“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.