Coruscant Nights: Street of Shadows

November 2, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , , )

shadowsCoruscant Nights: Street of Shadows by Michael Reaves

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Street of Shadows does a better job of reading like a mystery novel than Jedi Twilight. There’s a murder, Jax and his team have to step in to investigate, and there’s even an “I know who did it; gather all the suspects in the living room” moment at the end. The story doesn’t quite reach noir status, but it does feel more like a mystery than an adventure novel.

Unfortunately, the mystery wraps up too easily, and too conveniently for the key players. There are no clues ahead of the reveal for readers to try to guess who did it, so even as a mystery it’s not fulfilling. There are reasons to suspect most of them, but the final clues come in a revelation that hasn’t been revealed to the reader.

Like Jedi TwilightStreet of Shadows has three main plots that intersect as the story reaches its conclusion. Reaves does a better job weaving them together this time, but the plot concerning Jax and his crew is the most entertaining. Oddly, one of the plots involves Captain Tycho, Padmé’s guard from Episode I and II, avenging her death because he was secretly in love with her.

There’s not a lot of character development here. Reaves introduces Dejah, the partner to the murdered artist, as a third point in a love triangle that didn’t even exist in the first book. This forces a change in the group, but it doesn’t feel like the characters are any better or worse off than they were when they started the book. The books show some progression in character, but I understand that the books aren’t intended to be a series as much as a series of standalone novels featuring the same characters.

This is probably a minor point, but I got tired of hearing how unique I-Five was. I get it: He’s sentient, and it’s unusual in droids. I didn’t need to keep hearing it every fifth page or so. It might not have been so bad if it hadn’t also been addressed in Shadow Hunter and the MedStar books. It’s just a lot of repetition in the end.

It’s not a bad story, but it’s not that interesting, nor is it constructed well. The three books overall may be a bit better than the individual books, but they’re not as memorable as the other books featuring some of these same characters.

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