Star Wars Rogue Planet

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Overview

You've seen the movie The Phantom Menace. You've read the No. 1 New York Times bestselling book based on George Lucas's masterpiece. Now, before the eagerly awaited release of Episode II, comes a stunning new Star Wars novel from one of science fiction's greatest talents, a writer universally acclaimed for his keen grasp of cutting-edge science and the brilliance of his page-turning plots: multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Greg Bear. The result is pure adrenaline -- an unforgettable journey stretching...
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Star Wars Rogue Planet

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Overview

You've seen the movie The Phantom Menace. You've read the No. 1 New York Times bestselling book based on George Lucas's masterpiece. Now, before the eagerly awaited release of Episode II, comes a stunning new Star Wars novel from one of science fiction's greatest talents, a writer universally acclaimed for his keen grasp of cutting-edge science and the brilliance of his page-turning plots: multiple Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Greg Bear. The result is pure adrenaline -- an unforgettable journey stretching from the farthest reaches of known space to the battlefield of a young boy's heart, where a secret struggle is being waged that will decide the fate of billions.

That boy is twelve-year-old Anakin Skywalker. The Force is strong in Anakin…so strong that the Jedi Council, despite misgivings, entrusted the young Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi with the mission of training him to become a Jedi Knight. Obi-Wan -- like his slain Master, Qui-Gon -- believes Anakin may be the Chosen One, the Jedi destined to bring balance to the Force. But first Obi-Wan must help his undisciplined, idealistic apprentice, who still bears the scars of slavery, find his own balance.

Dispatched to the mysterious planet Zonama Sekot, source of the fastest ships in the galaxy, Obi-Wan and Anakin are swept up in a swirl of deadly intrigue and betrayal. For the Trade Federation is interested in Zonamo Sekot as well. Raith Sienar, a brilliant but unscrupulous weapons and ship designer, seizes the opportunity to make a killing by stealing the secret of the superfast ships.

As Sienar strikes with all the brutal power of the Trade Federation, Obi-Wan and Anakin sense a disturbance in the Force unlike any they have encountered before. It seems there are more secrets on Zonama Sekot than meet the eye.

The search for those secrets will threaten the bond between Obi-Wan and Anakin…and bring the troubled young apprentice face-to-face with his deepest fears -- and his darkest destiny.

Greg Bear is the author of twenty-four books, which have been translated into seventeen languages. His most recent novel is Darwin's Radio. He has been awarded two Hugos and four Nebulas for his fiction. He was called the "best working writer of hard science fiction" by The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. He is married to Astrid Anderson Bear. They are the parents of two children, Erik and Alexandra.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
May 2000

Science fiction luminary Greg Bear takes a turn at the helm of one of the most celebrated science fiction series of all time, putting to use his superior narrative skills and craftsmanship to give the beloved characters an even greater sense of depth. Bear is a versatile writer with an amazing range of science fiction topics, from the offbeat world of human change in Slant to a novel of viral infection across the ages of evolution, Darwin's Radio. Now, in Star Wars: Rogue Planet, Bear has given us a richly textured science fiction novel that combines three-dimensional characterization with insights into the immensely popular saga, connecting the chasm between Episode I: The Phantom Menace and the further adventures. This is possibly the most highly readable, intriguing, and involving portion of the Star Wars tale thus far.

Even as a Jedi Knight in training, 12-year-old Anakin Skywalker still has a need to find thrills and danger wherever he goes. Despite the tutelage of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin desires to find life-and-death challenges and participates in the illegal garbage pit races. With little more than a pair of glider wings, racers must drop kilometers into the heart of a deadly pit through levels of high-tech security. When Anakin is attacked by a Blood Carver assassin posing as another racer, only Obi-Wan's expertise and courage allow him to save his student in a last minute rescue.

Meanwhile, Raith Sienar, a designer of uniquely powerful ships and weapons (and creator of what will eventually becometheDeath Star), is contacted by his old friend Commander Tarkin, who informs Sienar that there are certain people who are interested in his work, especially for the purpose of crushing the Jedi Order. The Republic is crumbling, and as it does, the Empire begins to take shape. After the mysterious disappearance of another Jedi Knight operative, Obi-Wan and Anakin are sent on a mission that will hopefully teach both of them more about their Jedi responsibilities and duty to one another. On the distant planet Zonama Sekot, where the fastest ships in the galaxy are built, Obi-Wan and Anakin are drawn into the hands of Commander Tarkin and the growing dark forces behind the emergence of the Empire.

