The Jedi face unprecedented threats from within and without in “Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Abyss,” the third audiobook in the thrilling nine-part Fate of the Jedi series penned by veteran Expanded Universe author Troy Denning. Brought vividly to life by narrator Marc Thompson, this story arc continues the saga of Luke Skywalker and his son Ben as they desperately seek to understand and contain the mysterious psychosis afflicting Jedi Knights across the galaxy.
Set shortly after the events of the Second Galactic Civil War, the story opens with Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker’s secret mission to determine the cause of the Jedi madness that has already claimed his niece, Jacen Solo among its victims. Accompanied by his teenage son Ben, still reeling from his mother’s tragic death, Luke follows the trail to a long-forgotten prison world called Kessel hoping to uncover clues in this dangerous dark side nexus point.
Meanwhile on Coruscant, the newly elected Galactic Alliance Chief of State Natasi Daala shocks the Jedi Council by proposing an unprecedented partnership to address the disturbing trend. Yet behind her rhetoric of cooperation, Daala harbors bitter resentment towards the Jedi from decades past, even as other political factions seek to undermine the Order’s influence.
As father and son brave harrowing dangers in the abyss of Kessel, their Jedi allies struggle to maintain the balance of power in a government growing ever hostile to their presence. But the greatest threat may lurk within the Jedi ranks themselves, in the form of Sith assassin Vestara Khai, who has joined Luke and Ben on their quest despite her sworn obligation to destroy them.
Thompson’s theatrical vocal talents bring the rich cast of characters to life, from the stoic Luke to teenage Ben’s angst, complemented by cinematic sound effects and John Williams’ iconic musical score. Denning keeps the tension high, both through lightsaber action and the complex motivations driving former allies and new adversaries alike.
By splitting the key storylines, Denning is able to explore the unique challenges confronting the aging Luke and his innocent son during this troubled time for the Jedi Order. United in grief but divided by their generations, both Skywalkers face their own crucibles. As threats mount, they are forced to define the role of Jedi and the Force in serving the greater good, even as dark side temptation swirls within and without.
Through juxtaposing multiple perspectives, Denning raises profound questions facing the Jedi Order about accepting responsibility for their failings, confronting the limitations of dogma, and placing compassion before suspicion as the only path to healing the scars of the past.
Twelve books into the sweeping Fate of the Jedi saga, Abyss continues the dramatic trials facing Jedi and Sith that will define their destiny as the galaxy descends once more into darkness. Yet Denning crafts a tale equally rewarding to dedicated series followers and newcomers drawn in by the Skywalker family drama against a dangerous backdrop unlike any in the canon. AsSkillfully voiced by Thompson, this audiobook delivers thought-provoking space opera at its best
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