The second volume of Dawn of the Jedi builds on both the first volume and short story and book that came before it. Is this a good thing? Or is my lack of faith disturbing?
I always like to start a review a different way, so when a series essentially gift-wraps itself for new comments, I’m thankful. Both the comic Force Storm and the novel Into the Void kicked off Dawn of the Jedi, and I was delighted when Prisoner of Bogan expanded off of both of them. I was actually pretty concerned that Into the Void would turn out to be a waste. After all, it had a different author, and focused on different characters going through different events. Instead, it turned out to be a sort of beta, allowing me to familiarize myself with the setting so that I could go into Prisoner of Bogan with some semblance of knowledge about where the characters were. Unfortunately, Dawn of the Jedi is probably going to be over in the amount of time it would take to write another novel, but hopefully there’s something more in store for this series along the same lines.
I have never been so glad to read optional tangential material in the order that I did with Dawn of the Jedi. Of course, this seems to be fairly intentional. Despite the fact Force Storm actually starts around the same time as Into the Void and ends several days later (not counting the novel’s epilogue), Into the Void was released later and appears on most accounts of the metaseries after Force Storm. This could be for the very simple reason that the comic was the progenitor of the series, but the benefit to it all is that almost all of the background ideas in Prisoner of Bogan are introduced in Into the Void.
This starts in the prelude novella, Dawn of the Jedi: Eruption. Originally featured in Star Wars: Insider, Eruption was included in Into the Void as a crossover between Hawk Ryo from the comics and Lanoree Brock of Into the Void. While Force Storm treated Hawk as a generic Jedi without having much to say about him, Eruption mentions the fact that he has a history with the Dark Side and is a bit more comfortable giving into his anger than the average Jedi. Into the Void, by comparison, features Lanoree Brock traveling from planet to planet within the Tython system, including spending a good amount of time on Nox.
Nox, along with several other planets, is featured in Prisoner of Bogan, although not in as great detail. Perhaps more importantly, the general opinion of the Je’dai throughout the system is equal between the two: generally, they’re feared, but not very well liked. Not much different than the Jedi around the time of the Clone Wars, actually.
In Dawn of the Jedi: Force Storm, a Rakata starship in search of territory to invade crash-lands on Tython. The one survivor is Xesh, a human slave of the Rakata and a powerful Force-sensitive who the Rakata trained in the use of the Dark Side. After being defeated by the Je’dai – largely because he chooses to save their lives against a Tythan monster – Xesh is then sent to dwell on his predilection toward the Dark Side on the moon Bogan, from whence this story begins.
Prisoner of Bogan is, like Into the Void, a chase across the Tython system. Unlike Into the Void, there are two different hunting parties chasing the query. The titular Prisoner of Bogan, Daegan Lok, is a madman who has seen visions of an army of Force-saber (or possibly lightsaber, which is a similar technology) wielding soldiers advancing. His goal is to raise such an army, take over the Je’dai by Force, and lead the Jedi in the defense of the Tython system. Once he discovers Xesh’s knowledge, he takes him with him and begins to act on this. The Je’dai are hunting them, for obvious reasons, but so are the Rakata, trailing Xesh.