Jedi Quest - Path to Truth
by Jude Watson
Published by Scholastic
Scott's Rating: 3.5 out of 4
This story takes place about 4 years after Episode I. Shortly after creating his first lightsaber, Anakin is sent with Obi-Wan on a mission. They are to investigate the activities of a slave pirate named Krayn. Unfortunately, Anakin has a secret history with this slaver from his days on Tatooine. Can he perform his duties as a Jedi without letting his personal feelings come into play? Obi-Wan also is surprised to find that his old friend Siri has left the Jedi and joined up with this slaver. Both master and Padawan must deal with their conflicting emotions as they face this threat.
Jude Watson has done a great job with the Jedi Apprentice books, but this Jedi Quest book holds a lot more potential. The relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan is a bit more interesting than that of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan because of the darker future we know is in store for them. Watson does a lot of foreshadowing and we get a glimpse of Anakin's inner conflict as he battles the dark side within himself. This creates some truly intense moments as Anakin deliberately defies Obi-Wan and proceeds to hunt down the slaver to kill him.
Watson also starts the book off with a powerful scene of the pirates stealing slaves from Mos Espa. There's an emotional moment as one of Anakin's friend's mother is stolen. It makes the situation of the slaves even more dire than it was in Episode I.
I was glad to see a little bit of historical significance placed in this book. It features Anakin creating his first lightsaber. It's only a couple of chapters in the book, but it's good to see something noteworthy to the continuity placed here. After all, this is the lightsaber that Luke Skywalker eventually uses in the movies.
I liked the fact that this was a hardback book. It makes the presentation a bit nicer. But is it worth it to pay $8 extra dollars and not get additional pages to the story? You'll have to decide for yourself.
The cover is also nicely done. Interesting to see Qui-Gon in beserker mode.
I really only had two gripes. The first is that there's a scene where Obi-Wan and Anakin fly a two man shuttle up the exhaust pipe of a ship during the middle of battle. After getting inside the pipe, they simply land and walk into the ship. This doesn't make mechanical sense, even for a fictional universe such as this one. I think a more probable means of boarding the ship could have been found.
The other problem involved the explosive devices implanted in slaves. They are specifically mentioned in the beginning of the book. However, when some slaves rebel at the end of the book, they are never set off. Why not? It could have used a paragraph or less of explanation. Maybe say that they are useless for slaves in mines because the signals don't reach into the rock. They must use droid and human guards instead.
Other than these two minor complaints, this was a good book and a great taste of what we can expect in Episode II.
Anakin kills his first human with a lightsaber. The first of many, I suppose.