Star Wars The New Jedi Order #15: Force Heretic I: Remnant

Star Wars The New Jedi Order #15: Force Heretic I: Remnant

by Sean Williams, Shane Dix

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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As the bloodied and weary galaxy faces battle once more, the Jedi take on the formidable task of bringing the last of the Empire into the light. . . .

From the ashes of the New Republic—torn to shreds by the savage Yuuzhan Vong forces—the newly formed Galactic Alliance has risen, determined to bring peace to the entire galaxy. But first the Yuuzhan Vong must be contained once and for all. And so Luke Skywalker seeks a world long lost to legend: Zonama Sekot, a sentient planet believed to have repelled an invasion by the Yuuzhan Vong decades ago. Deciphering the enigmatic secrets of Zonama Sekot just might turn the tides of a relentless war.

Aboard the Jade Shadow, Luke, his wife Mara, Jacen Solo, and other Jedi head off into the Unknown Regions, where rumors and clues suggest Zonama Sekot might be found. Yet the mission has barely begun when the searchers stumble into a horrific battle. The Imperial Remnant, in retreat from the mighty Yuuzhan Vong, is about to be destroyed. It would seem those aboard the Jade Shadow have little choice but to leave the Empire to its fate. But these are no ordinary space travelers, they are Jedi. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345428707
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/04/2003
Series: Star Wars: The New Jedi Order Series , #15
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 151,739
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.86(h) x 1.14(d)

About the Author

Sean Williams is the #1 New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of more than seventy published short stories and thirty novels, including Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance. He is a judge for the Writers of the Future contest, which he won in 1993. He is also a multiple winner of Australia’s speculative fiction awards and is the recipient of both the Ditmar and the Aurealis for The Crooked Letter, marking the first time in the history of the awards that a fantasy novel has won both. Williams lives with his wife, Amanda, in Adelaide, South Australia.

Read an Excerpt


Three Months Later

"I say we fight on!"

The voice echoed through the vast, domed hall that was serving as a replacement for the Grand Convocation Chamber on Coruscant, where the Senate had previously met. With Coruscant currently in the hands of the Yuuzhan Vong, Mon Calamari had been selected as a temporary capital and now played host to the representatives of the Galactic Alliance-a group much smaller than a full meeting of the Senate had once been, before the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, but still several hundred strong.

They responded to the call to fight in the fashion preferred by their individual species. There were whistles, grunts, shrieks, and subsonic rumbles. Some waved appendages; others stamped their feet. And others still, Leia Organa Solo among them, remained silent. She stood completely motionless, gently extending herself into the Force to feel it crackle and flare from the conflicting emotions of those gathered around her.

The speaker, a sour-faced Sullustan by the name of Niuk Niuv, paced the floor with an energy that belied his size. Clearly agitated by the sudden commotion, he lifted one hand to his ear to indicate his discomfort, while the other attempted to motion the crowd to silence. Even with his audio dampeners in place, the level of noise around the hall still hurt his sensitive ears.

"We have them on the back foot," he said, his large black eyes roaming the assembly. "They are overextended and ill prepared to defend themselves. They didn't expect to have to defend themselves so late in the game-which is precisely why we must drive home this advantage! To ignore the opportunity we have been given would be like putting our collective head back on the chopping block!"

"And who took it off the block in the first place?" The call came from the far side of the chamber. Leia immediately recognized the voice as belonging to Thuv Shinev of the Tion Hegemony.

Niuk Niuv's face contorted into a fleshy snarl. "That is irrelevant," he said irritably.

"Really?" Shinev bellowed. "I wouldn't have thought so. Too long have some among us treated the Jedi with contempt and suspicion. If we do have the chance now, finally, to force the Yuuzhan Vong back, then we should at least acknowledge their opinions on the subject!"

"If you think it necessary, then by all means thank them," the Sullustan retaliated. "I'm not saying they don't deserve that. But to do anything less than strike back at the Yuuzhan Vong would be madness, no matter what the Jedi say! We must prove to the Vong that we cannot be subjugated and will not tolerate their oppression! They have done enough. It is time for us to show them who this galaxy really belongs to! We must strike back hard, and we must do it now."

A scattered cheer rose up among the Senators. It was loud, but not as deafening as Leia had feared it might be. After so many crushing defeats, most of the representatives remained uncertain that the Yuuzhan Vong could be rolled back as easily as Niuk Niuv stated. But the willingness to try was undeniable.

