Never before has the incendiary mix of action, politics, and intrigue that has become Timothy Zahn’s trademark, been more evident that in this new Star Wars epic. On the heels of the stunning events chronicled in Star Wars: A New Hope, the newly minted heroes of the Rebellion - fledgling Jedi Luke Skywalker, smuggler turned reluctant freedom-fighter Han Solo, and Princess Leia Organa, a bold leader with a world to avenge - must face the harsh realities of the cataclysmic conflict into which they have so bravely plunged. From this point forward, legends will grow, treachery will abound, and lives will be irrevocably altered, in the long, hard fight to counter the fist of tyranny and restore hope to a galaxy too long in darkness.
The destruction of the Death Star by the Rebel Alliance was a decisive blow against the Empire, but Palpatine and his monstrous enforcer, Darth Vader, are no less of a threat. The brutal extermination of Alderaan not only demonstrated the magnitude of their murderous power, but served as a chilling testament to their resolve to crush the Rebel uprising. Standing against them, Skywalker, Solo, and the Princess remain uncertain opponents. Luke is gifted and brave, but unschooled in the power he possesses. Han has doubts about waging someone else’s war - and his contentiousness is one more burden for Leia to bear as she struggles to help keep the Rebellion alive. The three have been sent to mediate a dispute between Rebel Alliance factions in Shelsha Sector - agitating matters by forcing Han to deal not only with pirates, but with his more dreaded enemy, politics. At the same time, Mara Jade - all of eighteen and years away from her fateful meeting with Luke - is serving her evil master, Palpatine, well in her role as the Emperor’s Hand: tracking suspected treachery in the Empire to what may be high places - while trying to stay out of Darth Vader’s way.
But the Rebels will prove to be only one of the Empire’s concerns. For Imperial Stormtrooper Daric LaRone, his faith in the Empire shaken by the wanton destruction of Alderaan, will commit a sudden and violent act of defiance, and take four other enforcers with him, in a desperate bid to elude their masters’ wrath.
Each of these fateful actions, whether sanctioned, secret, or scandalous, will expose brutality and corruption, spur upheavals destined to shake the Empire to its core, and shape momentous events yet to come.
©2013 Timothy Zahn (P)2013 Random House Audio
While Random House is recording old Del Rey Star Wars novels, I'd like them to take a crack at I, Jedi, Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, and the entire New Jedi Order series. Just saying.
Marc Thompson is what buying these adaptations are about in some cases. This is that case. The book makes a much better audiobook than print novel. It's kinda dry. It doesn't quite pull you in like its sequel, Choices of One does. Let's hope we see that one recorded soon. Still, they could have picked way worse books to do. Fair story. Excellent execution.
Zahn: Jade's character profile is written perfectly. The story is like an episode of NCIS. NCIS: Star Wars, lol!
Thompson: His performance of the men of the "Hand of Judgement". Especially his "Quiller" voice.
None, but it's classic Zahn. Mara Jade begins to discover that the side she serves may not be on hers.
As stated above, the voices. He brings those characters out of that book as if it were a pop-up. His overall mastery of the tone and approach to this story makes the narration sound darn near flawless.
Han and Leia's moment alone near the end of the story.
One tiny thing bothered me about the dialog Mr. Zahn chose when Leia addressed Han as "Han" and not "Captain Solo" or just "Captain". Keep in mind that the book is set in a time between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back so Leia, not yet experiencing the defeat at Hoth and the pursuit of Darth Vader, hasn't begun to release her true feelings for Han on a personal level. She should still have the same vintage professional and studious approach towards Han that she had in dealing with Solo in A New Hope and not be addressing him as "Han" THAT many times in the novel. However, the scene where Leia gets jealous as Han speaks to a female rebel pilot at the beginning of the novel perfectly shows the vintage suppression of feelings and indifference in Han's attempts to frustrate her.
top 5, as I mostly listen to Star Wars novels.
LaRone. He and the "Hand of Judgment" was my favorite part of the story.
If not him then Mara Jade, her arrogance is what pushes her to second because she hasn't earned her arrogance like, for instance, Vader.... Man if he were in the book as a core character he would be first cause.... Darth Vader!
It's a tie between two scenes.
1) After LaRone wastes (more like takes out the garbage.) the ISB officer.
2) On board the Executor when Mara and Vader have there... discussion.
