The Lost Ones is the third book in the Heirs of the Force series.
The twins are on vacation from their Jedi training, along with Lowbacca and Em Teedee. They plan to meet an old friend Zekk. When they start their adventure with Zekk, he takes them to a city on the lower level of Coruscant, where he starts to scavenge for various things, and explaining that is what he considers his job to be. . They head home, only to be confronted by a group of teenagers who call themselves the Lost Ones. They get away, and Jaina invites Zekk to a dinner that’s being held for a new ambassador. His alienation with the formal world shows at the banquet. He runs off, only for a strange woman to come up to him, asking him a few questions. She scans him with something, and has two men abduct him shortly after. Zekk comes to, and is greeted by Brakiss, who attempts to recruit him for his Shadow Academy.
Jacen and Jaina keep trying to contact Zekk, but continue to fail. Even Zekk’s roommate Peckhum does not know where he is and joins the search effort. Jacen and Tenel Ka go to search the Undercity for him again. They eventually find him giving a speech to Lost Ones, who have been subdued. One of Brakiss’ goons stuns the pair, and they awaken to find no trace of their friend or assumed enemy. Lowbacca and Jaina manage to relocate the base and try to send troops after the Academy, but the members manage to escape. However, they have left behind a pod containing a message. The twins and their friends retrieve the message, in which Zekk explains his motives in wanting to be trained in the Shadow Academy. His friends are devastated by his choice, but they don’t have much time to miss him. Shortly after, Luke takes them back into training, completely aware they’re in for a tough fight ahead.
To this day, I’m not quite sure what to think of this book in the series. The writing was good, Zekk was a great character, but while the story progressed steadily, it still managed to feel like it was dragging on. As a writer who doesn’t take kindly to stories that feel too long, I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy the story completely for that last part. Once again, it’s worth a read, but more to keep up with the series’ continuity more than anything.