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The High Republic: Children of the Storm: Chapter 5: Monster and Apprentice



What is it ? : Keeve faces against her bezerk master Sskeer along with Lourna Dee, and tries to remind him of their connection by showing him the half of her lightsaber that he holds the other half of in his hands, but Lourna has stolen it and strikes Sskeer with it enraging him further.
Meanwhile, Terec, Ceret, OrbaLin and Goonral are trying to repair their ship, when they come under the effects of a Nameless, and Terec rushes away to confront the danger but finds himself facing against numerous Drengir.
The fight against Sskeer continues until Keeve refuses to defend herself, putting her trust in her master as she has done so many times in the past, and he recognises her and sense comes back to him as he says her name.
The Jedi facing against the Nameless realise that what they're seeing is illusions, and they shatter them and fight against the Nameless itself, but it tries to escape before being fried with force lightning from a figure that identifies itself as Tey Sirrek, a bearded elflike being with pointed ears.
Sskeer remembers hurting Goonral, and was out of control as he really just wanted to protect her. Keeve questions who he means by her, as Goonral is male, and they notice a small female masked child standing near them. . . .

High Points : I really like that the fears the Nameless bring back to the various Jedi actually link back to their history, with Terec being scared of the Drengir, and that finally they have the power to shatter the illusions because they've faced off against these creatures before.
But in reality this issue is a couple of parallel fights, so filled with action, but not much more than that.

Low Points : So, first of all, the biggie. "Sskeer holds his lightsaber in his hands".
Sskeer, who throughout Phase 1 had only 1 hand, having lost the other in a battle. Now while he's a Trandoshan, so has lizardlike regeneration and will grow the arm back. It didn't grow back during the 2 years of Phase 1 (232bby-230bby), but now he's got it back, and Keeve doesn't remark on it. It's just back, like the writers forgot he was a one armed Trandoshan.
Which really annoyed me, not only have they brought Sskeer back from his glorious heroic death (to have him either miraculously cured, or to die a slow death from his progressive illness), but they've forgotten one of his main characteristics.
That is, unless this new young girl character is a healer of some kind.

So what do you really think ? : While there's a load of the elements of the story I like, there's a bunch which annoy me, Lourna Dee being overly duplicitous, rather than just standing back and watching Keeve and Sskeer fight it out, she steals Keeves lightsaber and joins in a fight she stands little chance in herself. The return of Sskeer still grates, and the introduction of Tey Sirrek, who apparently is a major character from elsewhere, but I really don't know anything about him, and he just comes across as smug.

Final Words : I really want this story to be going somewhere, and I feel as if events are just swirling around the characters. So we'll not see any resolution to the Nihil, and the main characters, ones who I really like, will have no effects.
I want to see Avar Kriss and Keeve, along with Terec and Ceret in support roles go up against the leader of the Nihil and cause the entire thing to collapse. But it really feels as if the best we'll get is the comeuppance of Lourna Dee at somepoint, and she's just not that impressive a villain.

Score : 8.5/10






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