Review of Omen

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Fate of the Jedi: Omen, the second novel in the FOTJ series, was released today. As such, it’s without further ado that I present to you our spoiler-free, for the most part, review of Omen by new EUC writer Chad. Take it away, Chad.

Chad reviews “Omen” by Christie Golden
I have a confession to make: I actually thought this book was due to come out a week ago. I was driving to my local Borders to pick up the book and behold when I got there it wasn’t available. So I waited a week, looking forward to the release of the book, anticipating it so much I couldn’t fall asleep until around midnight Monday night. This morning, I waited until the Borders opened and then made my way inside to pick my copy, eagerly anticipating an afternoon of reading the new book. What I didn’t know was that my afternoon reading “Omen” would only last three hours.

Mrs. Golden has crafted what can certainly be described as a fast-moving tale, one that doesn’t take long to get involved in and a book that you certainly don’t want to put down. The problem with such a book is that when it only measures 236 pages, it doesn’t take long to finish that book. I felt by the time I had finished the book that surely there had to be an extra hundred pages that weren’t bound into my copy because no Star Wars book should ever be this short. With that said, onward to the review.

Please, please be aware, a few spoilers are ahead.

The book can be divided into three parts: events unfolding with Jedi going crazy, Luke and Ben’s quest to follow Jacen’s path, and the arrival of the Tribe (as revealed in the Lost Tribe of the Sith: Precipice) . The Jedi spend most of the book trying to keep the Jedi Order from falling apart as two more Jedi go crazy, including another Horn, Jysella Horn.

In addition, the apprehension of Jedi Knight Seff Hellin in “Outcast” by Jaina Solo’s group blows up in Jaina’s face and helps give new power to Admiral Daala. Finally, Han and Leia find themselves in another situation in a public place having to protect Allana (didn’t we see this in “Millennium Falcon?).

A new villain pops up to thwart those Jedi on Coruscant, though this one doesn’t have access to the Force or a Star Destroyer in orbit. No, this villain is a reporter named Javis Tyrr, who can best be described as Chris Hansen from To Catch A Predator with a little Perez Hilton mixed in. Heck, even when I say villain I am probably overselling him; he is more of a nuisance than anything. Javis follows the Jedi, especially Jaina Solo, everywhere and proves to cause the most damage to the Jedi Order in the book. Something tells me that we will see him in future books, mainly because others in the book seem to have plans for him.

Luke and Ben continue their investigation of Jacen’s travels from after the Yuuzhan Vong War, eventually winding up with the Aing-Tii. While this part of the book reveals much of Jacen’s time amongst the Aing-Tii, it doesn’t present the same type of tension that was present regarding the Baran Do Sages from “Outcast”. Instead, much time and attention is paid to another person who once lived amongst the Aing-Tii, though I won’t give away the name of this person (since I can’t completely ruin the book for those who haven’t read it).

Finally there are the Tribe, our lost Sith who seem to be shaping up as our primary antagonist for this series.

By the end of the book, we have our eyes and ears into this group of Sith, a female named Vestara Khai, and we begin to see what their overall goal is, which of course to rule the galaxy (what, you thought it was going to be ushering in peace or building schools for orphans?). They also have another goal, which is to kill Luke Skywalker, which is again not really a shocker. But will they live up to the hype of being a primary antagonist? If the writers are smart, devote another book to building them up. Have them clash with the One Sith hiding on Korriban. Really play with these guys.

End Spoilers.
So what did I find enticing in the book?  I like the progression of the Tribe. I found this group of Sith, who have been marooned for five thousand years, to be interesting in the sense that they have been shut out from the galaxy for so long and how their society has progressed. It was also interesting to note the similarities between the Sith and their servants in “Omen” and how the first Sith Lords interacted with their servants in all of those Knights of the Old Republic comics.

I also liked the scenes on Coruscant. I feel as though the tension between the GA and the Jedi Order has been well thought out and is developing nicely. My only concern is that bygones will be bygones when the Sith arrive, but we will have to see. I also liked the addition of a reporter being such an antagonist towards the Jedi. When we live in a society where the media seems to be everywhere and sometimes ends up creating the news, it was nice to see how that would play out in the Star Wars universe.

But, what did I hate?
I loathed the Han/Leia/Allana segment when they are at the equivalent of a 4H fair. I understand that they are in charge of looking after Allana, but do they always need to be in peril? It is beginning to feel as though they (the editors) don’t really know what to do with her. Whereas she was a good focal point of the Legacy of the Force series, here she feels lost.

I loathed the handling of Corran Horn in this book. Don’t get me wrong, Corran is in a tough spot. But this is a guy who at one point had to go save his wife, at one point had to hold his father’s body in his arms as his father died, who at one point had to go on the run from Imperials, who…. you get the point.

Jedi Master Horn has been put through the ringer more than once and I get it that his children are involved, but to reduce him to a Jedi who nearly gets into a shouting match with other Masters during a meeting, to reduce him to a prisoner of his emotions, I don’t know if I see how the progression happened so quickly. (P.S. I,Jedi is my favorite Star Wars book, so maybe I am a little bias.)

Overall review:  Go out, buy it, read it, enjoy it. But it should have been longer. I feel as though this was a filler book, not an essential book.  Final: 3 out of 5 lightsabers.

About the Author

Andrew Lupi is the founder of EUCantina. He started out with a simple forum, but converted his EU hub into a full website in 2007. He was one of the original hosts of our official podcast, EUCast, and was also a host of The EU Review. Andrew continues to provide advice and leadership for EUCantina.