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A novel by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta (1998, Boulevard Books)
Book 5 of Young Jedi Knights: Fall of the Diversity Alliance
24 years after Star Wars: A New Hope

The young Jedi attempt to destroy the Emperor's storehouse of plagues before the Diversity Alliance obtains them.



3 stars

Read April 1st to 5th, 1999  
    Truly engaging, though it did start to flounder near the end.  Again, the authors end the series with a full book of battles.  The characters seemed true to form, and the story was well written.  I do have some doubts that the plague would not have infected everyone in the station by the time they left, but that's drama.  Also, timing seemed a little off at the beginning.  Ah, well.  Pretty good for the end of the series.

The entire book, for the most part, once again takes place at one location, the Emperor's storehouse.  The children first get to speak to the New Republic Senate.  They tell of their ordeals on Ryloth, but several senators don't believe them.  It is possible that the kids were simply meddling, and were subjected to just punishments.  So a commission is sent to Ryloth to check it out. 

The commission consists of Luke, Lusa, Sirra, and several other alien species.  They are shown normal activities, legal enterprise, and voluntary labour in the spice mines.  Once the senators in the commission are satisfied that nothing is wrong here, Sirra breaks into a container labeled medical supplies to show them the weapons, similar to what Lowie did for her.  A blaster battle takes place, but Luke is able to stop it fairly quickly.  The Twi'lek Jacen and Tenel Ka found takes charge, and seems destined to become the new leader. 

Meanwhile, Zek uses the tracer he planted on Bornan Thul's ship to track him down, and Raynar comes along to convince his dad to help.  When Boba Fett and another bounty hunter show up, the other young Jedi also try to help.  Unfortunately, Boba Fett slices into Thul's computer, and gets the location of the storehouse from there.  It turns out that Thul went there to try and destroy the place, but couldn't.  But he was stupid enough not to erase the coordinates from his databank. 

They all go to the storehouse, and set up detonators at critical junctions.  As if the Force could show them where these junctions were!  But the Diversity Alliance shows up in the middle of their job.  Lowie is forced to fight the Trandoshan he nearly killed in the previous book.  They nearly release some plague onto each other, but Lowie ends up killing the beast. 

Rabba is in charge of the fleet, which is decimated by the New Republic fleet in a space battle.  They are finally able to destroy the storehouse, but not before Rabba rescues Nola Tarkona, who has been infected by many plagues, for many species, and who has a sample of the human plague. 

Rabba takes Tarkona to a deserted planet to die, finally clear in her conscience that she did not let the plague get released.  She has been infected, too, but somehow manages to defeat it.  Instead of killing herself, because she could be still carrying the plague, she decides to wait it out, and return someday. 

I find that irresponsible on her part.  The authors treat it as if this is the end, when there is still a large threat present. 

Raynar's father dies in the plague storehouse, because he was infected.  Boba Fett shows up, hired to get Raynar to safety.  IG-88 also shows up, having been reprogrammed to save Bornan Thul.  He nearly releases the plague into the whole station in his single-mindedness. 

But all seems to end well.  The Diversity Alliance has been shattered, and a new commission has been established, where no species will work to harm another.  I think that's the largest delusion.


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