Thrawn: Alliances (Star Wars)

Narrated by: Marc Thompson
Series: Star Wars, Book 13, Star Wars: Thrawn, Book 2
Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12,642 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times Best Seller

Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Vader team up against a threat to the Empire in this thrilling novel from best-selling author Timothy Zahn.

“I have sensed a disturbance in the Force.” Ominous words under any circumstances, but all the more so when uttered by Emperor Palpatine. On Batuu, at the edges of the Unknown Regions, a threat to the Empire is taking root - its existence little more than a glimmer, its consequences as yet unknowable. But it is troubling enough to the Imperial leader to warrant investigation by his most powerful agents: ruthless enforcer Lord Darth Vader and brilliant strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fierce rivals for the emperor’s favor, and outspoken adversaries on Imperial affairs - including the Death Star project - the formidable pair seem unlikely partners for such a crucial mission. But the Emperor knows it’s not the first time Vader and Thrawn have joined forces. And there’s more behind his royal command than either man suspects.

In what seems like a lifetime ago, General Anakin Skywalker of the Galactic Republic, and Commander Mitth’raw’nuruodo, officer of the Chiss Ascendancy, crossed paths for the first time. One on a desperate personal quest, the other with motives unknown...and undisclosed. But facing a gauntlet of dangers on a far-flung world, they forged an uneasy alliance - neither remotely aware of what their futures held in store.

Now, thrust together once more, they find themselves bound again for the planet where they once fought side by side. There they will be doubly challenged - by a test of their allegiance to the Empire...and an enemy that threatens even their combined might.

Praise for Thrawn: Alliances:

“It’s a science fiction beach read in the best way, brisk and amusing, with some cool additions to the Star Wars galaxy.” (Den of Geek)

“Like all of Zahn’s novels set in a galaxy far, far away, it’s an essential read for anyone looking for an artistically done adventure.” (CNET)

©2018 Timothy Zahn (P)2018 Random House Audio

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Maybe my expectations were too high...

I loved the first of the new Thrawn books. I thought that was excellent.

Thrawn Alliances, however, two parallel stories, neither I cared about. I was pretty bored throughout. Maybe they're setting something up bigger, but by itself Thrawn: Alliances was just ok at best.

Timothy Zahn writing Thrawn should be a slam-dunk, but everything about it was just kind of dull. I think Thrawn and Vader/Anakin just didn't pair well together. Together they held their characters back rather than elevating them.

Basically, I saw the first book, like a Star Wars movie. A Star Wars movie I'd want to watch again.
Thrawn: Alliances was like an episode of Star Wars: Rebels. It can be enjoyable, but on a completely different scale.

So you just kind of have to go in with the right expectations.

52 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

Go listen to the first Thrawn book. That one was great. This one is disappointing.

I'm in the middle of my second listen, and I've lost the motivation to continue. It's just not very engaging. Star Wars is about high stakes battles between good and evil. There isn't any point in the book where the stakes get high and you feel like the protagonists are about to lose control of the situation (except perhaps the very end but it isn't much of a climax). At most, the protagonists just meet a series of roadblocks that they overcome. Listening to this the second time, I just feel bored.

Thrawn is one of my favorite Star Wars characters, but I feel like he shines best when he is contrasted with a mentee who struggles to comprehend Thrawn's machinations. He needs a character like Pellaeon, Car'das, or Vanto to teach. Both Anakin and Vader feel like equals to Thrawn, and both Vader and Anakin only begrudgingly learn things from our favorite Chiss.

Also, the whole journey out into the unknown regions seemed kind of pointless. I never felt like there was much of a threat out there. Thrawn consistently said there was a threat, but I don't think Zahn does a good job of explaining how the "threat" would cause problems for The Empire. It felt like Zahn was violating the rule of Show Don't Tell.

As usual, Mark Thompson does a great job of narration. The production value is great; it's just not enough to save the book.

14 people found this helpful

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Very...meh

I loved the first of the two new cannon Thrawn novels but this one felt forced and boring. I also felt that Vader was not true to character and didn't play a believable role. Pretty disappointing considering how good the first was.

29 people found this helpful

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Too much flashback

TZ is an excellent author, and his skill for storytelling is evident in this book. That said, this is his weakest Star Wars story. way too much time spent on characters like Padme. I will buy a future Thrawn book, but I hope it is better than this installment.

4 people found this helpful

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Keanu, is that you?

Enjoyed this almost as must as the first Thrawn book. There was only one thing that bothered me and that was the voice the narrator used for Anakin. He sounds like Keanu Reeves.

9 people found this helpful

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worst Thrawn book

a very meh storyline over all. There is one nugget of oh that's cool moment in the whole thing. I mostly just hate Anakin for his endless edgy bitching and lack of over all wit. I almost feel bad for Palpatine, it is indeed hard to find good workers.

8 people found this helpful

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double vision is dumb.

Mark Thompson usually does a great job at the voices but was not very impressed with Anakin Skywalker voice. Also the switching between past and present was annoying. Overall the book wasn't bad but I was disappointed. I expected more from a book that was focusing on two of the best Star Wars characters working together.

15 people found this helpful

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Just Couldn't Get Into It

I can't believe that I am going to say this about a Star Wars novel written by Timothy Zahn that features Thrawn as a main character but I just could not get invested in the story. In particular, I found the section that took place during the Clone Wars to be a chore to get through. I liked the Thrawn/Vader story a little bit more but not much.

While I can't put my finger on the entire reason that it just didn't work for me I think the fact that Imperial infighting has been done so much in the new canon didn't help. 'A New Dawn', 'Tarkin', 'Lords of the Sith', nd the first 'Thrawn' novel all featured Imperials with competing interests as part of the plot. It is starting to feel like the Rebel Alliance should have just waited the Empire out and fight among itself to its destruction.