Taking up where George Lucas and author Terry Brooks left off with The Phantom Menace, Bear delivers the most human volume in the Star Wars saga, further developing a huge cast of characters who emote, react, loathe, waver, and desire throughout. How Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin suffer through their own personal trials and disasters in an effort to save humanity is at least as interesting as the action of the larger driving plot. Anakin is scarred from his years as a slave, and even as Obi-Wan does his best to help his apprentice find the balance within himself, Obi-Wan also suffers from the loss of his master, Qui-Gon Jinn. They are more like brothers than teacher and student, with many of the same internal struggles and conflicts that bind them even more tightly together.

Greg Bear should be commended for realizing that the only way to draw together all the elements of such an overwhelmingly popular series is by focusing on the emotional underpinning of the main characters as the highly anticipated sequel to The Phantom Menace looms closer. Bear skillfully and cleverly weaves the dilemmas and intricacies of plot into a novel that brims with imaginative energy and impassioned resolve. Star Wars: Rogue Planet is an ambitious, intriguing chapter that will astound and satisfy fans of all the movies and previous books.

—Tom Piccirilli

Science Fiction Weekly
Greg Bear--winner of two Hugo and four Nebula awards--expertly blends his style with that of the Star Wars universe. He conjures the feel of Star Wars as adroitly as Ewan McGregor evokes the subtle cadence of the elder Obi-Wan's voice.
KLIATT
This exciting Star Wars adventure about 12-year-old Anakin Skywalker (who later becomes Darth Vadar) takes place three years after the events in the film The Phantom Menace. Anakin has been training as a Jedi knight for these three years. After his recklessness nearly gets himself and his master Obi-Wan Kenobi killed, he and Obi-Wan are sent on a mission to find out what happened to another Jedi who was exploring a distant planet that produced extraordinary space ships. They are pursued and attacked by Commander Tarkin (who later becomes Grand Moff Tarkin of the Empire). Tarkin is trying to kill as many Jedi knights as he can as the Republic weakens. There are hints of Anakin's specialness and of his eventual seduction to the Dark Side through his uncontrollable anger. This adventure lays some of the foundation for the later New Jedi series, which feature the grandson of Anakin. (Star Wars) KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Ballantine, Del Rey, Lucas Books, 330p., $6.99. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Hugh M. Flick, Jr.; Silliman College, Yale Univ., New Haven, CT , November 2001 (Vol. 35, No. 6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375415869
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Series: Star Wars Series
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 4.87 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Greg Bear

Greg Bear is the author of twenty-four books, which have been translated into seventeen languages. His most recent novel is Darwin’s Radio. He has been awarded two Hugos and four Nebulas for his fiction. He was called the “best working writer of hard science fiction” by The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. He is married to Astrid Anderson Bear. They are the parents of two children, Erik and Alexandra. Visit the author online at www.gregbear.com

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Read an Excerpt

1

Anakin Skywalker stood in a long, single-file line in an abandoned maintenance tunnel leading to the Wicko district garbage pit. With an impatient sigh, he hoisted his flimsy and tightly folded race wings by their leather harness and propped the broad rudder on the strap of his flight sandal. Then he leaned the wings against the wall of the tunnel and, tongue between his lips, applied the small glowing blade of a pocket welder, like a tiny lightsaber, to a crack in the left lateral brace. Repairs finished, he waggled the rotator experimentally. Smooth, though old.

Just the week before, he had bought the wings from a former champion with a broken back. Anakin had worked his wonders in record time, so he could fly now in the very competition where the champion had ended his career.

Anakin enjoyed the wrenching twist and bone- popping jerk of the race wings in flight. He savored the speed and the extreme difficulty as some savor the beauty of the night sky, difficult enough to see on Coruscant, with its eternal planet-spanning city-glow. He craved the competition and even felt a thrill at the nervous stink of the contestants, scum and riffraff all.

But above all, he loved winning.

The garbage pit race was illegal, of course. The authorities on Coruscant tried to maintain the image of a staid and respectable metropolitan planet, capital of the Republic, center of law and civilization for tens of thousands of stellar systems. The truth was far otherwise, if one knew where to look, and Anakin instinctively knew where to look.

He had, after all, been born and raised on Tatooine.

Though he loved the Jedi training, stuffing himself into suchtight philosophical garments was not easy. Anakin had suspected from the very beginning that on a world where a thousand species and races met to palaver, there would be places of great fun.

The tunnel master in charge of the race was a Naplousean, little more than a tangle of stringlike tissues with three legs and a knotted nubbin of glittering wet eyes. “First flight is away,” it hissed as it walked in quick, graceful twirls down the narrow, smooth-walled tun- nel. The Naplousean spoke Basic, except when it was angry, and then it simply smelled bad. “Wings! Up!” it ordered.

