- Series: Star Wars - Legends
- Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey (November 27, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345435419
- ISBN-13: 978-0345435415
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 222 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Star Wars: Darth Maul, Shadow Hunter (Star Wars - Legends) Mass Market Paperback – November 27, 2001
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"FULL OF LIGHTSABER BATTLES, THE JEDI PHILOSOPHY, AND LOTS OF NEW LIFE-FORMS."
"Reaves writes with a creative flair, allowing readers to experience an almost cinematic sensation as they move through the story. The language is colorful, the action scenes are dynamic, and the dialogue is realistic.... Shadow Hunter is a very good Star Wars novel that reads as easily as a comic book.... Reaves does an excellent job."
From the Inside Flap
For the infamous, power-hungry Sith,
beholden to the dark side,
the time has come to rise again . . .
After years of waiting in the shadows, Darth Sidious is taking the first step in his master plan to bring the Republic to its knees. Key to his scheme are the Neimoidians of the Trade Federation. Then one of his Neimoidian contacts disappears, and Sidious does not need his Force-honed instincts to suspect betrayal. He orders his apprentice, Darth Maul, to hunt the traitor down.
But he is too late. The secret has already passed into the hands of information broker Lorn Pavan, which places him right on the top of Darth Maul's hit list. Then, in the labyrinthine alleyways and sewers of Coruscant, capital city of the Republic, Lorn crosses paths with Darsha Assant, a Jedi Padawan on a mission to earn her Knighthood. Now the future of the Republic depends on Darsha and Lorn. But how can an untried Jedi and an ordinary man, stranger to the powerful ways of the Force, hope to triumph over one of the deadliest killers in the galaxy?
"SPECIAL BONUS INSIDE--the exclusive story, "Star Wars(R) Darth Maul: Saboteur" by James Luceno, previously available in e-book format only!
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Michael Reaves is by no stretch of the imagination a fantastic author; his writing style and mechanics just weren't that great. However, this minor lapse is more than made up for by all the great elements to this book. Reaves introduces several new and interesting characters, which is a boon since because they aren't "main" characters, there are no assurances that they will survive, and the suspense is therefore much greater than in most of the Star Wars stories.
The author also explores a lot of hitherto underexplained and -explored elements of the Star Wars universe. For example, the fighting style known as tëras käsi has been referenced and mentioned a lot in previous novels, but here for the first time we see what it really is. Also, we get more insight into the Sith culture -- why they want "revenge" on the Jedi, why Darth Maul in particular is so obssessed with killing Jedi, and things that make the Sith's motivations in the films much more clear. The book goes more into the actual role of the Jedi in the galaxy, and how much influence they have, and it explores some of the problems with Jedi policy. Also, though Reaves is a newcomer to the Star Wars universe, there are enough small references to other works to please fans especially.
In terms of action, of which there is certainly plenty to be found here, the author had a lot of fun. New and innovative ways of killing and dying in the Star Wars universe, cool weapons and capabilities. And instead of giving us a blow-by-blow breakdown of lightsaber duels, Reaves instead opts to go more into the mindset of the fighters, how the Force helps and influences their actions and decisions, which gives us a unique view in that regard. In fact, for a novel more oriented towards adventure, I think that this book has an outstanding amount of introspection and thought regarding the ways, the use, and the limits of the Force, and the differences between the Light Side and the Dark Side.
There were really only a few small downfalls in terms of plot. First of all, the Obi-Wan subplot was really unnecessary. It didn't really go anywhere, and it didn't really establish anything new about the character anyway. Also, in this book it seems that Holocrons are also able to be used as simple recording devices -- I had thought from previous sources that they were something different. And finally, there was really no reason to introduce the "Crimson Corridor." There are already plenty of bad places that we know about on Coruscant, an easy example being the Southern Underground, without the author having to create an even new, even worse section than we've seen before.
Overall, however, this was a great effort. A quick, fun, and entertaining romp through the bowels of Coruscant, filled with fun and enjoyable characters that I for one would like to see more of in the future. Good job Michael Reaves!
The story follows about five different characters as they all follow their own story arcs until all of the moving pieces fit together to show the readers how the Trade Federation's blockade of Naboo came into play. It was a great read, and the Jedi characters were decidedly less boring as the Jed'aii Lanoree was in Into the Void; but I felt that Darth Maul was far too subservient to Sydious.
There was none of the Sith ambition that plagued Darth Bane and his apprentice, there was only complete obedience which was disappointing. I was hoping for a little more fire from the main antagonist, but even his thought patterns were only to further the goals of his master.
Barring that, the book was a delightful read; and even though I knew how the book was going to end (Darth Maul winning and the blockade going into effect), it still made the journey enjoyable while giving readers some more background into the galactic setting prior to Episode I.
In fact, the best thing about Shadow Hunter is that by focusing mostly on new characters, Michael Reeves can create a lot more suspense. After all, how many Star Wars books have you read only to think, "I know he's not going to die." Here, while it seems like certain characters would have to die, it's not clear. The suspense is cleverly played up right through the very last page. The main character is Lorn Pavan and his sidekick droid I-5. The duo learn the secret of the Trade Federations alliance with the Sith and the blockade of Naboo (essentially, the events of Episode I). They eventually meet up with a Jedi, Darsha Assant, who brims with pride at being a part of the order. The interesting personal interactions come when we learn that Pavan hates Jedi, Assant lacks confidence, and I-5 has a great sense of humor. It's great to watch the characters grow, and I only wish we could have more of them.
Even with Darth Maul himself, Reeves is somewhat coy. The book doesn't tell us much about Darth Maul's past, and at first I was disappointed. However, after reading it, I appreciate the fact that Reeves left an air of mystery around the character. While this book was written before Episode II, any Star Wars fan can remember how disappointed they were when we learned Boba Fett was a little punk clone. We sometimes get into Maul's head, but even then he's a cool, efficient killing machine, without much introspection. What we really get from Maul is how his looks and aura simply terrorize his opponents. Overall, thank you Michael Reeves for not diminishing or demeaning this character in any way.
The only other 'main character' is Obi-Wan (still a Padawan), although he plays a peripheral and frankly useless role in the novel. My guess is that LucasBooks wanted him thrown in, and Reeves reluctantly agreed - but wisely kept him from participating in the main story.
I agree with other reviewers in that Reeves' writing style isn't the most fluid. He tends to "tell" more than "show." Nonetheless, it's more than suited to the task and never interferes with the narrative. I also appreciate that he employed a larger vocabulary than most Star Wars novels (even words I didn't know). It's nice to see an author willing to push his audience.
My only complaint about the story is that the Neimoidian subplot is dropped about a third of the way through. Reeves spends a good deal of time at the beginning of the book with Nute Gunray and friends, but we never really revisit them at the end. I mention this only because Reeves portrays the Neimoidians so well I would have liked to have seen more of them.
Overall, Shadow Hunter is one of the best prequel books I've read and will probably appeal to readers who like action as well as strong characters. It's convinced me to try Reeves' newer series Coruscant Nights.