27 November 2007
After two volumes filled with major events, The Legacy of the Force series returns to form in this seventh installment. For the most part, you could skip it and not miss much.
While author Aaron Allston delivers a well-plotted and fast-paced finale, the ending leaves the story right where it began, with Jacen politically and militarily isolated and seemingly finished. The promise of a helping hand from Korriban, hinted at the end of the previous volume, turns out to be a feint, and no one has yet figured out Jacen is a Sith or Mara's killer.
Neither have they figured out that he's lost all sense of proportion. In order to bring the Hapans back into the war for the Galactic Alliance, Jacen kidnaps his own daughter. The Hapans instead withdraw from any outside contact except for a secret mission to the Jedi, who devise a rather improbable mission to plant on Jacen's body a tracer housed in a tiny piece of cloth the same color and texture as his clothing. They can thereby track Jacen's whereabouts and eventually effect a rescue - but only so long as Jacen doesn't change his clothes.
As in Allston's previous volume, Exile, Jacen walks into an obvious trap, this time set up by the Corellians to fry his fleet using Centerpoint Station, implausibly revived after being scrapped by Ben and Jacen in Betrayal (also by Allston). While the as yet unannounced Sith Lord loiters in space waiting for Centerpoint to complete its firing sequence, he allows his mother to come aboard "to talk." Instead of throwing her in the brig, the pair chat away the minutes while the Corellians take aim and the stowaways on Leia's craft pilfer data from Jacen's computers. The entire sequence comprises a long list of contrivances that make you want to give up on the book altogether.
Meantime, in an asteroid field far away, Jaina, Jag and Zekk prepare for a final showdown with Alema Rar, who is also being hunted by a Sith from Korriban eager to retrieve purloined Sith artifacts. Among them is Ship, which in the ensuing chaos flees to the Sith homeworld of Ziost, the Korriban agent in pursuit.
Along the way two major Jedi sustain life-threatening injury, but miraculously live to fight another day. A last-minute method for destroying Centerpoint Station is discovered, and Jacen can manage to kill only a Jedi-newbie and one of his subordinates, proving that he's not such a bad-ass after all and continuing the devolution of his character from a villain who reluctantly took up the dark arts in an effort to save and protect society, to a blinkered madman divorced from any rational view of the universe.
My best guess is that the next volume won't advance the series much further, though we're likely to get some interesting material on Boba Fett.