Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn more Shop Men's Shop Women's

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 18 February 2006
One of the best books I've read on Star Wars. Timothy Zahn was my second favourite Star Wars book writer before this but he is now my favourite author after reading this book. After all the speculation and everything that the mysterious Outbound Flight project has been talked about, this book is a fitting account of how Outbound Flight got the green light and then how it's downfall happened. You will see Thrawn (and the whole Chiss species) in a completely different light and learn how he came to serve under the Emperor and why he did so. The Yuzzan Vong from the New Jedi Order books have a big effect on this book, despite never being mentioned in name. And there are one of the most cruel species ever mentioned in the Star Wars series - the Vagaari, a terrible species which uses 'living' shields - but I won't give it away. Anyway, I would really reccomend that you buy this book, it is great and will close a piece of Star Wars history to an end. Even if you have not read the other Outbound Flight novels, then this is a great book to read on it's own. 10/10!!!!
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 February 2007
This "Star Wars" story is a prequel to "Survivor's Quest" and among other things it tells the story of how the Old Republic first encountered Commander Mitth'raw'nuruodo - better known by the rank to which Emperor Palpatine was to appoint him, and by his "core name" which humans can pronounce, as Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Timothy Zahn is one of the most original science fiction authors writing today. His contributions to the "Star Wars" universe, particularly the novels in which he brought to life Grand Admiral Thrawn and his race, the Chiss, are perhaps his best work.

This story is set about four or five years after "Star Wars Episode One" at a time when Palpatine has become Supreme Chancellor but before the start of the Clone Wars in Episode two - Attack of the Clones." Anakin Skywalker is 14 years old in this book and has been Obi-Wan Kenobi's Padawan for the intervening four or five years. It becomes clear that Supreme Chancellor Palpatine already has plans for his future ...

"Outbound Flight" is a huge expedition mounted by the Old Republic and led by the Jedi. The plan was to explore and colonise another Galaxy. Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker were among those who were initially intended to take part. Before it even got out of the home galaxy, Outbound Flight passed through Chiss space, where they met a Chiss force under the future Admiral Thrawn, and various other people, some of whom had very nefarious plans ...

In "Survivor's Quest", which is set some fifty years later and well after "Return of the Jedi," Luke Skywalker and his wife Mara Jade go on a quest to find what had happened to the Outbound Flight expedition all those years before. "Outbound Flight" tells the story of the original expedition from the viewpoint of the people involved: including what involvement Palpatine, Thrawn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker had with the mission.

This book also tells you something about the ideals which motivated the younger officer who was to become Grand Admiral Thrawn - who is a somewhat more sympathetic character in this volume than the older Thrawn was presented as being in Zahn's "Heir to the Empire" trilogy.

It's a good story, well told and enjoyable. If you are thinking of reading it and have not yet read "Survivor's Quest" I would recommend tackling "Outbound Flight" first. For all that it is written as a prequel, I found that because I had already read "Survivor's Quest" the knowledge of what fate is in store for the expedition and several of the main characters did to some extent reduce my pleasure on first reading this book.

