01/01/2011. Contributed by Tomas L. Martin
pub: Del Rey/Ballantine Books/Lucas Books. 317 page hardback. Price: $27.00 (US), $33.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-345-50918-5. pub: Del Rey/Ballantine Books/Lucas Books. 388 page hardback. Price: $ 7.99 (US), $ 9.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-345-50919-2.
check out websites: www.delreybooks.com and www.starwars.com
With ‘Abyss’, book three of the new ‘Fate of the Jedi’ series, we’re beginning to get to the meat of the tale. After the fall of Han and Leia’s son Jacen to the dark side of the Force in the nine book ‘Legacy Of The Force’ sequence, it took a few slower books by Aaron Allstone and Christie Golden to ease the characters into a new plotline, but now we’re really starting to kick on.
Troy Denning is a dab hand at the ‘Star Wars’ world by now and the action sequences and political intrigue really spark a lot of life into this book. Something dark in the Force is driving young Jedi mad, causing them to attack their friends and family, believing them to be imposters. Fuelled by suspicion of the Jedi after Jacen’s brief reign of terror and her own quest for power, Chief of State Natasi Daala pursues a vendetta against the Jedi Council, using the young Jedi as an excuse to clamp down on the Jedi.
Following their expulsion from capital world Coruscant by Daala in book one, ‘Outcast’, and their encounter with the alien Aiing-Tii in book two, ‘Omen’, Luke Skywalker and his son Ben find a mysterious space station between two black holes in the dark reaches of the Maw Cluster, where the signal driving the young Jedi mad appears to originate. They find a nexus of dark-side energy that has drawn Force users from across the galaxy to it. Luke and Ben find them lying near-death, meditating in communion with a Force presence that is slowly starving them to death. But if he is to solve the mystery of Jacen’s fall to the dark side, Luke must commune with the ‘Mind-Drinkers’ and risk losing his soul.
Meanwhile on Coruscant, Jaina, Han and Leia Solo and the Jedi Council battle with Daala to keep custody of the increasing numbers of young Jedi losing their minds. After Daala has the first two frozen in carbonite, the Jedi must resort to more and more desperate measures to protect the others, so they can work out the cause of their madness.
In ‘Omen’, Christie Golden’s book two of the ‘Fate of the Jedi’ sequence, we were introduced to a hitherto unknown enclave of Sith who had been stranded on a distant planet for generations. Denning continues their story as they begin to explore off-world, with the assistance of Sith training vessel Ship. In ‘Abyss’, the dark side users follow Ship to another planet full of carnivorous plants, where incredibly powerful Force user Abeloth seems to want to trap them there.
By the end of this book, the plotlines all seem to be coming together and Luke and Ben come up against these new Sith for the first time. Overall, the ‘Fate Of The Jedi’ series feels like it’s feeling its way a bit at the moment, but Troy Denning has really started to up the ante. The fight scenes are gritty, the way the Sith are constantly trying to kill each other whilst performing their mission and the excellent political backstabbing on Coruscant all add to a complex and layered addition to the ‘Star Wars’ extended universe.
Tomas L. Martin
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