical reasons to be involved. The target of the expedition is a lost exploration and colony ship sent off in the days of the old Republic (with Anakin Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi initially present) meant to travel outside of the galaxy. The following includes some very minor spoilers.

Zahn is always a great writer, but some of his characters and plots don’t always live up to expectations. I have never found that to be the case when he is writing in the Star Wars universe. He takes characters old and new and breathes life into them. Here he focuses more on Mara Jade than in past stories, but nonetheless gives us the perspective of a number of characters, including Luke Skywalker, and several members of the new imperial 501st (also known as Empire of the Hand). The mystery and suspense is wonderful, even more so given the backdrop of Outbound Flight. ...

Survivor's Quest book coverSurvivor’s Quest is a story in the Star Wars universe focused on an expedition by a combination of parties including the Empire (what remains of it), the New Republic (represented by Luke Skywalker and his wife and fellow jedi Mara Jade), and other alien cultures with their own territorial and historical reasons to be involved. The target of the expedition is a lost exploration and colony ship sent off in the days of the old Republic (with Anakin Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi initially present) meant to travel outside of the galaxy. The following includes some very minor spoilers.

Zahn is always a great writer, but some of his characters and plots don’t always live up to expectations. I have never found that to be the case when he is writing in the Star Wars universe. He takes characters old and new and breathes life into them. Here he focuses more on Mara Jade than in past stories, but nonetheless gives us the perspective of a number of characters, including Luke Skywalker, and several members of the new imperial 501st (also known as Empire of the Hand). The mystery and suspense is wonderful, even more so given the backdrop of Outbound Flight. If you’ve read Outbound Flight, you know what happened, but you still don’t know what to expect. The connections between that story and this one are numerous, but they never feel forced. For instance, Luke and Mara never actually find out what exactly happened on outbound flight, nor why a Skysprite (which delivered Obi-wan and Anakin to the ship) was on board. So some questions are left without answers for you to consider for yourself. The action is also quite enjoyable, with quick thinking and tactics from multiple perspectives and with various skill sets, from Jedi to Storm Troopers to Chiss soldiers, and so on. I only hope that Zahn will continue returning to Star Wars, as he always seems to have something to add to its universe, characters, and to perspectives on the force and Jedi ways.

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