Nevertheless it is an enjoyable and well written addition to the "Star Wars" canon, and I do recommend it.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 February 2006
With Outbound Flight, Timothy Zahn completes his two-book series examining an expedition into unknown space during the time of the Republic in the Star Wars universe. He also gives us the first meeting of Grand Admiral Thrawn (one of first book-only creations for the Star Wars universe) and gives us a demonstration of how he became one of Emperor Palpatine's greatest military minds. Unfortunately, while the book is enjoyable, it suffers from two major characters being shoehorned in and a main plot that isn't really that interesting.
In Survivor's Quest, Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker are brought in to explore the remains of Outbound Flight after being thought destroyed for fifty years. In Outbound Flight, we see the beginning of the expedition, spearheaded by Jedi Master C'Baoth. The Senate is cutting funding for the project, which brings C'Baoth to the office of the Supreme Chancellor, Palpatine, to demand that he fight for it. Palpatine, with his own motives for getting the expedition off the ground, lures him to the planet Brolf to solve a trade dispute. Events on that planet will enhance his stature and make Outbound Flight almost a certainty. However, he doesn't foresee Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker being added to the Jedi crew by the Jedi Council. Meanwhile, a smuggler on the run from an infuriated Hutt is forced beyond known space by a hyperdrive malfunction, and they stumble upon a Chiss warship, commanded by a very intelligent Commander Thrawn. All of this comes together in a battle of wills and intelligence, with three sides all facing off against each other. Who will win? And how does Outbound Flight end up where Luke and Mara find it?
Outbound Flight is an interesting story, and it dovetails nicely with the events of Survivor's Quest. It was also enjoyable seeing Thrawn for the first time, when he's still unfamiliar with the area of space we're all familiar with. They've never heard of droids, so he's fascinated by the warrior droids that the Trade Federation has (which are obtained in a fight with the Trade Federation ship sent to destroy Outbound Flight). He demonstrates his superior intelligence many times in this book, and while we don't see the invitation to join Palpatine (I believe that happened after he became Emperor), we do see what most likely prompted it. Thrawn, as always, is a fascinating character, keeping plans within plans, so nobody is ever sure exactly what's happening until things go his way. The only problem I have with him (and it's one I've had with him from the beginning) is that he's almost too perfect. He never seems to miss anything, and if things seem to be going against him, you know it's a trick.
The part of the story dealing with the smugglers and their interaction with Thrawn is what keeps the book going. Unfortunately, the story of Outbound Flight itself isn't nearly as interesting. C'Baoth is an arrogant fool, and while it's nothing that we haven't seen before with him, he just didn't hold my attention. An attempt to humanize most of the C'Baoth scenes is made by including his Padawan, Lorana Jinzler, but that doesn't work. While she is a nice character, she doesn't help. The beginning of the book has Obi-Wan and Anakin (who is 14 years old and still quite impulsive) keeping an eye on him, and they help somewhat. Zahn does capture their relationship wonderfully and I could almost hear Ewan McGregor speaking Obi-Wan's lines.
However, they bring up one of the other problems with the book. First is a bit of false advertising on dust jacket. It implies that Obi-Wan and Anakin are around for the entire book and that they're involved in the inevitable confrontation between Outbound Flight and the Chiss. That's not the case, as would be obvious to anybody who's read the first book. They can't be on the ship when disaster strikes, as they have to be around for the subsequent movies. No, they're dumped off before Outbound Flight leaves Republic space and the scenes on the ship slow down even more. Their role in the book feels extremely forced, as if we need them around to make the story interesting. The problem is that it ends up being true.
It's also sad that when the action moves to the ship, it's just Obi-Wan and Anakin reacting to C'Baoth's obvious descent to the Dark Side. It's treated like a revelation toward the end, but all of the prideful statements, arrogant boasts, accumulation of power by C'Baoth, there's no doubt that's what's happening. The fact that this is considered a startling development is just annoying.
The book culminates in a thrilling climax that makes the rest of the book worth getting through. Three sides face off and C'Baoth's arrogance finally gets the best of him. Thrawn's plans are finally revealed and we see exactly how things finally work out. It sets up Survivor's Quest beautifully. My only problem with the ending was the misdirection Zahn employs by hiding the thoughts of one of the characters. We see his thoughts, and his thoughts seem to point to events occurring one way, but then Zahn reveals that he was part of the plan to begin with and everything's the exact opposite. I know this can be an effective writing technique, but it annoys me all the same. Otherwise, though, the last one hundred pages are wonderful.
It's too bad that it took so long to get there, though. The book moves quickly, however, which makes it an easy read, thus making getting to that ending a lot more enjoyable than it might have been otherwise. For those of you tired of Thrawn, it's not a good thing that he's the main reason to read the first three-quarters of the book, but that's what Zahn excels at. Just for the further information in the Star Wars universe, Outbound Flight is well worth reading.
David Roy
0Comment| 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 April 2015
I'm a massive fan of Timothy Zahn and all Star Wars books but this is not his best work. It is very interesting to find out more about Thrawn in his early years and obviously true Star Wars expanded universe fans would still love this just wasn't quite blown away like i have been by all other Zahn titles.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 May 2014
The book is a delight to read, a true page turner... almost.
It all starts really intrueging... only to be slowed down by an overly long, not to nesesery side quest, which is meant to introduce some characters and give the main story a jump start. But once you get through it, Outbound Flight flies...
Timothy Zahn really knows how to make you want to keep reading, even when C'Boath's rule is to fast accepted and even Obi Wan is rduced to a help less bystander. The author also tends to overuse the phrase "his/heres throat/stomach/whatever thightened" every time someone feels kinda threatened..

