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Into the Void

Star Wars Legends (Dawn of the Jedi)
Written by: Tim Lebbon
Narrated by: January LaVoy
Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On the planet Tython, the ancient Je’daii order was founded. And at the feet of its wise Masters, Lanoree Brock learned the mysteries and methods of the Force - and found her calling as one of its most powerful disciples. But as strongly as the Force flowed within Lanoree and her parents, it remained absent in her brother, who grew to despise and shun the Je’daii, and whose training in its ancient ways ended in tragedy.

Now, from her solitary life as a Ranger keeping order across the galaxy, Lanoree has been summoned by the Je’daii Council on a matter of utmost urgency. The leader of a fanatical cult, obsessed with traveling beyond the reaches of known space, is bent on opening a cosmic gateway using dreaded dark matter as the key - risking a cataclysmic reaction that will consume the entire star system. But more shocking to Lanoree than even the prospect of total galactic annihilation, is the decision of her Je’daii Masters to task her with the mission of preventing it. Until a staggering revelation makes clear why she was chosen: The brilliant, dangerous madman she must track down and stop at any cost is the brother whose death she has long grieved - and whose life she must now fear.

©2013 Tim Lebbon (P)2013 Random House Audio

What members say

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not What I Expected

I was hoping for more of an origin story on the Jedi. Instead I got a story that couldn't decide what it wanted to be with no real likable or fleshed out characters. The main character keeps making the same mistakes over and over again to the point where it's face palm worthy. It also makes it hard to believe that Rangers are anything to fear because of it. With all the time jumps back and forth it's very jarring (especially since it happens through the whole book), and means that neither the past or present parts of the story are fleshed out enough. The parts about the past are far more interesting than the present, and the story would've been far better served if the past was tackled first, followed by a time jump (see the Darth Plaguies book as a good example). There are so many characters (like all the Masters) that ultimately read like walking stereotypes, and the only one in any way interesting (for almost seemingly Grey choices) is not explored further. There's a lot of missed opportunities to explore original ideas, such as the alchemy experiment and the Chasm that just... Aren't. Instead we spend so much time focusing on the terrible villain in the story, a brother who was always a bit psychopathic but apparently it was never picked up by anyone. One who for some reason the main character is so devoted to, but for reasons that don't make sense in the scope of the story since he's always come off as a jerk. Also, this is nitpicking a bit but I'm not sure why the author loves to repeat things often, in particular 'detritus' (comes up three times) and the quote "there are such depths" (pseudo mystical nonsense that's never explained) l. Honestly this book feels like it has barely any connection to Star Wars outside of the title, the mention of the Force, and a Twilek (who is also supposed to be a dangerous guy but never demonstrates it in any capacity). The only decent thing is the narrator and she's not even part of the story. "There are such depths".. Too bad the same can't be said of the story. Please don't waste your time or money.

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couldnt even finish it.

another sjw pandering to the mary sue female and making the male look weak as hell. weak cliche writing. couldnt even finish it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael Kendra
  • 2017-09-17

Really bad

This book is poorly written, stuffed with descriptive cliches, and offers nothing in the way of interesting lore to the Star Wars universe. Jumbled and hinting at more interesting stories we don't get to hear, each section jars with the previous one.

The performance was fine, but the story was written in such a way as to make all the protagonists dialogue stilted and forced with her main companion.

It's always odd to hear a narrator imitating the voice of the opposite gender. Most are quite passable, but this was a particularly bad one. Takes me out of the story I guess.

Mostly I spent the time wondering why all the characters were so stupid. Protagonist is almost entirely unlikable. Kind of like watching the prequel movies. As a fan of the expanded universe or whatever Disney is calling the books now, I'm disappointed.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • K. J. Kendall
  • 2016-08-12

A lot of not much

Would you try another book from Tim Lebbon and/or January LaVoy?

Probably not

What was most disappointing about Tim Lebbon’s story?

The story was pretty bland and ultimately lifeless. If this hadn't been a Star Wars novel nobody would have published it. The main character was annoying, the villain one dimensional and pretty much everyone else in the story was a stock villain or bit player. I also found the use of the Star Wars themes in an attempt to create tension that simply doesn't exist was pretty sad.

