Star Wars Coruscant Nights #1: Jedi Twilight

Star Wars Coruscant Nights #1: Jedi Twilight

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by Michael Reaves
     
 

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With the dark ascension of the Empire, and the Jedi Knights virtually wiped out, one Jedi who escaped the massacre is slated for a date with destiny–and a confrontation with Darth Vader.

Jax Pavan is one of the few Jedi Knights who miraculously survived the slaughter that followed Palpatine’s ruthless Order 66. Now, deep in Coruscant’ s

Overview

With the dark ascension of the Empire, and the Jedi Knights virtually wiped out, one Jedi who escaped the massacre is slated for a date with destiny–and a confrontation with Darth Vader.

Jax Pavan is one of the few Jedi Knights who miraculously survived the slaughter that followed Palpatine’s ruthless Order 66. Now, deep in Coruscant’ s Blackpit Slums, Jax ekes out a living as a private investigator, trying to help people in need while concealing his Jedi identity and staying one step ahead of the killers out for Jedi blood. And they’re not the only ones in search of the elusive Jax. Hard-boiled reporter Den Dhur and his buddy, the highly unorthodox droid I-5YQ, have shocking news to bring Jax–about the father he never knew.

But when Jax learns that his old Jedi Master has been killed, leaving behind the request that Jax finish a mission critical to the resistance, Jax has no choice but to emerge from hiding–and risk detection by Darth Vader–to fulfill his Master’s dying wish.

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307795878
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/2011
Series:
Star Wars: Coruscant Nights Series , #1
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
165,940
File size:
5 MB

Read an Excerpt

One

In the lowest levels, in the abyssal urban depths, of the ecumenopolis that was Coruscant, it was a rare thing indeed to see sunlight. For the inhabitants of the baroque and gleaming cloudcutters, skytowers and superskytowers—the latter reaching as much as two kilometers high—the sun was something taken for granted, just as were the other comforts of life. Since WeatherNet guaranteed that it never rained until dusk or later, the rich golden sunlight was simply expected, in the same way that one expected air to fill one’s lungs with every breath.

But hundreds of stories below the first inhabited floors of the great towers, ziggurats, and minarets, in some places actually on or under the city-planet’s surface, it was another story. Here hundreds of thousands of humans and other species lived and died, sometimes without ever catching as much as a glimpse of the fabled sky. Here the light that filtered through the omnipresent gray inversion layer was wan and pallid. The rain that reached the surface was nearly always acidic, enough so at times to etch tiny channels and grooves into ferrocarbon foundations. It was hard to believe that anything at all could survive in these dismal trenches. Yet even here life, both intelligent and otherwise, had adjusted long ago to the perpetual twilight and strictured environment.

At the very bottom of the chasms, in the variegated pulsing of phosphor lights and signs, stone mites, conduit worms, and other scavengers flourished on technological detritus. Duracrete slugs blindly masticated their way through rubble. Hawk-bats built nests near power converters to keep their eggs warm. Armored rats and spider-roaches scuttled and hunted through piles of trash two stories high. And millions of other species of opportunistic and parasitic organisms, from single-celled animalcules all the way up to those self-aware enough to wish they weren’t, doggedly pursued their common quest for survival, little different from the struggles on a thousand different jungle worlds. Down here was where the jetsam of the galaxy, a motley collection of sentients dismissed by those above simply as “the underdwellers,” eked out lives of brutality and despair. It was merely a different kind of jungle, after all. And where there’s a jungle, there are always those who hunt.

Even Piell had been one of the lucky ones. Born on the violence-plagued planet Lannik to an impoverished family, he had been taken by the Jedi in his infancy because of his affinity for the Force. He had been raised in the Temple, high above the poverty and misery that had once seemed the inevitable birthright of his homeworld. True, his life had been somewhat ascetic, but it had also been clean, ordered, and—most important of all—it had been purposeful. It had been about something. He had been part of a cause greater than himself, one of a noble and revered Order stretching back hundreds of generations.

He had been a Jedi Knight.

Now he was a pariah.

