Jedi Quest series (Star Wars Legends)
#0 - Path to Truth
I've always found it odd that this book isn't the first official title in the Jedi Quest series and was seemingly published as a one-shot, but perhaps TPTB were testing the waters. They didn't need to be so cautious - Jude Watson always delivers. It might not carry #1 on the cover, but this instalment is incredibly strong and immediately highlights the differences between Obi-Wan's firm bond with Qui-Gon and his tenuous connection with Anakin. Bonus Siri Tachi!
#1 - The Way of the Apprentice
A solid instalment that could have been merely average, had Watson not isolated the four Padawans and revealed key aspects of their characters in how they interacted with each other. Admittedly, in order to properly enjoy this, I had to take a step back from my disappointment that Obi-Wan and Anakin don't have the same fantastic bond that existed between Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon in the earlier Jedi Apprentice series.
#2 - The Trail of the Jedi
This one is 40 pages shorter than the previous two instalments, but it's none the poorer for it. In fact, the plot and pacing benefit enormously from the shorter length; both are tight and on point. I'm also pleased to see an overarching plot being introduced (and one that isn't "oh look Anakin is travelling towards his destiny" - thank goodness).
#3 - The Dangerous Games
It says a lot about Watson's skill that she took the cringeworthy concept of Anakin meeting Sebulba again, before a Podracing event of all things, and managed to make it work. Didi and Astri also reappeared, which made this Jedi Apprentice fan very happy. I like the darker edge of this series - the endings consistently straddle the line between satisfactory and disheartening.
#4 - The Master of Disguise
This started quite strongly, with us readers thrown straight into the action on a world beset with civil war, but things went downhill during the Granta Omega investigation. That should have been exciting. Alas, no. Even the shorter length didn't ease my frustration with the storyline.
#5 - The School of Fear
Sadly not as strong as previous entries in the series, this instalment rehashes the frustrating Sano Sauro plot thread from the previous book (and it really wasn't needed, unless it was included to add pages to the overall length) and then forces Ferus and Anakin to interact in that tense way of theirs (which is beginning to feel repetitive).
#6 - The Shadow Trap
I thought this was going to be a run-of-the-mill story, but I was pleasantly surprised - although perhaps "pleasantly" is not the word I should use, since this book has quite a tragic climax. It's so impactful that I remember it all these years later. There's also a Big Reveal about the villain... which is equal parts cool and exasperating (I actually groaned out loud), even if you are a fan of the Jedi Apprentice series. Oddly enough, this last aspect of the book didn't imprint on my memories.
#7 - The Moment of Truth
Hmm. This wasn't bad but it was mostly forgettable - until the Big Reveal at the end. I have been enjoying the many and varied references to the Jedi Apprentice series throughout these books, but I feel this is one too far. It would be a lot more interesting if Obi-Wan and Anakin encountered recurring villains that are new threats, not throwbacks.
#8 - The Changing of the Guard
An excellent return to form and a fun adventure in one package. I am relieved to find that Ferus is no longer so annoying as a character - and I enjoyed Siri and Obi-Wan's interactions, which felt more natural than in some previous instalments of the series. Everything about this book was on point. Heck, I don't usually like cliffhangers and I was more excited than annoyed by this one!
#9 - The False Peace
Twisty, action-packed, perfectly paced and old friends in trouble - what more can a Jude Watson fan ask for? Oh, you also want some great setup for Obi-Wan and Anakin's partnership in Attack of the Clones? You got it! This series might've lost its way for a bit, but it looks like Watson will stick the landing. Onward to the last book!
#10 - The Final Showdown
Well, the title was partially right - one villain met their end and another escaped (again - sigh). I think Korriban was an excellent setting for this book, because dead Sith creepiness always adds a fun/scary element to a plot. And it's a great playground to foreshadow Anakin's destiny. The conclusion is shocking, but also a genius move... for setting up another series. I'll admit that I'm not 100% happy about it. I prefer fewer loose plot threads in a series' final instalment.
Alyce Caswell, when she isn't drinking her way through a giant pot of tea, can be found dabbling in multiple genres and writing forms. She has self-published several titles in her space opera family saga, which is divided into two series: The Galactic Pantheon and The Pantheon War. Her most recent book is The Shadow of the Gods.
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