||This was a book that moved the overall story forward,
yet the event that should have had the most impact in shaking up the
current Star Wars universe was surprisingly quiet and simple. I can only
hope that the two final books in this series deal with some of the
repercussions. The two other plots carried by this book were done well,
but Luke's still lacks focus, aside from visiting more
Force-sensitive populations, and I guess we won't get any closure until
the final book.
Luke's original theme in this series was to figure out
how Jacen turned to the Dark Side. That was abandoned when he found
Abeloth in Abyss, which was fine by me, because the readers already knew
why he turned -to save his daughter. Abeloth, however, has turned into a
disappointment, and this story is no different. Luke, Ben and Vestara
follow her to Nam Chorios, which is where he first encountered the
drochs, and finally lost Callista, in
Planet of Twilight. But what happens here? They learn a
new Force technique, where memories can be removed (for therapeutic
reasons), they help a family from a Force Storm, they go out to
investigate a red herring, during which time their ship is shot down. So
they have to rig the ship (an old TIE bomber) with a sail and other
temporary measures, which slows them down. In the meantime, the Sith
arrive, and they all find Abeloth together. Luke chats with Callista and
uses the new technique to extract Callista from Abeloth once and for
all, while Vestara uses a sentient crystal to channel a Force attack by
the Sith, which damages all Force-users in range.
Did we learn anything new about any of the characters?
Not really. Did Luke or Ben grow? No, though Vestara, at least, had some
moments trying to justify why she likes Luke and Ben's light-side
relationship better than her own with her father. Will she turn to the
Light side in the end? Her relationship with Ben doesn't develop much,
if at all, either.
Abeloth is very much weakened
by the end of this story, so maybe this is a turning point for the Dark
Side character. It obviously drives her to the Sith by the end. Maybe
that will be their undoing.
The other wasted storyline belongs to Valin and
Jysella Horn, who are revived from carbon freeze, fool the Jedi into
thinking they are okay, and then traipse off to Nam Chorios at Abeloth's
call. Valin fights Ben and loses, and by the end, the two are declared
finally cured. Why bother, is my thought.
storyline that changes the Galactic Alliance is the overthrow of Daala
from the seat of power by the Jedi. The setup was very detailed, and I
really liked the interactions of the characters involved, especially Han
and Leia. Under Allston's guidance, Leia is picking up a bit of Han's
humor, which is fun. And the humor, as always by this author, is very
sarcastic and can be hilarious sometimes.
Kyp and other Jedi have been
smuggled into the Senate building, where they have been tapping into
communications, getting codes for weapons stores, and so on, in
preparation for the big move. They are helped along by the Imperial
plotters, who discredited the local police in their plan to get the Navy
police inside and kill Daala. As the Imperials make their move, so do
the Jedi, and the Senate chamber is sealed up, thinking it is under
Yuuzhan Vong attack! While I think this is hilarious, I wonder when the
protocol was enacted. Did we see this in Star By Star? After that,
didn't the Vong pretty much destroy a lot of the seats of power, such
that they would need to be reconstructed, or at least reprogrammed, such
that this protocol wouldn't even be thought of?
So the Chief of State is now made up of a triumvirate, Saba, the head of
the navy, and the Kuati senator Treen (the latter two were in the plot
to kill Daala). I realize Saba thinks this is temporary, and she is
uncomfortable in the role, which is good, but does nobody point out that
it is a bad idea (or impractical at the very least) that one person be
leading the Jedi Order and the Senate? Doesn't Saba have enough to do
leading the Jedi? I suppose that doesn't mean much after Luke's plea
bargain was overturned, and he is now Grand Master again.
The most interesting thing about this plot is the way
Saba thinks running the galaxy is too easy, now that the Senate has
stopped its committees in protest. The triumvirate thinks on a solution
to a problem and makes a decision, which is carried out. Sounds more
like an Empire, and it works better than the democracy.
Daala, meanwhile, is sentenced to the same prison as
Tahiri, who has finally been convicted (and sentenced to death). But
Daala has powerful friends, and she calls on Boba Fett, who blasts her
out of prison. How she plans to take back power now is beyond me, but I
shudder to think of how these authors will make the attempt, given the
lack of logic put behind many of the decisions in this series and the
previous one. Tahiri sees the escape and takes advantage of the turmoil to
follow Daala out, and takes refuge in an abandoned apartment. This is
finally a development I've been looking forward to.
The decision point for everybody to decide and take over the
government came when Daala sent the Mandalorians to Klatooine to wipe
out a conference of anti-slavery advocates, one of whom blew up an
Alliance warship in Coruscant orbit. Han and Leia are sent to make peace
there, after all the action on Coruscant quiets down. It almost feels
like a different book, because the theme has changed, and the rest of
the characters are only seen a little. I was jolted a little from the
story to hear that Klatooine was not part of the Alliance -why, then,
would Daala be sending Mandalorians to bomb them? Shouldn't the Hutts
be very upset about that?
insist that Tenel Ka come to make peace with them, as she is a Jedi and
a politician. From then on, we almost only get this story from Allana's
perspective, so the negotiations are not really important for the story
-and that is unfortunate, because it could have been an interesting
debate. As it is, we only get to see it from the sidelines. But
Allana's point of view works, as she struggles watching her mother
stride by her without showing emotion, and in her attempts to discover
who was going to try and kill her mother.
coincidentally (and I say that sarcastically), one of the Lost Tribe of
the Sith has been tasked with killing Tenel Ka. He almost immediately
recognizes that Allana is probably Tenel Ka's daughter, which is a nice
change. Allana has been seeing a man of fire attacking her mother, and
doesn't trust the adults to take her seriously, so she searches for the
dark man herself. She even gives her security detail the slip to escape
the tent-city's limits. The security is competent, for once, and
immediately communicate their failure to Leia, who follows her adopted
daughter to the Sith encampment. When Allana steals the remote control
that would detonate C3PO, and the Dark Man goes to chase her, he comes
up against Leia, who defeats him easily.
Even though much of the story had problems, it was
still written very well, and was enjoyable. I just wish the authors
would have their characters do logical things, or allow the various
plots to come together to real conclusions, once in a while. I can't say
this series has been great, but I think so far it's better than Legacy
of the Force.