The Last of the Jedi: Underworld

July 17, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

underworldThe Last of the Jedi: Underworld by Jude Watson

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Underworld takes us below the towering spires of Coruscant, below the lower levels of the city, down beneath the crust to where the underground oceans are, and where the Erased live. The Erased are people who have eliminated all traces of themselves and live off the grid, where the Empire doesn’t notice them. Ferus Olin finds his way down to the underworld in his attempt to find more Jedi to hide on his asteroid, in his hopes to form the seeds of a rebellion against the Empire.

There’s a lot of action in this book as Ferus travels lower and lower through Coruscant, and he runs into characters who have been established in Watson’s previous series, as well as other characters from the Expanded Universe. I’ve griped about this kind of thing before (the Force allows for too many coincidences), so I won’t rehash it here, but I will say the action keeps the story moving forward. It’s a risk, narratively, since it means there’s not much space for character development, but like in her other series, Watson takes the approach of developing her characters over multiple books. It works for characters who appear in all the books (Ferus and Trever are especially well-drawn), but for characters who appear only briefly, and in only one or two books, like Malorum, it doesn’t. We know Malorum is an antagonist, but we don’t get much insight into why he’s like he is.

Speaking of characters, Obi-Wan doesn’t feature in this book; in fact, he doesn’t even appear in it. I think this is a first for Watson, since the other books in the EU that preceded this one all feature him in one way or another. I don’t mind his exclusion (it helps answer my question of how Obi-Wan is supposed to keep a low profile while fighting Boba Fett with a lightsaber, after all), but it’s noteworthy. I figure he might make another appearance further into the series, but it makes sense for him to be offstage.

Underworld is a solid juvenile novel in the Expanded Universe. It will appeal to fans, and to readers who are already familiar with Watson’s work in the EU. It doesn’t break new ground, nor does it fill in a lot of the blanks that exist between the movies and shows, but it’s an enjoyable read.

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