Old Friends: Darth Sidious, Viceroy Nute Gunray, Darth Maul, Jedi Master Mace Windu, Jedi Master Anoon Bondara, Rune Haako, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn
Synopsis: Just a few days before the beginning of "The Phantom Menace" a member of the Trade Federation disappears from the blockade ships above Naboo and heads for Coruscant with information about the upcoming invasion. Sith Lord Darth Sidious, aware of the problems should this information become known to the Jedi Council, sends Darth Maul to kill the missing Nemodian. And off we go again.
Review: While the Trade Federation ships gather somewhere in space to begin preparations for the blockade and invasion of Naboo, one of Nute Gunray's staff disappears with all the information and plans for this endeavor. He plans to give this information to the Jedi Council and the Senate. When Dark Sith Lord Sidious discovers this defection, he is understandably upset and calls on his apprentice Darth Maul, to hunt down and kill the missing Nemodian and anyone he may have come in contact with.
Meanwhile, on Coruscant, we are introduced to a "down and almost out" smuggler/con man, Lorn Pavan and his sidekick I-5YQ. Their current situation takes them right into the path of danger, including a run in with a gangster Hutt, a Jedi Padewan and a very unique Bounty Hunter.
The Jedi Council meets and assigns a "trial" to Darsha Assant - find and bring back a criminal to the Council. Again, paths cross, people die and the Jedi are involved with the Sith. The reader gets a quick glimpse of Gui-Gon Jinn, and Obi-Wan Kenobi is always on the periphery of the story, not quite in it, but offering observations and commentary.
The character of Darth Maul is the centerpiece of the tale and we do get more insight into how and what he thinks, how he trains and his single mindnedness when given a mission from his Master. And we certainly see that Sidious keeps track of him and everything else going on. The Nemodians are pretty much just as inept as in Phantom Menace. Unfortunately, all the characters don't make it to the end of the book, because I would have liked to see some of the in the future.
It is not a great book, but if you are a fan of Darth Maul, you should read it. One saving grace to the book - no JarJar Binks!
Title: Darth Maul - Shadow Hunter