- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 14 hours and 31 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House Audio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 17 Sept. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00F31VMCQ
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Star Wars: Specter of the Past: The Hand of Thrawn, Book 1 Audiobook – Unabridged
|New from||Used from|
Audio Download, Unabridged
|Free with your Audible trial|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
However, I would not recommend reading this book if you haven't read the original Thrawn trilogy. Not because it is hard to pick up the storyline but reading this first will spoil your enjoyment of three great novels.
No other author manages to capture the magic of the movies quite like Zahn does. I can't wait for more.
Fifteen years after 'Return of the Jedi', the New Republic is struggling with internal discontent and the Empire, under Grand Admiral Pellaeon, is but a remnant of it's former self. Into these troubled times three power-hungry Imperials create the illusion of Grand Admiral Thrawn's return as Leia discovers the existence of the mysterious Hand of Thrawn.
Zahn brings his usual high-quality style to this book and it reads very much as a continuation of the original Thrawn trilogy. One of the things I liked most was the fact that Pellaeon is a shrewd enough tactician to know when to sue for peace, which is a drastic change from the usual maniacal Imperial leaders from other Star Wars books. Zahn wrote this book with strong links to Michael A. Stackpole's 'I, Jedi' and as such there are many familiar faces ranging from Corran Horn to Elegos A'kla. Generally speaking, this is an excellent addition to the saga.
Fans of Star Wars action may well be disappointed as this book mostly consists of the build-up towards conflict, rather than the conflict itself. Leia's official position is a bit unclear too, in the preceding and following Star Wars books she's Chief of State, but here she seems to have no official power at all.
The introduction of new characters suchas Moff Disra and Major Tierce gives the story a new flavour and the ending will leave you interested and keen to read vision of the future.
The entire subplot over the whole Hand of Thrawn duology involving Talon Karde and the various people in the criminal underworld feels pointless - they don't do much of anything of significance other than tie up plot inconveniences, and at times embark on grand projects, which almost always go awry and you wonder why such a large chunk of the book is about them. Many of the characters in these bits are unknowns, a headache to picture in your mind being of various new alien races, and with nothing particularly interesting about them.
There is a wonky subplot surrounding Imperial Remnant politics, which is exciting for about the first 100~ pages of the entire 1000 word duology. Its established that Pellaeon is departing from convention and trying to establish peace with the New Republic (interesting), that Grand Admiral Thrawn has returned (but not all is as it seems) and that there is a political conflict of interest between pro-war Moff Disra and Admiral Pellaeon that threatens the attempt for peace. The problem is that this sub-plot moves at an absolute snails pace. Its not until the very end of the second book that Pellaeon finally does something of significance in response, doing almost nothing between the first chapter of the first book and the last few chapters of the second book. The chapters involving Moff Disra's schemes are tolerable at best.
Every bit of the book involving Luke Skywalker is good. The problem is that he barely shows up at all in SotP because Zahn is too busy setting up context with another tedious Leia or Karde segment. A plot tangent is set up for the whole duology where Luke goes to aid Mara Jade in trouble on a planet, which, as some other characters humourously remark, is in no way ostensibly helpful to the unfolding galactic political crisis threatening to unfold in war, and is really about developing the relationship between the two characters, and while actually being well written and interesting, Luke vanishes from the plot in the middle of this segment halfway through SotP and doesn't come back until a decent bit into the second book. This was quite aggravating for me.
The main plot is about the New Republic having a political crisis with the potential for civil war over a document that emerges early in the book that shows a few handfuls of a members of a certain species contributed to an act of planetary genocide on the Emperor's orders, decades before the book is set. Again, characters remark that clearly something of so little importance won't cause much of a problem, but it really does. The main plot works and is fairly interesting if you suspend your disbelief.
The style of writing itself is competent and easy to read - this is perhaps the only reason some of the more boring segments aren't much trouble. Of the new side characters both in this book and in the duology, none really stand out except for Major Tierce, who makes a convincing and interesting soldier in the pro-war faction, and Booster Terrik, a smuggler who goes on to play an important role in aiding the New Republic. The only smuggler the entire duology needed, if I'm honest.
This book doesn't work well on its own, the duology doesn't make for a particularly great bit of fiction. Its about average overall. Read it if you're just interested in knowing what comes next after the Thrawn Trilogy.