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Mara Jade returns with the five renegade stormtroopers along with the main characters from the original trilogy in a mission that brings in recognizable characters from the EU, one of the most prominent is by Zahn himself: Thrawn. Now a Senior Captain, Thrawn brings in a sudden jolt of excitement to hard fans because you know that he has some grand plan or small details that he has in his mind that can turn the tide of the coming battle.

I just love the books that bring in the major characters from the movies and introducing them into situations that will challenge them. Fans like me will enjoy reading on how Luke responds to being hailed as "Death Star blower-upper" and how he is still young when he is introduced to the war that envelopes the universe.

Fans will also see the coming relationship between Han and Leia, as well as Leia's own roles in the Rebel Alliance. He doesn't just make it all two-dimensional but instead gives the characters feelings, a purpose, and in some cases gives them a whole new destiny before them, hinting a new future for the characters. He also doesn't focus on the events that have happened or will happened but instead brings in little hints here and there. I'm just finishing off the Zahn novels from the Legends continuity before the publication of Thrawn , Zahn's first novel in the new Star Wars canon.

This novel manages the tricky task of including all of the major characters from the Thrawn Trilogy together in a single adventure before they ever meet properly. It is deftly done, and doesn't detract from the story.


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The plot itself is a convoluted tangle of disguises, betrayals and heroic last ditch gambits. Luke is still very young and inexperienced I'm just finishing off the Zahn novels from the Legends continuity before the publication of Thrawn , Zahn's first novel in the new Star Wars canon. Luke is still very young and inexperienced with the Force, not even knowing how to use his lightsabre properly.

Choices of One: Star Wars Legends

Han and Leia haven't yet hooked up, and there is still much tension in their relationship. Thrawn is not yet an Admiral, and Pellaeon is not yet captain of the Chimaera. For someone who has read the other Zahn Thrawn novels, this is a gripping and satisfying read - so from a space opera fan old skool STar Wars in particular like me, this is heartily recommended! Great plot, amazing amount of action and well written but as with Allegiance, Mara's influence on the story took a back seat. There's one thing you can always depend on: Timothy Zahn delivering a barn-burning, balls-to-the-wall "Star Wars" action adventure that ticks all the satisfaction boxes.

At times, I was worried he was starting to juggle too many balls in "Choices of One", especially in terms of the cast of characters But he never lets any of the balls drop, in the face of overwhelming, byzantine even farcical plot complications.


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  • One thing he certainly m There's one thing you can always depend on: Timothy Zahn delivering a barn-burning, balls-to-the-wall "Star Wars" action adventure that ticks all the satisfaction boxes. One thing he certainly manages is to give Han Solo bucket-loads of authentic character development This is immensely satisfying from start to finish.

    Book Review: Choices of One – Star Wars Anonymous

    Jun 29, Matthew Sampson rated it really liked it. Seeing a positive perspective on the Empire—or what the Empire should have been—was really interesting. Jul 06, Kimberly rated it liked it Shelves: star-wars , science-fiction. It's been a long, long time since I read a Star Wars book that knocked my socks off. They're just not what they used to be.

    As they push into the future, there's also been a trend of going back and filling in every conceivable space between previous books and movies. Unfortunately, these fill-ins tend to create inconsistencies. Now, this is partly my issue--I'm a stickler for staying with the canon. Other people probably don't find this to be as ridiculously annoying as I do, but I'm going to ra It's been a long, long time since I read a Star Wars book that knocked my socks off.

    Other people probably don't find this to be as ridiculously annoying as I do, but I'm going to rant about it a little bit anyway. So, Timothy Zahn wrote this one. Zahn is basically the example that other Star Wars authors try to follow, right? I mean, he started the whole SW novel thing with the Thrawn Trilogy, which moved the story way forward.

