Review: Star Wars (The High Republic): Defy the Storm by Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton

Defy the Storm (Star Wars: The High Republic)Defy the Storm by Tessa Gratton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Defy the Storm is another action-packed installment to the High Republic era of the Star Wars Canon.

Known as the Golden Age of the Jedi, the High Republic era predates all previously released Canon materials.

This is a YA story, co-written by two veteran Star Wars contributors, Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton, and is considered part of Phase III of the High Republic roll-out.

To put it in basic timeline order, at this point, the Nihil have destroyed the Starlight Beacon and have erected a barrier, the Stormwall, around territory they are now claiming as their own, an area known as the Occlusion Zone.

I got to know many of this era’s recurring characters more intimately through this novel, which I appreciated.

We follow multiple different perspectives, including Avon Starros, one of my favorite characters, Jedi Knight, Vernestra Rwoh, former frontier deputy, Jordanna Sparkburn, and the human physicist, Xylan Graf.

Efforts are made by this group to cross the Nihil Stormwall, in order to save any Republic members trapped on the other side. A top priority for rescue is Vern’s Padawan, Imri Cantaros, once thought lost on the Starlight Beacon.

I’ve read quite a few of the High Republic releases. Not all of them, but many. Enough to recognize the full cast of characters presented here and I loved being back with them.

Seeing them come together to work towards a common goal, fighting back against the Nihil, was very satisfying.

I particularly enjoyed the personal journeys that Avon and Vern went on over the course of the story. I feel like they both grew so much and learned a lot about themselves.

As mentioned above, Avon is one of my favorite characters and I easily stick by that after this installment. She’s still working to get out from under the shadow of things her mother, a former Galactic Empire Senator, has done and I just feel for her so much.

Avon’s mother is now on the side of the Nihil and it’s because of her actions they were able to successfully strike down the Starlight Beacon. I don’t blame Avon for wanting nothing to do with her anymore, still, that’s tough for a kid.

I had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook and as always, I would ABSOLUTELY recommend that format. If you’ve never listened to a Star Wars audiobook before, particularly the newer ones, you just have to do so.

It’s such an incredible listening experience. The sound effects, music and voice-work bring these stories to life. In fact, this one had so much action, it had be jumping at some of the intense sounds and moments.

Thank you to the publisher, Disney LucasFilms Press and Disney Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’ve been impressed with all of the High Republic materials that I have read.

It’s amazing to me how the authors for this era continue to bring all the heart to plots that are mainly action. It’s really interesting how much I am feeling for these characters and I love it. I can’t wait for more!!

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