Those who knew him respected the diminutive humanoid for his fierce courage and fighting skills, as well they should. Had he not defeated the Red Iaro terrorist Myk’chur Zug, at the cost of an eye? Had he not survived the Battle of Geonosis, and fought many a battle for the Republic in the Clone Wars? It was truthfully said that Even Piell had never backed away from a fight in his life. Give him a lightsaber and a cause in which to ignite it, and there was no braver warrior on two legs, or four, or six. But now . . .

Now it was different.

Now, for the first time in his life, he knew fear.

Even walked hurriedly through the colorful crowds that thronged the Zi-Zhinn Marketplace. This was a euphemistic name for an ongoing rowdy street fair on the 17th Level of an area in Sector 4805, also known as the Zi-Kree Sector, along the equatorial strip. That was the name given to the upper levels, anyway; down here, below the layer of smoke and fog, it was simply called the Crimson Corridor. While much of Coruscant’s lower levels comprised less-than-desirable real estate, some areas were loci of particular and concentrated trouble. The Southern Underground, the Factory District, The Works, the Blackpit Slums—these and other colorful names did little justice to the harsh realities of life under the perpetual smog layer that hid them from the rarefied upper levels. Yet ironically, it was only in ghettos like these, amid despair and desperation, that a measure of anonymity and security could be found.

Even wasn’t sure how many of the Jedi were left, but he knew the number wasn’t high. The slaughter begun on Geonosis had been pursued with a vengeance here on Coruscant, and on other worlds such as Felucia and Kashyyyk as well. Barriss Offee was dead, as were Luminara Unduli, Mace Windu, and Kit Fisto. Plo Koon’s starfighter had been shot down over Cato Neimoidia. To the best of his knowledge, Even was the only senior member of the Council to escape the massacre at the Temple.

It was still almost impossible to comprehend. It had all happened so fast. In only a few short days he had been forced to give up everything. No more would he look upon the five spires of the Jedi Temple, or walk the fragrant-flowered paths and tessellated floors of its private gardens and chambers. No more would he spend rewarding hours in discussion with his fellow scholars in the Council of First Knowledge, or research interstellar esoterica in the Archives, or practice the seven forms of lightsaber combat with his fellow Jedi.

But he could not give up using the Force to aid others. To deny the Force was to deny himself. Fear of discovery had caused him to hold back from using it in public for as long as he could stand. He had been a helpless witness to the everyday atrocities during the interregnum, to the chaos and anarchy that had accompanied the overthrow of the Galactic Senate and the ascension of the new Emperor. Sick at heart, he had reined in his dismay and revulsion, his desperate need to do something to stop this unending nightmare. He had seen his fellow Jedi assassinated by clone commanders under the thrall of Order Sixty-six; he had seen employees and instructors mowed down by blasterfire; and, worst of all, he had heard the screams of the children and the young Padawans as they had been cut down.

And he had fled. That fateful night, while destruction dropped from the skies and stormtroopers patrolled the streets, Even Piell and the others—the very few others—still alive had escaped the massacre.

For now.

Even moved cautiously and stealthily through puddles of stuttering neon light. Used subtly, the Force allowed him to slip through crowds of various species—Bothans, Niktos, Twi’leks, and humans—with few noticing him. And even those few forgot him almost immediately. For the moment, he was safe—but not even the Force could protect him forever.

His pursuers were closing in.

He did not know their ID numbers, nor would it matter if he did. They were stormtroopers, cloned soldiers created in the vats of Tipoca City on the water world Kamino and elsewhere, warriors bred to fight fearlessly for the glory of the Republic, and to obey without question the commands of the Jedi.

That, however, was before Order Sixty-six.

He could sense them through the Force, their malignant auras like ice water along his nerves. They were getting closer; he estimated the distance at little more than a kilometer now.

He ducked into a recessed doorway. The entrance was locked, but a gesture of his hand, and an answering ripple in the Force, caused the door panel to slide back reluctantly, with a rasping screech. It jammed partway, but there was enough room for him to squeeze past.