    He gave us Jacen and Jaina, gave Luke a little kick in the pants to get him moving, and fleshed out the fledgling government that was in place after the fall of the Empire. But really, Zahn gave us Mara Jade. That's why we love him! He introduced her in the Thrawn Trilogy, as a nemesis of Luke. Turns out that Mara was once the Emperor's Hand, a trusted personal agent of Palpatine, used to bring down treason and corruption in the Empire. So naturally, the death of her master left her quite shaken, especially considering that before he died, Palpatine transmitted a Force message to her.

    The image was of Vader and Luke joining forces and killing Palpatine with their lightsabers.

    Choices of One

    Naturally, she and Luke encounter one another it's a small galaxy, after all Turns out that Mara was supposed to have been on the sail barge the day that Jabba the Hutt was set to execute Luke and Han. When R2D2 released the lightsaber that Luke caught, it was supposed to have been intercepted by Mara.

    But Jabba, being the fickle slug that he was, refused to let Mara go on the barge. We all know what happened next. Mara is a bit miffed by this. And this appears to be the entire backstory that she shares with Luke. But wait! This is NOT the only backstory she shares with Luke! In fact, she has encountered Luke before! They worked side by side but not necessarily together to save an Imperial Governor's wife and daughter In fact, Mara knew Luke's last name at the time and even saw him with a lightsaber.

    AND she remembered Vader doing a search on him only months before, but chalked it up to coincidence. There's a line in this book that really got me. Mara sees Luke in trouble, and decides that he's been helpful to her and "she couldn't very well let him die. Now, wouldn't you think that ten years down the road some of this might get brought up? Or that Mara might be having some major bitterness and regret from that decision that she made, knowing she could have altered the course of history had she just let Skywalker get shot? This is the kind of thing that bugs the crap out of me and probably doesn't bother other people at all.

    I supposed I could just hang my head and sigh and say, "Fiiiinnnne. This happened, then in the end they fell in love and got married and had Ben and then Mara got killed by Jacen I suppose it's best to just not think about it this hard. View 1 comment. Aug 05, Mike rated it it was ok. I've finally figured it out. Pardon me if it took a while, but I don't read a lot of book reviews.

    His work is intricate and plot driven and tech heavy. His characters aren't very deep. His stories are more about the action and all the "wheels within wheels" plotting than anything else. And every plot twist is designed to twist and turn the story into some kind of pretzel shape that is supposed to dazzle the reader a So And every plot twist is designed to twist and turn the story into some kind of pretzel shape that is supposed to dazzle the reader and keep them from noticing how dry and leaden the story is.

    I've read a few Tom Clancy books, but he's not one of my favorite authors That being said, Choices of One isn't a bad book. It isn't a good one either. It's mostly interesting, takes a bit too long to get to the point, has a few decent action sequences, but isn't really very deep or satisfying. I did read the previous book where the renegade stormtroopers broke away from the Empire, only to hook up with Mara Jade and the Rebellion heroes to stop some evildoers.

    This book is better than the first one in this unlabeled series I can't remember the name of the first book because it bored itself out of my memory. But the same central conceit is in place They do see each other from a distance in this book, but they don't have a secret meeting or anything which would have to be wiped from their memories in tedious fashion somehow. The gimmick of Luke and Mara nearly bumping into each other got old in the previous book in this series. So it's pretty stale by now. And Thrawn is there because he's Zahn's favorite bad guy the blue Rommel of the Empire.

    Thrawn runs his fleet like Zahn writes his books, technically precise and full of cunning, but with no heart or soul. I wouldn't doubt that Thrawn is Zahn's alter-ego. As with the last book, this one provides an evildoer Nuso Esva, tricky alien warlord who poses a threat to both the Rebels and the Empire. So they have to set aside their differences whether they agree to or not and fight the common enemy. His characters are brought to life by us, not him.

