Paul S. Kemp’s Crosscurrent is now behind me, a great Star Wars Paperback story I’m here to say!  Past meets Present to fight for the fate of the future!

Did any of you play a little game back in 03 called Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy?  You have?! Well then you know Jaden Korr! (The rest of you check out the links to the Wook I’ve provided)

I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum for those who still plan on reading Crosscurrent!

That’s right Fanboys and Girls this standalone turned doulogy has Kyle Katarn’s lovable Padawan now a Jedi Knight, Jaden Korr as the center character!  Jaden is plagued with doubt over his recent actions in the Second Civil War, on Centerpoint Station.  On Coruscant Jaden isolates himself from everyone in his apartment, until he has a Force vision which sets him on his path to a world named Fhost.

Jaden is shown to be a character who is still trying to understand his place in the Force, and how to perceive it’s sides.  Jaden like Jacen Solo before him, to be conflicted by his recent actions, and what it means to be a Jedi.  I loved how this was explored through out the novel!
He often contemplates his Master Katarn’s teachings:

The Force is a tool, Jaden. Sometimes a weapon, sometimes a salve. Dark Side, Light Side, these are distinctions of insignificant difference. Do not fall into the trap of classification. Sentience curses us with a desire to categorize and draw lines, to fear that after this be dragons. But that is illusion. After this is not dragons but more knowledge, deeper understanding. Be at peace with that.” -Kyle Katarn

The events of this story are set in two different ends of the Star Wars Expanded Universe timeline.  While the story it set in 41.5 ABY it begins with the same event that strands Lost Tribe of the Sith’s Sith crew on Omen.  But unlike John Jackson Miller’s Lost Tribe of the Sith: Precipice, we learn exactly what went wrong on Harbinger that caused it play a role in Omen’s disaster, and why Naga Shadow never received his Lignan ore, the ore that would have allowed the Dark Siders to get the upper hand in the Great Hyperspace War.

See Harbinger‘s Captain is the Fallen Jedi turned Sith Lord Saes Rrogon, and his former Jedi Master Relin Druur manages to sabotage Harbinger, resulting in the collision that strands Omen, while at the same time causing a miss-jump in Hyperspace which ends up sending the Harbinger over 5,000 years into the future.

While this is going on, Jaden is heeding the words of his vision, words spoken by none other then Mara Jade Skywalker as well as Kam Solusar, he seeks out Fhost and quickly runs into a pair of Space salvagers in the Black Hole cantina,  who recently picked up a automated distress beacon.  Jaden is convinced the beacon is tied to his vision and is even willing to use the Force and Jedi Mind trick the Captain in the hopes of convincing him to help Jaden.  When that doesn’t work he uses the Force during a Sabacc game making the Captain, Khedryn Faal, look as though he cheated.  He later manages to convince Khedryn and his co pilot Marr Idi-Shael to help him out after explaining the pair were being cheated as it was and would have lost no matter what.  Together they set off for the beacon’s coordinates.

Meanwhile the One Sith send an Anzat assassin, Kell Douro, to the Black Hole cantina on Fhost, and to wait for a sign.  As true Sith would, they even mess with Kell by telling him he might find the “Enlightened Being” he’s been searching for.  As an Anzat Kell has lived for Centuries feeding on the “soup” of beings to see the pattern of life and would need the soup of Force users to understand the pattern.  When Kell gets to Fhost, he soon finds what he’s looking for in Jaden, and secretly follows Jaden and the crew of the Junker to a frozen moon.

It’s here at this frozen moon that Jaden’s vision starts to become a reality.  They witness the reemergence of the Harbinger from it’s miss-jump, and end up helping a escape pod.  Relin Duur having failed to completely disable  the Sith ship needs to get back and stop the Sith from doing damage with the Lignan.  After discussing events and options the crew of Junker decides to help the two Jedi, Marr going with Relin inside Junker to Harbinger‘s docking bay to finish the ship, Khedryn and Jaden take Junker‘s shuttle Flotsam down to the planet’s surface.  Kell waited until Jaden was on the planet before coming out of hiding and following his prey to the surface.

The fight inside Harbinger was intense, and it ended with Relin’s use of the Lignan, he sacrificed who he was as a Jedi to use the Dark Side of the Force to eliminate the threat of Harbinger and the Lignan.  Marr escapes with Junker, but was seriously injured during the fight, and sets the ship to auto pilot for the moos surface and his companions.

The moon turns out to be an old research facility the Emperor had used back during the Empire’s days.  It housed a Spaarti cloning cylinder, (the same kind used in the Thrawn trilogy) and was the site of some of the failed attempts to mix DNA of Jedi and Sith to create Force strong clones.  Of those whose DNA was used were none other then Kam Solusar and Mara Jade!  Jaden searched the complex and only discovers small bits of the places purpose.  The whole while he sees little to no bodies, lost of blood, but few bodies.  It all becomes clear in the lower levels.

Down in the lower levels Jaden is confronted by the mad clone of Kam, and is told that the clones want to to take his ship and flee the planet.  The confrontation is intense, and Jaden loses some fingers before it’s over.  The clone presses his advantage and is about to kill Jaden when Jaden’s fear of death unleashed a Force Lightning attack that kills the Kam clone.

Exhausted from his fight with the mad clone, Jaden stood no chance of fighting off Kell Douro when the Anzat attacked.  The only thing to save Jaden was Faal returning to the lower levels to aid Jaden.  Khedryn uses a blaster to end Kell before he had a chance to kill Jaden.

As the two left the research station they discover that the remaining 10 clones have managed to commandeer Kell’s ship and escape the planet.  Marr gives Relin Druur’s last message to Jaden, “that there is no certainty just the search for it and the danger is if one thinks he found it”.  Jaden realizes that he will never rid himself of doubt and instead embraces it. He acceptes that his role as a Jedi personally involved the acceptance of his doubts.   Khedryn and Marr then decided to team up with Jaden to hunt the remaining clones.

The things I really enjoyed about this one were Jaden’s pov on the Force and his actions and the actions of the Jedi.  He questions the Dark Side, and his role in it’s use.  The implications of a Mad clone of Mara Jade running around the Galaxy are insane!  I only imagine if Luke were to see her!  The story was great, and while I was a little bummed that Relin did not join Jaden and Luke’s Jedi Order, I enjoyed how we had an example of a Jedi who turns his back on the light to defeat Darkness with Darkness.  In many ways it felt like Relin managed to preform the same trick Jacen Solo managed in The Unifying Force against Omni only the Dark Side version.

Khedryn was a great character as well, he was from the survivors of Outbound Flight, and thus had a hard time of trusting a Force user.  At one point in the book a typo has Kell’s first seeing Faal he referred to him as Fel in his mind.  I know I was reading too much there, but how cool would that have been if Faal was a Fel who was trying to be someone else?  I truly enjoyed this story, and look forward to the next part of it’s little saga.

I give this a 4.5 out of 5