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Title: Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
Reviewer Rating: Star Wars RatingStar Wars RatingStar Wars RatingStar Wars RatingStar Wars Rating (2)
Avg User Rating: Star Wars RatingStar Wars RatingStar Wars RatingStar Wars RatingStar Wars Rating (3)
Published Date: January 30, 2001
ISBN: 0345435397
March 8, 2017
The biggest problem with Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter is nothing in the book matters. This book changes nothing in the larger universe, has no lasting affect after the end of the novel, and adds nothing to the universe. While that would keep it from being great, when you add onto the fact that the book is kind of boring, and it becomes something I wouldnít recommend. Itís not the worst thing in the Legends universe, but itís definitely near the bottom of the heap.

The book centers around plans for the upcoming Trade Unionís blockade of Naboo, but thatís where itís connection to the larger universe plot ends. Darth Maul travels to Coruscant to retrieve the stolen plans and ends up pitted against the Jedi. The first big problem is that the Jedi are supposed to be in the dark when it comes to the Sith in general and Maul in specific, so the design of the book has Maul almost running into people you would know from the movies, but never being seen. He does get discovered by multiple characters, but the book always maneuvers it so that information can never get out. So by the end of the book you are essentially where you started.

The second big problem is Maul himself. I get that heís cool and yes, his big duel of the fates lightsaber fight in The Phantom Menace is amazing, but that is all he has going for him Ö a cool design. Beyond aesthetics, he is a thoroughly bland character. Itís true in TPM and its true here. He has zero character arc and zero real motivation. He is generally just evil for evil sake without anything driving him on as a character. Thatís fine when heís a minor player in a movie filled with other people who have stuff to do, but when itís a book carrying his name, that becomes a major problem. Itís impossible to really care about him as a character. The book understands that and tries to give you new characters to attach to, but itís not enough.

That is the third character. All the people you meet in this book you do care about, itís obvious from page one that none of them matter. No matter their character progression, you know they will disappear after this. And some of them, like one mouthy droid, are written out in such arbitrary ways as to be insulting.

Is the book a total waste? No. Itís decently written with average, or slightly better than average, dialogue. The pacing is a little on the slow side, but not so bad as to become unreadable. The action scenes are done fairly well and you get a couple of good lightsaber scenes, which is one of the things most readers come for.

But, itís not enough. No amount of flash will make up for a lack of substance. And thatís what this has. A substance problem. Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter is like sandwich from a cut-rate no name deli. Lots of filler, not enough meat.
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