    It's a neat but dirty trick when you can pull it off. But that trick only works in a limited fashion. The flaw in his plan shows in the characters we don't know too well, like LaRone and his renegade stormtroopers, being two-dimensional and mostly interchangeable. Since we can't invest them with the same feelings we have for the heroes and villains we know so well, they come off as ciphers in this mix.

    But at least Darth Vader shows up near the end to add some actual evil to all the angsty shades of gray going on. Unlike most of the characters in the story, Vader is interesting. Though I'm glad Zahn didn't try to feature him more centrally, as there would have been a hard time having him stand still for all the shenanigans going on. The way this book ends leaves the door wide open for more of the same Thrawn and the Hand of Judgment and Mara Jade and the Unknown Regions and so on. If you enjoy that sort of thing, go for it. As for me, I'll have to be really bored before I give Zahn another chance to "entertain" me.

    Oct 02, Brian rated it really liked it. That's vitally important because if you miss that, the whole thing might feel off. Luckily, Zahn per usual pulls off this interesting point in the Star Wars canon with his usual style and creativity. It's nice to go back to a time when Han and Leia were somewhat subtly flirting with one another and Luke wasn't the epitome of Jedi power that he is in the current stories.

    Instead, he's the fumbling farmboy who still doesn't know how to really use his lightsaber to the fullest. I was a bit concerned that the characters would mesh with the time period, but it does feel like a perfect sequel to A New Hope. My other main concern was involving Mara Jade.

    I love Mara as a character, but inserting her this close to the main characters seemed dangerous. After all, if she actually crossed paths with any of them especially Luke , wouldn't that come up with they meet for the first time legitimately in the Thrawn Trilogy? Luckily, even though she's in the same story as the Rebel Alliance characters, they never directly interact and at best, Luke might mention offhandedly this story and she'd say "oh, I was there too" but not to the point that it's a plothole. Unsurprisingly Thrawn and Pellaeon make appearances, but it's a Zahn novel and why shouldn't they?

    This also ties nicely into his novella with the 20th Anniversary Heir to the Empire novel about Nuso Esva. I think I read it, but clearly I don't remember them. Either way, their story line is interesting as well.


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    • And as a nerd, I gotta say that I really enjoyed the ending nicely leading into the set up The Empire Strikes Back with the Rebel Alliance prepping for a cold planet. I don't think that counts as a spoiler, but rather as a nice, "oh, nice tie-in. The book speaks from different characters point of view. It starts with Han, Luke, and Leia trying to find a safe area for the rebellion to stay in. They found a guy named Fernandez, who volunteered to give them a safe area to stay, hidden from the empire. Things went bad after their was an attempt on Fernandez's life and Neus Esva and the Empire showed up.

      The rebellion got out without being harmed. Luke Skywalker is a young jedi in training and part of the rebellion. Leia Skywalker is one of the leaders of the rebellion. Han solo is part of the rebellion and the owner of the well known falcon. Mara Jade is the Emperor's first hand. Empire is an organization that is trying to wipe out the rebellion. This book takes place in 5 ABY. Poln Major is where the rebellion is trying to make an alliance with Fernandez. The two main settings on Poln Major is the governor's office and the caves, where the rebellion is hiding.

      Poln Major is the main setting that everything takes place in. This setting is significant because this is where the main storyline takes place. There are two main themes of this book. One for Luke to believe in the force, that way he can save his friends. The other theme is for Mara Jade to believe in herself and her squads capabilities. They both have to find courage and strength in themselves to save their friends. Both males and females would enjoy this book even though the main character is a female.

      This book is very action packed with a good story line. It explains what happens really well with good details. It makes the book that much more enjoyable. A solid addition to the Star Wars universe that also has a killer cliff-hanger ending that makes me want to somehow get a hold of a copy of the next book in the series, Scoundrels, right now. But that's the fan-girl in me talking. For a minute here, let me talk about the things that could have been better.

