Closer and closer he drew with his arms outstretched as if to assail them. “Kill you! Kill you all!” He screamed repeatedly.
Han, Chewbacca, and the Cloud-Mother leader quickly subdue the man as Luke tears off, back through the gathered herds, and into the arcade area in search of possible accomplices. He doesn’t find any and returns as the man is turned over to an Ithorans medical team.
The medical staff gets the man to their clinic and checks him out both physically and mentally and determines that he has been driven nearly insane by the extreme use of the exotic hallucinogen ‘Yarrock’. In search of his pockets, they discover notes that mention the Time of Meeting, people’s and planet names, and possible names of spaceships as well.
He was incoherent during most of his examination and interrogation, but at times he had lucid spells when the Ithoran medication broke through his psychosis enough to let him speak clearly. During those times, he spoke of children hidden in Platt’s well, and another lucid moment produced a set of spatial coordinates. With those two main clues to work from, the group splits up. Luke leads one to investigate the middle of nowhere destination of the coordinates, and Leia takes the other to find the hidden children. Each team leaves Ithora to investigate their own piece of the lunatic’s puzzle.
While Luke travels aboard the Ithoran starship ‘Huntbird’, Han and Leia travel to the planet Plawal, seeking out the elusive Children that were hidden in a well there. Soon after arriving on Plawal, Leia sees a young woman that she recognizes from her days on Alderaan. She doesn’t realize it at the time, but the appearance of the woman is no accident, and something – perhaps it is the Force – makes her uneasy about the brief sighting. Something ‘felt’ wrong about it.
As Leia ponders the woman’s meaning, parsecs away the Huntbird arrives in an asteroid field around the coordinates. Within moments, they fall under heavy attack from within the asteroids, and soon after the attack begins, the Huntbird is destroyed.
Most of the novels in the Star Wars Universe are able to grab my attention immediately and pull me into the storyline easily. Though the author does a wonderful job detailing the characters, places, and events, I found the actual action and transitions between locations and situations somewhat lackluster at best. I found ample opportunities to put the book down and go find something more entertaining to do more often than I should have.
The novel does have the ‘feel’ of Star Wars, but lacks its depth. The character development is disappointingly hampered by what seems to be a ‘less than forceful’ Force within Luke and Leia (pun intended). Clearly, if Luke can levitate a droid several decks above or below his own, he should have had no trouble levitating himself – yet, he does, every time it comes up within the novel that he needs to do it for whatever reason.
The author did attempt to explain the situation by saying that Luke was unable to do it because he had to concentrate on lowering his pain and infection levels, which overwhelmed his ability to concentrate effectively.