Star Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter

( 15 )

Overview

When Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace took movie theaters by storm last May, the most popular character by far was the double-lightsaber-wielding Sith Lord apprentice known as Darth Maul. Now Emmy award-winning television writer, screenwriter, and novelist Michael Reaves brings Darth Maul to vivid life with this all-new original Star Wars adventure of dark mystery and deadly lightsaber action.

The time is just before the events of The Phantom Menace. Darth Sidious is ...

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Overview

When Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace took movie theaters by storm last May, the most popular character by far was the double-lightsaber-wielding Sith Lord apprentice known as Darth Maul. Now Emmy award-winning television writer, screenwriter, and novelist Michael Reaves brings Darth Maul to vivid life with this all-new original Star Wars adventure of dark mystery and deadly lightsaber action.

The time is just before the events of The Phantom Menace. Darth Sidious is setting in motion this secret plans to blockade the planet Naboo when he learns that one of his Neimoidian flunkies has doublecrossed him. He sends Darth Maul to kill the Neimoidian…but it may be too late: the information has already passed hands. Now one man and his Jedi companion have the means to destroy all of Sidious's evil plans—unless Darth Maul can destroy them first…

About the Author:
Michael Raves is a television, film, and fiction writer, whose credits include Sliders, Batman: The Animated Series, the Disney animated series Gargoyles, and thirteen novels, including The Shattered World, Darkworld Detective, Night Hunter,, and Voodoo Child. He has been nominated for ASIFA, Writers' Guild, and Prometheus Awards. He lives in Los Angeles. His new novel, Hell on Earth, will be published by Del Rey this summer.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Okay Star Wars fans, the moment you've been waiting for has arrived. Ever since his far-too brief appearance in Episode I, any tidbit of information about the fabulous and enigmatic Darth Maul is deeply treasured. Who is this guy Maul anyway? Where does he come from? What motivates him? What does he do for fun? Well, by reading Michael Reaves's fascinating and fully engrossing deep-space gripper, Star Wars: Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, you'll soon discover what Maul does for fun (simple: he kills). Set just prior to the happenings of Episode I, Shadow Hunter pits our favorite champ of darkness against a young Jedi apprentice on the verge of earning her cherished Knightship and a gritty, Han Solo-like scoundrel (he's a good guy, really) who suddenly finds himself in way over his head. Reaves's work -- fully Lucas-approved, of course -- is really fun. It's well written, well researched, fast-paced, and essential for any Star Wars fan, not only because of the additional details relayed about the two Sith Lords (Maul and Sidious) but also for the interesting tour it offers of the city-planet Corusucant. Dive into this read with pleasure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830068494
  • Publisher: The Ballantine Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Pages: 305

Meet the Author

Michael Reaves received an Emmy Award for his work on the Batman animated TV series. He has worked for Spielberg's DreamWorks, among other studios, and is the author of several fantasy novels and supernatural thrillers. His novel, Hell on Earth, will be published by Del Rey in the Summer of 2001. Reaves lives in Los Angeles.

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Read an Excerpt

Space is the perfect place to hide.

The Neimoidian freighter Saak’ak cruised ponderously in the uncharted deeps of Wild Space. It displayed its colors proudly, its cloaking device disabled, with no fear of detection. Here, parsecs away from the civilized Galactic Core and its surrounding systems, it could safely hide in plain sight. Even the Neimoidians, those past masters of paranoia, felt secure in the vast endless abyss between the disk and one of the spiral arms.

Yet even here the leaders of the Trade Federation could not entirely let go of their natural tendency toward subterfuge. They sought duplicity and guile the way a young grub seeks the safety and warmth of its sleeping niche in the communal hive. The Saak’ak was a good example of this. It was, to all appearances, merely a commercial vessel, its horseshoe shape designed to carry large amounts of cargo. Not until an unwary enemy had come within firing range would the heavy durasteel armor plating, blaster turrets, and military-strength communications arrays become visible.

By which time, of course, it would be too late.

Aboard the Saak’ak’s bridge all was silent save for the muted beeps and chimes of various life-support monitors and the almost inaudible susurrus of the air filtration system. Three figures stood to one side of the huge transparisteel viewport. They wore the flowing robes and mantles of the Neimoidian aristocracy, but their body language, as a fourth figure appeared in their midst, was deferential, if not outright cringing and servile.

The fourth figure was not really there with them in any physical sense. The robed and hooded form was a holograph,a three-dimensional image projected from an unknown source light-years distant. Intangible and immaterial, the mysterious stooped image nevertheless dominated the three Neimoidians. Indeed, they could not have been any more thoroughly cowed had he been physically present with a blaster in each hand.

The figure’s face—what little was visible of it in the shadows of the hood—was grim and unforgiving. The cowled head moved slightly as he looked at each of the Neimoidians in turn. Then the figure spoke, his voice a dry rasp, his tone that of one accustomed to instant obedience.

“There are only three of you.”

The tallest of the three, the one wearing the triple-crested tiara of a viceroy, responded in a stammering voice. “Th-that is true, Lord Sidious.”

“I see you, Gunray, and your lackeys Haako and Dofine. Where is the fourth one? Where is Monchar?”

Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray clasped his hands in front of him in what was not so much a supplicating gesture as an attempt to keep them from nervously wringing each other. He had hoped he would grow used to dealing with the Sith Lord over time, but so far that had not happened. If anything, these meetings with Darth Sidious had become even more gut-twisting and upsetting as the deadline for the embargo grew ever closer. Gunray did not know how his seconds in command, Daultay Dofine and Rune Haako, felt—discussing one’s feelings was anathema in Neimoidian society—but he knew how he felt after each encounter with the Sith Lord. He felt like squirming back into his hive mother’s birth chamber and pulling the cloacal flap in after him.

