Young Jedi Knights #13
Trouble on Cloud City
by Kevin J. Anderson & Rebecca Moesta
Published by Berkley
Scott's Rating: 2.5 out of 4
This is the thirteenth book in the Young Jedi Knights series. Cloud City is a lot like Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the US. And like the real world Las Vegas, Lando is trying to move Cloud City's business more toward family entertainment. He and a business partner decide to build an amusement park there. Lando asks the Young Jedi Knights and their new friend (?), Anja Gallandro, to come along and check it out. When they arrive, they find out that Lando's business partner has committed suicide, or has he? As they investigate, they soon learn that Czethros and Black Sun are involved. They want a monopoly on Cloud City, and Lando is not going to get in their way.
There's a neat cameo by Figrin Dan and the Modal Nodes. You know, the cantina band. We actually get to see their swampy homeworld. Funny, I didn't think they were a Cajun band. Anyway, it's a fun, if rather unnecessary scene. The scene in Empire Strikes back is also replayed. Except this time, one of the kids actually falls from the antenna! What happens? He DIES!!! Just kidding. What did you expect? Anyway, it's kind of neat to think about what would have happened if Luke had really fallen. We also get to see a few more sides of Bespin and Cloud City which is neat. It's also good to see Tenel Ka FINALLY realize she's interested in Jacen. Chicks. What's with 'em? :)
Unfortunately this book has "bridge syndrome", as Darin says, written all over it. It's the problem in a series of books where the middle one is simply filler where nothing significant really happens. This is the case here. You could pick up the next book in the series and not have missed much. As far as the story goes, it's not really interesting. There's no mystery as to who killed Lando's partner or why, or even why we should have cared about the guy. There are couple of ambushes in the story, and the kids walk rather stupidly into them both. One ambush I could understand, but the second one I was rooting for the bad guys on. The kids take a rather nasty spill from Cloud City, then a few hours later go to check out a "disturbance" at the work site. Uhhh...hello? I don't need Force powers to know that it's a bad idea. And in the previous book I was really intrigued by Anja's character and all the potential she held. Unfortunately, she was more than annoying in this story. In the first you could sympathize with her wanting to nail Solo. However, here she's just a whiny brat that needs a couple of slaps upside her head. And the way the character kept shooting down every bit of evidence the kids found implicating Czethros, you'd think SOMEONE would start smelling something a little fishy. Finally, the cover looks nice with the sky blue and Cloud City. However, I keep getting repulsed by the fact that Jacen looks like that kid from Home Improvement. Ugh.
Blue Slime dripping bounty hunters.