Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An ambitious book with some great ideas that ultimately doesn’t come together as tightly as one would like. Still, I enjoyed it. Thrawn is a great character, one of my favorite Star Wars characters. The setting of the book both in the midst of the Clone Wars and also in the time period before the Battle of Yavin, and going back and forth between these throughout the book was a great choice on how to tell the story. The parallels between the interactions of Anakin and Thrawn and then Vader and Thrawn were fun to play with. And then also seeing Vader react to and struggle with the memories of his old self was a neat spin (Anytime we can get inside that helmet and see what Vader is thinking is fun).
But the plots in both story lines tended more towards the convoluted. This is in part because in order for Thrawn to do his thing, a lot of pieces need to be moving in the background and everyone else has to be seemingly unaware of these. But with two story lines and all that intrigue, it was just a bit too much. I was also a bit let down on how the stories ultimately came together.
Another weakness is that Vader and Thrawn’s interactions got a little tiresome and predictable. And man did I forget how whiny Anakin could be.
That said, the story adds interesting elements to the Star Wars universe: in particular some new aspects of the Force. And, did I mention Thrawn?
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