Especially now. Curse Hath Monchar! Where was the misbegotten rankweed sucker? Not on board the Saak’ak, that much was certain. The ship had been searched from the center sphere to the air locks at the outmost ends of each docking bay arm. Not only was his deputy viceroy nowhere to be found, but a scout vessel with hyperdrive capability was missing, as well. Put these two facts together, and the chances of Viceroy Gunray winding up as fodder for one of the fungus farms back on Neimoidia was beginning to look distressingly good.

The holographic image of Darth Sidious flickered slightly, then regained its none-too-stable resolution. A glitch, most likely caused by some solar flare on a star between here and whatever mysterious world the signal was originating from. Not for the first time Gunray found himself wondering on what world or ship the real Sith was standing, and not for the first time he flinched hastily away from the thought. He didn’t want to know too much about the Neimoidians’ ally in this undertaking. In fact, he wished he could forget what little he already knew. Collaborating with Darth Sidious was about as safe as being trapped in a cave on Tatooine with a hungry krayt dragon.

The hooded face turned to glare directly at him. “Well?” Sidious demanded.

Even as he opened his mouth, Gunray knew that it would be futile to lie. The Sith Lord was a master of the Force, that mysterious and pervasive energy field that, some said, knitted the galaxy together just as surely as did gravity. Sidious might not be able to read another’s inmost thoughts, but he certainly could tell when someone was lying. Even knowing that, however, the Neimoidian could no more stop himself from dissimulating than he could stop his sweat ducts from oozing oily perspiration down the back of his neck.

“He was taken ill, my lord. Too much rich food. He—he has a delicate constitution.” Gunray closed his mouth, keeping his lips firmly pressed together to stop them from trembling. Inwardly he cursed himself. Such a pathetic and obvious prevarication; even a Gamorrean would be able to see through it! He waited for Sidious to command Haako and Dofine to turn on him, to strip him of his vestments and rank. He had no doubt that they would do it. For the Neimoidians, one of the most difficult concepts to understand in the galactic lexicon of Basic was the word loyalty.

However, to his astonishment, Sidious merely nodded instead of showering him with vituperation. “I see. Very well, then—the four of us shall discuss the contingency plans should the trade embargo fail. Monchar can be briefed on them when he recovers.” The Sith Lord continued speaking, describing his plan to hide a large secret army of battle droids in the cargo bays of the trade ships, but Gunray could hardly pay attention to the specifics. He was stunned that his desperate ruse had worked.

The viceroy’s relief was short-lived, however. He knew that at best all he had done was buy some time, and not much of that. When Sidious’s hologram again materialized on the bridge of the Saak’ak he would once more demand to know where Monchar was—and this time he would not accept illness as an excuse.

There were no two ways about it—his errant lieutenant would have to be found, and quickly. But how to do this without arousing Sidious’s suspicions? Gunray felt certain at times that the Sith Lord was somehow able to peer into every compartment, niche, and cubicle on the freighter, that he knew everything, no matter how trivial or inconsequential, that took place on board.

The viceroy silently commanded himself to maintain control. He took advantage of Sidious’s attention being momentarily focused on Haako and Dofine to surreptitiously slip an antistress capsule between his lips. He could feel his lung pods expanding and contracting convulsively within him, on the verge of hyperventilation. An old saying characterized Neimoidians as the only sentient species with an entire organ devoted solely to the task of worrying. As Nute Gunray felt the anxiety that had been momentarily quelled threatening to build up once more in his gut sac, the adage did seem to have an unpleasant ring of truth to it.

Darth Sidious, Master of the Sith, finished relaying his instructions to the Neimoidians and made a slight, almost negligent gesture. Across the room a relay clicked and the holographic transmission ended. The flickering blue-white images of the Neimoidians and the section of their ship’s bridge captured by the split-beam transceivers vanished.

Sidious stood motionless and silent on the transmission grid, his fingers steepled, his mind meditating on the eddies and currents of the Force. Those of lesser sensitivity were oblivious to it, but to him it was like an omnipresent mist, invisible but nonetheless tangible, that swirled and drifted constantly about him. No words, no descriptions could begin to convey what it was like; the only way to understand it was to experience it.

He had learned over long years of study and meditation how to interpret each and every vagary of its restless flow, no matter how slight. Even without that ability, however, he would have known that Nute Gunray was lying about Hath Monchar’s whereabouts. An old joke about the viceroy’s kind summed it up nicely:

How can you tell if a Neimoidian is lying?

His mouth is open.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2002

    Darsa lose to Maul???

    I loved this book!!! It was awesome.The only part ,however , that I didnt like was when maul and darsa dueled.I didnt liked it because you knew that darsa would die because maul was in Episode 1. Other than that i loved this book!! Especially the end!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2001

    A very good but extremely violent book

    This book was great. Except it had a lot of killing in it. I still liked it though. I wished that you could learn about Darth Mauls past better. I don't think he should have killed off all the main good guy charaters. Also how could Darsha's master lose to Maul and Obi-wan kill him?

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2002

    I liked this book

    I happened to see this book as I was picking some things up for my wife. It was good to read Darth Maul as a full character rather than just his few lines and scenes from Episode I. I was actually rooting that he didn't get killed. His dealings with the other characters showed how much Darth Sidious instilled into him about keeping his and the Sith's presence underwraps. His skill and training described in the book was very impressive. After reading this book I found myself liking this Sith Warrior. He had a very good sense of honor for himself and his defeated opponents.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2001

    A book that is better than awsome

    I dont have a lot of time on my hands but for this book I made time. I just didn't want to put down. You could totally tell that this book took place before episode 1. and the way it brought you into the beginning of episode 1 was brillant. for anyone who is thinking about getting that book and is unsure, get the book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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