The JC Lit Forum Reviews RETROSPECTIVE Special: Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Master_Keralys, Aug 28, 2009.

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  1. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

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    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 5
    And now, for a twice-in-one-night special: two threads for the price of one, folks! You're getting the second of two review threads within a span of just minutes! Relive the past in all its retro glory as you provide us with a review!

    It has come to our attention that, sadly, there have not been reviews for all of the books. A few got missed along the way. So this is your chance to review books that never got reviewed along the way so that we can update our rankings in our all-time count and have these threads for reference in the Index, etc.

    Up next for our ongoing reviews is a well-respected entry from the early PT era that's only been gaining in prestige as sequels (of sorts) have followed it in the Coruscant Nights trilogy - Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter. Reaves' first post-Shadows of the Empire venture into the Star Wars universe gave us unique new characters, a thrilling plot, and an ending that hurt even though we knew it was coming. How well did Reaves pull it off? It's up to you to tell us.

    Please review the book and provide a rating from 1 to 10.

    Previous review threads in the retrospective series:
    The Approaching Storm, by Alan Dean Foster
    Han Solo Trilogy I: The Paradise Snare, by Ann C. Crispin
    Han Solo Trilogy II: The Hutt Gambit, by Ann C. Crispin
    Han Solo Trilogy III: Rebel Dawn, by Ann C. Crispin
    Bounty Hunter Wars Trilogy I: The Mandalorian Armor, by K. W. Jeter
    Bounty Hunter Wars Trilogy II: Slave Ship, by K. W. Jeter
    Bounty Hunter Wars Trilogy III: Hard Merchandise, by K. W. Jeter

    Some previous review threads in the main review series:
    Republic Commando: Hard Contact, by Karen Traviss
    Shatterpoint, by Matthew Stover
    The Cestus Deception, by Steven Barnes
    Medstar I: Battle Surgeons, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry
    Medstar II: Jedi Healer, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry
    Jedi Trial, by David Sherman and Dan Cragg
    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, by Sean Stewart
    Labyrinth of Evil, by James Luceno
    Revenge of the Sith, by Matthew Stover
    Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno
    Galaxies: The Ruins of Dantooine, by Veronica Whitney-Robinson
    Tatooine Ghost, by Troy Denning
    Survivor's Quest, by Timothy Zahn
    Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream, by Aaron Allston
    Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand, by Aaron Allston
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=
  2. Liliedhe Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 2009
    star 3
    Here we go again...^^

    It's been a while since I read this, it wasn't high on my priority lists. Nonetheless, it is a nice read, with very unusual perspectives and an unintentional message to boot. Contrary to later books by this author, there's no Mary Sue character here, even I-5 is rather tame. Compared to the comic series focussing at Darth Maul, this book is infinitely superior, giving insight into his character, not just close-ups of his abs.^^ But, he's ultimately just a bit player, compared to Lorn Pavan and Darsha (and that snarky droid). Given the many rants and skewed perspectives we get on the Jedi philosophy of forbidding attachment, and their recruitment policies, DMSH is a very balanced account, highlighting several points of views and perspectives instead of hammering home one.

    Lorn's disenchantment after the business with his son is understandable, but it's also very clear that Jax was NOT stolen. Lorn agreed to give him to the Temple for training, but believed he could circumvent the separation because he worked there. And then he found out no, he couldn't. Which is bitter, but a wide margin from the rants we get in other books. Same with attachment - Darsha is quite firm on the meaning of the whole thing, which differs a lot from what Lorn thinks. Once again, balanced account. Of course, it seems the author's sympathy lies with Lorn there... Which makes the ending all the more ironic. Because, well, it's Lorn's attachment to Darsha that prevents the Jedi from learning about Darth Maul and about Sidious. ^^

    So, this is a book which grows better in hindsight, at least for me. When I first read it, it was entertaining, with some contrived coincidences and a very interesting view of the lower levels of Coruscant. Now, it's pretty emblematic for how good this stuff can be when done right.

    8/10
  3. xx_Anakin_xx Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 9, 2008
    star 4
    Blah, I read this so long ago now... But in memory, this and Saboteur remain among my favorites. I loved the whole I-5/Lorn vibe and I really liked Maul's rendering. I also enjoyed the varied views - mainly because of the way they were presented. I also liked the writing of the scenes regarding Maul's POV and his interactions with Sidious. It meshed completely with my ideas about the character, which always helps, but the automan type rendering he was given (failure isn't a concept; what master wants he gets;) was contrasted with his behavioral and action sequences which pulled him back into humanity as the novel played out. From the training sessions clear through, the writing of the fight sequences was great - artistic even in their rendering. Lorn was given that same rounded treatment. I dug the way the scene with Zippa was written - that cracked me up. But throughout, all of the characterizations I thought were very well done. The Jedi intermix with Darsha included. What I really liked was the ending - the kill with honor is always my friend and I liked how that was achieved, as well as I-5's escape, albeit all bittersweet from that angle. At the same time, Maul's success was kick - so it left me with a mix of emotions overall.

