Dark Apprentice - by Kevin J Anderson. 1994. Book 2 of the Jedi Academy Trilogy.
I think I will abandon my normal EU/Bad/Ugly motif, because I don't know if I can find an EU to put in here. I mean, I like Clighal, but that's a Clighal later on, not the one here.
I think I have come to a realization of what I dislike about this series - and there are two things. First, the plot is so lacking in tension, so there is nothing for our rather unheroic heroes (heroic? Luke dithers about teaching, Han plays 4 rounds of cards, Ackbar retires, and Leia whines about work. . . how heroic!) to do. But wait, I have to get the next book not because I am a self-abusive star wars fan, but because of compelling plot reasons like. . . um. . . . Well, Daala is going to attack... oh, wait, she has no more fleet. Um, well, you have Kyp, who in two chapters goes from young force using punk to ultra evil bad guy. . . well, okay, threatening to go all vigilante against the Empire doesn't really make me tremble. Oh no, a anti-Imperial war hawk with Jedi powers. . . . Really, the darkside isn't all that scary unless you are trying to take over the universe.
See, the whole thing reads like a really bad American rendition of an Anime series. I almost could hear Speed Racer's voice over Kyp's dialog "climatic" dialog with Luke. Just. . . ugh.
Of course, what makes this so, so bad is that the characterization is off. I can prove this with 4 words.
So, when Admiral Ackbar takes over the defense of Calamari from invaders, he pulls all the starfighters away from the construction facilities to lure in a hidden Star Destroyer. He is asked if this is wise, and then we hear as follows:
"No," [Ackbar] said, "It is a trap."
It is a trap? It IS a trap? There are potentially two lines that a Star Wars fan has memorized... and Anderson butchers one.
I shall borrow from Robot Chicken. To read this book would be a big mistakey.
One more book, and then I can read "I, Jedi" and be happy.
Grade Um... D-. I'll be generous.