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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
17
4.0 out of 5 stars


on 3 December 2000
The second hardcover of the New Jedi Order series significantly advances the series, whilst keeping up the high standard which had been shown in previous novels.
Balance Point follows in the style of Vector Prime and the Agents of Chaos series than the novels by Michael A Stackpole. Balance Point concerns itself more with the actual characters than action; we see the natures of the Solo children particularly surface, showing three very separate natures, compared to the unifomly wellbehaved, innocent children of the original books and earlier in the series. Jaina appears as a young warrior, consumed and changed by her time with Rogue Squadron, whilst her twin, Jacen, is portrayed as a procrastinating philosopher-prince, sharing his mother's diplomatic skills. Anakin seems the most like their father, as a hot-headed and impatient youth.
The plot of the series is significantly advanced by Tyers, without using too much actual action. It is still a very revealing novel, and well worth reading by those who have read the other novels of the series.
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on 29 November 2009
If you are making your way through the 'New Jedi Order' series of books, I would ignore all of this book except for the epilogue. I won't specify what the epilogue contains, but I can tell you what the rest of the book does: a lack of action, a dull plot, and character development at the expense of interest. The only noteworthy thing to happen in the entire story is contained in the last few pages. After putting this book down, I thought to myself "what actually happened in this novel?", and I struggled to conceive of anything (apart from the epilogue of course, but you should have gauged that by now).

So if you are interested in this book in terms of storyline, go to a library and spend five minutes reading the epilogue. I did not enjoy 'Truce at Bakura' by Kathy Tyers, and this book has made me stay away from anything she has penned. Ever.