Anakin hefted his wings over one shoulder with a professionally timed series of grunts, one-two-three, slipped his arms through the straps, and cinched the harness he had cut down to fit the frame of a twelve-year-old human boy.

The Naplousean examined each of the contestants with many critical eyes. When it came to Anakin, it slipped a thin, dry ribbon of tissue between his ribs and the straps and tugged with a strength that nearly pulled the boy over.

“Who you?” the tunnel master coughed.

“Anakin Skywalker,” the boy said. He never lied, and he never worried about being punished.

“You way bold,” the tunnel master observed. “What mother and father say, we bring back dead boy?”

“They’ll raise another,” Anakin answered, hoping to sound tough and capable, but not really caring what opinion the tunnel master held so long as it let him race.

“I know racers,” the Naplousean said, its knot of eyes fighting each other for a better view. “You no racer!”

Anakin kept a respectful silence and focused on the circle of murky blue light ahead, growing larger as the line shortened.

“Ha!” the Naplousean barked, though it was impossible for its kind to actually laugh. It twirled back down the line, poking, tugging, and issuing more pronouncements of doom, all the while followed by an adoring little swarm of cam droids.

A small, tight voice spoke behind Anakin. “You’ve raced here before.”

Anakin had been aware of the Blood Carver in line behind him for some time. There were only a few hundred on all of Coruscant, and they had joined the Republic less than a century before. They were an impressive-looking people: slender, graceful, with long three-jointed limbs, small heads mounted on a high, thick neck, and iridescent gold skin.

“Twice,” Anakin said. “And you?”

“Twice,” the Blood Carver said amiably, then blinked and looked up. Across the Blood Carver’s narrow face, his nose spread into two fleshy flaps like a split shield, half hiding his wide, lipless mouth. The ornately tattooed nose flaps functioned both as a sensor of smell and a very sensitive ear, supplemented by two small pits behind his small, onyx-black eyes. “The tunnel master is correct. You are too young.” He spoke perfect Basic, as if he had been brought up in the best schools on Coruscant.

Anakin smiled and tried to shrug. The weight of the race wings made this gesture moot.

“You will probably die down there,” the Blood Carver added, eyes aloof.

“Thanks for the support,” Anakin said, his face coloring. He did not mind a professional opinion, such as that registered by the tunnel master, but he hated being ragged, and he especially hated an opponent trying to psych him out.

Fear, hatred, anger . . . The old trio Anakin fought every day of his life, though he revealed his deepest emotions to only one man: Obi-Wan Kenobi, his master in the Jedi Temple.

The Blood Carver stooped slightly on his three-jointed legs. “You smell like a slave,” he said softly, for Anakin’s ears alone.

It was all Anakin could do to keep from throwing off his wings and going for the Blood Carver’s long throat. He swallowed his emotions down into a private cold place and stored them with the other dark things left over from Tatooine. The Blood Carver was on target with his insult, which stiffened Anakin’s anger and made it harder to control himself. Both he and his mother, Shmi, had been slaves to the supercilious junk dealer, Watto. When the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn had won him from Watto, they had had to leave Shmi behind . . . something Anakin thought about every day of his life.

“You four next!” the tunnel master hissed, breezing by with its midsection whirled out like ribbons on a child’s spinner.

Mace Windu strode down a narrow side hall in the main dormitory of the Jedi Temple, lost in thought, his arms tucked into his long sleeves, and was nearly bowled over by a trim young Jedi who dashed from a doorway. Mace stepped aside deftly, just in time, but stuck out an elbow and deliberately clipped the younger Jedi, who spun about.

“Pardon me, Master,” Obi-Wan Kenobi apologized, bowing quickly. “Clumsy of me.”

“No harm,” Mace Windu said. “Though you should have known I was here.”

“Yes. The elbow. A correction. I’m appreciative.” Obi-Wan was, in fact, embarrassed, but there was no time to explain things.

“In a hurry?”

“A great hurry,” Obi-Wan said.

“The chosen one is not in his quarters?” Mace’s tone carried both respect and irony, a combination at which he was particularly adept.

“I know where he’s gone, Master Windu. I found his tools, his workbench.”

“Not just building droids we don’t need?”

“No, Master,” Obi-Wan said.

“About the boy—” Mace Windu began.

“Master, when there is time.”

“Of course,” Mace said. “Find him. Then we shall speak . . . and I want him there to listen.”

“Of course, Master!” Obi-Wan did not disguise his haste. Few could hide concern or intent from Mace Windu.

Mace smiled. “He will bring you wisdom!” he called out as Obi-Wan ran down the hall toward the turbolift and the Temple’s sky transport exit.

