19. Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
If you want to read a story where the Dark Side of the Force is somewhat of an evil protagonist, then Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter is the book for you.
On a macro-scale, Darth Maul is dispatched by Darth Sidious to track down a Deputy Viceroy of the Federation. The DV is missing and may have important information. This leads a cat-and-mouse chase to find information, a Sith Holocron, and multiple battles, and a maze-like chase that plays out similar to the epic Game of Thrones scene with Arya, except on Coruscant.
Along the way, we’re introduced to Jedi Padawan Darsha Assant and her Master Anoon Bondara. There’s a crime syndicate informant named Oolth, a zip line, hawk bats, and a death via parkour.
Otherwise, however, Darth Maul is in rare form at his nastiest. He interrogates, tortures, decapitates, and gives the Jedi Order everything they can handle. What’s great about Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter is not only the first-person view from Darth Maul’s perspective – he ends up playing an evil Sherlock Holmes type of character – but also the equivocation of the Jedi. It turns out there is a little more gray area between dark and light, with multiple parties obscuring information for personal interests. It’s also a rare time when the ending doesn’t quite figure the way one would expect, but it nevertheless feels appropriate and fulfilling.
Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter is a great book that precedes Star Wars: Episode: The Phantom Menace, and provides some insight to perhaps the coolest villain in the Star Wars universe.