Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher Review

Since the Canon reset in 2014, I have always maintained that the books and comics should be used to further the ongoing story of the Galaxy Far, Far Away, and at times, help to enhance the films. Just look at ‘Catalyst’ by James Luceno, the story of Orsen Krennic and Galen Erso and their time working together as well as the father/daughter relationship between Galen and Jyn and having read it, the opening scene of ‘Rogue One’ when Krennic arrives to take Galen to help finish The Death Star has so much more depth. But it’s not required reading for the more casual fans.

Adam Christopher’s ‘Shadow of the Sith’ falls hard into that category, giving us deeper insight into events that are mentioned or downright shown in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, if it was a fan query about events mentioned in the final film in ‘The Skywalker Saga’, (other than about Palpatine) then you will most likely find them in this book.

Focusing on the quest that Luke and Lando go on that Lando mentions in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ and also on the story of Rey’s parents and how they ended up leaving Rey on Jakku, ‘Shadows of the Sith’ is a wonderfully told epic Star Wars novel. And it doesn’t only tie in to ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, in fact, Christopher fills the novel with Easter Eggs for book and comic fans alike. What makes it even better is that none of the references feel shoe-horned in, which can be an issue at times (Ponda Baba and Dr Evazan in ‘Rogue One’ being a prime example).

One of the aspects of ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ that Christopher expands upon is the story of Rey’s parents, and we get their whole story, how Dathan escaped Exogol and met Miramir, how when they had Rey they left Miramir’s homeworld to protect her from the Sith cultists. Why they left Rey on Jakku and why they were in Ochi of Bestoon’s ship.

Another aspect of the Sequel Trilogy that gets expanded upon is the relationship between Luke and the teenaged Ben Solo. In the novel, Ben is in his late teens and trying to navigate the fine line between being Luke’s Padawan and being Luke’s Nephew, especially, as we find out, that Luke is trying to develop his Jedi Order with the tenants of the Order that fell to the Empire, including their rules on attachment.

Speaking of Ochi, he also plays a major role in the novel. His backstory from Greg Pak’s ‘Darth Vader’ series playing a major part in the characters motivations (Adam Christopher did some serious research on this book). Unfortunately, the Ochi sections were a let down for me, mainly because I was never a fan of the Jedi Hunter’s portrayal in ‘Darth Vader’ and Christopher could just take the established character and make them infinitely less annoying. However I was able to appreciate his handling of the character.

However, nothing is ever truly perfect, and in the case of this Audiobook, I had one small problem that became a bit distracting. The narrator, William DeMerritt provides a vocal performance for one character, Beaumont Kin (Dominic Monaghan from ‘The Rise of Skywalker’), a character with an established, British accent, with a French accent. It’s jarring when an established character is changed like that, and it’s not like it’s a character who has only been in comics or books, he’s on screen, there is a reference for how he sounds. Don’t get me wrong, the performance is still great, almost on par with Marc Thompson, but it’s little details that get overlooked that can make or break someone’s experience. Luckily it didn’t break my experience but, it was a bit strange, and as this is the only negative thing I can say about the Audiobook, I think it’s still a massive win.

One thing that I really, truly enjoyed whilst listening to ‘Shadow of the Sith’ is the way that Adam Christopher made the story feel like one of the Bantam era ‘Legends’ novels from the 1990’s. I can’t put my finger on how he does it, but the whole story evoked a sense of nostalgia that I’ve not had when reading any of the novels since the canon reset.

For the Podcast version of this post, including listener feedback, click HERE.

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