Coruscant Nights: Patterns of Force

November 4, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads)

forceCoruscant Nights: Patterns of Force by Michael Reaves

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Take a glance at that cover over there. Don’t take a good look, just glance over, get a sense of it, and come back. Now, is it just me, or does it look like the guy on the cover is dueling a gorilla? Every time I picked up this book, I saw a gorilla, and after Street of Shadows, I figured some dude fighting a gorilla with a lightsaber would be an improvement.

Thankfully, Patterns of Force is better than the previous book in the series, and doesn’t involve gorillas with lightsabers. Reaves abandons the multiple plots that he used in the previous two novels, and the focus improves the story. This time, the story centers around a powerful, untrained Force-sensitive character who’s adopted into Jax’s group. Of course, Vader is still looking for Jax and I-Five, but now the Force-sensitive adds another incentive for Vader to track them down.

Patterns of Force is less mystery and more adventure, which I think works better in the EU. I give Reaves credit for trying to do something a little different with his story, but Star Wars is about adventure first and foremost, and Street of Shadows suffered for having its focus elsewhere. There’s still a lingering hint of a noir mystery with Jax trying to track down who among his group is betraying them, but that’s about it. The rest of the story is about staying one step ahead of capture.

Reaves’ books in the EU have a feeling of high importance, starting with Shadow Hunters, where Palpatine’s plans could have been dashed had one of the key characters done what was asked of him. In Patterns of Force, that character returns, contrite and begging forgiveness because he knows what he should have done. Also, at the end of this novel, a character — one who doesn’t even have the ability to use the Force, I should add — manages to get one over on Vader. I don’t mean he out-thinks him or out-maneuvers him (Luke and Han both do this in the main story), but he overpowers him. I had my doubts, but without it, the story would have ended terribly for everyone, and it fit for the character, at least.

Patterns of Force is a decent read, even if some parts strain credibility. I doubt that it, or any of the other books in this series, will show up on a lot of must-read lists for the EU, but it was entertaining, at the very least.

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