Jedi Quest: The Shadow Trap

April 7, 2017 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

shadowJedi Quest: The Shadow Trap by Jude Watson

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Mawan’s economy has collapsed, leading a few criminal organizations to move in and profit from the chaos that ensues. The Jedi have been sent to monitor the events and return the planet to the peace it experienced before. Before the mission, though, Anakin has a vision regarding an old, revered Jedi Master who is also going on the mission. What they don’t expect is to find an old enemy also on the planet, taking advantage of the chaos on Mawan.

Like the previous books, this one focuses on Anakin and his ego. Ferus is among the Jedi sent to Mawan, so of course the rivalry between him and Anakin continues. It’s a tricky relationship to balance here, since Anakin is our main character, but Ferus winds up being more sympathetic due to him not being driven by the need to be the best, to be number one, to be first in everything. Anakin is, honestly, pretty insufferable not just in this book but throughout the series. I can’t fault Watson for his personality — I think this is the point she tries to make throughout the series — but it doesn’t make for interesting reading.

In this book, Watson attempts to garner some sympathy for Anakin by giving him guilt over events that happen in the book. Obi-Wan has said before and since that Anakin’s strength is his compassion, so when he sees something that believes to be his fault, it preys on him. The thing is, Jedi are supposed to feel an emotion and then shrug it off so it doesn’t interfere; Anakin holds on to this guilt for much of the book, to the point where he’s holding on to it just to make him more emo.

Also, Obi-Wan has several internal monologues throughout the series where he questions Anakin’s emotions and stability as a Jedi, while also recognizing how powerful he is with the Force. For all his instability, Anakin clearly isn’t the right material to be a Jedi, so why does Obi-Wan keep insisting that he just needs training? Obi-Wan’s mission as a trainer is myopic, and is a direct threat to the Jedi Order. Book after book shows us this; why is Obi-Wan so blind to it?

The story is decent enough, and continues the overarching story that bridges the entire series by bringing Granta Omega back into the story, but it starts to show some cracks due to Anakin. Again, I can’t fault Watson for this issue — she’s working with an established character, trying to show how he fell to the Dark Side — but it’s frustrating. What makes it even worse is that we already know there’s not going to be any redemption for him by the end of this series. If nothing else, it will be even worse, since Watson will have to show how isolated and angry he is.

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