Still, the book has a lot going for it, especially some revelations hinted at in the book Rogue Planet, but spelled out completely here, connecting this book not only with the other Zahn books, but also to the Invasion from the New Jedi Order Series .
If you already love Thrawn from the other Zahn books, you'll love seeing him here, doing his Thrawny thing, but this time acting within the strict confines of his Chiss people's politics and ethical absolutes. Almost all the other characters I either actively disliked or felt indifferent about. If you are going to create an acknowledged "always right, always perfect" character like Thrawn, you also need some round characters surrounding him that try, stumble, learn, and change. Instead, we get one-note C'baoth, practically foaming at the mouth as he seethes, bullies, and sneers his way through the story, boring Car'Das, the young, smart, talented navigator who snaps up alien languages so he can conveniently converse and translate in multiple situations to explain various things to various people, and young Jedi Lorana Jinzler, who cowers and winces her way through most of the scenes until finally achieving some agency at the end of the story. As many other reviewers have pointed out, Obi-Wan and Anakin gallivant around for no good reason, tinging the book with prequelly lameness. But OH WELL. We still get to hang out with young Thrawn.
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As word spread this week that The Walt Disney Co. had purchased Lucasfilm with the intention of making Episodes VII, VIII and IX, many fans began repeating something they’ve been saying for 21 years: Make the Zahn books!