As Leia's gaze swept the crowd, she caught the tall, long-faced figure of Kenth Hamner on the far side of the chamber. From the scowl on the Jedi Master's face, Leia felt sure he was about to speak out against Niuk Niuv. But it was another who voiced their concerns.

"What if you're right?" Leia identified Releqy A'Kla, daughter of Camaasi Senator Elegos A'Kla, who had been ritually murdered by the Yuuzhan Vong's Commander Shedao Shai in the early days of the war. Since she had already served in his stead during his absence, her people had voted her into her father's position for the duration of the crisis. "What if we can beat them?"

"Then we win!" Niuk Niuv's big, round eyes were bright with anticipated glory.

"But at what cost?" A'Kla's fine, golden down shivered with intense emotion. "The Yuuzhan Vong fight to the death, Senator. Admiral Ackbar used this very fact against them at Ebaq Nine. I don't think you truly realize what this means."

"I realize," the Sullustan said. "And I realize that it is not our responsibility. If the positions were reversed, they would undoubtedly do the same to us."

"I'm sorry, but my people cannot support such extermination under any circumstances," she said. She brought her long, three-fingered hands up to her chest. "We are pacifists, Senator. We do not wish such horrors on our consciences."

"And I respect your people's ethics," Niuk Niuv replied. Turning from her to address the entire chamber, he continued: "If there was an alternative, then I would consider it. But in the absence of any such alternative, I am not prepared to sit back with my neck out waiting for the Yuuzhan Vong to bring an amphistaff down upon it!"

Another cheer rippled around the room.

"It's all very good for the pacifists to argue about compassion and restraint, but it is they who will benefit from the ultimate peace that we will bring about with our actions!" Niuv faced Releqy A'Kla once again. "What good is pacifism if you are dead, Senator?"

Releqy A'Kla sank back into her chair, blinking in dismay.

"We will crush the Yuuzhan Vong," Niuk Niuv concluded to the Galactic Alliance representatives gathered, punching a fist into the air. "And we will send their remains back where they came from!"

The cheer was louder this time. Leia's fellow Alderaanian, Chief of State Cal Omas, said nothing. It would have been pointless at this stage, with the majority now so evidently behind Niuk Niuv's sentiments.

Across from her, Leia saw Hamner's scowl deepen as he shook his head and slipped silently from the huge hall.

"Finally, we are vindicated."

In a room not far from the domed hall in which the Senators met, a gathering of Jedi Knights and Masters looked similarly reduced in numbers but was no less passionate. Jedi Master Luke Skywalker had called the meet- ing to discuss strategies for the coming stages of the war with the Yuuzhan Vong. Waxarn Kel, the current speaker, paced in front of the gathering like a caged howlrunner. His face and hairless scalp were pink with fresh scars, indicating just how close he had come to being another victim of the Yuuzhan Vong anti-Jedi vendetta.

"Explain," Luke said. He sat on the stage at the front of the chamber, one knee raised to support the elbow of his right arm, and that hand supporting his chin. The unnatural coolness of the hand's artificial skin against his jaw helped keep his head clear.

Kel looked up at him with a frown. "Do I really need to?" he asked with a mix of irritation and surprise. Then, to the rest of the Jedi, he said, "We've been slandered, hunted, and butchered from one side of the galaxy to the other. We became the scapegoat for everything the New Republic brought upon itself because of its complacency and inability to act. We told them things they didn't want to hear, and what was our reward? We were damned for it, that's what. But now we have been vindicated. The trap on Ebaq Nine and the defeat of the Yuuzhan Vong have shown that we are a force to be reckoned with. Vergere's sacrifice will not be in vain."

"I hadn't realized that our fight was with the survivors of the New Republic," said Kyp Durron, leaning in flight uniform against one of the chamber's fluted walls, arms folded across his chest. "I thought our battle was with the Yuuzhan Vong."

"It is." Kel regarded Kyp with some annoyance. "The Yuuzhan Vong are our enemy-not just of every peaceful citizen of the galaxy, but of the Jedi in particular. That's been the frustrating thing about this war. The New Republic has thwarted our every attempt to defend ourselves. If it wasn't the Peace Brigade actually trapping us and selling us over, it was idiots like Borsk Fey'lya holding us back. Well, now we're free to act, and we can show them just what we are capable of doing!"

"I presume you have something in mind." Kyp's expression was neutral, but Luke sensed a cautious interest lurking behind it-like that of someone poking at a bug's nest with a stick to see what might emerge.

