Vision of the Future: Star Wars (The Hand of Thrawn): Book II Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Hugo Award-winning author Timothy Zahn brings his epic two-volume series The Hand of Thrawn to an explosive conclusion with a discovery that rocks the New Republic to its foundations - and threatens to resurrect the Empire.
The Empire's master plan is under way. The New Republic is on the verge of civil war and the rumor that the legendary Admiral Thrawn has returned from the dead is rallying the Imperial forces. Now Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and their allies face the challenge of their lives. They must infiltrate a hidden fortress filled with Imperial fanatics, rendezvous with a double-dealing Imperial commander, and journey into enemy territory to learn the identity of those responsible for an act of unthinkable genocide. But most important of all is the truth about Thrawn. In his hands - alive or dead - rests the fate of the New Republic.
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|Listening Length||26 hours and 16 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||December 03, 2013|
|Publisher||Random House Audio|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #5,593 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#193 in Space Opera Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#248 in Adventure Science Fiction
#483 in Space Operas
Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2021
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Listening to the narration of The Hand of Thrawn duology was absolutely brilliant! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Disney's new timeline but to me they will always be non-canon and the original SWEU is canon. Marc Thompson brings to life the characters I have loved for so long, nearly my whole life as I was only 4 when I first saw the original SW movie back in 1977 but he also brings a realistic flair to the new characters of the EU. Mara Jade, Captain Pellaeon, Thrawn, Talon Kaarde, and so many others. So if you are a SW fan and are intrigued to read(or hear) the original EU timeline, I highly recommend giving the Star Wars Legends books a go, I don't think you'll be disappointed. I know I look forward to enjoying these over and over again in both book and audio version for years to come.
Original Duology Blog Review January 2015:
It's been a few years since I read this duology but I absolutely loved it. Not only is it written by, quite possibly in my opinion the best author of the Star Wars Extended Universe, Timothy Zahn but it features my second favorite character of the SW EU: Mara Jade. I had been cheering and hoping for the romantic coupling of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade from the first time she was introduced in Zahn's Heir to the Empire, and I was finally awarded when they declared their love during the heat of battle, of course because anything less would not have been fitting for Skywalker and Jade. Throw in all the wonders that we come to love within the SW EU and you have perfect reading material.
A highlight for me is definitely Luke and Mara. Throughout the book, I looked forward to their scenes together. They are officially my favorite Star Wars couple and one of my ultimate OTPs.
I have really enjoyed all these books. Zahn is a very good writer and I was very entertained by both of these series. They read quite easily and he has a nice balance between action and character development and includes a nice sense of descriptiveness without being too detailed. I just checked out Survivor's Quest from the library and plan to read the rest of Zahn's Star Wars novels, then we'll see where I go from there!
Luke Skywalker's journey to confident Jedi Master continues here. Some authors have struggled with Luke's portrayal, erring on diluting his character for fear of making him too powerful. This watering down of Luke's capabilities may have made sense for some storylines, but I'm glad to see Zahn stabilize him here. Mara Jade's personal journey comes to a climax as well as she and Luke draw strength from each other's fears and hopes to forge a new future together. Mara, along with Grand Admiral Thrawn and Talon Karrde, are clearly Zahn's pet characters, but he does an excellent job of bringing them to well-rendered life without stealing any thunder from Luke, Han, Leia and friends.
The civil war plot comes to a head with an epic battle over the capital city of Bothawui. The Caamas document continues to play a key role and the device of this simple document having such far-reaching implications continues to be a sound foundation for the story. The Bothans occupy an enjoyably gray area in the Star Wars universe, generally on the "good" side but with a side dish of virulent scheming, political ambitions, and a dash of selfishness thrown in. A standout new character from this plotline is Elegos A'kla, Trustant of the Caamasi Remnant and a true voice of reason in the middle of madness. His quiet strength in the face of such great suffering for his people underscores the alternatives to vengeance and hatred anyone can choose in the aftermath of a tragedy.
Zahn's Hand of Thrawn duology represents a true turning point in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The Empire has been dramatically reduced and changed. The New Republic has created a chaotic alliance of disparate systems but is managing to hold it together despite many challenges both internal and external. Luke has found love and a new vision for his role in the future of the Jedi Order. After this story, the universe takes a darker turn with the intergalactic invasion story of the New Jedi Order saga. For readers who loved the tone and stories of the Original Trilogy, this duology might be a jumping off point, before the beloved movie characters are thrown into the proverbial wringer once more. I highly recommend this book and the duology, although I will toss in a caveat: I believe these books will be most rewarding to readers familiar with the EU history leading up to this point.
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I liked it as well that Talon Karrde was back. This was an interesting character in Zahn's earlier Trilogy, and so he remains.
I also liked the Vengeance group, especially the interaction with their opponents. Regrettably this didn't prevent them from being succesfull.
Finally, there were some nice story lines concerning Han and Leia as well.
The negative of course was the - in my view - rather silly overall plot. I mean, people go to war for more stupid reason's than this, but it was a bit too obvious.
Therefore, not five stars but four. It still is a good read. And for fan's of Mara Jade, an abolute must!
Fifteen years after 'Return of the Jedi', the New Republic is troubled both by an impending civil war above Bothawui and the apparent return of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Elsewhere, Luke tracks Mara Jade to the uncharted world of Nirauan and together they make a startling discovery about the mysterious Hand of Thrawn.
Zahn uses this book to bring up to date all of his leading characters (I suspect he thought this was to be his last Star Wars novel), meaning we get some serious development of some familiar faces. I enjoyed the subplot involving Karrde and Shada seeking out Karrde's fearsome former employer, which leads to the revelation of the Thrawn hoax and also to a fascinating bit of back story about Yoda's adventures on Dagobah. Pellaeon (did anyone else notice that in the 'author' review that name was spelled wrong? Can you say 'impostor'?) really comes into his own as the head of a new forward-thinking Empire. Ultimately, the best reason to buy this book is the development of the relationship between Luke and Mara, which avoids being a fantasy romance and is instead a more subtle development in which they simply realise that they don't want to be apart. The Luke and Mara storyline is also packed with other treats, like a Thrawn clone, the return of Soontir Fel, the discovery of Thrawn's people - the Chiss - and Mara's Jedi Knighthood.
The only thing I didn't like was the Qom Qae and the Qom Jha. Having psychic bats as main characters doesn't sit well with me.
Great service and one I would use again