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Into the Dark – 4 Star Book Review

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Welcome to the February 19th stop on the blog tour for Into the Dark by Claudia Gray, organized by Rockstar Book Tours. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, other reviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.

About the Book

Into the Dark
Star Wars: The High Republic
by Claudia Gray

Published 2 February 2021
Disney Lucasfilm Press

Genre: YA Science Fiction
Page Count: 425
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!

Long before the Clone Wars, the Empire, or the First Order, the Jedi lit the way for the galaxy in a golden age known as the High Republic!

Not everyone who hears the call to adventure wants to answer it…

Jedi Padawan Reath Silas loves adventure—reading about it, that is, not living it. Content to spend hours browsing the Jedi Archives on Coruscant, Reath dreams of being one of the great scholars of the Jedi Order. But Reath’s master, the well-respected and virtuous Jora Malli, has other plans: she’s taken a post at Starlight Beacon, the Republic’s shining new outpost on the edge of known space. As her Padawan, Reath must join her, whether he likes the idea or not. (And he most definitely does not.)

So Reath reluctantly boards the ship that will take him and a few other Jedi to the dedication of Starlight Beacon, where Master Jora waits for him to start their new adventurous life on the frontier. But trouble in hyperspace leaves the ship and other nearby vessels stranded, with only an eerie abandoned space station reachable for shelter. And the secrets hidden there will not only bring Reath to a crossroads but, if left unchecked, could plunge the entire galaxy into darkness…

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My Review

My Rating: 4 Stars
Consider “liking” my review on Goodreads.

I was granted complimentary review access to Into the Dark as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title with Rockstar Book Tours. Thank you to Rockstar Book Tours, Disney Publishing, and everyone else involved! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

I spent my own middle-grade/YA level reading years eating up all of the various books written in a Star Wars world that preceded, coincided with, or immediately follower The Phantom Menace, and I was particularly in love with the Jedi Apprentice series that followed Quigon Jin and a very young Obiwan Kenobi. The opportunity to dive back into a master and padawan adventure in a pre-films universe once again was very welcome, and I thoroughly enjoyed my read through Into the Dark.

Unlike my favourite Star Wars series from my childhood, mentioned above, The High Republic series is written by multiple authors. This means that although each book contributes to a prescribed bigger story, each book is its own contained arc and can be read independently. I have not read all of the other available High Republic books myself, and I was not lost at all in my read-through.

The High Republic era stories are new to us, and this book, in particular, is clearly a vehicle for a lot of new world building and lore claiming. Kyber crystals, sith shrines, and so many force rules and abilities are discussed at length and arranged nearly (if sometimes cryptically) into their places in this new Disney-approved canon. It definitely feels like an important book to read early in one’s exploration of the new Disney Star Wars literary universe.

I love the way Claudia creates layered, entertaining, relatable characters. I could easily hang out with Reath for a few hundred more pages beyond the end of this book without any big events to keep it interesting. With that said, I did get a little bored with the lengthy memories from the older jedi that were used for exposition and worldbuilding. I’m not entirely sure how to fit all of that information into the story another way, but sometimes it felt too drawn out or not well timed. It didn’t ruin the book for me at all, but it did tempt me to skim for a return to the present.

The Drengir are a truly epic and frightening enemy, and I was at the edge of my seat reading the conflict with these guys! Claudia does Star Wars bad guys very well, and I’m excited to see these guys come up again as the High Republic era continues.

Star Wars fans of all ages will enjoy this book, and I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough for this reading level so I can buy her the whole High Republic series and enjoy them with her.

About the Author

Claudia Gray is the author of Star Wars: BloodlineStar Wars: Lost Stars, Star Wars: Leia, Princess of Alderaan, and Defy the Stars, as well as the Firebird series, the Evernight series and the Spellcaster series. She has worked as a lawyer, a journalist, a disc jockery, and a particularly ineffective waitress. Her lifelong interests include old houses, classic movies, vintage style, and history. She lives in New Orleans. Find her at claudiagray.com, facebook.com/authorclaudiagray, and @claudiagray.

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Giveaway Alert!

3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of INTO THE DARK, US Only.

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Jenna is the artist/illustrator and author behind Westveil Publishing and its sub-banner platforms Jenna Gets Creative and The Westveil Archives. She live in Newfoundland, Canada with her husband, daughter, and feline overlords.

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