Author: Joe Schreiber
Publisher: LucasBooks (Random House)
Format: electronic ARC
Where I Received the Title: NetGalley
Without a doubt, one of the most intriguing villains of the prequel trilogy is the devil-horned Sith, Darth Maul. The obedient apprentice to Darth Sidious wields a twin-bladed light saber and is more powerful than many of the best jedi. But in Lockdown, Maul must hide his powers of the force to destroy a space prison that houses some of the most dangerous criminals in the galaxy.
As one can expect from Schreiber, the author of the Death Trooper horror novel, Maul: Lockdown contains some gratuitous violence. The prison is part of an underground gambling ring where opponents are matched for fight-to-death cage matches — a contest in which Maul finds himself a frequent combatant. But Maul’s mission isn’t simply survival. That would be too easy. He must negotiate his way through the prison to broker a deal with a secret arms dealer to procure a nuclear device. And… all this must be done with revealing his powers in the force.
So what are we to make of this death sport novel? I will say this — if the premise interests you, I think you will find the book pleasurable to read. The action scenes are fast and exciting and there’s enough of a plot to justify the action. With that said, this novel is very self-contained, taking almost entirely aboard the space prison. There are some appearances by Jabba and Darth Plagueis and a few other minor characters, but this isn’t a sweeping novel that expands the universe.
Chronologically, Maul: Lockdown takes place after James Luceno’s Darth Plagueis, but to compare these novels is not exactly a fair comparison. They achieve very different things. Maul: Lockdown is a popcorn book filled with battles and action and does very little to provide deep insight into the overall arc of the era. Regardless, I plowed through this book in just a few sittings.
I think this book should get fairly high reviews, mostly for the fact that Schreiber delivers what readers of this book will expect and more. A light plot, lots of fight sequences, and more insight into the character of Darth Maul.