    9/10
  4. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    This was pretty great actually. It made you pull for the heroes, despite knowing that they would all have to die by the time the book was over. Some of the lower level Coruscant stuff wasn't that great, particularly that taozin or whatever that stupid thing was called.

    But some of the action sequences were gold; the Maul/Boondara fight was excellent and I liked the extended cameo by Obi-Wan. And of course, Palpatine's cameo was a winner all the way. Nice downbeat ending too, which the EU doesn't give us often enough.

    9/10
  5. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

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    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 5
  6. Robimus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    This is an excellent book, though at times I think it made Maul a little underpowered.

    I really like how it dares to be critical of the Jedi Order in numerous subtle ways but also delivers a very interesting Jedi character in Darsha. There's a nice balance there even though it never really gets past scratching the surface of Lorn accusations.

    Lorn Pavan's story was one that invoked real sympathy from me. No matter how the situation with his son really went down I think it's clear that he never fully understood what was to happen and how his life would be effected.

    I-5 is the real star of the story and this book serves as a great launch point for his multi-book saga which ends(thus far) in Patterns of the Force.

    8.8/10 for me
  7. Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 12, 2000
    star 7
    I-5 was great, Lorn was ok, Darsha was pretty good, but Maul was somewhat meh for me. Not really sure why, but something about him bugged me in this book. Still, it was pretty enjoyable overall, and a nice lead-in to TPM.

    8/10
  8. Cash_Fendar Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2009
    star 1
    I liked this book. Lots of action, hardly any political crap!

    I give it a 9/10!
  9. Barriss_Coffee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    I'll remember this book as being the first definitive evidence against all those "Palpatine-is-Sidious' brother/twin/clone/roommate" theorists that clogged the boards before ROTS.

    I'll also remember it for being one of my absolute favorites... great new characters, bizarre underworld creatures, and non-stop plot twists.

    I'll also remember it for that Nute strip sequence.

    10/10
  10. NJOfan215 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 5
    This was one of the first star wars books that I read. I really liked it. I loved the action and I really like I5. Even though obi-wan wasn't the main character, I like how he was used in the book. 8.9
  11. MistrX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2006
    star 4
    Previous reviews are here and here.

    I found this book to be surprisingly good. It's tense, it's tight, it's quick, all of which really fit the overall plot of Darth Unstoppable himself chasing after our small group of protagonists. I remember liking getting the look at a Darth Maul who was as fanatical as we remembered, but had his own sense of honor and desire to challenge himself. Much like one would expect from a Sith.

    Fortunately, filling out the book and complementing his story is the one of those he's chasing. Reaves did a great job of shaping and developing our group of protagonists, making me able to care for them and hope for them in spite of the fact that I knew they were doomed. The rush of the story, the twists and the turns, and that amazingly horrifying realization when Lorn reaches the end of his journey. Well done.

    8/10
  12. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

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    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 5
    Average Score: 78.7 / 9 = 8.74
  13. Manisphere Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2007
    star 5
    This is Mr. Reaves best contribution to the EU to date. Yes, we all knew how it would end yet the book's relentless pace gave us hope that maybe, just maybe Lorn Pavin might complete his mission with I-5.

    This inspiration for the Coruscant Nights trilogy stands above all of them. Mr. Reaves penned the best SW thriller I've yet read in DM: Shadow Hunter! The book stands out in all respects. Too bad it's so hard to find on the shelves these days.

    8.7
  14. joshcaswell Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2009
    I personally loved Darth Maul Shadow Hunter because it was packed with suspense and I love a good chase which was basically what the whole book was. If you are hoping to learn more about Darth Maul and get some great lightsaber action you may be disappointed though. But if you just want a good thrill with plenty of suspense, twists, and amazing characters then you are in for a good read. I knew what would eventually happen but the whole time you are reading it you are just hoping that just maybe, somehow, Lorn and I-5 will escape. - Also, Saboteur was amazing! Everything I have read by Reaves has been great! Thanks for this thread!

    I give DMSH a 9 out of 10.
  15. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

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    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 5
    Average score: 96.4 / 11 = 8.76
  16. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Reaves brings some excellent carryover feel from his Batman: TAS experience, delivering a nicely paced almost book-long chase that takes us through Coruscants levels nicely, with some great characters introduced with Darsha, I-5 and Bondara. I've given this one as a gift more often than others and it's been universally well recieved.

    All the more amazing is the book achieves great suspense despite knowing how things have to end up for TPM.

    Don't have any reservations about the book- and while it's not "a perfect book", it's one of the best SW books out there.

    10/10
  17. Jedi_Master_Forte Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2003
    star 1
    I remember enjoying this book very much. It was exciting and relentless and still managed a great ending even though we knew how it would end.
    9.2/10
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