Jedi Apprentice #5 - The Defenders of the Dead
by Jude Watson
Published by Scholastic
Scott's Rating: 3.5 out of 4
Spoilers ahead! Don't read if you don't want to know the ending!
This is the fifth book in the Jedi Apprentice series. The planet Melida/Daan is in the middle of a civil war where the two factions, the Melida and the Daan, are slowing killing each other. A female Jedi named Tahl was sent to mediate, but she was taken hostage. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are sent to retrieve her. Unfortunately, they get caught in the local war and must seek refuge with the Young. The Young are a group of orphaned Melida and Daan children who are determined to end the war waged by their elders...no matter what it takes. Obi-Wan is soon wrapped up in their enthusiasm and helps their cause, much to Qui-Gon's displeasure. A Jedi is supposed to remain neutral and not take sides. Eventually, Obi-Wan must choose between Qui-Gon and the Jedi or the Young. He chooses to side with the Young, thus renouncing his status as a Padawan and leading into the next book.
This is yet another good story by Jude Watson. We explore more of the relationship between Master and Apprentice, and find how a difference in philosophy can come into play. The parallels between a parent and child disagreeing is very apparent. As usual, there's also the healthy dose of action and danger. It was also rather cool to see Obi-Wan fly a starfighter into combat.
This story is good, but it didn't quite have that special something that elevated it to what I felt was the next level. I did think that Obi-Wan was swayed into joining the Young a little easily, but I think Watson did a good job justifying it with the limited space given. It just should have taken a little more to persuade Obi-Wan to renounce all of his dreams and all of his Jedi training from birth. Then again, kids in the real world do that all the time for lesser reasons than Obi-Wan's, so what do I know. :)
The cover, as I said before, was great, but I'm not sure why there's a forest and statue of a Bith on the cover. They weren't in the book.
Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon in the sewers. "What a wonderful smell you've discovered!"