"Of course," Kel said. "We strike, and we strike hard."

"The Yuuzhan Vong?"

"Of course the Yuuzhan Vong!" Kel's eyes flashed anger. "We must act to ensure that public opinion doesn't turn against us once again."

"How might it do that, Waxarn?" Luke asked.

Kel glanced back up at Luke. The Master could feel the scarred young Jedi Knight consciously bringing his emotions into line.

"I fear it could happen all to easily, Master," he said, bowing slightly. "Unless we act decisively to reaffirm our usefulness and goodwill, to prove beyond the slightest doubt that the war can only be won with our assistance, then we risk looking weak. Or worse, looking as if our loyalty to the Galactic Alliance is weak."

Luke smiled sagely. "Surely our loyalty is to peace."

"First and foremost, yes, Master," Kel put in quickly. "But you have to be strong to protect peace from those who would destroy it. Sometimes it is necessary to fight in order to bring an end to fighting. Isn't that the way of the Jedi?"

Is it? Luke asked himself as he pondered the words of the young man before him. Luke himself had acted more than once on the philosophy espoused by Waxarn Kel and those like him. The cry had been taken up several times throughout the war with the Yuuzhan Vong by those tempted to take the seemingly easy route through the dark side rather than brave the ambiguities of the Force.

Luke didn't think Kel had fallen to the dark side, though. There was none of the anger and hatred in the young man that Luke could sense in a handful of others presently around him. They remained quiet, allowing Kel to speak their words for them. But it wasn't difficult for Luke to read their feelings. So many had been hurt by the Yuuzhan Vong and the Peace Brigaders that desiring retribution was, perhaps, only natural. Natural wasn't necessarily right, though, and part of Luke's job was to ensure that those in his charge weren't led astray.

None of the Jedi in the room had yet fallen to the dark side, and for that he was thankful. Some of them had taken a wrong turning here and there, just as some were being tempted to do now. But Luke had faith in all of them-even those who disagreed vehemently with his own opinions. He was sure that the collective wisdom of the Jedi, their strong belief in the healing, sustaining energies of the Force, would gradually assuage the grief they all felt for loved ones who had died in the war-as well as for themselves.

Luke straightened and dropped down onto the floor of the room to face Waxarn Kel. Once considered handsome, he was now scarred almost beyond recognition. And it was from this that Luke felt the man's emotions stemmed. Every time Kel looked in the mirror, he would be reminded of what the war had done to him and those he loved, and his anger and hatred would grow.

The dark side can beckon to us from so many quarters, Luke thought.