The ending added a star. The other star is for the fact that I somehow made it to the end without setting the book on fire.
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on 14 December 2000
After reading the snippet of Balance Point at the back of Jedi Eclipse I have to admit to being somewhat dubious; the series seems to be centering a lot around Jacen Solo and his crisis of faith, so to speak, in the Force. But my fears were nicely allayed by reading the final book. The characters have been handled very well, keeping all those elements that we so love about them, as well as continuing to develop as one might expect while their home galaxy is being slowly and relentlessly chopped to pieces. Luke and Mara's relationship is well explored, as well as Leia's deepening disillusionment with the New Republic leadership (while continuing to do her usual best to save every possible person she can). Anakin seems to be growing up and Jaina... is turning into her mother (which is certainly no bad thing). Han seems to be getting over his grief concerning Chewbacca and Droma, although he can never replace Chewie, is turning out to be a worthy successor.
The plot is solid and has very few holes; refugees stranded on a dead planet which is being desperately brought back to life to house them, constantly and increasingly under threat from the Yuuzhan Vong. The political intrigue and downright schemeing involved in bringing those plans down weaves nicely among those threads. The usual lightsabre and blaster action is there to delight those who crave a bit of a punchup, as well as some very intimate and personal moments for those who like their characters to be more than a cardboard cutout with VILLAN and HERO stamped on them.
All in all, a worthy addition to the series. Now if only the next one would be out sooner...
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on 2 November 2000
For me, expectations were very high for Balance Point. I have loved all of the books so far in the New Jedi Order, and I expected this would follow suit.
But I didn't expect it to do so in such an excellent way. In previous NJO books, both Jacen and Jaina have really annoyed me (Jacen especially in Jedi Eclipse), but here I loved both of them, especially Jacen near the end.
Praise must go to Kathy Tyers for the characterisations that happened in this book. Luke and Mara behave like a married couple should, and near the end is a ver VERY tense and exciting scene.
Buy now
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on 19 September 2011
This book doesn't seem to be as exciting as the previous in the series but I am finding that there is a very strong plot developing. I would recommend any person whether you are a star wars fan or a readxer of books to give the 'New Jedi Order' series a go.
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on 21 September 2013
Its not the best of the series and does not offer new information other than the progress of the Yuuzhan Vong campaign. It does offer interesting character development especcially regarding Jacen Solo.
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on 23 July 2001
Having read all of the other NJO books so far and finding them on an average-good level compared to some of the earlier ones (mentioning no names), I had high hopes for this one, having read other SW work from Kathy Tyers before. (Truce at Bakura for one: *****) I was certainly blown away by all the little details woven into the story for those who might be newer to the series, and was certainly impressed by how much the 'older cast' of characters got to do here, (Luke, Mara, Leia and Han)whilst still letting the newer characters (Jacen, Jaina & Anakin Solo) come into their own amidst all the action, developing well as characters with their own, individual traits and personality quirks. Definitely worth a re-reading , and with a few, serious developments for the future, I wait with baited breath to see further chapters and find out 'what happens next'?
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on 15 September 2014
I have purchased this book for a friend for Christmas; from what I have read it looks pretty good. The book was in good condition, so I would recommend. Thank you.
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on 10 April 2014
A good story for building up to the oncoming adventures in this series although a bit slow at times it was still enjoyable.
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on 5 May 2004
Up until now, the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order series has been cosmic in scope, with characters moments taking place on a backdrop of world after world falling to the villainous Yuuzhan Vong. With Balance Point, Kathy Tyers gives us a bit of a break from that. Sure, the Vong are still ravaging every planet in sight, but the events of the book are limited to one planet with all of the characters involved being there. It’s a bit more intimate in scope in one other way, too: the main point of the story is young Jacen Solo’s quest to discover just what his place in the Force is. It’s a nice change of pace, but the presentation is a little boring and the characters sort of lie there on the page.
I have to admire Tyers’ attempt to do a Star Wars novel with very little starship combat, though there is a fair share of juking and jinking to be done. However, what we’re left with flies off the page like a Tie Fighter with one solar panel missing. It’s sad because this is a novel that sets up a lot of the books to come (or appears to, anyway). Coruscant is threatened, Han and Leia may be back together and Han is acting more like himself after what happened in the last few books. Jacen comes to a crossroads and appears to make the correct decision, and there’s plenty of personal action. Yet for some reason, none of this stuff seems to move. Droma gets very little characterization, and what there is of it is carried over from Luceno’s novels (Hero’s Trial and Jedi Eclipse). He is clearly not taking Chewbacca’s place, but I can’t tell if that’s because he’s not supposed to or because he’s just characterized badly.
The regulars are decent, but bland. The reunion between Han and Leia should be electrifying, but it just limps along (granted, they are in decontamination, but still…). It’s nice to see them working together and caring about each other, but it would have been nice to have better dialogue for them. Jacen’s relationship with his sister, Jaina, takes a nosedive as Jacen reveals that he won’t use the Force, even to rescue their mother. Thankfully, Jacen realizes that not using the Force but relying on others to use it is kind of hypocritical, but then he never does anything with that realization. When Jacen makes his final decision about his destiny, it all comes about in a fairly clichéd way, with a loved character being in danger forcing him to decide. The answer is, of course, predictable.
We are introduced to Warmaster Tsavong Lah, a Vong who appears to be an ongoing character in this one, as well as meeting Nom Anor yet again. Anor is actually getting a bit irritating, so one can only hope that he will soon be vaped accidentally by one of his own troops. He’s a spy, infiltrating the New Republic in various guises, showing up in book after book in another role, serving the Vong god of Tricks rather then the god of Violence. While it looks like this dynamic could be interesting in future books, Anor as a character has never achieved anything more then reader annoyance in my book.
As I said before, the plot is a lot more intimate and less star-spanning then previous books, which does make for a tighter book. I really liked the way the book didn’t jump all over the known galaxy and stayed in one place pretty much. Of course, it’s a stretch that they all end up in the same place yet again, but it’s a given with the Star Wars books, so I should probably stop complaining about it. I also really liked the relationship between Mara and Anakin, and to a lesser extent, Luke. A momentous event in Luke and Mara’s relationship occurs in this book, and I hope it leads to even more interesting things. In the meantime, though, Mara and Anakin make a wonderful pair. Mara’s the experienced one and Anakin is eager to learn at her feet. He learns a bit about espionage as well as more about using the Force. He’s also shown to be a bit of a hot shot, and I hope this leads to a lesson in future books.
All in all, Balance Point is a perfectly acceptable Star Wars novel. It has some excitement and some good character moments. I just wish there had been more of them. If you’re reading the series, it’s not really one you can skip (though hopefully future books that rely on it will tell you enough about it if you do decide to pass it by). It’s also good enough to get through if you have to. But if you’re picking and choosing, give this one a miss.
David Roy
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