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on 27 July 2015
Just not a Star Wars novel in any recognisable way. These novels are usually very exciting and interesting but this book consists of hundreds of pages of pointless travel through prairie land with the occasional dance scene... no joke. The character of Anakin Skywalker seems purely to serve as a massive freudian slip of the author's in that all he does is endlessly complain (rightfully) that he is sick of being bored out of his mind by the monotonous 'adventure' and a plot which goes missing for about 200 pages. Really not looking forward to 'splinter of the mind's eye' now.
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on 17 August 2004
Early in "Attack of the Clones" there is a line stating that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker will be available to help protect Padme Amidala because they have just returned from a mission on Ansion? This seems to be just a throwaway line in the movie, a tiny bit of detail to provide coloring to the scene. In the larger Star Wars Universe, we now wonder what it was that Obi-Wan and Anakin were doing. What was this mission? "The Approaching Storm" is the story of this mission to Ansion.
Ansion is a small, unimportant planet. At least, that is how things appear to be on the surface. In reality, Ansion is a very important planet. It is tied with treaties and agreements to numerous other nearby planets and this makes the threats that Ansion might secede from the Republic to be very serious. If Ansion secedes, an entire star system will be pulled with it. To stop this secession, Chancellor Palpatine requests the Jedi Council send a couple of Jedi to Ansion to find a diplomatic solution to quietly find a way to keep Ansion in the Republic. The Jedi Council sends Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luminara Unduli, and their Padawan apprentices Anakin Skywalker and Barriss Offee.
"The Approaching Storm" is somewhat of an adventure story. It is well paced, has humor, some action and some politics. What I liked best about this novel was the characters of Luminara and Barriss. We got to see some of their perspective, but I would love to see a novel focus on these two characters. They provide a perfect counter balance to Anakin and Obi-Wan, and give a greater look at the variety of personalities in the Jedi Order.
Alan Dean Foster was the ghostwriter of the first Star Wars novelization, and he wrote the first Extended Universe novel "Splinter of the Mind's Eye". His latest Star Wars novel had a great feel to it, and it was so fast paced that I was able to easily finish it in two days. This isn't high literature, but it was certainly entertaining.
-Joe Sherry
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on 25 March 2013
This book is simply well written and shows why anakin is anakin in episode 2 and so on. Its awesome to read and very accessible even when english isnt your mother language.
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on 12 March 2002
Having thoroughly enjoyed the novel 'Shadows of the Empire' I was expecting a novel along similar lines, helping to blend the events of TPM into the much-anticipated Episode II.
The story begins several years after Episode I where we find a teenage Anakin Skywalker continuing in his Padawan training under the instruction of Obi Wan.
The seemingly insignificant planet Ansion is about to secede from the Republic due to pressure being applied from external malevolent forces. Due to a string of alliances which cascade out from Ansion, the secession could cause the downfall of the Republic.
Masters Kenobi and Unduli, along with their respective Padawans, are sent to Ansion by the Jedi Council to aid in creating a diplomatic accord between the city dwelling folk of Ansion and the Nomad race 'Alwari'. Their efforts are continually hampered by a group of characters from different factions (quietly overseen by a shady benefactor)who stand to benefit if Ansion continues with its intention to secede.
What follows is a brief insight into the relationship between Anakin and his Master and, to a lesser extent, his building arrogance and the acknowledgement of the power he is begining to posess.
The additional characters that the Jedi encounter on their quest are, at times, quite amusing. However, if Jar Jar Binks was annoying to you as he was to most, the character Tooqui will prove to be the final straw.
Although the skirmish scenes (you can not really call them battles in the traditional Star Wars sense) are well written and the plot interesting, it does not hold the readers interest as well as some of the more recent New Jedi Order novels.
Die hard fans of the saga will probably enjoy this and it does make a valuable addition to any Star Wars collection. However, as an interim novel, this does not compare to Shadows of the Empire.
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on 2 July 2007
What the authors writes about he does well. The imagery conjured by his descriptions of the Ansion world is good. The problem I had is that about 2/3 of the book was largely irrelevant to moving the story along in a particularly interesting way. For that reason I think the novel suffers overall. Had it been more focussed on moving the characters and events forward in a meaningful manner I would have liked it better.
