Once again Boba Fett is strangely portrayed, and is way out of
character. Overall, I know the book was setting the stage. But it's a long setup, dragged out.
I wonder if the authors were thinking ahead when the mentioned Lowie's dead friend way back in Shadow
Academy, as she mysteriously appears in this book. The characters seemed to be off here. The writing
style was juvenile, which is inexcusable, even for a young reader book.
The book starts with the young Jedi going to join Raynar's family
with their hidden fleet. Unfortunately, there is a traitor on board,
who sets the next "random" hyperspace jump into a trap. The ships
fire, while the navigator takes Raynar and his mother down to the docking
bay, to kidnap them.
Jacen and Tenel Ka figure out that something is wrong, however,
and they save these two from being kidnapped.
After this battle, they decide that they can no longer sit and
do nothing. Raynar's uncle, Tyko, decides to go back to his droid
manufacturing plant, on Mechis III, while the young Jedi, sans Raynar,
go to Thul's last known meeting place. There, they discover a sash,
even though the sash would be so small, especially while searching a whole
planet, with a warning message on it.
They search the caves, and discover giant spiders, which attack
them. They are saved by Lowie's Wookie friend Rabba, who went missing
in the previous series. Unfortunately, Rabba is under the influence
of the Diversity Alliance, and she hates humans. This hurts Lowie,
and they leave on uncertain terms.
Meanwhile, Zek has found himself a job as a bounty hunter.
He goes in search of a trader, who has gone missing without paying for
his shipment. He tracks the man to an obscure planet, which has been
devastated by some horrible disease. The message cube that is left
behind describes the human-killing plague the Nola Tarkona, head of the
Diversity Alliance, has unleashed here, by the unwitting trader.
It turns out that Thul was the middle man on the deal, which is why he
Fett also makes an appearance here, answering most of Zek's questions,
and letting Zek get away with a lot more than he should have. He
also shows up at Tarkona's palace to report a setback, instead of continuing
on his mission.
This book also shows some really disgusting scenes, as Tarkona's
wolfman second in command eats a human for snack. It was obviously
designed to show how anti-human the Alliance is, but I think it was unnecessary.
Finally, Tyko Thul shows up on the planet where the Young Jedi
are still searching for Raynar's father. He convinces them to stay
another day, and then they are attacked. IG-88 and a group of assassin
droids chase them through the tunnels, and finally catch Tyko. He
is obviously going to be used as bait for Raynar's father.
The young Jedi are left to make repairs, and they head back to
the Jedi Academy in a somber mood.
There appears to be too much going on here. The traitor
was good story-telling, and the stuff with Zek was not bad. But the
Jedi-centered search was a little dull.