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Thrawn: Alliances (Star Wars) Paperback – 2 Jul 2019
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Zahn's grasp of the STAR WARS universe and its characters never fails to be impeccable, with Alliances yet another classy read…[Zahn is] truly at his best here in the printed dimension- calculated, subtly menacing and, above all else, distinctly alien, Star Wars Aficionado
‘A must-read for either fans of the Clone Wars or Rebels TV series’, Nudge
The must-have original Star Wars novel of the year so far, Star Wars Afiacnado (For Thrawn)
Classic Zahn …A fun Star Wars action story, Talk Star Wars Podcast
Grand Admiral Thrawn and Darth Vader ally against a threat to the Empire in this new novel from bestselling author Timothy Zahn.
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For me, the best parts of this novel are those written from Vader’s perspective. Getting an insight into how he thinks and what he thinks is incredibly entertaining. How he reconciles his reactions against those of Anakin are also quite instructive.
If you are a Star Wars fan, buy this. If you are just a Rebels fan, buy this. If you loved the previous Thrawn entries, buy this.
The back and forth between Anakin/Vader and Thrawn in both time periods is outstanding and is a real treat for fans. Thrawn continues to surprise and impress with his quick wit and later thinking. Something that seems to be solely missing in a great deal of modern tales.
The story introduces us to a potential New enemy from the Unknown Regions and some unexpected twists that hopefully come up further in the future at some point. Some fine usage of more sci fi esque elements such as remote control freeze insectiods and Force induced navigation (Dune anyone?) Are right at home here. The only real drawback would be the length and the story does seem a tad rushed in the end with a very hasty tying up of all the loose ends. Kind of akin to a Scooby Do -' it was Mr wallace the whole time' trope. Despite this however it is quite a fine read. If you have a week or a weekend this is a Star Wars novel not to be missed.
Top international reviews
This book book is set in two time periods. Going back to the line in the first book where a meeting between, then General Anakin Skywalker and Thrawn, during the Clone Wars was mentioned. The majority of this book takes place in that era, as well as the current problem. One thing I like very much in this book is Zahn's writing the differences between Anakin and Vader, and how Vader refers to the memories of Anakin as "the Jedi's". Zahn also did a great job of showing the precognition powers the Force sensitive use. As the story progresses I saw the reason for this.
The second era that this book is set in is right after Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels, right after Thrawn's biggest defeat to date. So his standing and loyalty is in question. There is a lot of verbal sparing and jockeying for the number 2 position in the Empire between Thrawn and Vader. Usually with Thrawn coming out on top. However there is a great deal of respect between the two the telling point of that is Thrawn was still alive as Vader is not known for his patience.
There are elements taken from other Star Wars pre-Disney era books. One of the ideas come from the Golden Age of the Sith comic series where a couple of Force sensitives found another way to earn a living out of their talents, and a material that has not been used in the Disney era as of yet, as well some more of the behind the scenes of Order 66.
A very good book, that is slightly slow in places. I think this was the only stumbling block for me as with Vader in the book I was expecting a lot more action in the book. Though the lack of fights did show Vader's other skills that are sometimes forgotten because of his fearsome reputation and displays of power.
Honestly both storylines weren't the best. They had good bits but promised more than they delivered. The Thrawn-Vader storyline basically consisted on Thrawn asking Vader to trust him and Vader questioning his loyalty to the Empire. And Vader did trust him a lot which seemed out of character. There is some mitigation because of the events of the earlier timeline but not enough. WE did finally get some of the real motivations of Thrawn which was good, I had been wondering. The earlier timeline was ok but seemed rather pointless, similar stories have already been done. I think one of my main issues is that all these novels sound great and might finally reveal some actual major information but in the end they don't. More hints about the outer rim but again nothing really relevant to the major storylines from the films. Disney probably have an embargo on what can be discussed but sometimes it feels kind of pointless reading these because of that.
I really like how Zahn sets this story during both the Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War eras. It’s really interesting to see how Thrawn interacts with both Anakin and then Vader many years later.
Zahn does an excellent job with all the main characters. The dialogue is spot on in my opinion.
The plot is a little weak unfortunately and I would have liked to see the two timelines link up with each other a bit better. The enemy Grysks were also very uninteresting and didn’t appear to be nearly as intimidating as I feel they were intended to be. Hopefully the next instalment fleshes these guys out a lot more.
All in all a great read and I highly recommend if you’re a fan of the blue dude.
Anything with Vader and Thrawn is worth reading if you ask me so I would still recommend it.
The 'present day' storyline and the Thrawn/Vader interactions were rather fun, but the whole Clone Wars era Padme/Anakin stuff did drag somewhat. However, while the book in general didn't do a lot for me, I'll be back for the next one.
I just hope it doesn't go anywhere near the "Rebels" setting, as sadly it is referenced in this book and diminish's our favourite red-eyed boy as a result.
The characters are well written and work well off each other, particularly with the then and now pairings of Anakin and Thrawn, and then Vader and Thrawn. Padme also gets a good role in the story, fitting in with her character in the Clone Wars series. (Looking forward to her own book more now) We also learn a bit more about the Chiss and Thrawn's motivations that I enjoyed as well as his classic deduction skills.
Overall, very good book, not as good as Thrawn last year but definitely worth picking up.
A disjointed dual story: a younger Thrawn allying with Anakin and Padme, and Grand Admiral Thrawn allying with Vader. Neither is a good story, a lot makes no real sense and overall a huge disappointment compared to the previous Thrawn novel. I really would not bother.