What three words best describe January LaVoy’s performance?

Potatoes, not stuffing.

What character would you cut from Into the Void?

The real question is "what character would I keep?"

Any additional comments?

If you are the kind of person who puts "jedi" as your religion on official documents then this book will no doubt thrill you from the first syllable to the last implied period. Otherwise it fills your ears with harmless sound for a few hours.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • AnthroGal
  • 2013-05-30

Pleasant surprise, best SW novels of late

What, no Marc Thompson?!? He pretty much makes or breaks any SW audiobook. He's like that familiar security blanket. And he's dang good.

But so was January LaVoy. Though she's no Marc Thompson, she rises to the challenge and exceeded my expectations, and quite frankly, I enjoyed her more than other non-Marc Thompson SW narrators. Not only that, it was fitting to have a female narrator with a novel that featured a female Jed'aii front and center.

Now, the story. I've been quite disappointed with the direction of SW novels as of late. Not enough to turn me away completely, but I think the quality of the stuff coming out lately has not been as great, the overarching story arcs/time frames (The Old Republic, namely) has been lacking for me.

This has revived my interest. This story is extremely interesting and opened up a whole new door in the SW universe. I still have some unanswered questions on the background (maybe I should read the comic book series) but perhaps as this period in the SW canon becomes more developed (here's hoping...) the answers will become more apparent. But there is a lot of potential in this time period that I am hoping for more to come out...

30 of 35 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Meganerdman
  • 2017-03-21

Mediocre

This book had so much potential but the story was vague in its important story elements, its characters undeveloped and borderline child-like, and was horribly cliche. Didn't sound like it was written by an experienced author.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Katarina
  • 2017-06-02

Great narration but the story disappoints

I recently read the Dawn of the Jedi comics (three trade paperbacks) and was very enthousiastic about them - those stories I would rate five stars. So I was very excited to discover that there had also been written a novel with a storyline from that same - ancient Star Wars - period.

However, this story fell short for me. The characters felt very two-dimensional and the supposed heroine was, frankly, rather annoying and unsympathetic. Je'daii (pronounced correctly by the narrator) Ranger Lanoree came across as endlessly hasassing and nagging her brother, not accepting his making a different life choice. Now, this concept in itself I could understand, it is very human to struggle with choices close family members make that we maybe don't get. However, the author did not succeed in writing a gripping story about it, nor did he give his heroine anything remotely resembling an interesting internal monologue; she simply kept repeating how the Force was with her, how much she constantly was aware of it, and, frankly, how awesome it made her. Quite boring.
The author fails to explain what it's like to keep the Force balanced within you, since that is what it's like to be a Force wielder in these ancient times. There's not Jedi and Sith yet, no Light and Dark side wielders; everyone keeps Light & Dark in balance within them. Lanoree talks the talk but we never see her actually walking that walk, it's only the Light side that she wields. Only in the bonus short story that follows the novel (so don't stop listening!) we finally see a Je'daii choosing to wield the Dark side for a certain purpose, but still not Lanoree - and that short story is by a different author...

As for the "bad guy" in the novel, Lanoree's brother, the novel does not make clear at all how he reaches his point of Super Villainy. It starts out as him choosing not to have anything to do with the Force, and how he longs to explore the rest of the universe, which seem to me to be quite innocent thoughts. But why this is not acceptable in these Early Days is never explained (would have been interesting!), nor how this turns him into a full-blown psychopath in the end.

Then there was the sidekick to the heroine. A supposed 'true' bad guy with whom she partners out of necessity, but somehow he turns out pretty darn 'good' for a criminal. How he stays loyal to Lanoree confounds me, as she openly uses him and does not seem to care about his well-being at all. For instance, when he's injured she promises him that he'll get medical treatment once they reach her ship, but when they finally do, he doesn't get any treatment whatsoever. (sigh)
Had I cared for this character at all, it would have bugged me.