The Lannik hurried through what had once been a spice den, by the looks of it; formcast cribs and niches in the wall showed where various body shapes had lain long ago, their minds disengaged and floating in soporific bliss. Though it may have been as much as five centuries since it had last been used, it seemed to Even that he could still smell the ghostly scent of glitterstim that had once clouded both the air and the occupants’ minds.

At first Even had wondered how the stormtroopers tracking him had found him so quickly. He had been circumspect in his use of the Force, had kept as low a profile as possible for the past two standard months. He’d stayed off the grid, dealing for sustenance and shelter strictly with credit chips and bills. While it was true that Lannik were not all that common, even on Coruscant, how the troopers had come across him was still baffling. It didn’t really matter, though. Perhaps someone had recognized his image as one of the Council, and reported him. All that mattered was that they were closing in, with but one purpose in mind—to kill Jedi.

To kill him.

He still carried his lightsaber, concealed in his jacket’s inside pocket. He resisted the urge to seize the weapon. Its cool grip would feel most comforting in his hand right now.

But this wasn’t yet the time, although from all indications that time would be upon him very shortly. The final battle—he had little doubt it would be anything less than that—could not take place where innocents might be caught in the crossfire. The agents of the Emperor didn’t care about collateral damage, but Jedi could not be so cavalier.

From the Paperback edition.

Meet the Author

Michael Reaves received an Emmy Award for his work on the Batman television animated series. He has worked for DreamWorks, among other studios, and has written fantasy novels and supernatural thrillers. Reaves is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, as well as the co-writer (with Steve Perry) of Star Wars: Death Star and two Star Wars: MedStar novels: Battle Surgeons and Jedi Healer. He lives in the Los Angeles area.


From the Paperback edition.

