Star Wars: Coruscant Nights: Patterns of the Force
Author: Michael Reaves
Published By: The Ballentine Publishing Company
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Finally, I have come to the last book in the Star Wars: Coruscant Nights Trilogy. I have had mixed feelings about this trilogy. The first book was quite interesting, the second fraught with mistakes and other issues. I wasn't sure what to expect from the final book in the series, Patterns of the Force.
When we last left Jax Pavan, he was coping with Laranth's decision to be more involved with Whiplash and less involved with him and his friends. Of course, that was just fine with Dejah Duare, the Zeltron female that has driven a wedge between the two friends with her unmasked desire to get closer to Jax. But Jax has other things to worry about now. Police Prefect Pol Haus has announced that he knows Jax is a Jedi and that he wants Jax to use his powers to find a young boy whose extremely powerful use of the Force has killed an Inquisitor. Little does he know that Jax has already found the boy.
As things get hotter around the homefront, Den Dhur starts thinking about the Sullustan singer he met during the war and wondering if her offer to make him her husband still stands. Former assistant to Darth Vader, Haninum Tyk Rhinnann, has decided that it is time to leave his new companions, but first, he wants to steal the sample of bota he is certain I-5YQ has smuggled onto Coruscant. He just wants to experience the Force once in his life and believes that the bota is the only way. But which of the group has the bota? And when Whiplash finds itself compromised, it can only mean one thing - there is a traitor in their midst, but who?
There were some parts of Patterns of the Force that were highly predictable, such as the outcome of the relationship between Jax and Laranth, but most importantly, the identity of the turncoat. The writing on the wall was pretty clear in that respect as the individual was painted rather negatively through the eyes of each and every member of the team long before the identity was revealed. The whole Force sensitive with powers that seem even stronger than those of Anakin Skywalker...powers that become stronger the angrier he gets...well, I found that to be a little lacking in the continuity phase. Where did this guy disappear to the whole time the galaxy was rebelling against the Empire? If he was so strong in the Force, why didn't he come back to take on the Sith?
While I can rant about the continuity issues and the predictability problems, I can honestly say that I did enjoy part of the outcome of Star Wars: Coruscant Nights: Patterns of the Force and would like to see more of the remaining members of Whiplash in future novels. That being said, I would hope that those future novels would be more continuity conscious and detail oriented. As a whole, I think the idea of a Star Wars mystery novel to be intriguing, but I think that maybe they shouldn't have stretched this into a trilogy. That first book was great, but the subsequent novels paled in comparison. I can honestly say that, although I enjoyed the characters in this trilogy, I probably would have been much happier with the Expanded Universe if I had never read it.