I have an veritable mountain of science fiction books to review! So I’m starting sci fi Friday. I know most of you won’t like it; that’s why I’m doing it on Friday when the stats are low. But stick around. I will be covering more than Star Wars and Star Trek. You may find that you actually like it. Science fiction is not too far off from fantasy! A great deal of the plots are very interwoven like you find in the typical fantasy series. The Star Trek books tend to be more free standing thought there are mini series. Star Wars on the other hand, had some serious story arcs. Now on to the story…
This book takes place immediately before The Phantom Menace. One of Nute Gunray’s lackeys, Hoth Monchar, has gone missing. This is a problem especially as Darth Sidious is about to put the finishing touches on Naboo’s blockade. Let’s face it, loose lips sink ships. So Sidious send Darth Maul to track down the missing Neimodian, hopefully before the man starts talking and the Jedi find out that the Sith have indeed returned.
Maul does track Monchar down; however Monchar has recorded his stole information into a holocron which has sold to one Lorn Pavan. When we are introduced to Pavan we see that he has no love for the Jedi. As it turns out, the Jedi have taken his son away from him to raise. Once Pavan realizes the importance of the information, he decides to take it to the Jedi Temple.
Maul’s new assignment becomes to track down Pavan, kill him, and kill anyone with whom he might have spoken. Maul tracks Pavan back to Coruscant. However, Pavan (accompanied by droid I-Five) crosses path with Jedi Master Anoon Bondara and Padawan Darsha Assant, who are on a mission related to the Black Sun criminal syndicate. Maul attacks them, and Bondara gives his life so that Pavan and Assant can escape.
Maul tracks down the pair. Assant hold Maul off long enough for the droid to seal itself and Pavan in carbonite.. Assant triggers an explosion that kills her but barely misses Maul. Maul assumes Pavan is dead as he cannot sense Pavan through the Force not realizing the man is frozen.
One the timer runs out, Pavan is released from the carbonite. He tracks down Maul on a station and manages to sneak attack him. However, Maul cuts off his hand. Pavan is able to get away from Maul to the public area of the station. He passes the holocron off to Senator Palpatine who promises to help. Palpatine helps the man to his death by sending Maul to the man’s quarters.
At the end of the book, the blockade of the Phantom Menace starts.
I think it is so interesting that the Jedi were not well loved prior to Luke Skywalker. They had a really bad reputation as baby snatchers. In addition, I think all the “insight” from the Force, not mention the arrogant attitudes were probably annoying. In the later Star Wars books, you see that this attitude lingers for some of the older people. But it is so fascinating how close the Sith came to being exposed.