Junior Jedi Knights #2
by Nancy Richardson
Published by Boulevard
Scott's Rating: 3 out of 4
Anakin and Tahiri meet a new friend at the Jedi Academy named Lyric. She's a native of nearby Yavin 8. Lyric must soon return to her planet. You see, her species, called Melodies, start out looking humanoid as children that live on land, but soon metamorph into mermaid-like adults that live underwater. Unfortunately, during this time of changing, her people tend to be picked off and eaten by the local wildlife. They don't really know how to defend themselves, which is why Lyric is at the Jedi Academy. Anakin and Tahiri decide to go with Lyric to protect her and her people. They also want to find clues that will help them free the spirits of the Massassi children locked in the Golden Globe.
Though this book is aimed at younger readers, it has a good solid story that should appeal to older audiences, too. And that, in my opinion, is the sign of good writing on the part of Nancy Richardson (and Anderson and Moesta, who helped plot it). And for a kid's book, it can definitely become "heavy" at times. Take, for example, the time when Anakin uses the Force to stop the beating heart of a giant snake constricting Tahiri. Is it a slip to the dark side? Is he doomed to follow the footsteps of his grandfather? Like I said, heavy stuff. Definitely worth checking out. There are also some cool connections to Exar Kun in this book. Check 'em out if you liked Tales of the Jedi or the Jedi Academy Trilogy.
As usual, I thought some nitpicky things were bad. I thought the Melodies were a little TOO wimpy. You'd think that the Alliance would have left them a couple of blasters to defend themselves with, right? Why didn't they? And why did Yavin 8 have to be inhabited? I thought the Rebels chose their base in a remote, secret system. I wouldn't expect other intelligent races to live there. Maybe Richardson should have made it another planet in a nearby solar system. Then, the fact that the Melodies have their children and eggs on land and defenseless seemed odd to me. How can a race survive when there are so many vicious, unbeatable predators picking them off while the adults lounge in the pool? You'd think the elders would have found better ways to protect their children rather than giving them a bag of rocks to throw.
I'm being eaten by a boa constrictor, a boa constrictor, a boa constrictor. Oh no! He's got my toe! (Read the book and you'll understand this. :)