However, I did not care for any of them. I finished the novel because I kept hoping it would get better, but when it finally reached its so-called climax, I felt robbed.

In conclusion, if you'd like to find out more about the early Je'daii, skip this novel and get your hands on the comics, for they are truly awesome examples of Star Wars lore, with gorgeous graphic artwork.

Narration was good however, and I also liked the SW music and sound effects, although it was a bit weird to hear the same sound effects for the Light side of the Force as were used for the Dark Side in Darth Plagueis and Darth Bane.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amber DeSadier
  • 2017-04-27

Good Lord Save Your TIME

As a Star Wars book, this is really not great. As a book book, its horrible. Terrible writing.

My main issue with this book. The whole reason for the conflict in this book is the Jedi pushing a kid to use the Force knowing that he has no ability in it. They ignore YEARS of this, knowing all it did was make the kid seriously unhappy and quite unhinged. He hated everything and they ignored the fact that he was NOT a force user. So wrong on so many levels.

First of all, he is supposed to have parents who constantly ignore his torment and constantly pressure him to just give into the Force like its a choice. Even after they realize he has no gift with the Force, they keep making him do what other Jedi kids do. They make him go through the trials. Serious negligence and I can't imagine Jedi parents (who can uniquely feel and understand the damage they are doing to him) doing that.

Second of all, you have his teachers. Je'daii who are WELL AWARE HE HAS NO FORCE ABILITY still pushing him every second as though it will somehow fix itself if he just tries hard enough. I know these people cant be that dumb. This was BEYOND negligent and thoroughly abusive. Everything about this scenario is unrealistic in the world of Star Wars and the Jedi, beginning or no.

This colored everything else about the book. Add to it, that its poorly written and I am out without finishing it. Screw this. The man dies at the end because people ignored him, tormented him, and held him to an impossible standard. I would rather not read that shit.

On the bright side the narrator did a great job.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas
  • 2013-05-15

Not read by Marc Thompson, still very good

What about January LaVoy’s performance did you like?

I was originally dubious about January LaVoy narrating this over Marc Thompson (who I love), but she really pulls you into the book as much as Marc does for me. Good choice!

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacen
  • 2013-05-19

Sharp writing and a great story!

What made the experience of listening to Into the Void: Star Wars the most enjoyable?

Tim Lebbon's world building and prose. The man can write this stuff!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Into the Void: Star Wars?

The whole thing was so good that I can't really select one moment. And I really can't say that about too many recent Star Wars novels.

Have you listened to any of January LaVoy’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Nope. She was pretty good. I enjoyed hearing a woman's voice in a Star Wars book with a female protagonist. Marc Thompson is pure awesome and all but this was a nice change. I felt January made it easier to feel like we were inside Lanoree's head.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The climax of the novel was very emotional.

Any additional comments?

Lebbon does an outstanding job inter-cutting a flashback of Lanoree's Je'daii training with her brother, Dal, and her pursuit of him 9 years later. It gave the novel a balance and depth that it wouldn't have had had Lebbon simply stuck with the chase and nothing but. It also serves to explain the differences between the modern Jedi and the ancient Je'daii.

15 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Monkeyville
  • 2018-01-07

Hmmm...

Tim Lebbon is talented. January LaVoy is talented. And this is a Star Wars story. So, I'm baffled. This is the first of dozens of Star Wars audiobooks that I had to convince myself to finish.

This should have been a short story. About 1/4 of the way through, the story becomes repetitive. Instead of unexpected twists and turns, it's like attending a football game where both teams go scoreless without a completed pass or passing the 50 yard line after the first quarter.

Any true Star Wars fan is fascinated by the dilemmas characters face when seeking a "balance" in the Force. What this novel revealed is that talking about it, describing it, and revisiting it in virtually every chapter can leave you feeling like you've heard the same song thirty times on an 8 hour car trip.

It wasn't terrible - but, it's the first SW novel I can say I wont revisit or enthusiastically recommend to others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-12-15

narrator was horrid

the book was good. gives insight into the je'daii. the narrator however was like jar jar in episode 1

3 of 4 people found this review helpful