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
great book I really like the author great storyline the audio portion was very professional the storyline excellent the characters were new and well written
I've listened to more than 30 of these Star Wars Audio books in the last few months and I think this might be my favorite. The heroes are unexpected and I never thought I'd be rooting for Storm Troopers but these characters were really cool. Also all the the great characters are included!
Timothy Zahn's composition paired with Marc Thompson's narration equals unparalleled brilliance. Like Star Wars? You'll love this!!!!!
another good collaboration between Zahn and Thompson. it was a nice story with well-defined characters. my biggest complaint is that Luke disappeared toward the end , but this story really wasn't about him. Mara Jade somehow has more powers in this book than in books after this one, which is a bit weird. overall, it was very entertaining
Great story. Loved the imperial side of the action. This show's that the GE as an institution was not bad nor good but a goverment that have to run the galaxy.
thoroughly enjoyed this story. it was fun to follow Mara Jade on her early exploits, and how intertwined all the key players were.
The central arc about rogue stormtroopers righting wrongs and fighting criminals is a solid feel-good story.
Daric LaRone, the unofficial leader of the group of stormtroopers at the center of the novel, is a catchy protagonist, thrust into a situation where he has to weigh duty against morals and choose a path for himself and his men.
I've listened to one other book by Thompson. This book shares the same pluses and minuses - Thompson is a good narrator and voice actor, able to provide unique voices for a litany of male character, but he (understandably) struggles with female voices, making even strong female characters like Leia and Mara Jade sound soft-spoken and wimpy. My other complaint would be that he relies too heavily on recognizable Earth accents - cockney and Irish pirates and Russian mechanics, sounding out-of-place in the Star Wars universe.
Despite her position as Emperor's Hand, Mara has touches of humanity and compassion that stand out in several places in the book.
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