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Star Wars The New Jedi Order #15 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
mikey34 More than 1 year ago
I liked the story line. However, my only dislike is the amount of time spent towards the space fight scenes. I'm not too interested in the dog fights. Sometimes I wonder if there is more interest in the dog fights than the actual story.
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Mojobass More than 1 year ago
My only complaint is that the authors don't use chapter-breaks. I like knowing that their will be a clean pause every 20 pages or so. The characters are awesome and the foundations for peace were cool in this book.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Yuuzhan Vong, aliens who deplore machines (their own technology is entirely bio-based), are overrunning the galaxy. When their forces collide with the Imperial Remnant, the retreating Remnant encounters what used to be its worst enemy ¿ Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, traveling in his wife and fellow Jedi Master Mara Jade¿s starship (with nephew Jedi Knight Jacen Solo also aboard) toward the fabled sentient planet Zonama Sekot in search of a way to defeat the Vong. This complex novel is the first Star Wars book I¿ve read since Timothy Zahn¿s Thrawn Trilogy, in which Leia Organa Solo¿s twin children Jacen and Jaina were born. Without the timeline and book list in its front, I¿m sure I would have been lost; and even with that to aid me, I still had a bit of trouble sorting out the vast cast of characters and comprehending references to previous events (especially those relating to the death of the third Solo offspring, Anakin). However, this is a book meant to be read by fans following a series. So I cannot hold my difficulties against its authors, and I must in fact compliment them on making things as easy for me as they did. With that said, this is a well-paced, exciting story. The Yuuzhan Vong are a fascinating people, and the relationships among the familiar Star Wars characters (especially Leia and Han) have developed over the years with believable complexity. I¿m not sure I want to go looking for all the books in the series now, but I¿ve enjoyed reading this one. It is satisfying to read a media tie-in novel that allows its characters to grow, change, and even suffer wrenching losses, instead of being essentially the same at the story¿s end. My compliments to whoever approves the Star Wars saga¿s written continuation!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a fresh break from the standard NJO book. It had a ton of action yet none of that 'Where is the line drawn between light and dark?' philosophical stuff.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a New Jedi order fan for a year. My 'friends' Don't understand! this book is the one of the best yet. I can't wait to read more in this series!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book had a good story line set for teh next Book!!!!. I would rather this book had more action in this book. I was kind of hoping that Anakin would come back because he was probably the most livleiest characters in the book and without him Tahiri seems like a hopeless lovelost creature. I think the only significant part of this book was that the Empire joined the Galactic Alliance. But I really hope Anakin comes back because without him there is not much action in the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sean Williams and Shane Dix are masters of the space opera, and I am glad to see them in the Star Wars saga. They bring depth and quality to the series where, quite frankly, some of the other writers in the series did not.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm surprised at how much good material has come out of the NJO series. This wasn't the best book in the series, but it was an easy read and it brought Grand Admiral Palleon into the mix. I try not to get to specific in my reviews because I don't want to give too much away. If you haven't read any of the New Jedi Order books yet, then you should. It's not typical Star Wars. There are no quick solutions and the good guys take a pounding. If you decide to read them, be sure you start with Vector Prime and read them in order, otherwise you won't get the most out of it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe that Tahiri's disturbing dreams are related to what the shapers did on Endor, and that she may be the 'Force heretic.' This is not good news at all. If this keeps up she could turn dark or might even join the Yuuzhan Vong -all against her will.Remember Anakin's preminition in Conquest? This could happen.I hope I'm wrong, though, Tahiri has always been one of my fav. characters (this is pretty obvious,considering I use her name as my pen name). It's too early to tell anyway.I really enjoyed the development of Jaina and Jag's relationship, along with Jacen and Danni's.Somebody wrote a review and said something about the Yuuzhan Vong taking Anakin's body and making a clone, well I don't believe this is possible. Jaina, Tahiri and a few others resued his body, while Jacen's group killed the voxyn queen, and in Dark Journey they burn his body on Hapes. Over all I enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to the last few books in the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After his death in Star by Star Anakins body is taken by the Vong. The Vong had the ability to clone the voxyn why couldn't they have cloned Anakin. If Anakin was cloned that could explain some of the prodlems Tahiri was going through. Jacen is not a fighter but Anakin was or is if for some reason Anakin were to have been cloned or something else occurred. Anakin could be the one who kills Lord Shimrra after Jacen reaches his heart and mind. Their are still great misteries surronding the force so why shoul their be an automatic beleif that Anakin would not come back in some form? Their is one other possibillty what if it is someone we have allready seen but not herd from for awhile. Callista has been gone for some time searching for her powers their is no reason to think she didn't end up deep in the unknown regions of the galaxy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great great book. I was sincerely hoping that we could have an improvement of continuity and dialogue over what Jon Williams did in Destiny's Way. Although it doesn't have the impact of a Star By Star, it is a great tale and what I consider a turning point in the NJO series. It pulls from everything in the entire history of the saga. Fans of the movies will see the Empire and automatically be interested, but then be shocked to see this isn't the Empire they remember. Long time SW novel fans will hear Bakura and their interest will peak immensely. Romances are developing at a very nice and heartwarming pace with Jag and Jaina, as well as Jacen and Danni. Although there is a lack of some familar faces(Lowbacca, Tenel Ka, etc), the twists and turns with Tahiri's fall and the return of the Ryn more than makes up for it. To top it off, the beginning of the quest for the now legendary, both in the saga and real life as well, Zonoma Sekot is looking to be amazing. Sean Williams and Shane Dix did a superb job, and I hope the rest of the last of the series continues to grow at this pace.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just started reading this book...real good so far. The force is one....kind of another twist on God(good side) devil(dark side). The Force being positive and negative holds balance in the universe. You have the free will of moving along the line of the Force. You can either be good or bad...the choice is yours..That's what Vergere is trying to tell you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first part of the book was kinda odd. I mean, come on, how can a dead guy try and kill his girlfriend? Why would he want to kill his girlfriend? The part with the Skywalkers going to look for Zemoma Sekot(spelling?) was pretty good, but they dont even really start the part until the next one! It was a sorta slow paced book. I dont think that Anakin will be coming back, but I wouldnt be to surprised if he did. Bottom line, it wasnt all that great of a book.