Star Wars Beyond the Films‘ Nathan P. Butler is now posting short, non-spoiler reviews for many new releases. Spoiler-filled discussion will often follow in the weeks or months thereafter on the podcast.
Adventures in Wild Space: The Cold by Cavan Scott (softcover, 2017)
The Cold is book #5 in Adventures in Wild Space, though technically the sixth entry in the series if one considers the essential prelude book, The Escape, from World Book Day. You can find my previous reviews of The Escape, The Snare, The Nest, The Steal, and The Dark here on SWR.
It should also be noted that Adventures in Wild Space began as an exclusive to the UK and Ireland. However, U.S. releases have now begun, albeit several books behind the UK. Original information that suggested that The Escape would appear in The Snare for the U.S. turned out to be false. The Escape was released instead as an ebook for the U.S.
Adventures in Wild Space
Adventures in Wild Space (by Cavan Scott and Tom Huddleston, each writing separate books) follows Lina Graf (age 10), Milo Graf (age 9), their droid CR-8R (Crater), and their Kowakian Monkey-Lizard (Morq) as they face off with the Empire (in the person of Captain Visler Korda, an officer with a metal jaw akin to Darth Malak in Legends or Jaws in the James Bond franchise). Their goal is to save their parents, a pair of explorers who have been taken captive by Korda. The Empire, it seems, wants their exploration data about Wild Space as it expands. It is under that premise that a half-length junior novel (The Escape) and now five full-length junior novels (The Snare, The Nest, The Steal, The Dark, and The Cold) have been released.
The end of The Dark (or The Darkness in the U.S.) left Lina, Milo, Morq, and CR-8R in the care of Ephraim and Mira Bridger, parents of Ezra Bridger of Rebels fame (but only about a year old at this point). They received word of a possible lead on their parents’ location, though that appears to have been dropped as The Cold begins (unless they just never followed up on it, given that the kids have been with the Bridgers for “a while” as of the beginning of The Cold and have a lead that they are following, perhaps a new one).
As is sometimes the case with books in this series, The Cold is a pretty short and relatively unremarkable tale in that it seems to span only a matter of a few hours at most. That said, it does alter the series’ status quo. When shot down on a frozen moon, the heroic quartet finds themselves pursued by Imperials (as usual) and Korda (who finally gets a first name!), but Korda is no longer an Imperial himself due to his actions in The Dark. As such, Korda’s pursuit becomes more about selling the Grafs’ data to the highest bidder for his own gain than for the good of the Empire. Thus, one could argue that this is a tale with not one but two different villainous factions, making the future all the more tough on the Graf children.
The tale is fairly straightforward with a few minor twists before an end that provides new hopes for a Graf family reunion and a new menace as a familiar Imperial steps onto the series’ stage as a potential new antagonist for the Grafs to contend with.
Taken as a whole, Adventures in Wild Space remains a series that started with promise and has been slowly (very slowly) but surely building toward its potential. While The Cold does not do a lot in its 150 or so pages, it does manage to shift the status quo enough to raise interesting questions on where the series goes from here. It isn’t the best outing in the series, nor for series co-writer Cavan Scott, but it works well enough to move the series’ plot along.
Recommended for: Those interested in the continuing adventures of the Grafs.
Not recommended for: Those trying to jump into the story here, rather than following the earlier adventures in the “serialized” series. There isn’t a lot here to catch new readers up if the previous books have been skipped.
The copy used for this review was a retail purchase.Powered by Sidelines