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Star Wars Coruscant Nights #1 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
filmnut27 More than 1 year ago
"Jedi Twilight", the first in the "Coruscant Nights" trilogy, is an interesting adventure to be added to the Star Wars catalogue. By basing the entire novel within the epic metropolis planet of Coruscant, author Michael Reeves is able to match a dark, gritty plotline to the equally sinister landscape. Unfortunately that plotline becomes as labyrinth as some of the dark city districts it takes place in. In the end we're left with a novel that works thanks in part to its fascinating locations and colorful characters but fails to deliver on noir-ish pretenses. There are many characters that dominate "Jedi Twilight", most of them looking for each other while vying to be the protagonist of the story. Den Dhur and I-5YQ are trying to locate Jedi Knight Jax Pavin, who's avoiding capture from Darth Vadar and his assistant Rhinann, whose recruited Nick Rostu to track down Jax, who's joined up with Laranth Tarak to locate 10-4TO, etc. This simplified (if confusing) summery names only roughly half of the characters that all play significant roles within the novel. These characters are all pretty distinct but their details tend to blur together (species, sensitivity to the Force, etc.). The fact that so many characters are running around consciously or not trying to track each other down really creates a hazy plot. This isn't to say that the plot is boring or meandering however. In fact, "Jedi Twilight" is pretty exciting overall. It works so well due to Reaves' uncanny ability to describe Coruscant's varied locations. Reaves has taken one of the saga's most complex and fascinating planets and described it in a rather fluid and understandable manner. While the films have dwelled on the upper-crust areas such as the Jedi Temple and the Senate, the Coruscant of "Jedi Twilight" is a much grittier and dangerous place to live in. The Black-Pit Slums, the Factory District, and the Crimson Corridor all come with their own distinct brands of dangerous intrigue to enjoy, and Reaves weaves those locations together well. However, if you're assuming this is "Star Wars" in "noir" clothing by the book cover and the Jedi-turned-Private Investigator Jax Paven you're going to be disappointed. Sadly, the plot doesn't reflect a noir sensibility nor does Jax ever conduct a single investigation. Hopefully the second entry will address these concerns more thoroughly. The only time Reaves really stumbles is during his insistent knack to turn every description into an incoherent Star Wars metaphor. He does this by heavily relying on metaphors ("That droid can go through a ferrocrete bunker like a neutrino through plasma!") which end up becoming rather perplexing. These metaphors and references attempt to pack in every single Star Wars reference but the end result just becomes annoying. Overall, "Jedi Twilight" rises and falls in different ways. It stumbles here and there, blurring plot and characters together in a medley of archaic Star Wars references, but makes up for it with nice action and terrific settings. And when Reaves hits the right notes, he really hits them well. I enjoyed his pacing of the plot into three parts, especially with the cliffhanger leading into the third act. Little things like that really show off Reaves' flair as a pretty stable author for action and suspense. What results overall is a sturdy first entry into a promising trilogy that i
DarthDuck More than 1 year ago
As a Star Wars fanboy, I have read and enjoyed Michael Reaves other Star Wars novels. Continuing the story of characters from his pre-Phantom Menace novel: Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, Reaves sets this story just after Revenge of the Sith. It's a noir-style crime thriller set in the Star Wars universe. It would be enjoyed by Star Wars and noir fiction fans alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I came across the Coruscant night series I wasn't sure whether I would like it or not. Just by the blurb and reviews I had read I was a bit sceptical. In all honesty, the part of the Star Wars timeline I'm not a huge fan of, mainly because there hasn't been a bulk worth of well known novels that have characterised the era. I was left however, pleasantly surprised. The characters are interesting and not too 'far fetched', and I particularly liked the introduction of "I-Five" as well as what he adds to the novel. Michael Reaves uses good cross-referencing with some not so well known characters that helps drive the story along too. The problem I had with this book is that it didn't make me want to really get into it at all. I didn't find myself needing to get my book 'fix' as I have from previous novels that I've read. I think perhaps the lack of real excitement made it a bit of a drag but nevertheless, I have started the second novel in the series and I'm starting to get a bit more emotionally involved with the characters. I would say that this will tickle your fancy if you're a fan of the whole 'lone Jedi surviving' thing, and if you are happy to follow a character relatively unheard of and new. However, if you're looking for a ton of names you've seen pop up in multiple novels etc then maybe look at either the Clone Wars or New Republic era.
Mojobass More than 1 year ago
I'm a big-time I5 fan{the droid on the cover}. His character is very deep, especially since he is an AI character. For the Star Wars reader who was touched when Lorn Pavan didn't allow I5 to sacrifice himself in Darth Maul: Shadowhunter. This is my personal favorite Star Wars book that I have read so far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ryan1234500 More than 1 year ago
There was really nothing bad about this book at all. It was a gripping, action packed read with great characters and an inthralling story. I liked that it didn't really finish the storyline at the end, as it will continue in future installments. I always love Reeves signature droid I5YQ. The only thing keeping me from giving this book 5 stars was just that it lacked that amazing 'wow' factor that a few Star Wars books have achieved. But so few of them have that, and I would highly recommend this novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an omg book love it hi
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have come to recive my nine lives
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well thats must up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its Steeltail, come with me to Light Sky.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He sighed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sighed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry I just joined but by the descriptions I'm gonna say Blazeheart. And I gtg cyaa.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Iv got me a silverfoot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At star stone result one...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(I have to go soon too for dinner) "Good to know. I'll just start hugging people and see which one reprimands me for 'hugging my superiors'."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(Okay) alright
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stricken_Maveric More than 1 year ago
After reading Darth Maul Shadow Hunter, I had high hopes for this novel. I was a tad disappointed at the lack of flow from the book. The story seemed to be a little jittery in terms of establishing consistency in plot details. The main characters never really seem to develop the chemistry that makes so many famous "groups" shine. What made Luke, Han, Chewie, Leia, C3PO and R2D2 such a great cast to care about was the chemistry that they had together. Something that characters such as Jax, Laranth, And I5YQ just never seem to establish. The story was solid, but I'm not a fan of book trilogies that are designed from the very beginning. Michael Reaves writes another great story, but it just seems to lack the 'magic' that made Shadow Hunter a favorite for me. Recommended for any Michael Reaves fan as it is still a great Star Wars story.
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