Maybe not a perfect book, but definelty worthy of a Star Wars fans time.
Reading it I felt like beening that teenage boy again, having "Heir to the Empire" in my hands for the first time.

If you do not dig Star Wars... better keep away... or at least watch the movies first...
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 January 2012
To me, this is one of Zahn's best SW novels. I couldn't put it down, stayed up waaaaaay past my bedtime to finish it.

The only thing that I'm not really enthusiastic about is the addition of Obi-Wan and Anakin for a part of the novel. It feels as if they were put there to attract readers, but the story would have been just as great without them, perhaps even greater. Still one of my favourite SW novels and I've read well over a hundred of them.

Definitely pick this one up if you're fan of the EU. If you're not into the EU, there are other better starting points than this, depending on where your interest in SW lies.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 July 2011
Outbound Flight is a mission to explore the galaxies beyond the one Star wars is set in. It's the first book in the Star Wars chronology to include Thrawn - one of the most famous characters in the Extended Universe, and it's for this reason that I chose to read it. And it was a good decision.

The characters were generally done well. I liked Jorus C'Baoth's Apprentice, Lorana, and Thrawn's guest Car'das quite a lot. Then there was the Chancellor. Palpatine is an incredibly complex character, and a very important one. And I've never seen him portrayed better. But there was also the two main players in the book. Thrawn and C'Baoth. I wasn't amazed by C'Baoth, but I think that's more because I didn't like him as a person, than didn't like how he was written. But Thrawn I did like. I haven't actually read the trilogy he was first written about in, but after reading this book I will be. He's a fascinating character, and I found myself looking forwards to those chapters about his storyline. The only thing he didn't have was any flaws. He was a little too perfect. But that didn't mean I didn't enjoy reading about him. He was extremely well written.

I felt that the inclusion of Anakin and Obi-Wan was rather unneccesary. I felt like it was done just because they were famous characters, rather than because they would add anything to the story. They weren't major characters, didn't do an awful lot, but hung around where all the important stuff things happened, disagreeing and agreeing with C'Baoth respectively. I didn't really understand what they were there for.

But it was an excellent story otherwise, two main storylines that merge towards the end of the book, but full of moments that make you think "that was clever". The two masterminds of the book are facinating to read about, and some of the tactics and technology of the various groups was extremely interesting. Especially the methods of the Vagaari, which were brutal, but again were a clever idea. And it manages to link into much of the other stories in the star wars universe. It has ties to the previous books, "The Phantom Menace" and "Rogue Planet". It also links into the Thrawn books, by the same author, by introducing their eponymous character. and then it hints at the events in the New Jedi Order, which is set over fifty years later.

There was one thing that I felt the story could have done with, was a small bit of back story about Vergere, a missing Jedi. It wasn't an important plot point, just mentioned a couple of times as an indirect mission of Outbound flight. It could be picked up by the end of the book that she had gone missing, and where, but it would have been handy if there had been a brief paragraph about what she was doing when she went missing, or perhaps a bigger mention of Obi-Wan's search for her (This is the subject of the book set before outbound flight, "Rogue Planet").

