I know they say you can’t judge a book by its cover; but when the cover in question features Tahiri, Nen Yim and Nom Anor, it’s basically impossible not to!! Needless to say, I had high hopes for this book going in as it features, in my opinion, some of the most interesting characters in the NJO! It certainly didn’t disappoint, after the slightly dull affair that was The Force Heretic trilogy, The Final Prophecy delivered a bucket load of drama, suspense and revelations!
First up, I have to give a major SPOILER WARNING because I can’t discuss this book without talking about some of the key plot points, as they form the backdrop to all my dearly held opinions about this book. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!
First up, Tahiri and Corran form a dream team as they head to Zonama Sekot with Nen Yim, the priest Hararr and the artist formerly known as Nom Anor (no one is aware he is Nom Anor as he’s still disguised as the Prophet…he’s kind of the NJO’s equivalent of Loki at this point!). The group have formed an uneasy truce which leads to much hilarity, machinations, and, ultimately, violence.
Whilst I love everything about Tahiri and really did enjoy her dynamic with Corran (the latter getting some serious “I’m too old for this s**t” kind of vibes) I was a bit disappointed Tahiri wound up becoming Corran’s student. I mean, the girl is a fully fledged Jedi Knight at this point, having gone rounds with the Vong on countless occasions, as well as facing her own demons in the form of Riina. I don’t know, it just felt like a bit of a backwards step for her?
Speaking of Riina though, we get the EPIC revelation that Riina’s memories are in fact those of Nen Yim! I adored all the interactions between Tahiri and Nen Yim, and Nen Yim’s arc throughout this whole book completely blew me away as she slowly began to unravel the mysteries of Zonama Sekot and, indeed, the Yuuzhan Vong themselves. With hindsight, I should have seen her death coming but, alas, I am repeatedly blindsided by this series and her death came as a massive blow. I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to her, she’s such a complex and compelling character and I will miss her a lot in The Unifying Force. It did however remind me how utterly ruthless Nom Anor is… he will climb over (and create) as many bodies as it takes to get to the top!!
We also got heaps of action from Wedge at Bilbringi as he served up a massive reminder of why he is, in fact, the best and people really need to start listening to him in the first place! Jaina also had a pretty exciting time as she was captured but totally wound up getting a massive space station out of the situation because that is exactly how Jaina Solo rolls!
(Side note: Jacen is still pretty much absent from the story but I guess that’s OK, we’re all still getting over Traitor and so are probably not ready anyway!!)
Anyway, this book really ramped up the tension as we head into the final book in this epic saga. Zonama Sekot is now speeding towards the fray, and I think all of our main characters are going to be reunited for the final showdown on Yuuzhan’tar.
I’m going to leave this review with the words of Nas Choka, as, to me, he captures exactly why the Yuuzhan Vong are such a terrifying threat to the galaxy; and how the real battle is really just beginning…
“We are the Yuuzhan Vong. We have been entrusted with the true way, the true knowledge of the gods. Our duty is to bring every infidel in this galaxy to heel and either send them screaming to the gods or bring them to the true path. There is no middle ground, there is no faltering. And there can be no failure. Our mission is more important than you or me, and it is more important than your honour or mine. Lord Shimrra himself has said it. And so, feel no stain. To win this war, we must set aside much we cherish. The gods ordain sacrifice. We are blameless. We are those who do what must be done.”