Set before the events of ‘The Fallen Star’, ‘Mission to Disaster’ puts us on a mission with Vernestra Rwoh and her Padawan Imri Cantaros as they desperately try to find their friend, Avon Starros who has been abducted by The Nihil after an attack on Port Haileap.
Whilst some may find it confusing that this book has come out later than Claudia Gray’s entry into Wave Three, it actually makes sense that this book was originally slated to release the same day as ‘The Fallen Star’. But after production delays the physical release has been delayed until March, but it’s out in Audible and Kindle (in certain countries), so of course I downloaded it as soon as I found out.
‘Mission to Disaster’ feels like a spiritual sequel to ‘A Test of Courage’ which Ireland wrote as part of the first wave of ‘High Republic’ books that introduced us to Vernestra, Imri and Avon and references events from the earlier book. In terms of its continuing the story of the three characters, we really get to see a great deal of character development. We did get to spend time with Vern and Imri in Ireland’s Wave Two Y.A novel ‘Out of the Shadows’ but that felt like more of a stand-alone adventure for two young Jedi.
Justina Ireland really puts the three leads through their paces, which fits in well with ‘The Fallen Star’ and how this Wave of the series is going. Whilst not as tense and anxiety inducing as Claudia Gray’s novel, there is a real race against time aspect to this novel, which manages to include a few different genres, like action/adventure, disaster film and whodunnit which in theory feels like it won’t work, but actually works really, really well.
‘Mission to Disaster’ does work if read out of order, but it does set up some aspects of ‘The Fallen Star’ but none of it is plot related, more like minor set-ups to some details from the next book in the series.
The audiobook was a decent production. It’s read well by Keylor Leigh and her delivery keeps your attention throughout. However some of the music choices in some places feel really off. At times the music sounds like a sample taken from a low cost video editing software played on a loop which felt distracting on my first listen (I’ve listened twice at the time of writing).
Certainly a solid addition to ‘The High Republic’, Justina Ireland continues to bring us amazing stories and great characters within ‘The High Republic’.
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