Star Wars: Coruscant Nights: Street of Shadows
Author: Michael Reaves
Published By: The Ballentine Publishing Company
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Having read Star Wars: Coruscant Nights: Jedi Twilight a couple of weeks ago and finding that I couldn't get enough of the characters in the book, I decided to check out the second novel in the series, Street of Shadows. I wondered just what Jax Pavan and his newfound friends would decided to do now that they knew Darth Vader was seriously after Jax and I-Five had finally found his former partner's son.
Street of Shadows picks up a short time after Jedi Twilight. Much to my chagrin, Jax and the underground group known as Whiplash have gotten Kaird off of Coruscant and back to his homeworld. I really liked Kaird and was sorry to see him go, but it was nice of him to offer Jax and his friends some funding that would keep them going for a while. Meanwhile, Rhinann has decided to stay with Jax, Den, I-Five and Laranth. Hoping that Vader will never find him and exact revenge for his betrayal, the Elomin is keeping himself busy as a researcher for Jax's underground endeavors.
Those new endeavors include finding the components to replace his the lightsaber he was forced to let go of in the previous novel and help a Zeltron and her Caamasi friend offplanet. Unfortunately, just when he is about to meet the Caamasi artist, Jax finds he has been murdered. With the planet of Caamas having become the Emperor's latest target, there is no shortage of enemies on the whodunit list, including the artist's own loyal patrons. Jax and his friends will have to be careful as they hunt down the clues behind the Caamasi's death, for not only is the murderer still at large, but Jax is being hunted by a trained killer with Force abilities.
Meanwhile, Captain Typho, former bodyguard to Padme Amidala, has arrived on Coruscant in search of answers. He wants to know who murdered the woman he loved from afar so he can exact revenge. But when his research puts him in the path of the Sith, will Captain Typho live long enough to complete his mission?
Star Wars: Coruscant Nights: Street of Shadows starts off interestingly enough, revealing to us Typho's secret love for Padme and his anguish after her death and heading straight into a murder mystery. I enjoyed unveiling clues with Jax and his associates. I also enjoyed the fact that Michael Reaves was still bringing back older characters and bringing their stories some closure through his series. Not only do we get to see what happened to Typho after Padme's death, but we also find out what happened to bounty hunter Aurra Sing.
That being said, there are some problems with this novel. There is a point in chapter ten of the novel when it seems as if Jax knows that Anakin Skywalker is a Sith: "Jax nodded thinking. Though the majority of the Jedi had been slaughtered by the clones offworld, there had still been a respectable garrison at the Temple when Anakin Skywalker had initiated his one-man pogrom." Yet, later in the novel, he talks as if Anakin is still a Jedi and remarks of returning something that Anakin once trusted him with. And that is just one of the mistakes - there are quite a few in this book that annoyed me. Also, if you read the Science Fiction Book Club version, there are quite a few typos - hyphens in areas where they don't belong.
I was surprised by some of the outcomes of the novel, such as the murderer's identity and the possibility of romantic feelings budding between two of the Whiplash team members. I was actually very satisfied with the outcomes of Typho and Aurra Sing. I think Reaves wrapped up those storylines quite nicely. And I loved Vader's reaction at the end of the novel when...nope, not gonna tell ya! You're just going to have to read it for yourself. Errors withstanding, Star Wars: Coruscant Nights: Street of Shadows is a part of the Star Wars Expanded Universe and not a horrible read, although I will admit that I didn't find it to be quite on par with the first. I hope the last novel in the series proves to be better.