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on 2 February 2016
Giving not a positive feedback is sad thing to do but I really had to struggle to get through this book from back to back. Although there are a few nice twists in the plot but in general the book seemed very boring. And you could predict pretty easily what whas going to happen in the story line. Lots of unncessary descriptions of the environment and inhabitants. I wish I could give better feedback.
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VINE VOICEon 13 September 2003
THE STORY:
Ansion is on the verge of leaving the Republic. Jedi Masters Obi-Wan and Luminara, along with their Padawans Anakin and Barriss, are sent to pursuade the planet's government otherwise. Unfortunately, the Separatist movement has employed Soergg the Hutt to stop the Jedi.
WHAT'S GOOD:
The scene where the four Jedi are required to entertain a crowd is ingenious in the insight it gives into the characters; Luminara uses the Force to manipulate sand clouds into patterns, Barriss displays athletic skill, Obi-Wan tells a story and Anakin sings a song taught to him by his mother. The cameo by Count Dooku is good too.
WHAT'S BAD:
Most of the rest of the book, I'm afraid. It's dull and drags terribly. Plus, it has little bearing on Episode II, despite being advertised as the film's prequel. If you're looking for a book that has as much Star Wars webbing as say 'Cloak Of Deception', you'll be disappointed.
One for the die-hard fans (like myself) only.
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on 14 April 2003
This book is described on the front cover as "An exciting prologue to Star Wars: Attack of the Clones": don’t believe it! And one has to ask whether book blurbs are covered by the Trade Descriptions Act? The main protagonists are dispatched to bring unity of purpose to the strategic planet of Anison in the face of local opposition manipulated by outside forces. The outcome never appears to be in doubt as our heroes overcome all opposition in a meandering series of set pieces before the contrived final confrontation with their main local enemy. Therein lies the problem with this story: the triumph of the Jedi Knights and their apprentices is a foregone conclusion from early in the story. There is no sense of uncertainty, no sense of danger, no sense of menace, no sense of excitement. The story is not helped by some very poor editing; among the most noticeable examples is found on page 63 "Kyakhata [a minor character] saw that the visitors were unaccompanied by a local guide…." contradicted on the next page: "The Jedi visitors acted like any group of tourists, listening to the spoken explanations of their guide….". Alan Dean Foster has written better. Avoid.
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on 5 February 2002
Star Wars : The Approaching Storm by Alan Dean Foster.
Well, I am not going to spoil anything for any fans of Star Wars and am not going to give away any spoilers !!. All I really am going to say is that this is a must read for any fan of Star Wars !!
You must read this before Episode 2 hits the screen this May !! as the book leads very nicely into the opening part of Attack of the Clones
A large thank you to Alan Dean Foster for this excellent prequel edition.
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on 28 November 2012
This book is set on Ansion. I know this because in Attack of the Clones, Palpatine mentions that Obi Wan and Anakin have just returned from there. If I didn't know that line, I probably wouldn't recall the name because Ansion isn't a very interesting place. It's most unique feature are six-legged dinosaur-like creatures. That's probably the most interesting thing in the book too.

The planet's important because it's allegiances affect other alliegiances in a chain reaction reminiscent of Europe pre World War I. Two teams of Jedi need to prevent it's defection to stop things escalating into war (good luck there!) which sounds pretty reasonable but doesn't give the story anywhere to go. They're trying to maintain the status quo by stopping anything from happening, rather than doing something.

Working together, the Jedi must overcome a series of small inconveniences.

The most distinctive moment in the book is a bizarre situation where the Jedi have to enact a primary school variety performance with singing, dancing and storytelling- only a screeching violin performance is missing. It's obviously trying to reflect character, the way the serene female duo juxtapose with Anakin and Obi Wan's, but it's just silly.

Reading this book is more chore than pleasure, done solely because it's Star Wars. The plot doesn't work because you know that this won't start a war: you also know that a war will start anyway about five minutes after this book ends. Better time might have been spent explaining what's so alluring about the Separatist cause and why it's evil: true, it's top brass aren't the best sort but self-determination is hardly something the Jedi can morally oppose. Surely that would explain the reasons for the war and serve as a true prelude to Attack of the Clones.

It's saving grace is that there are worse Star Wars books out there but it's not one to rush out and buy.
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