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A novel by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta (1996, Boulevard Books)
Book 5 of Young Jedi Knights: Rise of the Shadow Academy
23 years after Star Wars: A New Hope

The young Jedi go to Kashyyk, where the Shadow Academy steals computer cores.



1 star

Read April 15th to 21st, 1997  
    This book is similar to The Lost Ones, in that the whole book is set up for one purpose: to steal the computer cores.  Unfortunately, there were too many plot conveniences!   Like the attack itself, coming just a day after they arrived at Kashyyk.

  They were on Kashyyk because Lowie was worried about his sister.  Her best friend had gone on the Wookie rite of passage alone, and hadn't come back. Now his sister is restless, and is in a depression. 

  Luke and Han have gone out exploring something on the outer rim.  It's not said what they are investigating.  But they let Chewie pilot the stolen Shadow Chaser to his homeworld, along with the four Young Jedi Knights.  They encounter an ion storm which disables the ship, but they manage to effect temporary repairs and get there safely.

  Jaina and Chewie go to work on repairing the ship, while Jacen and Tenel Ka join Lowie trying to cheer up his sister.  They are called to the central computer station by a false emergency code.  In reality, it is Zek (the Darkest Knight) and some nightsisters and stormtroopers who are luring them there.  They escape down in to the lower levels, where some of them are injured, and Lowie's sister manages to kill a nightsister while also grabbing a fibre from the plant that would have been her rite of passage. 

  Another nightsister tries to steal the Shadow Chaser back, but fails, because it is still disabled.  Chewie manages to get her off balance, and she falls from the safe branches of the Wookie trees.  Chewie and Jaina then go to follow the others.  Chewie is injured, and Zek faces off with Jaina, but he lets her go as a final act of friendship.

  On the Shadow Academy, the Emperor arrives.  I like the hidden emperor -it makes me think that someone is pretending to be Emperor.  I was worried when he was first introduced, because I'm really, really tired of resurrecting the Emperor.  I'll be really disappointed if he's for real again. 

  The fact that he refuses to see Brakiss tells me that he's probably somebody else.  Only the next book will tell.  For the Shadow Academy is about to attack the Jedi Academy...

  One thing that I can't stand, though, is the defenses of Kashyyk all being controlled from one spot?  I don't think so.  Even the Millenium Falcon has two places to command from.  A planet surely would.  Since when did the Wookies become so great at computers?  Was that really the easiest place for the Shadow Academy to attack to get what it wanted? 

  Actual characterization of our heroes wasn't too bad, though.  I don't know whether to dread the next book or anticipate it.


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