Timothy Zahn always hits home runs with his Star Wars novels and he did it again. The only issue with this book is...... It's to short. I wanted more, i did read 'Choices of One' before i listened to this but i still wanted more. I also wanted more Vader but i completely understand him being a small cameo-esk character.
I believe this is Marc's first attempt at Vader but you couldn't tell as it's flawless. Its really difficult to capture James Earl Jones's voice without James Earl Jones.
Marc is second only to Johnathan Davis when it comes to voice actors of Vader, he surpasses him in every other Voice especially Luke's. I've been listening to Marc's Grand Master Luke for so long and his young Luke seems a perfect mix of Ben's and Luke's voices.
Great book, Great narrator, Great story, i'm amazed by this book. However my Favorite Timothy Zahn novel will forever be 'Heir to the Empire'. i guess i'm bias that way.
I have both read and listened to Allegiance and I must admit that Marc Thompson made the journey extremely satisfying. I don't think it is fair to compare print vs. audio because they are different entities but I do find myself recommending the audio more often than the written word.
Marc Thompson was able to capture the voice and style of well known movie actors...not an easy task considering the fan base.
I enjoy "Sherlock Holmes." Classics like "Dracula" and "The Three Muskeeteers,"but predominately Star Wars. Thanks Audible!
Timothy Zahn is a can't miss in my eyes and ears. Simply the best! Marc Thompson is an awesome narrator! These storm troopers have a heart and brains.
The trio of Luke, Han and Leia after the destruction of the first Death Star. Also, getting to hear Mara Jade in action as the Emperor's Hand was too good to pass up, especially face to face with Darth Vader!
Storm Trooper LaRone.
I couldn't, but definitely!
Zahn and Thompson...perfect together.
Never Miss A Zahn Book. Like the different view of these storm troopers. Add in the Emperor's Hand plus Princess Leia Waiting tables in a cafe and well you have a must read.
Marc Thompson as always is stellar in his narration, and the middle third in particular made the book hard to put down.
Its no spoiler to say Mara Jade makes an appearance in this book as a third of it is from her perspective, but the "missed other plot characters by inches" trope felt a little over done in this book, particularly to anyone who has read further in to the extended universe.
apart from that little gripe, a good book for any star wars or mark Thompson fan.
Love Audible!! Hope you all do too!
Bold, New, Characters
Yes.....Tim Zahn is a great writer!
Bar Scene is by far the best scene!
Where does YOUR Allegiance lie?
Great story of Mara Jade in action as the Emperor's hand and her interactions with Vader. I also loved the back story of Hans trouble with joining the rebellion.
I liked to read about some of the good people in the Empire. this one took place between episode 4 & 5.
"Doesn't really go anywhere"
It's set directly after the events of A New Hope. Some good characters and like the concept of a rebelling storm trooper unit but the story really doesn't go anywhere and just feels like its treading water.
"Great Narration, Lousy Story"
I wanted to like this book, i really did, there is only 1 problem, i didn't. The story picks up shortly after Episode IV of Star Wars and has several stories going on at once. Probably the main story is about a band of Stormtroopers ( you know those evil guys in white armor we all loved to hate) well they decide to jump ship after an bizarre and contrived incident onboard their Star Destroyer to become some kind of roaving band of semi do gooders. Their characters are flat and lifeless through the entire book, they are not clones yet might as well be for the way they act. Mara Jade bounds about and instantly kicks everyone's butt she comes into contact with despite being little more than a kid. Zahn clearly loves his creation far better than any of the original Star Wars characters as she is pretty much unbeatable by anyone even Darth Vader ( yea right ) Luke, Han and Lea are all there but their characters are never developed or enhanced. The rest of the book is packed with 2 bit villans who come and go by the truck load.
This book Humanises the Stormtroopers far too much to the point where you start to feel for them and would like to sit down at a bar and have a beer or two, sorry but that's not the way I want to feel about Stormtroopers, they arn't supposed to be all Human and sympathetic, and heroic, they are the Empires evil crack troopes, something to be feared and hated. The rest of the book is a kind of rambling mixture of pirates and politics that really is of little interest and adds nothing much to the overall saga of Star Wars.
On the positive side the narrator was outstanding and all the voices very realistic, well done.
Narrator 5 out of 5
Story 2 out of 5
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