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Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

I remember reading the Heir to the Empire trilogy in high school, and probably more than any other book(s), it was these that first sparked my reading interest and has hook me ever since. Since reading these books I have read other Star Wars book and even some other Timothy Zahn books. Then came the day that I heard Disney was buying the rights to the franchise. Not only that, all the books and material that came outside the movies and television shows weren’t considered canon. What did this mean? Would those books disappear? Like I said I had read many of them but nowhere near ALL of them. Soon my concerns were put to rest when these works were simply re-labeled as “Legends.” Then came a new Thrawn book that appears to be part of the canon story line. Needless to say, I was extactic. Over the holiday week these book was on sale and I jumped at the opportunity to get it.

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

This books takes place in a Universe outside of the Old Man’s War books. Because of this I’ve been a little bit hesitant to read it since those books and that universe will be hard to beat, but considering how big of a Scalzi fan I am I figured I might as well give the book a chance.

Babylon’s Ashes by James S. A. Corey

Expanse Universe is that it takes place in a universe that science fictions epics rarely take place in – the near future when humanity has yet to venture out past our own Solar System. I have read the first two books in this series and will eventually make it to this one, but been warned this books are long, like Game of Thrones long.


Unfortunately I have not been doing a lot of reading as of late, but instead, more shopping. Regardless of how little time that I have to read I decided it was time to go out and get (for my nook) one of my most favorite trilogies of all time: The Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn.

By simply reading the first introduction to the book, I learned that at the time of its publication, the people behind the project wren’t to sure how well the book would sell. Sure people loved Star Wars, but it was a franchise that was eight years in the past by the time Heir was published and it had yet remained to seen on whether or the fan base was still there. Well it was and when I was fourteen/fifteen I was one of the first to stand in line to buy. By the time The Last Command came out, I had saved up enough to buy it in hardcover, something that was almost impossible at the time given the fact that I was a poor high school kid with no job.

I always knew that I would someday read the books again, and almost a day doesn’t go by when I think about what books to read next or my favorite books do I not at least reflect about that first Start Wars trilogy that brought the movies back to life for a kid just about to venture out into the real world.

I love military science fiction, which is funny because I have an absolute loathing for guns. Maybe it’s because of the fact that conflict and fighting are an everyday part of life and the world, but when I just happened to walk into a local book store and came across The Cobra Trilogy by Timothy Zahn, I knew I had to have it. Somewhere, I picked up one of these books a long time ago, but it wasn’t the first in the series, and no matter how hard I tried, I failed to find the first book in any used bookstore or online, at least for a reasonable price.

The story, from what I understand from reading the description on the back, centers around a man and how he came to join an elite military force known as the Cobras. This is not done on a whim, however. All of humanity is in danger of being wiped out, one colony at a time. Like most soldiers, this character decides to join not only to save his own home planet, but to take back and save the one that have been lost, as well as, to make sure that those that have died, did not die in vane, for nothing.

Maybe no book has had more impact on me then Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn. I first read the books back in High School and still have them and look forward to reading them again at some point later down the road. So it is no wonder that anytime Zahn comes out with a new Star Wars book, I am close to the front of the line to pick up my new copy.

Choices of One is a story that takes place after the events of Episode V as the Rebellion is searching for a new base. The find a new home on a remote planet, the occupants of which have been bullied by a local warlord. The deal is the planet can be used as the home world of the new rebel base in exchange for protection against the warlord, the Alliance agrees. But soon the location of the new base becomes know to the Emperor himself and he sends Mara Jade along with the elite stormtrooper unit know as The Hand of Judgment to punish the people of a planet that would dare to give sanctuary to the rebels.

Over the years I have read much of what Timothy Zahn has produced…within the Star Wars universe. As much as I loved the Heir to the Empire trilogy and the other works by Zahn that told the story of the ruthless man who would one day come to rule over the remnants of the Empire – Grand Admiral Thrawn – I never took the next step to find out how well Timothy Zahn wrote outside of the Star Wars universe. Hopefully soon I will find out when I read Deadman Switch.

Deadman Switch tells the story of a unique planetary system where faster-than-light travel does not work within a 20 light-year radius. However, it is discovered, quite by accident, that FTL drives will work within that perimeter if the ship is piloted by a dead man. Because the planet is rich in minerals, exploiting those minerals becomes a necessity and soon a way is found to both mine the planets and pilot ships to and from the system.

I have been a Timothy Zahn fan since he re-booted the Star Wars franchise with his Heir to the Empire trilogy, way back in the early 90’s. So when I saw that he had another Star Wars book out I of course jumped right on it, even if it did take me four years to finally getting around to reading it. What I didn’t know is that Outbound Flight was Zahn‘s version of a prequal where we are introduced to the villain of the Heir to the Empire story line, Grand Admeral Thrawn, before he is in anyway a part of the failed empire.

The story begin with another character from the Heir to the Empire trilogy, Joruus C’Baoth, who is pushing to get funding from the senate for Outbound Flight – an exploration project that will venture into the deepest reaches of known space, out into the outer-rim regions of the galaxy, and simply see what is there. Speculation varies as to what they will find. Rumors swirl that an unknown, extremely advanced race resides in this unexplored region, waiting to attack the Empire, but nobody really knows what they will find.

However, Darth Sidious is determined to make sure that Outbound Flight fails and those on board disappear, forever. This is were a man by the name of Kinman Doriana comes in. Doriana is the second-hand man of both Senator Palpatine and Darth Sidious. What Dorianna and C’Baoth don’t expect are beings in this unknown part of space that will play both the savior and destroyer, namely Thrawn.

Like all Star Wars books this one is a must read. It has twist and turns, space battles and explosions… the only thing that it could possible have used is a love story – sorry, but all the great fiction stories have some kind of love found or love lost secondary story line.

Rating (Out of 5):

History is on the move. Those who cannot keep up with it will be left behind to watch from a distance.

–Timothy Zahn Star Wars: The Last Command