I've listened to quite a few sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks, none of them from the Star Wars universe. I grew up watching and loving most of the movies (and movie offshoots) and characters. Although I am a nerdy sci-fi guy, I would not classify myself in the same 'Galaxy' as some of the more hardcore Star Wars aficionados. I normally wait to buy books with plenty of positive reviews and do not take a ton of chances on unreviewed books. With that said, I absolutely loved this book.
The author retained the imagery of the original movies as my mind's eye had seen them. I did a little research on his other audiobooks and saw a very positive trend, most of his other books are above 4 stars with plenty of reviews. He definitely has a lot of experience in the Star Wars universe as well.
The voice acting was GREAT! Especially, Han's voice (his inflection and canter was spot on). The production with the background noise was not overwhelming and definitely helped in setting the atmosphere and storytelling.
If you are new to the Star Wars audiobook universe, I would highly recommend you take a chance on these scruffy nerf herders.
Marc Thompson is incredible at duplicating existing accents and creating new ones in the Star Wars books. His voice inflections combined with the great sound effects make the experience itself of listening to the book the most enjoyable thing about the book. I almost can't afford to drive while listening to his books because I end up so absorbed in the narration that I miss turns!
As far as this book specifically goes, I appreciated the twists and turns and unpredictability of the storyline. For being a single book detached from any other particular Star Wars storyline, it was well-developed, well-executed, and wrapped up completely at the end. There's nothing I hate more than loose ends at the end of an otherwise great book. This one has none of them.
For me, it was the last couple of minutes of dialog of the story. Definitely not what was expected, but it made sense and did a good job of tying everything together.
I've read many Star Wars books that takes place before, during and after the legendary first 3 films. Yeah, sure, the entire 6 film collection that will eventually include more and more SW films. I'm a fan, just like you.
Story had the potential to be so much more but it simply falls flat. Zahn spent too much time on minutiae. There are some characters but too much details on safes, weapons, etc. The background story between Solo and Lando was interesting and it could have been expanded. Chewy was pretty much playing the background well I guess that's his position. The twist in the end simply made me chuckle. "Ok, yeah," I thought with a chuckle.
The performance was great! The voices, the ambiant background noise, the crowds, the different accents. Lucas Books produce top-notch material.
Ages ago, before audio books, I had read Timothy Zahn's Star Wars trilogy on the recommendation of a friend. Seeing this title, and reading the reviews, prompted me to try it, partly because I trust Zahn to write a good tale that isn't jarring with the Star Wars universe that -I- grew up with (pre Episode I, tyvm).
I was not disappointed. The narration was just fabulous, with all the different voices, giving what was already a fun, interesting story greater scope and depth. I think fans of 'heist' stories will enjoy it regardless of their interest in the Star Wars setting (or lack of interest, gasp!) because you don't /really/ have to be a fan or know much to feel involved in the story. Being a fan just makes the little 'easter eggs' more fun. :)
The ending was unexpected, which is always fun! A thoroughly enjoyable listen all around.
I flip-flop between business and fiction books to keep me grounded in reality while still keeping my childhood love of fantasy firmly intact.
This novel takes place between "Episode IV" and "Episode V," and really helps us understand how much time passed between the two. I liked that it also answered the questions of why Han and Lando are on the outs prior to their meeting to Cloud City, and how Lando become the leader of that city.
Nicely done, Mr. Zahn!
The narrator, Marc Thompson, was great! There were a lot of main characters in this story, and they each seemed to have a distinct sound. Plus, his Han and Lando voices were really good; at certain points, they were dead-on impressions of Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams. Nice going, Marc!
I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
It is above average. It is great for nostalgia. That being said, it isn't Timothy Zahns best work by a long shot.
It was as expected.
He IS the voice of the Star Wars universe. Someone out there may be able to do better but he/she has not shown up yet. He makes the books far better than the written prose and this one is no different.
Start Wars book 4.5
This was a fun listen that I could enjoy with my young daughter. The Narrartor is one of the best and the technical aspects for Star Wars books are always top notch. The stories are not deep, if fact they are thin and extremely predictable but they get the job done.There won't be any real shocks or surprises but it is a fun visit with old friends and I liked it.
Probably "Explains a lot." It does a good job retying Han to the criminal underworld that he is from, and ushering his story pretty cleanly from New Hope to Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. It also develops Lando's character perhaps more that he has been in any previous work.
Probably the Crime Lord. His paranoia came off as very realistic, and the conclusions he was drawing based on events were very plausible. It made him a villain you really wanted to see get his.
He had a very versatile voice, able to convincingly do Imperial officer arrogance and air-headed social butterfly with equal skill. There was also a good pacing to his voice. A minor issue though, was his tendency to get carried away with that pacing and suddenly jolt you out of the immersion by being too heavy handed with emphasis. Didn't happen often though.
Not too much. The suspense in the story mostly came at the end. As planning was a huge part of the narrative, it always felt like it would keep til the next listen. It was interesting enough to be engaging, but not so much as to be gripping.
Overall, it's probably the weakest Timothy Zahn book I've read/listened to. That's really not saying much, as I've been very impressed with every Zahn story I've come into contact with (The Thrawn Trilogy being an all time favorite story,) and it certainly had some of the Zahn touches, like amazing original characters, cameos that are not heavy handed, and a high stakes story.
If you're a fan of heist stories, it's a good one. If you're looking for character development on Lando or Han, it has that too. If you're looking for more information on larger events, or character development on Chewbacca, you're probably going to be a bit disappointed.
I'm 52 and enjoy sifi, history, funny romance, fantasy type books. I give my views as to how a book is based on my emotions.
Nothing against the Narrator, Thompson is the best for Star Wars, but seemed the story was less then I expected. It was ok to listen too.
Suspenseful. Fun. Characterization.
I liked getting background on a lot of characters that are known, not just in the original trilogy, but from the Expanded Universe after Return of the Jedi. I liked getting more in-depth characterization on Lando and Han Solo and what they were like when not helping the Rebels.
I think any scene with Lando was my favorite. I liked his suave personality and he had an arrogance and charm about him like you see in Empire Strikes Back.
Marc Thompson has to be the best narrator of Star Wars fiction. He is able to pull off so many different types of voices - men, women, droids, aliens - and all to perfection. His styling for Lando exudes a similar tone to Billy Dee Williams and his Han Solo, while not a replica of Harrison Ford, still gives off the gruffness of his voice. I also think that the sound effects enhance every Star Wars story. Some people might not like it, but I think it's nice to hear an explosion rather than just hearing that something exploded. It draws me into the story more.
I would definitely try another from Timothy Zahn, his detailed use of descriptive language really paints a vivid mental picture.
I actually laughed out loud at a couple of moments in the book.
While I enjoyed the book overall, and the performance was top-notch which, the ending felt rushed, and in my opinion didn't have as satisfying a payoff as I was hoping for after such a long albeit very good build up.I love a good heist novel, but like a good heist movie, the last quarter should be the execution. I get that there can only be so much time spent in the actual execution of the heist, but well... you can make up your own mind, I don't want to give anything away. Plus, it's a personal preference thing.