||A story that started off decent
enough, with pretty good artwork, but had a very unfulfilling
There must be
something about Aurra Sing that I don't understand. I have no emotional
investment in the character. We don't know anything about the character
other than she was once a Padawan under "the Dark Woman", and now she
likes killing Jedi. To that, I say, so what? Unlike
Boba Fett, who felt
dangerous and whose mystery added to his threatening manner, Aurra Sing
does not benefit from a mysterious background. In order for her
character to work, we need to know her motivations, and soon, especially
since the rest of the characters seem to already know her history.
Like so many bad guys before her, Aurra
Sing suffers from being too powerful, as well. She kills two Jedi
Masters at the very beginning, leaving a young Padawan Twi'lek behind
alive to tell the story of her master's demise. The council then sends
three Jedi after her, determined to stop this killer. Several characters
mention that they feel she is not under the power of the Dark Side; does
that mean she is not helping Darth Sidious in his task? What is wrong
with her, then?
She is hired by two disgruntled Quarren
to kill their former partner, who is now a Republic senator, requiring
her special talents to kill, as well,
a Jedi who caused them severe grief, who happens to be the Dark Woman! Aurra Sing is elated, as she now has the chance to kill her
Most of the story up to this point was
well presented. I am reluctant to believe she can take out those
destroyer droids, but can let it pass as proof that she is powerful.
However, once everybody gets to the
planet, things get sloppy. Most sloppy is Ki Adi Mundi, who should have
at least been aware of her manipulation from Outlander, where he met her
last. Why didn't the Force warn Ki that he was about to come under
attack? Why was the Dark Woman caught by surprise by the Quarren
bodyguards, and gets shot? For that matter, why does Aurra Sing herself
not get out of the way of the rock that Adi Gallia sends crashing into
her? The Jedi are getting very sloppy, indeed!
As much as I love Adi Gallia, I can't
see her surviving stepping on a land mine, especially since the
senator's guards were all decimated by one of them stepping on a single
Speaking of the senator, I actually
liked the Quarren! He was obviously doing something illegal, with those
"Quald Runium" pieces from the asteroids that periodically rained down on
his newly acquired planet, and didn't like having the Jedi around -until
he fell under attack, anyway.
The battle between A'sharad Hett and
Aurra Sing was better than I expected, by this point. Against all other
indications, I wonder if this book was not really about him, instead of
the others. He managed to face his anger, tempted by the woman who
killed his father. This was a real lightsaber battle, between two
equally-skilled opponents. It showed that Sing was not all-powerful. If Hett could defeat her, then any Master should be able to do the same.
It's too bad that Hett didn't kill her; then he would have had more
reason to beg forgiveness and a release from the Jedi vows, and we would
have been rid of this Jedi-killer. As it stands, though, Hett now
knows his limits, realizing that he underestimated hatred and revenge.
That is the best part of this book.
Although the artwork didn't depict the
characters as well as other books in the series, they were consistent
within the style of the book. The characters were a little more
stylized, which is fine. In most cases, there was not much in the way of
background, so we were focusing on the characters a lot. They were able
to depict emotions, from the exaggerated scowls of Aurra Sing to the
surprise by Ki Adi Mundi, and even somehow a whole range of emotions
behind A'sharad Hett's mask! Still, nothing stood out as great, even
full-page spreads like the Republic ship blowing up.
This book seemed to go by much faster
than others in this series. It looks about the same length, to which I
must conclude that it's because of the lack of dialog. So much of this
installment was depicted in close-ups, or by the looks on people's
faces, like when Aurra Sing makes the young Padawan cry. I was a little
disappointed by this, as I prefer much longer stories.
The book seemed to be missing a
conclusion. So much was unexplained, and I wonder if we will get more in
the future. We know that Sing escaped, even though she was unconscious
when the meteor hit. How did we get to "tomorrow", even if the rotation
cycle is fast, if we didn't go through night? Surely the scientist would
use standard time, not local? Regardless, what happens to Aurra Sing's
reputation now, since she didn't even manage to kill the senator (was
she saving him for last, after the Jedi -she managed to kill every one
of his bodyguards), let alone the Dark Woman. She certainly won't get
paid for this job.
There are just too many loose ends to
tie up. I hope the next book, which doesn't look like it follows up on
this tale, gets better.