By : Valeda Kor
Avalon's new story about Obi-Wan Kenobi is a delight to read. As the author relates, this was to be a simple mission, just simple escort duty. Get in,
and get out. But it doesn't turn out that way, and Obi-Wan finds himself fighting for his life.
The "pearls of Jedi wisdom" the author employs are a clever plot device. Qui-Gon Jinn's words come through loud and clear as his Padawan debates internally, recalling his training and calling upon the experiences that every Jedi has. It certainly doesn't help that the Force has become muted to him, allowing his attackers to disrupt his use of the Force, as the author says. Obi-Wan must call upon the resources that he has only within himself, not the power that the Force would normally provide. To find yourself cut off from everything, as Obi-Wan does, would strike fear in the heart of any heroic character. Avalon carefully illustrates what this feels like, painting a word picture of fear and apprehension that will make readers squirm in their seats. It's extremely revealing, and very well done.
Readers learn more about the dark side, too, in Avalon's capable hands.
The author's theme -- that despite everything, good triumphs over evil -- is brought home in many subtle ways, from Obi-Wan's determination to survive to the dawning realization of his immediate captors as to what is really at stake. Working in concert with the physical pain there is the mental pain that the young Jedi undergoes as he struggles to remember who he is and what he symbolizes.
Obi-Wan Kenobi in "Shards of Darkness" is a unique character, one that Star Wars fans may think they know intimately, but one that becomes truly alive in this story. The little bits of humor that Avalon interjects serve to diffuse the tension at needed moments, giving readers additional insight into
Obi-Wan, bringing him further to life. We're with him as he fights for his life, first on this evil world and then later, as the battle seems to be won. But there are other battles to get through, as readers will see. Luckily, our favorite young Padawan will have help with that.
A powerful story, highly recommended.