Chaos Rising by Timothy Zahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thrawn is a great character, one of my favorite in Star Wars. This is an interesting, fleshed out look at Thrawn's home culture and space. It employs a parallel narrative structure of the present and the past (Zahn seems to like this way of story telling, he's used it in other novels). I think it works pretty well here. There are two many criticism: (1) other than a tangential connection to Anakin, there is little that makes this Star Wars. While there are descriptions of things that are likely the Force by another name, this is only hinted at and not developed. (2) There is not a lot character development for Thrawn. What I love (and presume others) love about Thrawn is his Sherlock Holmes-style ability to read out from a situation lots of details that others miss and from that deduce all kinds conclusions. I was hoping we would get some insight into how Thrawn develops/hones this ability. But we don't; it seems to come onto the stage more or less fully formed.
Nevertheless, this was a fun read.
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