Dark Apprentice (Star Wars: The Jedi Academy Trilogy, Vol. 2) - Kevin J. Anderson Luke Skywalker has gathered up his troops and headed to Yavin 4 to begin training. Only problem is that his most promising student, Gantoris, is now burned to a crisp and no one is sure why. Meanwhile, a mission fails, causing Ackbar to leave his command in shame, and Daala decides to wreak havoc on the New Republic.
NOTE: I listened to the audio book, and it was abridged so some scenes I may have A) forgotten since I last read the book and B) have not heard because they omitted it from the audiobook.

I Liked:
The last book was called Jedi Search, but honestly, it mostly focused on Han Solo and Kyp Durron. Kinda missed the mark to me, even if it were exciting in its own way. This book however gets into the actual training, which is particularly interesting. I enjoy seeing the new characters, particularly Kam Solusar, and wonder how he in particular fits into the new continuity with the prequels.
Kyp Durron is a fair character. I actually enjoyed seeing how he turned to the Dark Side. It was surprisingly reminiscent of Anakin Skywalker in the prequels and pretty well done in general.

I Didn't Like:
Like my title says, it seems every character in this novel was given an idiot ball and refused to let it go. Ackbar gets all huffy about crashing on Vortex and leaves. One incident, one mistake and he leaves in shame. I know we don't see him much in the movies, but the Ackbar there, I'm sure, wouldn't leave after one incident. Heck, the Ackbar in Zahn's books wouldn't leave after one mistake. And then, Ackbar's stupidity forces Leia to spend more time away from her family to coax him back into the military. In my opinion, if he's gonna be that huffy, I say we don't need him!
Han goes on a yelling spree with Lando like he's a PMSing woman and loses the Falcon in the most ludicrous game of sabacc ever. I was ashamed to read this part. Even if Leia were in danger (and she was), Han wouldn't jump on the Falcon, start a yelling match with Lando, and lose the Falcon. He'd go on the Falcon, yell that Leia was in trouble and everyone would be off to rescue her.
While Leia is on a mission, Han dumps his twins on Chewie, after not seeing them for months, and decides to go skiing with Kyp Durron, a kid he just met. Uh, yeah. So much for that father that Zahn set him up to be. If my dad did that...well...yeah.
Luke sees Gantoris (and later Kyp) has problems with the Dark Side and just decides to ignore it. I don't mind Luke always thinking someone can come back to the Dark Side, but I don't think Luke would ignore the clear signs of Dark Side usage and not try to swerve them off the path. Plus, Luke, as always, vacillates between too powerful and too stupid to live.
Absolute worst romantic couple of the year goes to Qui Xux and Wedge. Wedge must have forgotten all his wingmates he lost while piloting against BOTH Death Stars in order to fall in love with this air head. These sections made me cringe. A general protecting some nobody scientist? Going to Ithor, the lover's getaway? Cue eyeroll!
Lastly, Daala is said to be a military genius. So she attacks an unarmed planet (Dantooine) with refugees? Brilliant military work. It's the only engagement she ever wins, as she can't help but win against a world that has no army! Her attack against Mon Calamari was too reliant on old tactics (doesn't she realize that her tactics are TEN years old) and then when she said she was going to attack Coruscant? Uh, girlfriend, if you couldn't beat Mon Calamari, there is NO WAY you will beat Coruscant, the most heavily guarded and populated world in the galaxy. Even Thrawn waited until he had the Katana fleet and even then, he never took the world, only confused it. Plus, who says "Let's go hunting" and is met with resounding cheers? Lamest. Dialogue. Ever.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Some h*** and d*** (I think, I listened to the audiobook and can't remember).
Daala slept with Tarkin. Qui Xux and Wedge are basically a lame attempt at a love story.
Many die on the crash on Vortex. Daala attacks Dantooine.

Overall:
I had problems with Star Wars: Jedi Search (Vol. 1 of the Jedi Academy Trilogy), but there were some aspects that were cool enough to garner a three star review.
Not so here. I can't believe how out of character all these guys are. And the new original characters are so pathetic and lame. Cringeworthy. I don't recommend you read, but if you do, please follow up with a good dose of I, Jedi (Star Wars), where Stackpole calls Anderson out on a few of these stupidities.