Keyes, Greg

About the Author:

 

Greg Keyes, also known as J. Gregory Keyes, is a teacher at the University of Georgia and a student of anthropology.  He was born in Mississippi, USA.

 

AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:

4.3 out of 5

(3 books)

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order - Edge Of Victory: Conquest

Book seven of the NJO, set 26 ABY.  For his first outing in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Keyes does very well, particularly since the Edge of Victory book were written in a hurry to fill the gap following the cancellation of the Knightfall trilogy. 

Rather than attempting to take on the Star Wars galaxy as a whole, Keyes cleverly uses this book to create something of a sequel to the six younger reader Junior Jedi Knight books.  He writes well about the dynamic between Anakin Solo and Tahiri Veila and provides excellent descriptions of Yavin 4 under Yuuzhan Vong control. 

The reason I've only given it a 4 is simply because I've read one too many 'enemies who make an uneasy alliance' stories before this one.

Followed by 'Edge of Victory: Rebirth'.

4 out of 5

 

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order - Edge Of Victory: Rebirth

NJO book eight, set 26 ABY.  With growing skill and confidence, Keyes branches out into the Star Wars galaxy.  Here, surprisingly considering the length of the novel, he manages to update all of the major characters and storylines featured to date in the NJO. 

I was impressed at his approaches to the relationships between Luke and Mara, as well as Anakin and Tahiri.  His handling of the tension between Jacen, Leia and Han, however was less impressive and a little tedious. 

My favourite element of the book is where Kyp Durron charms Jaina into helping him convince the New Republic military to launch an offensive strike.  It's eventually apparent, however, that Kyp has deceived them all and I liked the idea of the character using any means to get done what he thinks needs doing (there, I managed to get that out without spoiling the surprise!).

Followed by Troy Denning's 'Star by Star'.

4 out of 5

 

Star Wars: The New Jedi Order - The Final Prophecy

Book eighteen of the NJO, set 29 ABY.  Definitely the better of Keyes' three New Jedi Order novels.  The story is basically in two parts, the first being the brutal battle at Bilbringi.  The battle sequences are very well written and it was nice to see an author putting Wedge Antilles in command of a fleet again. 

The other half of the book involves a second team travelling to Zonama Sekot (for details of the first, read the Force Heretic trilogy by Sean Williams and Shane Dix).  The difference with this team is that it's rather an odd collection of characters; Tahiri Veila, whose mind is half Jedi and half Vong, Corran Horn, who distrusts everyone, the Prophet, Nom Anor in disguise, Nen Yim, a heretical Vong shaper and Harrar, a Vong priest having a crisis of faith.  It is the dynamic between these characters, the distrust and the growing understanding, that is the most interesting element of the story.  Sadly, however, their stint of Zonama Sekot is too much like rereading what we've already seen in Force Heretic.  It would have been better if it had been this group had been the first there. 

The one other problem with this book is that its publicity claims it reveals the secrets of the Vong's origins.  That's complete rubbish, all we find out is a link between the Vong and Zonama Sekot, nothing we hadn't already figured out is revealed here.

Followed by James Luceno's 'The Unifying Force'.

5 out of 5

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