Jedi Apprentice: The Only Witness

February 15, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

witnessJedi Apprentice: The Only Witness by Jude Watson

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The Only Witness serves as the coda to the New Apsolon trilogy, as it gives Qui-Gon an opportunity to come to terms with his grief over Tahl’s death. He and Obi-Wan travel to the planet Frego, which is ruled by a crime family. One of the members of the family who married into it is ready to turn evidence on them, but she needs Jedi protection back to Coruscant to ensure her safety and survival. Once there, the two Jedi become embroiled in further protection, and Qui-Gon learns that the woman they’re there to protect is grieving herself, as her husband was murdered before he could turn evidence on his own family.

As a final word to the New Apsolon trilogy, this is a good book, extraordinary, even. Watson captures the emotions of Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Lena, the newly-widowed member of the family, as they deal with their grief. Obi-Wan gets jealous of the relationship Qui-Gon and Lena share, but he comes to realize he doesn’t have the connection they have of losing a spouse. Watson describes grief and its aftereffects well, fully capturing the process Qui-Gon has to endure before he can go back to being himself.

As a story, though, the book is just mediocre. The crime family story isn’t that compelling, save for keeping the reader on their toes as to whose motivations are genuine and who’s telling the truth, but every other book in the series has that same element to it. It doesn’t help that this is among the shortest books in the series at just 118 pages, so Watson doesn’t have as much room to work with her characters here. Lena is fully realized, but I think that’s partly due to her being a mirror to reflect Qui-Gon’s own feelings. Whether it’s due to her casting reflections or her being a good character by herself, it works.

The Last Witness is a mixed bag, but I think I fall on the side of “liked it”, since it was a good examination into grief. Anyone who’s come this far into the series will likely go ahead and read it, but the book is a nice reminder of what Watson can do as a writer. You just have to read through the unfortunate trilogy that precedes the book to get a clear picture of what the events mean to Qui-Gon.

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