AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
3 out of 5
Star Wars: Scourge
A stand-alone novel set 19 ABY. Jedi Master Mander Zuma begins investigating the death of his former apprentice and soon becomes embroiled in a mission to end the trade in the illgal drug (sorry, 'spice') Tempest, leading him deeper and deeper into the murky world of Hutt politics.
As a protagonist, I really liked the concept of Mander Zuma; an average Jedi with basic lightsaber skills, little field experience and unremarkable strength in the Force. To have this middle-of-the-road Jedi take the lead role gives us a more accessible everyman than the likes of the Skywalkers and Solos. I enjoyed watching him develop from sheepish librarian to roving knight errant as the story progresses.
Overall, this novel is not particularlly epic or enthralling, giving it more the feel of an extended short story than a true Star Wars novel. Also, Grubb seriously missed a trick with Toro Irana. The idea of a Jedi drug addict is a fascinating one, but Irana doesn't last long enough for that idea to be explored.
For me, and this will not apply to many readers, the biggest problem with this book is that it is the novelisation of a roleplaying sourcebook. Whilst I don't indulge in that sort of gaming, I have read the original source material, 'Tempest Feud', and therefore the major plot points of this book were already spoiled for me.
Followed by Nancy Richardson's 'Junior Jedi Knights: The Golden Globe'.
3 out of 5