"The Chancellor has little power...He is mired down by baseless accusations of corruption. A manufactured scandal surrounds him," Senator Palpatine told Queen Amidala in Episode I. Tracing the thrilling chain of events that leads up to the Republic's current chaotic state, this exciting audio follows Chancellor Valorum as he struggles with his fall from power...and the dark forces who have benefited from his weak position.
Hoping to stem the growing tide of unrest, Valorum convenes an emergency trade summit on the planet Eriadu. At his request, a group of Jedi Knights is sent to protect the delegates from possible terrorist attack. But what should have been a simple peacekeeping assignment turns out to be a mission into the heart of a political firestorm. For shadowy forces are at work, pulling the strings in a masterful bid for power that could leave the Republic reeling. And the chancellor is only the most visible victim.
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"At last, what you've been waiting for: a prequel...that will explain why Chancellor Valorum fell from power." (Library Journal)
"Adams reads expertly and confidently, and his storytelling powers flow with Jedi force." (AudioFile)
While those of Star Wars fandom should listen to this book, I found it largely forgettable. The general paucity of true character development may be why. We don't get many good glimpses into the underlying characters, but merely observe them go through somewhat predictable motions. That said, there is some redemption in the fact that it does fill in some of the gaps in the timeline and we do see a little more of the various machinations leading up to Episode I.
I like Star Wars, Foundation series, Redwall Series, Bloody Jack series, and westerns for fiction. In nonfiction, I like books about Catholic theology, American history and government, and economics.
A lot of SW audio books are abridged. So, the print versions give you more details, but the audio books allow me to listen in the car, and so get through the story faster. The sound effects on the audio add to the story. This book was not as abridged as some others, so it still had good details.
This story gave some good background to Episode 1, from a different angle than Darth Plageuis did. I liked seeing Qui Gon and Obi Wan in another story. The plot was intriguing, so you needed to pay attention. The story showed how the Trade Federation came to be under Darth Sidious' influence and why it blockaded Naboo. It also showed more of how Palpatine manipulated his way to the Chancellorship, and how the Republic was becoming corrupt.
The sound effects, plus the voice characteristics add to the story.
The Trade Federation Falls into Darthness.
I love SW anyway, but this was actually one of the more well-written books. It was less science fiction and more political intrigue, so it was more believable. The movies were written this way as well. The science should support the story, not be it. The better SW writers, like Timothy Zahn, know how to use the science at the service of the story. This book falls into that category.
I found this to be a very fun listen. I'm a bit of a Star Wars geek, so I'm a little biased, but I thought it was fun and well thought out. I wish Ep. 1 had incorporated some of the political info found in this book.
I was first introduced to audiobooks during a summer when I decided to drive a truck in order to pay for college. Listening to books all day, every day was the only thing that made that job bearable.
That's what I get for reading a prequel to the infamous Star Wars prequel trilogy. I usually like James Luceno, which is why I gave this book a shot, but it didn't pay off. I can't remember the last time I've been so bored while reading listening to a novel.
I was expecting some deep exploration of characters like Palpatine and Qui-Gon, but this book spent about as much time investing in characters as The Phantom Menace. Other than character development, I really just wanted a fun romp through the Star Wars universe, but I couldn't even get that. This book is bogged down in page after page of politics and at no point does it really feel like a Star Wars story.
I can't recommend this book to anybody. It isn't good science fiction or fantasy and it really isn't much of a Star Wars novel. If Star Wars is what you crave, you can do much better than this.
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