Invoking Darkness was written by Jeanne Cavelos. The story takes place starting in August 2260 through 2261, covering just five months. As we discuss the third and final novel in the trilogy, it’s worth noting that the overarching story is tragic, alluded to by the collective title “Passing of the Technomages”. It’s noteworthy as well that the second novel’s title was somewhat optimistic (Summoning Light), but the story concludes with Invoking Darkness, an apparent downward turn. A good bit of this book makes direct ties into the story captured in episodes of the original Babylon 5 series. If you’ve seen the show, you’ll recognize them; if you haven’t, then when you watch the show, we trust you’ll be excited to see the hooks that were put in place then, for the events that JMS envisioned Jeanne Cavelos would capture in this set of books.
War is underway and the Shadows appear poised to win. Tied to the television show, John Sheridan appears convinced by a Shadow controlled version of his former wife (Anna) to travel to Z’ha’dum as the Shadows try to win him over to their side. This would eliminate the problem that he is to them…the “nexus”…as he is also the vessel containing what remains of the Vorlon Kosh. At the same time, Galen is assigned to depart the Technomage’s place of hiding, locate and kill three rogue members of the Technomage order. It is during and through this assignment, he ends up on Z’ha’dum while John Sheridan is there, and uses his powers in an attempt to tip the balance of the war. While chartered to kill the rogue members of the order, engaging in direct conflict with the Shadows, and especially on their homeworld, runs directly in conflict with the decision the Circle made to go into hiding. Without permission, Galen risks it all…for everyone. Storylines interweave quite a bit and we see just how events unfold to ultimately bring about the passing of the Technomages. Don’t make assumptions about what that ending for the Order looks like. The novel is definitely worth reading to see just what that looks like!
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While Invoking Darkness was the final novel in the B5 universe, we do have two more episodes of content for you. There were also six short stories, most of them penned by JMS himself. We intend to cover them in the order they were published, beginning with the first three in the next episode: “Shadow of His Thought; “Genius Loci”; and “Space, Time, and the Incurable Romantic”.
Please join us next time for what will be the penultimate episode of the Babylon Project Podcast. As always, we hope you can read along with us, and join in on the conversation!
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