      Yes, even the great Timothy Zahn has faults. First of all, the time period that this book is very, very fleshed out, not leaving Zahn much room to maneuver his plot around in really creative w A solid addition to the Star Wars universe that also has a killer cliff-hanger ending that makes me want to somehow get a hold of a copy of the next book in the series, Scoundrels, right now. Please tell me that Talon Karrde is going to show up in the next book. Pretty please. Sep 02, Brian rated it really liked it.

      A continuation of story from Timothy Zahn's "Allegiance" novel from a few years ago and the 5 "deserter" Stormtroopers and their meeting with Mara Jade as well as their acquantance meetings with the more familiar characters in the Star Wars universe. This time Zahn brings out his other more familiar character of Grand Admiral Thrawn from the "Heir to the Empire" trilogy.

      Shared Universe Reviews

      Though now he is merely a brilliant "Senior Captain. I love reading f A continuation of story from Timothy Zahn's "Allegiance" novel from a few years ago and the 5 "deserter" Stormtroopers and their meeting with Mara Jade as well as their acquantance meetings with the more familiar characters in the Star Wars universe. I love reading further imaginative stories that continue the adventures from the characters I love. But many authors are not as passionate about the stories or the characters so too many of the novels come up flat--such as "Death Star" and "Millenium Falcon.

      He may be one of the few authors that has the respect of purists in continuing the saga and being accepted as part of the "canon. Zahn honors those stories but doesn't go for cheap gratification. My only criticism was that the story of the 5 "deserter" Stormtroopers falls flat this time. In "Allegience" I was intrigued by this story but in this "sequel" they seemed have fallen a bit too 2-dimensional and were not given as riveting of a story.

      You do begin to see some of the beginnings and depths of Mara Jade's emotional conflict and judgement instead of being an evil "Emperors Hand" administering the Emperors evil justice on those who betray the Empire. Well worth the read. Recommended to all Star Wars fans of the books. Of all the writers of Star Wars books Timothy Zahn is my favorite. He has a consistent style which runs from book to book. He fleshes out the characters so that you feel you actually know them, particulary since you feel you should know them after all the movies and books written about them.

      This is particularly important when you are reading books which sketch in some of the unknown Star Wars history not previously covered. Zahn moves the reader rapidly and carefully through the story, filling in useful details as he goes, such as Luke struggling with the fact that he doesn't really know how to use the Force and the tension and furstration between Leia Organa and Han Solo who are not even a couple at this early stage; the first death star has just been destroyed and Han has not yet gone to Tattooine in carbonite.

      Del Rey. Thank you for supporting our small, family-owned business! First Edition. Log-in or create an account first! Glossary Some terminology that may be used in this description includes: First Edition In collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in cases Although a new book is typically free of any faults or defects, "new Ask the seller a question. Collecting P. Barnum P. In fact, this is the first book of his that I have read. There are several plot elements that run throughout the course of the novel and they all converge at the end of the book.

      By writing it this way, Zahn writes a book with a slow moving plot. Another upsetting element is that some of the plotlines are simply uninteresting or involve characters that are uninteresting. Why does she so passively do as the Emperor commands? Apparently Zahn created the character of Mara Jade because he found there weren't enough female characters in Star Wars. I can agree with that but Mara Jade is such an uninteresting character.

      It was difficult for me to read some of her chapters because she bores me. I find Leia to but much more interesting. I also find that Zahn writes her better. The best parts of the book are the ones that focus on characters from the trilogy. Han and Leia are especially interesting as written by Zahn. He has a very good grasp on the characters and uses it to his advantage.

      At that point in time, Han is trying to figure out if he and Chewie will continue to fight alongside their new friends in the Rebellion or will they go off on their own and resume their work as smugglers. He ties to the Alliance are quite clear. Like in the movies, Leia continues to have to prove herself in extraordinary situations. Even in the Expanded Universe there is an anti-feminist subtext.

      Review-Shorty: Star Wars: Choices of One

      Well, at least Leia gets the satisfaction of problem them both wrong in the future.