The Last of the Jedi: Return of the Dark Side

July 20, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

darkThe Last of the Jedi: Return of the Dark Side by Jude Watson

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Return of the Dark Side continues with the story begun in A Tangled Web, where Ferus has become a double-agent for the Empire, serving the Emperor as he hopes to assist the rebellion. Palpatine continues to have Ferus work for him, but given his methods of coercion — threatening to execute his captrured friends — it’s hard for Ferus to say no. The difficulty is in Palpatine offering him training in how to command the Dark Side of the Force. At the same time, a new character joins the rebellion, promising funding for combining all of the small rebellion groups on different planets. The only problem is Ferus doesn’t know if he can trust her.

The series is definitely improving as it moves forward. With Obi-Wan no longer being a central part of the story, and with Ferus working both sides of the war, the focus shifts, and the characters become more interesting. Like most of Watson’s other Expanded Universe books, one of the main themes is in knowing who to trust and anticipating who the traitor will be, but since it’s not a pervasive theme from book to book, it’s less formulaic than it was in her other novels. The way she develops her characters from book to book, though, is where she shines, specifically in the relationship between Trever and Ferus. Now that they’re separated more, and now that Ferus is working for the Empire, their relationship becomes more conflicted, creating more drama. It works well.

I’m beginning to enjoy this series more than Watson’s other EU series. They’re all good, and worthy of reading even if you’re not the intended audience’s age, but The Last of the Jedi feels more serious. She’s playing with heavier themes, and defining what it means to be a Jedi by showing the conflicts Ferus feels by being a double agent. It makes for a good story, and keeps me wanting to read the entire series at once.

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