A sequel to Barbara Hamley's "Children of the Jedi", this book is set a couple of years after the "Jedi Academy trilogy".
The Hutts, intergalactic gangsters and extortionists, plan to build their own Death Star [codenamed "Darksaber"] so they can squeeze funds from any planet they choose. Rich Handley [Exhaustive Guide to Star Wars Comics] commented that this is remarkably similar to the Marvel story "The Tarkin"; This reviewer personally find it reminiscent of the first story arc in the "Droids" cartoon.
KJA's "arch-villain" the incompetent Admiral Daala makes a come-back, this time her self-appointed mission is to wipe out the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4. But this time there is a real threat - she has teamed up with Vice-Admiral Pellaeon, Thrawn's former second-in-command.
While Daala plots, Luke and Callista [Luke's temporary love-interest, continued from Hamley's book] traipse around the Galaxy to visit various planets familiar to Star Wars fans. Not to be missed is the cheesy Aliens rip-off set on Hoth. Remember the Wampa that lost an arm to Luke's lightsabre in "Empire Strikes back"? Well, he's back - and he wants revenge!
"Darksaber" is KJA's fourth Star Wars novel, after the much-hated "Jedi Academy Trilogy" [JA3]. This book is far superior to KJA's other works as a Star Wars novelist - due in no small measure to his time on the Star Wars NewsGroup, in this reviewer's humble opinion.
However, the book still has flaws. By necessity Callista pops up, though she gets clumsily written-out at the end.
The story is cobbled together from superior sources like "Aliens" and "Droids" - and believe me, this reviewer much preferred the originals. Though KJA tries hard he lacks the superior writing style of Zahn, Allston or even Stackpole. Everybody knows this, of course, if they have read his previous work, but he deserves extra marks for making an effort.
All in all, not a bad book. Not a great book, but not a bad one.
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