In Mission To Disaster, Avon Starros, Imri Cantaros, and Vernestra Rwoh are on a mission to undermine the Nihil and uncover their latest dastardly plan.
It’s time to return to The High Republic for Justine Ireland’s Mission To Disaster. But was this Middle-Grade reader worth the wait?
Avon Starros is about to finally start her experiment with the Kyber crystal she stole from Imri on Wevo. But before she can, Port Haileep is attacked by the Nihil! At the same time, Vernestra Rwoh has a vision of Avon being kidnapped and decides to see if her young friend is okay. When she and Imri find out about the attack, they rush to Port Haileep to help. After discovering Avon missing, they set out to find out where she is. Their search takes them to Dalna, where they find out from the Temple there that farmers have gone missing too. With the help of the Temple Jedi and their old friend Honesty Weft, they set out to find out what’s really going on on Dalna and how it connects to Avon’s disappearance.
MISSION TO DISASTER
Set right before The Fallen Star, this novel reunites the group from Ireland’s first Middle-Grade High Republic Novel, A Test of Courage. Since then, Vernestra and Imri have been training together for over a year, and honesty has been working at his apprenticeship on Dalna. Honesty doesn’t get as much page time here, but it’s obvious his past experiences have changed him into a more confident young man. We continue to see Imri and Vernesra grow together as Master and Apprentice and grow in their abilities.
AVON STARROS, SABOTEUR
The point of view characters are Vernestra, Imri, and Avon. Avon was heralded as this great girl in STEM when The High Republic started, but I felt she didn’t get to show that off in A Test of Courage. She also didn’t learn a lesson the way the other three did.
The Nihil assigned her to work with Dr. Mkampa. Instead, she tries to undermine the Doc by duplicating a flawed version of the Kyber crystal still in her pocket. She knows the flawed crystal will make whatever the Doc is making malfunction. But she underestimates just how destructive Kyber can be. While it does make the Doc’s device explode, it also makes it more powerful. It was still able to do what it was meant to do before it exploded.
The results are more destructive than Avon realized. Instead of just a small quake, a chain reaction is set off causing quakes and volcanic eruptions. Avon is wracked with guilt at the thought that she caused the destruction. She had wanted to stop the Nihil, not help them. She learns a hard lesson on how science can be used for evil. Like Galen Erso after her, she just wanted to learn to use Kyber for a power source. But instead sees it used for destruction.
We are introduced to three new Jedi stationed on Dalna. The wizened Nyla Quinn, the young Yacek Sparkburn, and the archivist Lyssa Voltz. Nyla is a weathered older Twi’lek who reminds me of a kindly grandma. Yacek is a cook like Porter Engle who immediately starts cooking meals for the refugees. I’d love to see the two do a chili cook-off. He also may or may not be related to Jordana Sparkburn. Lyssa is a librarian and archivist who uses her research skills to find reports on all Nihil activity in the area to help them and record the events in real-time on her datapad. Lyssa reluctantly fights but uses knowledge to help Imri make a plan to save the Dalnans.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one much more than I did A Test of Courage. It has a good balance of mystery, action, and using science and knowledge over brute force to save the day. Lyssa, Imri, and Avon all use brains to solve a problem or undermine the Nihil. I like this choice as it shows the smart kids reading that they have value too. This one is perfect for those who like light mystery novels with some action and adventure thrown in.
Star Wars: The High Republic: Mission To Disaster by Justina Ireland is published by Disney Lucasfilm Press and is available to order now! Special thanks to Disney Lucasfilm Press for our advanced sight of the novel.
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I’m Mina, the Jedi Librarian. I’m a teen services librarian, lover of all the books, and a lifelong Star Wars fan. I’m also secretly a Jedi.