From a technical point of view, I couldn't see anything wrong with the writing at all. No typos, no weird formatting. Not even any badly worded sentences. Zahn is a brilliant writer, and this work reflects that. Although reading Rogue Planet before hand might be useful for that one thing, this is a really good entry to the Star Wars saga and a highly interesting read.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 November 2006
Zahn finally completes his Outbound Flight story arc after letting us wait more than ten years. Unfortunately, Outbound Flight is not one of Zahn's best Star Wars books, just as in Survivor's Quest, Zahn 'sneaks' in plotlines and story arcs that he didn't initially raise in his own books and attempts to supplant them as being original to the larger EU story arc, eg Sidious' fear of the Far Outsiders (Yuuzhan Vong) as a reason for his plan to liquidate the Jedi. He has also used this book to give some form of closure to many of the characters that he created.

The inclusion of Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker is a mistake, their roles on Outbound Flight are totally superfluous to the overall story and Zahn is quite capable of good storytelling without the need to include two leading Star Wars prequel characters.

Where Zahn excels is with Thrawn's story and his relationship with his 'alien prisoners', his family and the Chiss hegemony. We get a rather beautiful insight into the background of the mastermind that would eventually threaten the New Republic in Heir to the Empire. Thrawn is portrayed as a more sympathetic character (than he would later become) and the reader is more readily able to identify and even emphasise with this younger Thrawn.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 October 2008
This was, as usual with Timothy Zahn's Star Wars books, an enjoyable read. Zahn excells in duologies and trilogies, and in this particular case one must read the book together with Survivor's Quest. It doesn't really matter which book you read first, although chronologically this one takes place in an earlier era. The focus on Thrawn is excellent. I always liked him, because of course he is smart but also because of his somewhat less obvious ways in learning about differences between cultures and their tactics. In this book he actually is quite sympathetic too, but again brilliant in forecasting the moves of others. Actually, I wouldn't mind to really have him return, like suggested towards the end of Survivor's Quest. Jorus the Jedi is not the best character, as he is too predictable, but Lorana does compensate for that to a certain extent. She os the kind of Jedi most readers will like. Jorj is also an interesting character, while the Vagaari really are good villains. On the whole, a lovely read.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 June 2007
An excellent book.

This book is fantastic and I was delighted when I read it. This book is the prequel to `Survivors Quest' and is - in my opinion - a better read and better story. The book follows the launch of the `Outbound Flight Project' that was destroyed by Thrawn shortly after it launch. This incident led to Thrawn's dismissal from his own people - The Chiss - and brought into the fold of the soon-to-be Galactic Empire. The book is told from the point of view of Talon Karrdes mentor Jorj Car'das (introduced in Zhan's Heir to the Empire Trilogy).

The flight launch is set between Episode 1 and 2 when Anakin Skywalker is 14. Another character from Zahn's Her to the Empire Trilogy who gets exposure is the Jedi Master Jorus C'Boath. The character is written in as a Jedi suffering from the stresses and the arrogance of this time in the Jedi Order where some Jedi are becoming arrogant and losing the trust of some citizens of the republic. C'boath reflects this perfectly.

Zhan's writing is as always, intriguing, intelligent and very human. The character of Thrawn - his genius, honour, duty and heart are fully explored making this `bad guy' seem a lot more `human' (though his is Chiss). The ending is an executed triumphantly in a way you - the reader - also marvel at Thrawn's genius!

Anakin and Obi-Wan make an appearance in this book, in one of many ways that Zhan solidifies various events in Star Wars' history (future and past). Unto itself it may not seem like much, but in context of the whole saga they are magical touches such as Anakin's admiration of Master C'boaths no nonsense Jedi style. In the same way that a person who sets foot on the Titanic but decides to get off before the inevitable, you get the feeling of the same of Obi-Wan and Anakin. What if they stayed on the `Outbound Flight'? Star Wars history could have been very, very different!

A great read. Very entertaining and respectful of the whole Star Wars saga - Film and Expanded Universe! Excellent!!!!!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse