Star Wars Clone Wars Gambit #1: Stealth

( 21 )

Overview

Planet by planet, darkness creeps across the galaxy. Among warriors and generals, among ordinary beings living in far-flung worlds, the fear will not go away: We are losing this war. . . .
 
Anakin Skywalker feels it, too. The Separatist Alliance, with ruthlessness and treachery, is beating the Republic to every strategic target. But after a costly clash with General Grievous for the planet Kothlis, Anakin has a mission that will focus his...

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Star Wars Clone Wars Gambit #1: Stealth

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Overview

Planet by planet, darkness creeps across the galaxy. Among warriors and generals, among ordinary beings living in far-flung worlds, the fear will not go away: We are losing this war. . . .
 
Anakin Skywalker feels it, too. The Separatist Alliance, with ruthlessness and treachery, is beating the Republic to every strategic target. But after a costly clash with General Grievous for the planet Kothlis, Anakin has a mission that will focus his anxious mind. Alongside Obi-Wan Kenobi, he is posing as a long-lost native of Lanteeb, an impoverished world on the Outer Rim. This seemingly unimportant planet has drawn the interest of the Seps—and Anakin and Obi-Wan soon discover the disturbing reason: A scientist enslaved by General Lok Durd is drawing on Lanteeb’s one natural resource for a devastating bioweapon. Now Anakin and Obi-Wan have entered the eye of a storm. Their presence has been exposed, Lok Durd’s plans unveiled, and a fight has begun for survival behind enemy lines—and a chance of winning a war that must be fought at any cost.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Led by the Jedi, the clone army of the Republic wages a seemingly unending war against the Separatist forces of the infamous droid, General Dooku. When suspicions arise that the Separatists are building a secret weapon, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi go undercover to discover and destroy the threat to the Republic. The first title in a two-volume saga that takes place during the Clone Wars, Miller's (The Innocent Mage) second Star Wars® novel features not only fast-paced space action but also the verbal byplay between Jedis Anakin and Obi-Wan that has endeared them to series fans of all ages. VERDICT Linked to but independent from the popular animated Clone Wars television adventures, this title should appeal to Star Wars2 pt aficionados, while its cliffhanger ending will rouse interest in the forthcoming sequel.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345509024
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/23/2010
  • Series: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Gambit Series, #1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 175,565
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Miller was born in Vancouver, Canada, but was raised in Sydney, Australia, where she still lives today. She has worked as a public servant, a receptionist, in the horse industry, in local government, in publishing, in telecommunications, as a college lecturer, and she ran her own science fiction/fantasy/mystery bookshop. So far she's written eight fantasy novels and two Stargate SG-1 tie-ins, as well as Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Wild Space.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

As far as Ahsoka Tano was concerned, the only thing worse than being up to her armpits in battle droids was waiting to find out just how long it would be before she was up to her armpits in battle droids. She hated waiting. But it seemed that war was all about waiting-at least, when it wasn't about staring death in the face.

But I'm not scared. I'm not scared. I'm not scared. I'm not...

 With Resolute out of rotation for a refit, she stood on the bridge of Indomitable, one of the next generation of cruisers to come out of the Allanteen VI shipyards. Cruisers that were faster and more responsive than ever before, thanks to her Master's-what had the chief shipwright called it? Oh yes. Tinkering. Thanks to Anakin's tinkering, the new vessels were a definite cut above the first Republic Cruisers that had rolled out of production for service in this war against Dooku and his Separatist Alliance.

The differences had been noted, and were talked about whenever and wherever military types crossed paths-in battle, in briefings, sharing some chitchat and a drink in this mess or that one, or even the occasional civilian bar. The Jedi who fought on the front lines were talking about them, too. Everyone who relied on the massive Republic warships knew that their odds of survival had increased because Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker liked to muck about with machines-when he wasn't busy being the scourge of the Separatists Anakin.

That's how she thought of him now, after arduous months of fighting by his side, learning from him, saving him, and being saved by him. But she never called him that to his face. She couldn't. The idea of saying Anakin felt more disrespectful than a cheeky nickname. Skyguy was familiar but it wasn't...intimate.

 First names were intimate. They implied equality. But she and her Master weren't equals. She suspected they never would be. She was pretty sure that no matter how hard she trained, how hard she tried, even after she'd passed the trials and been made a Jedi Knight, she would never come close to matching him as a Jedi.

How can I? He's the Chosen One. He can do things that aren't meant to be possible.

She snuck a sideways look at him, standing on the far side of Indomitable's bridge in hushed conversation with Master Kenobi and Admiral Yularen. Letting down her habitual guard the tiniest bit, she prepared to stretch out her senses. To feel what he was feeling behind his carefully constructed mask. It wasn't prying. She didn't pry. As a Padawan it was her job-no, her duty-to make sure her Master was well. To be constantly attuned to his mood so she could anticipate his needs and more perfectly serve him. Since joining Anakin on Christophsis she'd lost count of the times that keeping a close eye on him had made the difference between success and failure. Life and death. Young she might be, and still in training, but she could do that. She was good at that.

 Besides, once assigned to this man she'd made her own private and personal vow quite apart from the public oaths she'd sworn in the Jedi Temple.

I will not be the Padawan who gets the Chosen One killed.

 Around her, the bridge crew conducted its military business with brisk efficiency. No chatter, since the admiral was present. When Yularen was elsewhere his officers sometimes indulged in a little gossip, a few jokes, a smattering of idle wartime speculation. Nothing detrimental to discipline, nothing untoward, just harmless camaraderie to help while away the tedium of days, like this one, when battle was yet to be joined and the void beyond the transparisteel viewports remained empty of enemy ships and impending slaughter.

 She could hear, humming in the background, all the baffling hardware that made these warships possible. Sensor sweeps and multiphasic duo-diode relays and cognizant crystal interfaces and quasi-sentient droid links and-and stuff. So much stuff, and it made no sense to her. The slippery info-laneways of computers she could work with, but she didn't possess any kind of knack for nuts-and-bolts-and-circuits machinery-constructing her own lightsaber had nearly given her a nosebleed. Anakin, on the other hand...

 Machinery was meat and drink to Anakin. He loved it.

 But she was letting herself become distracted, so she pushed those thoughts aside. Her immediate task was to ascertain what Anakin was feeling. That way she'd have a better idea of what to expect from him when the news they were waiting for at last came through...and an idea of how best to deal with him, once it did. Dealing with her Master's sometimes overpowering emotions was becoming more and more a part of her duties-and as the war dragged on, and their losses piled up, that job wasn't getting any easier.

 He feels too much, too keenly. Maybe that's what happens when you've got the highest midi-chlorian count in Jedi history. Maybe that's the trade-off. You feel everything, so you're brilliant. You feel everything, and it hurts. 

 Not that his emotions got in the way. At least, he didn't think they did. And to be honest, she didn't, either. At least not as often as some people thought. Like Master Kenobi, for example, who chided his former Padawan for taking crazy risks, for pushing himself too hard, for letting things matter too much and losing his carefully measured Jedi distance.

She didn't always disagree. And sometimes, when Anakin had given her a really bad fright or when his mood became difficult, she wished she could chide him, too. But as a Padawan she had to find another way to let her Master know he'd gone too far. So she sassed him, or invented nicknames that were guaranteed to get under his skin. Sometimes she even deliberately flouted his wishes. Anything to break him free of sorrow or frustration or some bleak memory he refused to share. Anything to let him know, Hey, what you did then? That was stupid.

But mostly she kept her fears for him to herself, because all his bright and burning passion for justice, his reckless courage, his hunger for victory and his refusal to accept defeat-they were what made him Anakin. He wouldn't be Anakin without his feelings. She knew that, she accepted that, no matter what Temple teachings said about the Jedi and their emotions.

 And even though he scolds, I think Master Kenobi accepts it, too. He only scolds because he cares.

So...what was her brilliant, sometimes volatile Master feeling now? Eyes drifted half closed, Ahsoka breathed out a soft sigh and let her growing Jedi awareness touch lightly upon him.

Impatience. Concern. Relief. Loneliness. Weariness. And grief, not yet healed.

 Such a muddle of emotions. Such a weight on his shoulders. Months of brutal battle had left her drained and nearly numb, but it was worse for Anakin. He was a Jedi general with countless lives entrusted to his care, and every life damaged or lost he counted as a personal failure. For other people he found forgiveness; for himself there was none. For himself there was only anger at not meeting his own exacting standards.

 Feeling helpless, she chewed at her lip. She didn't know what she could do to make anything better for him. She couldn't heal his grief for the clones who'd fallen under his command, or the civilians he'd been unable to save. She couldn't make him less tired, or order him home to Coruscant where his mood always lightened. She couldn't promise the war would end soon, with the Republic victorious.

 At least he had Master Kenobi's company for a little while. She was sure that accounted for his relief. They cheered each other up, those two. No matter how dire the straits, Anakin and Master Kenobi always managed to find a joke, a laugh, some way to ease the tension and pressure of the moment. Between the two men lay absolute trust. Absolute faith. Now, they were equals. On the outside, looking in, she couldn't help feeling a little forlorn.

 Will he ever feel that way about me? Will he ever believe in me the way he believes in Obi-Wan?

 She opened her eyes to find Anakin looking at her. Though she'd tried so hard to be discreet, still he'd felt her sensing of him. She held her breath, expecting a reprimand. Anakin hated when she did this.

 But no reprimand came. Instead her Master raised a tolerantly amused eyebrow at her...and in his eyes was a kind of tired appreciation. She felt herself shrug, a tiny twitch of one shoulder, and curved her lips into a small, rueful, I can't help it smile.  He took a breath, he was going to say something-but then his head lifted. So did Master Kenobi's. A few moments later she felt it, too: a sharp, almost painful tingle of awareness. Something was coming. And a few moments after that, the comm officer straightened in her chair and pressed a finger to the transceiver plugged into her ear.

"Sir-"

 Admiral Yularen, lean and predatory as ever, and alerted already by the Jedi on either side of him, practically leapt for the comm station. "Lieutenant Avrey?"

 The slight, blond officer danced her fingers over the ship's comm panel, frowning, then gave a pleased nod. "Sir, I have an incoming message from the Jedi Council, Priority Alpha."

"Recorded or real-time?"

The lieutenant checked. "Recorded, sir. Sent by triple-coded multiple-routed shortburst." Priority Alpha. Skin prickling, senses jittering, Ahsoka held her breath. This was it. This was what they'd been waiting for as they dangled idly out here for hours in the middle of nowhere, an empty stretch of space on the border between the Expansion Region and the galactic Mid Rim, parsecs from anywhere remotely civilized. This is it.

 Yularen's nod was swift and grim. "Very good, Lieutenant. Master Kenobi?"

"I think we'll take this one in the Battle Operations Room, Admiral," Master Kenobi said. His voice was mild, completely unperturbed, as though an Alpha transmission from the Council came along once or twice a day...instead of only as a last-resort emergency.

 Ahsoka eyed him with unbecoming envy. One of these years I'm going to be as untwitchy as him. "Masters-"

"Yes, Padawan, we means you," said Anakin. "So what are you waiting for?"

She nearly said, An invitation. The smart remark was awfully tempting. He'd practically asked for it. But she held her tongue, because she was no longer that uncertain, mouthy Padawan who'd met her new Master in the midst of battle on Christophsis. She'd changed. Grown. Smart remarks at a time like this weren't funny. They were disruptive and unhelpful and they made her mentor look bad.

She'd learned that lesson from Clone Captain Rex.

"Lieutenant," said Admiral Yularen, sounding almost as calm as Master Kenobi. "Comm the captains of Pioneer and Coruscant Sky. Stand by for orders, battle alert."

"Yes, Admiral," said the comm officer. Color washed into her space-white face. All around the bridge the crew snapped to stricter attention. The scrubbed air tightened with a palpable anticipation.

Yularen flicked a tight smile at Anakin and Master Kenobi. "Lead the way, gentlemen."

 With an effort Ahsoka smoothed her expression into uncaring blandness, hating that Anakin and Master Kenobi could sense her true feelings. As her Jedi superiors and the admiral swept past her she fell into step behind them, lightsaber bouncing lightly against her hip. Her mouth was dry-how annoying. She'd seen plenty of action since the start of the war; surely she should be bored by this now. But no. Her body betrayed her with a dry mouth and a racing heart, and sweat slicking the skin between her shoulder blades.

Soon we'll be fighting. And if I make a mistake I'll get Anakin killed.

 "Ahsoka," said Anakin, not even looking over his shoulder. "How many times do I have to tell you? Our thoughts create our reality. Cut it out."

 He always knew. "Sorry, Master."

 It wasn't far from the bridge to the Battle Operations Room, just one short corridor and a single flight of stairs. As soon as they were ranged around the broad central holodisplay table, Admiral Yularen toggled his comm to the bridge.

"Patch it through, Lieutenant."

 The holoimagers blinked on, bright blue-white light against the Battle Room's muted illumination. The air above the holodisplay shivered, mirage-like, and then an image flickered, partially disintegrated, flickered again, and finally coalesced into a recognizable form.

Master Yoda.

"Confirmation we have, Master Kenobi, of the initial report," said the Jedi Order's most respected Master. "Misled the Special Operations Brigade was not. A target have Dooku and Grievous made of Kothlis and its spynet facility. In Republic hands must they remain, for compromised the Mid Rim cannot be. Once the strength of the enemy you have determined, call for reinforcements you can if defeating Grievous without them is not possible. But contact the Council in real-time do not until Kothlis you have reached. Stealth and secrecy are our most potent weapons. Use them wisely. May the Force be with you."

Master Yoda's image winked out.

"Well," said Master Kenobi, breaking the tense silence. "This is going to be interesting."

 Anakin frowned. "What reinforcements? Our people are scattered from one side of the Republic to the other."

 "Coryx Moth is on patrol near Falleen, is she not? That's the closest

 "One ship?" Anakin shook his head. "Obi-Wan-"

 "It's better than nothing, Anakin."

 Anakin didn't think so, if the look on his face was anything to go by. He scowled at Master Kenobi and Master Kenobi stared back, his expression unreadable.

