Young Jedi Knights #6
Jedi Under Siege
by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Published by Berkley
Darin's Rating: 3.5 out of 4
Scott's Rating: 3.5 out of 4
Given Zekk's threat to Jaina that the Shadow Academy will launch an all-out assault on Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy, our adventurers race back to Yavin 4 to make preparations for battle. Sure as sunshine, the Shadow Academy shows up and launches an assault, led by Zekk and Tamith Kai. While TIE fighters mix it up from the air, a bunch of Dark Jedi paratroopers (or should I say repulsor-troopers) drop in to do hand-to-hand combat with the young Jedi trainees. And on goes the story until it reaches its natural (forgone) conclusion.
We get to see a little more of some of the other characters (such as Raynar and Tionne) and some of Luke's more exotic students in action. The stuff with Raynar is of course a lead in to the next series of Young Jedi Knights books. Tenel Ka's character finally gets developed a bit more. Em Teedee doesn't talk as much. There's plenty of action (this book is just one big battle from the get-go). Not quite as cheezy an ending as I expected (i.e.,it wasn't the final scene from Star Wars re-done, like the ending of the JEDI ACADEMY series was). The good guys win (of course).
I have to agree with Darin. I really loved all of the action and seeing all of the subplots that have run through the different books drawing to a conclusion. I particularly liked seeing the other Jedi from the Academy in action. I think you could make an entire comic series or something on them alone, forgetting the major characters. Overall this was a very enjoyable book.
Really, a lot of what disturbs me in these books is due to the fact that they were written for young readers--so I can't really complain. Here are some observations: The character of Tenel Ka, while going through many adventures in previous books, didn't really develop much all the way through. The exception is Lightsabers, which was primarily centered aroung her accident and her homeworld. Still, this was more of a quick burst in details *about* her than actual deepening of her character. In _Jedi Under Siege_, her character really takes a growth spurt and has some major changes (she only says "This is a fact." once, and even makes a pun). This is too much development at one time for my tastes. The editors need to pay a little closer attention--they missed a big typo (Tenel Ka spelled Tenel Ta--oops!).
The major storyline in these books was fairly predictable. I guess this is mainly because it is geared to young readers. They are not really ready for the more challenging stories till later. That makes it hard for us older fans to be patient, but we're going to have to learn to be when the new films come out. Still, you can't say a young readers story should not be unpredictable. Anyway, in the story, Qorl, the TIE Fighter pilot, pretty much ends up in the exact same position he did at the beginning of the series. I think he could have been handled better. I disagree with Darin about the development of Tenel Ka, though. I thought she had made a natural progression through the books and the events in this story were the natural conclusion of her development. It still was an enjoyable book.
Tamith Kai...I hope she's dead. Qorl winding up just like he started. The fact that although there is an obvious attraction between Jacen and Tenel Ka throughout the books, they don't even hold hands or give each other a peck on the cheek--pre-teen girls would probably love that in these books (the boys might say ikky-ikky-ukky-ukky (puts your blues on ice, cheap at twice the price band--sorry, just couldn't resist.)) <--wow, double parenthetical ref.--I wonder what my dad (the English teacher) would say about that! I wonder what the rule is for that??? Ok, back to reality.
Darin! Snap out of it, man! (slap, slap!) OK, ugly...well, everyone getting mud on their faces was not pretty. I think it would have improved the looks of the Nightsister, though. Also, doing a bellyflop onto a tree branch was not real pretty. I give it a 10 for Artistic Impression, though.