Author James Luceno returns to the prequel biz with Star Wars: Labyrinth of Evil
, a novel sure to be required reading for die-hard fans of George Lucas's galaxy far, far away. Written with Lucas's blessing, Luceno's tale leads right to the opening sequence of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
, setting the stage for the fiery conclusion of the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire.
As the action begins, the Republic and Jedi have seemingly pushed the Separatists and Sith back into the outer reaches of the galaxy thanks to the clone army deployed in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. But as victory seems near, the ruthless General Grievous--think Darth Vader on steroids--emerges from the shadows. In the battle against Grievous, Anakin Skywalker--who is a little Vader-ish too these days--and Obi Wan Kenobi find themselves in a race to discover the identity of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious and unravel the web of duplicity surrounding the Separatist uprising.
While essential for obsessive fans, Labyrinth of Evil is a clunky novel and Luceno struggles with Lucas's ungainly and Byzantine plotting. Full of cumbersome, Star Wars technophillia, the novel merely serves its purpose by fleshing out the thin line between Episodes II and III. True believers will revel in the level of technical detail and tantalizing nuggets of trivia while the less zealous could satisfy their Star Wars cravings by checking out Timothy Zahn's masterful post-Episode VI works. --Jeremy Pugh
From Publishers Weekly
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, now a Jedi Knight, pursue old enemy Viceroy Gunray, who has been oppressing the intelligent beetles on the planet Cato Neimoidia, in bestseller Luceno's jaunty contribution to the Star Wars franchise. As the pair venture deep into interstellar space, to some well-drawn if unappetizing worlds, they also cross paths with Separatist leaders Count Dooku, Darth Sidious and General Grievous. Meanwhile, intrigues simmer back on the home planet Coruscant, and doubts grow about the loyalties of the Jedi Knights. The action builds smoothly to the climactic attack by the Separatists under General Grievous on Coruscant, where Anakin's wife, Senator Amidala, finds herself in mortal peril. While the author does a good job of maintaining excitement without revealing any secrets of the forthcoming final Star Wars movie, this tie-in, unlike some other Star Wars novels, has no features to give it interest apart from its link to the popular film series. Agent, Eleanor Wood at Spectrum Literary Agency. (On sale Jan. 25)
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