"I'm sorry, but Master Yoda's message is too cryptic for my tastes," said Admiral Yularen. One narrow finger stroked his mustache, a sure sign he was uneasy. "Bitter experience has taught us we can't attack Grievous with anything less than overwhelming force. Not if we wish to finish him once and for all-and avoid a catastrophic level of loss on our side."

"And in an ideal galaxy we would have that overwhelming force at our disposal," said Master Kenobi, arms decisively folded. "Alas, Admiral, this galaxy of ours is far from ideal. And cryptic or not, we have our orders. Yoda's right-we must keep Kothlis out of Separatist hands."

"I know that," said Yularen curtly. "But the notion we can't call for support until we're in the thick of the fight? We all know that'll likely be too late."

 "True," said Anakin, stirring out of somber thought. "But we'll have to live with it. In fact-" He shot the admiral a dark look. "I think we'll have to think twice about calling for help at all. Because if someone does come to our aid, it means somewhere else gets left undefended."

Yularen bristled. "What? You want me to risk this battle group-three cruisers-against-"

 "I beat him with three cruisers last time," said Anakin, deceptively mild.

"I know!" Yularen retorted. "And that would be my point, General Skywalker. Grievous isn't stupid. He learns from his mistakes. He's going to make sure he has more than enough firepower to easily take us down! I'm not prepared to risk-"

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Star Wars Gambit: Stealth

    The book, like the others in the series follows along the path of the animated series but is a book made for adults. It is so far the better of the series, which is saying something because the series is sort of weak compared to books that were out before. What I love about the book is that it gets rid of the Anakin-Ahsoka group and places Anakin with Obi-Wan. The dialogue and interaction of the two almost makes it like watching one of the movies again. The book is a must-read for any Star Wars fan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is the first of a duology starring two of the more fascinating Star War characters

    The Galaxy is at war with the Republic fighting the Separatists Alliance led by Count Dooku who has an unknown Sith master. They are using the dark side of the Force with planets falling to them. Their latest assault is at Kothlis and its strategic Spy-Net Facility. Jedi knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker lead the land and space battle that leaves countless dead and injured while both Jedi know their side is losing the war even though they won this battle.

    When they return to the homeworld of the Jedi Order and the political center of the Republic, Senator Organa tells the two Jedi Knights that the Separatists conquered the impoverished world Lanteeb, a place so isolated in the outer rim no one can fathom why the Seps went there. The senator knows their must be something of value on that remote orb, but what is unknown. Anakin and Obi-Ben travel to Lanteeb and learn why the Seps', led by General Durd, conquered Lanteeb and it is critical they stop him or billions will die.

    This is the first of a duology starring two of the more fascinating Star War characters. The story line is fast-paced from the opening battle sequence and when the two Jedi are caught behind enemy lines on Lanteeb. The battles as always on screen and in books are vivid enhancing the non stop action. Anakin is a fabulous protagonist whose doubts abut the Jedi and their cause grows with the defeats. Fans will enjoy the opening of the Clone Wars Gambit and look forward to the continual adventures of Anakin and Ob-Ben trying to survive yet also must prevent Durd's plan from occurring as the setback would be impossible to overcome.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2014

    I &heart Obi Wan

    Hes my favorite;)

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  • Posted September 9, 2013

    Well, I will start by saying that this book is miles above Karen

    Well, I will start by saying that this book is miles above Karen Miller's previous Star Wars book, Clone Wars- Wild Space. That was the worst Star Wars book I've ever read. This one was very forgettable. Obi-Wan and Anakin go on a mission, and things go horribly wrong. Pretty basic. Why it needed to be drawn out to two novels, I don't know. It was a pretty quick read though, and I enjoyed Lot Dodd returning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    Hoo yaa

    It stinks ! Oh praise god! Cuz he is king!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    ? ?

    Great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    Question

    I'm a girl but a huge fan of star wars and I was wondering if this book also has Senetor Padm¿ Amidala in it being the fact it has Anakin Skywalker I really like them both?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Cool dude

    Aesome book to read of 2011.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    Love it

    I love star wars and loved the book

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  • Posted July 5, 2011

    Provides great insight on two beloved star wars characters

    A very good book. The author provides the reader great insight on the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anikin. Entire conversations between the two sound as though they were from the movie series. Both of these charscters are very well reptrsented. The plot of the book is inntriguing and at the end you will want to know what happens next. Well done.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Good Obi-Wan and Anakin Story

    This is a first rate cat and mouse story. Obi-wan and Anakin are playing the spy game against their enemies and even the ones they are protecting are keeping secrets from them. It is a good start to this two-part adventure.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

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    Posted January 16, 2010

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    Posted January 16, 2010

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    Posted August 21, 2011

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    Posted October 1, 2010

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    Posted November 12, 2009

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    Posted December 28, 2009

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    Posted May 5, 2012

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    Posted July 11, 2011

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