Brooks handles the job of modern mythmaker well. He deftly juggles a hodgepodge of characters: a young stately queen (Amidala) and her handmaidens; a pair of Jedi knights (Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui Gon Jinn); a bumbling amphibious side-kick (Jar Jar Binks); two Sith Lords (Darths Maul and Sidious) who add more than enough menace to the mix; a couple of familiar robots (C-3P0 and R2-D2); a teeming host of Senators, Chancellors, diplomats, warrior droids, and spies, and one young slave boy who aspires to be a Jedi knight (Anakin Skywalker). With cinematic prose, Brooks brings to life a number of epic battles, skirmishes, and dog-fights in space--all the elements that we've come to expect from a rousing Star Wars instalment. The Phantom Menace doesn't stray far from those expectations: there is a clear division between the good guys and the bad; good things come in small (and surprising) packages; heroes lose battles only to emerge victorious on another day. But Phantom does illuminate in ways the other instalments didn't. For the first time, we get a glimpse at the whys and wherefores behind the curtain; at times it reads almost like a socio-political thriller as the emerging Federation shuffles for power with the waning democracy of the Republic. The Force is also further illuminated. Turns out it has something to do with "midi-chlorians"--microscopic life forms that live in the cells of all living things.
The Phantom Menace is a fun read, sure to satisfy Star Wars junkies young and old. And don't forget: turn your lightsaber off before you go into the swamp or you'll fry your energy pack. --Tod Nelson, Amazon.com
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, an evil legacy long believed dead is stirring. Now the dark side of the Force threatens to overwhelm the light, and only an ancient Jedi prophecy stands between hope and doom for the entire galaxy.
On the green, unspoiled world of Naboo, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, arrive to protect the realm’s young queen as she seeks a diplomatic solution to end the siege of her planet by Trade Federation warships. At the same time, on desert-swept Tatooine, a slave boy named Anakin Skywalker, who possesses a strange ability for understanding the “rightness” of things, toils by day and dreams by night—of becoming a Jedi Knight and finding a way to win freedom for himself and his beloved mother. It will be the unexpected meeting of Jedi, Queen, and a gifted boy that will mark the start of a drama that will become legend.
Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years, plus a brand-new Darth Maul short story by New York Times bestselling author James Luceno!