If I can point to something I did like in the story it would be the sections where we followed the Storm Troopers as they worked together as a team. That was fun to see, capable troopers did indeed exist in the Empire.

Marc Thompson is a hero. This is hardly the first Star Wars novel that I have only managed to finish due to his amazing performance and talent and I am quite confident, though saddened as well to know that it won't be the last.

Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe I will listen to this one again in a couple years and appreciate it more. But for now, it is just okay and I don't feel like I would have missed much if I had skipped it entirely.

43 people found this helpful

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He Knows

I loved it! Disney would be wise to hire Timothy Zahn when they decide to bring Thrawn to the big screen. Timothy is Thrawn and he knows. Job well done both to Timothy Zahn and the ever-talented Marc Thompson!

15 people found this helpful

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Boring. Aggravating.

Vader is written as a petulant child to contrast against the patient genius of Thrawn. I love both of these characters and invisioned a far different sort of alliance. I'm tired of legacy characters getting used as plot devices. Vader, especially. Seems lime a developing trend with Lucasfilm.
This book also boggs the story down with the minutiae of every little movement of the characters and it subtracts time from developing a better, deeper, more exciting story. I suppose if the author wanted to point out that not every mission executed by Thrawn or Vader was an exciting one, then job well done, I guess.
There's more to say, but suffice it with this: This is a missed opportunity. A great chance to enhance the canon stories of Vader, Anakin, Thrawn, and Padme was tossed aside. That chance won't come again.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Simon Moppett
  • 03-08-20

Excellent

Thoroughly enjoyable. Whilst the first sets the scene, this moves together with views of past and present

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  • Matt
  • 08-22-19

Fantasic

Amazing addition to the Star Wars universe. Adds much to the clone wars era and galactic civil war respectively. Develops both the main characters in a really interesting way, can't wait for more.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-12-19

Brilliant

A wonderful 2nd part to the thrawn trilogy would recommend to any star wars fan!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark M
  • 04-10-19

Slow but steady

The premise of setting the story in both the past and present with Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker was a brilliant idea.
However I felt the book was story slow paced for a Star Wars novel I can’t quite figure If it was the story itself or the performance or a bit of both. It took me 3 attempts to get through this book but glad I persevered as there was enough meat to keep me chewing.
I admire Timothy Zahn for all he has done for Star Wars expended universe but sometimes I struggle in the new eu era to be engaged with these super introspective books. I also don’t think Vader was captured as well as he could be.
Marc Thompson offers a stellar performance and his Thrawn is again dead on with the SW: Rebels incarnation.

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  • Mark
  • 01-04-19

Awesome Audio Book

Great to understand more about Thrawn and his relationship with the Empire. Looking forward to the next chapter.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua Free
  • 11-28-18

Bring on Thrawn.

Slow to start and slightly muddled by entangled plots, but an overall thoroughly enjoyable experience, and follow up, for one of Star Wars' most intriguing characters. Complimentary to this is an astounding performance by Marc Thompson.

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  • Simon R
  • 10-04-18

Thrawn delivers agsin

Started well, a little slow in the middle, but if you enjoyed the other Thrawn books, you will enjoy this.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-28-18

Great effects, poor interaction.

As usual great performance by voice actors and sound effects.
But I felt story was lacking, and the interaction between the two protagonists was forced and unnatural.

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  • malcolm
  • 09-14-18

Not bad

It's ok not as good as some of the other Thrawn books though.

marc Thompson's narration is still top notch which helps

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  • R G STAINSBURY
  • 09-04-18

No where near as good as the original Zahn Thrawn Trilogy.

Although Marc Thompson continues to skilfully create amazingly immersive performances and has perfectly adapted his Thrawn voice to match the new canon one from the Rebels TV show, this story was dull, littered with Deus ex machina and focused on a repetitive string of petty scuffles at the expense of any real drama or threat. I get the feeling that Zahn was hemmed in by the fact that none of the main characters could ever really be in jeopardy, because the reader already knows the ultimate fate of most of them from other films and books.

Although I want to be supportive of one of my favourite authors (and always wish for more 'Thrawn' material - I love that character!), I cannot really recommend this book. After all, if you can make a gripping yarn out of Darth Vader AND Grand Admiral Thrawn, you are in the wrong business.

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  • Nick
  • 06-06-19

Masterful

This is Thrawn as he should be be.Ever the one in charge,because he is able to know what his opponents will do,because it’s what he would do. Zahn is also able to give us a Vader who is more than a one note villain. If you want a Star Wars story with actual characters that stand out you have to try this out.




ya

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-09-18

Grand Admiral Sherlock Holmes & Darft Watson .

Vader playing 2nd to Thrawn ? Skywalker getting over angry for nothing Is padme 13

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lachlan Farrant
  • 08-16-18

Zahn has done it again!

It should go without saying, but the dynamite combination of Timothy Zahn's masterful story and Marc Thompson's amazing narration has managed to truly capture the classic Star Wars vibe. Highly recommended!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-07-18

Worth every credit! Great immersive performance.

The overall of the book is a must read for any Star Wars fan. However, at the end I think the story fell a little bit by lack of true stakes for both Vader and Thrawn. Nonetheless, I enjoyed very, very, VERY much this book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Taylor
  • 08-06-18

Great sequel!

Amazing voice work. Thrawns voice was perfect, so immersive. Easy listen. This is a very worthwhile sequel.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • kory
  • 08-03-18

a fantastic addition to new cannon

the two timelines was an interesting insight into the two main characters and loved hearing more about the clone wars era.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jarred Leworthy
  • 07-29-18

Zahn does it again!

Yet another epic story by Timothy Zahn, and as usual Marc Thompson knocked it out of the park with his reading.