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Star Wars: Labyrinth of Evil

June 24, 2007

2007 Top Ten Award Four Stars

Labyrinth of Evil On the planet Neimoida, Jed Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker set out to capture a treacherous ally of the Sith. Though they come up empty, their daring efforts yield an unexpected prize: intelligence capable of leading the Republic forces to their ultimate quarry, the ever-elusive Darth Sidious, whom they suspect has been manipulating every aspect of the Separatist rebellion. In the escalating galaxy-wide chess game of sabotage and retaliation, Sidious stays one move ahead. Then the trail takes a shocking turn. For Sidious and his minions have set in motion a ruthlessly orchestrated campaign to divide and overwhelm the Jedi forces — and bring the Republic to its knees.

Era: Republic, 19 Years Before the Battle of Yavin
Author: James Luceno
ISBN: 0-345-47573-9 (Del Rey)
Finished: 21 June 2007

First thing I have to mention is the graphic proclaiming this book as the prequel to Revenge of the Sith: A prequel to a prequel? How perverse!

Now that I got that off my chest. . .

At last. Back in September, I started this book but put it aside to read others. Not because it didn’t hold my interest or anything, but I was juggling too many books at the time. Then I had planned on reading it earlier this year, but Outbound Flight (in paperback) came out and, well, it’s Zahn. And Flight does take place before Labyrinth of Evil after all. Funny thing, I almost put it off again, to read after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Lo, and behold! I learned that Darth Bane: Path of Destruction (in paperback) was coming out this summer, and not November like I thought.

Even knowing how it all ends up in the movie and even knowing that, yes, Sidious and Palpatine are the same person, I thought the book was suspenseful. The Jedi come very close to learning the true identity of Lord Sidious. I felt tense when the Intelligence team was exploring Sidious’s lair, knowing that at any moment they’ll learn the truth and be killed mere seconds later. There were times when I wondered if Dooku knew they were the same person. Luceno continued to treat them as two separate people.

I got the impression that both Mon Mothma and Bail Organa knew about Padmé’s condition. At one point Padmé suffers a fainting spell and Mon Mothma gives her a knowing look. After Palpatine is kidnaped, Bail and Padmé have a conversation about the future and Padmé eludes to having other concerns than the Republic. Bail promises to help “you and those close to you.”

Anakin and Obi-Wan have quiet an adventure. Breaking people out of prison. Spending time in bars. Disabling tractor beams. Hmm. It sounds suspiciously like A New Hope.

I enjoyed the book very much and I only wish I’d read it sooner. Luceno is up there with Zahn, and I’m looking forward to reading Dark Lord. Too bad the Darth Plagueis novel was cancelled.

Favorite Quotes:
“Where are you going? Running will only make us appear guilty!”
“We are guilty!”
“He doesn’t know that.”

— Nute Gunray, Rune Haako, re: General Grievous

“Are we hit?”
“Not that, either.”
“Don’t tell me you’ve come to your senses and decided to surrender?”
“Tractor beam.”

— Obi-Wan, Anakin

“Any problems reaching the ship?”
“The usual close calls. Obviously you were successful at disabling the tractor beam.”
“Not a skill I expect to drawn on again, but, yes, thanks to Travale.”

— Obi-Wan, Anakin

“This has to be the fifteenth we’ve passed.”
“On this street. If we stop for a drink in each one, we’ll be drunk before we reach the bridge.”
“With any luck. Still, they’re likely to be our best source of information.”
“As opposed to just looking up her name in the local comm directory.”
“And a lot more fun.”

— Obi-Wan, Anakin

“Your relationship with females is an interesting one. The more jeopardy they’re in, the more you worry about them. And the more you worry about them, the more they worry about you.”
“You’re basing this on, what, exactly?”
“HoloNet gossip.”

— Obi-Wan, Anakin

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