Star Wars: Labyrinth of Evil by James Luceno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is hands-down my favorite Clone Wars era novel. It is written by a master author, James Luceno, who is always phenomenal about integrating multiple storylines. Some people have complained that weaving together storylines makes the universe less expansive, but somehow Luceno always pulls it off. In addition to writing a good story, Luceno also hits some many other things just spot-on. From the first chapter, we see how fondness has developed between Clone Trooper leaders and the Jedi, we see the deepening of Obi-Wan and Anakin's friendship and comradery (really the brotherhood that Obi-Wan refers to on Mustafar during his final speech to Anakin), and we see new inside jokes and references to events that we haven't witnessed. The relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan seems so authentic, despite the fact that most, if not all, of the Clone Wars era novels failed to show this relationship deepen and grow- either because they were apart or because the novel focused on the negative and the antagonism between Master and student. In addition to all of this the book also features a side character with a unique name, that might be my favorite and is certainly every entertaining to hear read by an audiobook author, "t'laalak-s'lalak-t'th'ak".
The plot of the novel focuses on (view spoiler)[a discovery of the Sith hologram chair made for a Neimoidian and the fact that this might lead the Jedi to the Sith the Count Dooku referenced in Episode II. As the noose begins to tighten around Darth Sidious, he initiates the Battle of Coruscant and orchestras the events that lead us to the beginning of the Episode III (hide spoiler)]. The only complaint I have about this novel is that it slightly contradicts the other story of the Battle of Coruscant told in The Clone Wars: The Animated Series Season 3. But I remember the first time I read this novel, literally the day that I went to watch the opening showing of Episode III at 12:01 am. I kept thinking that the novel would have to wrap up quickly because they needed to leave room for the movie to set-up itself. I didn't know that the cliff-hanger of the book was setting up the dramatic opening of the final movie in the prequel trilogy.
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