“So far, Tenel Ka had managed to tread a fine line between pleasing and annoying her grandmother. She knew that is she stepped over that line too far, assassins might some day pay her a visit…”
“Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights: Shadow Academy” by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta
Any Star Wars fan will likely understand the duality of the Force. There is a Light side and a Dark side, good and evil, and, throughout most of history in this universe, they have been contending against each other. As Luke Skywalker builds up his Jedi Academy on Yavin 4, you better believe that there’s a secret operative working against him, for the Dark Side and the lingering remains of the defenders of the Empire. This is the Shadow Academy, a well-cloaked space station run by a spurned student of Skywalkers and a Darksister of Dathomir. They have a collection of potential Sith hopefuls, but they want more. They want the heirs to the Skywalker legacy.
So they go ahead and kidnap Jaina and Jacen Solo and their friend Lowbacca while they’re visiting Lando Clarisian’s gem diver station, forcing them to participate in their dark rituals and training while Luke and their friend Tenel Ka are tasked with finding and rescuing them. It’s really little surprise that, though I followed the stories fairly well, I never really read beyond this volume of the Young Jedi Knights series because I find it so underwhelming, especially after the first book in the series. I do love that we get more of my favorite character, Tenel Ka, and her intricate, complex background, but I think the main failing of Shadow Academy is that there is no real threat. Clearly, all the kids survive in tact, else there wouldn’t be much of a series that follows, and I can’t help but feel that Brakiss and Tamith Kai are caricatures of evil villains. They’re just a little too over-the-top to be believable. Meanwhile, the last book had a tight interaction between the four friends that really developed their association with each other, and I felt that was lacking in this book.
There were some excellent parts, which was basically anything having to do with Tenel Ka, and a great lightsaber battle, but, for the most part, I think it says a lot about Shadow Academy that I found the small excerpt of the next book, The Lost Ones more intriguing that the entire book as a whole. Of course, I think The Lost Ones is the only book of the series I actually don’t have, so it might be a while before I get to it. Still, it did set up some things for future books, though, really, my impression of it bordered mostly on meh.
Books read: 14/100.
I’d also like to take a second to welcome and thank my newest followers, Five Reflections and Health Demystified! Welcome aboard! Thank you so much for following!
Tenel Ka was always my favorite character as well. I loved this series as a kid, and I was one of those people that helped organize lightsaber battles among all the neighborhood kids.
See, and that’s just awesome. Here’s to hoping no one got their arm cut off in a show of pride, though!
Seeing that this post was about a Star Wars novel pretty much made my day (since I’m a self-proclaimed and unabashed Star Wars nut). Sadly, I usually don’t have the time or the willpower to sort out the good novels from the mediocre – of which, I am told, there are many. It’s nice to see somewhat critiquing Star Wars lore on face value.
btw, I don’t know if you’ve already read them, but some of the better SW novels I’ve found were the originals: The Thrawn Trilogy: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command (authored by Timothy Zahn)
oops. “someone”, not “somewhat”. Sorry, I’m editing-challenged, lol.
I have a ton of them that I inherited. I always tried to read through some of them in high school, but was more drawn in by fantasy rather than sci fi back then. In my attempt to try them again, I thought the Young Jedi Knights series would be a great way to get my toes wet again. Eventually, I want to get through those and then tackle The Truce at Bakura, the one I always tried to get through in high school but never quite managed to do it.
Good to know my wading through my massive Star Wars collection can help make someone’s day! Always glad to see another fan!