|Del Rey [US]
Arrow Books [UK]
|Story published as:
Paperback Novel (2008)
If you have read this book, please
1 review [Review
score: 3 / 5]
With the dark ascension of the
Empire, and the Jedi Knights virtually wiped out, one
Jedi who escaped the massacre is slated for a date with
destiny and a confrontation with Darth Vader.
Jax Pavan is one of the few Jedi Knights who
miraculously survived the slaughter that followed
Palpatine's ruthless Order 66. Now, deep in Coruscant's
Blackpit Slums, Jax ekes out a living as a private
investigator, trying to help people in need while
concealing his Jedi identity and staying one step ahead
of the killers out for Jedi blood. Others search for the
elusive Jax too. Hard-boiled reporter Den Dhur and his
buddy, the highly unorthodox droid I-5YQ, have shocking
news to bring Jax: about the father he never knew.
But when Jax learns that his old Jedi Master has been
killed, leaving behind the request that Jax finish a
mission critical to the resistance, Jax has no choice
but to emerge from hiding and risk detection by Darth
Vader to fulfill his Master's dying wish.
This story occurs approximately 3 months after Revenge
of the Sith (19 years before the Battle of Yavin).
Related Stories (in
Reaves kicks off his Coruscant Nights saga with Jedi
Twilight, which delves deep into the trenches and chasms that
form the more undesirable parts of the central world of the Empire.
"The whole feel of this book is very reminiscent of Darth
Maul: Shadow Hunter, Reaves' only other solo EU work. This
is unsurprising given the similarities of setting, and Reaves
clearly enjoys the dingy and melancholy mood that permeates the
prose. There are elements of this book that I really rather enjoyed.
The liberal use of non-humans is a big plus for me. There is a huge
amount of xenodiversity here, in both leading characters and
incidental ones, which to me gives the right feel to a Star Wars
novel. I often find some of the more human-centric ones irk slightly
because they lack such variety. I also really enjoyed reading about
elements of Xizor's back story and his devious quest to further his
own power. There was, too, a nice little section that compared Vader
to Kar Vastor and how differently they are perceived in the Force -
I found that quite satisfying.
"There are flaws here, though. The biggest being that the whole
book feels like a gigantic prologue. As such, the pace can sometimes
feel leaden and whilst the character focuses are nice, they can get
a touch stodgy at times. I was mildly unconvinced by the premise of
chasing 10-4TO due to its valuable data. Firstly because it had
already been done (R2-D2 in Episode IV: A New Hope?) and
secondly because it just felt like a flimsy excuse for people to
chase around after each other - many of the characters were more
than happy to chase the droid without knowing what it was carrying
other than "important data". There was also a moment when
I felt a continuity error. I'm not the oracle on such things, but
I'm convinced that Yevetha are extremely xenophobic to the point of
genocide. I found it jarring, therefore, that one was playing arcade
games in the Coruscanti underground. Similarly, I found the figure
given for the number of Jax Pavans on Coruscant a bit awkward.
Unless "Jax Pavan" is the Star Wars equivalent of
"John Smith", I found the figure a little too high to be
believable, even on a world of a trillion inhabitants.
"I did quite enjoy this book, and I look forward to where it is
heading; I especially want to know why Darth Vader is so interested
in Jax, since that was another minor gripe I had. An enjoyable
extended-introduction to a hopefully satisfying little series."