Set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, the children's series Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space follows the adventures of the resourceful and adventurous Lina and Milo Graf, children of Outer Rim explorers, as they attempt to find their parents, who have been kidnapped by the Empire. Now the Empire's metal-jawed Captain Korda is in pursuit of the siblings and their droid CR-8R for the stellar cartography information it contains. And yes, for the Star Wars completist, these books are canon.
The Dark by Tom Huddleston is the fourth volume in the Wild Space series, and begins immediately after the events depicted in the previous adventure, The Steal. Milo and Lina are the captives of the bounty hunter the Shade, but when the Shade’s ship is sabotaged after picking up two Imperial prisoners for transport to a forced labour mine, Milo and Lina find themselves adrift with a dangerous criminal on the loose and a prisoner who is not what they seem.
As with The Steal, children will be swept along with this book’s breakneck pace, even if there is nothing new or original here for cine-literate and book-savvy adults; The Dark is Star Wars' answer to Alien and, well, any Star Trek episode that featured a charismatic genocidal madman. However, it makes for a slightly darker adventure than the previous books, which younger Goosebumps fans will particularly enjoy.
Originally, the Wild Space series was only supposed to be four volumes, not including the novella length Volume 0 that was published for World Book Day, but publishers Egmont are clearly looking to continue the series, as The Dark is left open ended. And that's not a bad thing, as although these books lack anything near the complexity an adult would expect, they’re perfect for primary school children. This reviewer’s son can't wait for the next adventure – and you can't get a better endorsement than that.
STAR WARS: ADVENTURES IN WILD SPACE: THE DARK / AUTHOR: TOM HUDDLESTON / PUBLISHER: EGMONT / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW