I’ve really enjoyed Michael Reaves and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff’s past tales of Jax Pavan and his merry band, so I was excited to pick up The Last Jedi. Series hero Jax Pavan has grown from a self-serious Jedi apprentice to appropriately grim, sometimes even dour knight via the Jedi Purge and a stint as a gumshoe. He is a likable and fallible character – more worrisome than his mentors, but then, he does have the weight of the galaxy on his shoulders. Another thing that keeps him from becoming a stock lead (who also happens to know Anakin Skywalker) is the way he visualizes the Force as ribbons of light or islands in an ocean.
The beginning of the novel sets up a lot of questions about time and space, with Reaves and Bohnhoff displaying an enjoyable menagerie of strange beings such as the Cephalons. I do wish some of this hadn’t been shown in flashbacks: it would have worked just as well as a prologue. Reaves – I’m singling him out here because he did it in the first few Coruscant Nights books as well – has a habit of placing flashbacks or three paragraphs of introspection right in the middle of another scene, which often feels disruptive and distracting.