Obi-Wan was not in the least irritated by the jibe. He quite agreed. Wisdom, or insanity. It was ridiculous for a Jedi to always be chasing after a troublesome Padawan. But Anakin was no ordinary Padawan. He had been bequeathed to Obi-Wan by Obi-Wan’s own beloved Master, Qui-Gon Jinn.

Yoda had put the situation to Obi-Wan with some style a few months back, as they squatted over a glowing charcoal fire and cooked shoo bread and wurr in his small, low-ceilinged quarters. Yoda had been about to leave Coruscant on business that did not concern Obi-Wan. He had ended a long, contemplative silence by saying, “A very interesting problem you face, and so we all face, Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

Obi-Wan, ever the polite one, had tilted his head as if he were not acquainted with any particular problem.

“The chosen one Qui-Gon gave to us all, not proven, full of fear, and yours to save. And if you do not save him . . .”

Yoda had said nothing more to Obi-Wan about Anakin thereafter. His words echoed in Obi-Wan’s thoughts as he took an express taxi to the outskirts of the Senate District. Travel time—mere minutes, with wrenching twists and turns through hundreds of slower, cheaper lanes and levels of traffic.

Obi-Wan was concerned it would not be nearly fast enough.

The pit spread before Anakin as he stepped out on the apron below the tunnel. The three other contestants in this flight jostled for a view. The Blood Carver was particularly rough with Anakin, who had hoped to save all his energy for the flight.

What’s eating him? the boy wondered.

The pit was two kilometers wide and three deep from the top of the last accelerator shield to the dark bottom. This old maintenance tunnel overlooked the second accelerator shield. Squinting up, Anakin saw the bottom of the first shield, a huge concave roof cut through with an orderly pattern of hundreds of holes, like an overturned colander in Shmi’s kitchen on Tatooine. Each hole in this colander, however, was ten meters wide. Hundreds of shafts of sunlight dropped from the ports to pierce the gloom, acting like sundials to tell the time in the open world, high above the tunnel. It was well past meridian.

There were over five thousand such garbage pits on Coruscant. The city-planet produced a trillion tons of garbage every hour. Waste that was too dangerous to recycle—fusion shields, worn-out hyperdrive cores, and a thousand other by-products of a rich and highly advanced world—was delivered to the district pit. Here, the waste was sealed into canisters, and the canisters were conveyed along magnetic rails to a huge circular gun carriage below the lowest shield. Every five seconds, a volley of canisters was propelled from the gun by chemical charges. The shields then guided the trajectory of the canisters through their holes, gave them an extra tractor-field boost, and sent them into tightly controlled orbits around Coruscant.

Hour after hour, garbage ships in orbit collected the canisters and transported them to outlying moons for storage. Some of the most dangerous loads were actually shot off into the large, dim yellow sun, where they would vanish like dust motes cast into a volcano.

It was a precise and necessary operation, carried out like clockwork day after day, year after year.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 85 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 85 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    It's Alright....

    It wasn't the best book, but it did enough to keep my interest throughout....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 25, 2012

    Hello.............

    You must not be a true star wars fan if you are telling people that Quigon Jinn forced Obi-wan Kenobi to train Anakin Skywalker if you have seen the first movie or reed the first book its called The Phantum Menace in case you didn't Quigon was going to train Anakin himself but died shortly after being stabed by Darth Maul after Obi-wan kill Darth Maul he rushed to Quigons side and promised his Master on the spot that he would train Anakin then after that Quigon dies and Obi-wan takes Anakin as his padawan learner. So maybe you should watch the movie and reed the first book again if you already have. This book by-the-way is awesome two thumbs up!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted May 28, 2001

    Pretty good - helps if you're into the Star Wars saga

    I'd say if you're not into the Star Wars saga it rates a 3-Star. If you are it rates a 4-Star. I thought the storyline interesting and character development good but somehow it lacked enough gripping scenes involving the two main Jedi characters. This trait isn't completely absent but I wasn't completely satisfied with it either.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted April 22, 2015

    Read the summary on Wookiepedia... Save yourself time and money.

    Read the summary on Wookiepedia... Save yourself time and money. Meh.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 26, 2013

    I liked the parts of this book that dealt with Obi-Wan and Anaki

    I liked the parts of this book that dealt with Obi-Wan and Anakin's developing relationship as master and apprentice in the years following Episode I. The entire living planet storyline though was somewhat confusing to me. I know this is a prequel to something from the New Jedi Order storyline, which I haven't read yet, and it seemed like I didn't get everything I was supposed to from the book because I didn't really know the NJO story yet. Even allowing for that this was a pretty good novel.

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

    Posted August 2, 2013

    Highly recommend for starwars fans excellent book

    I loved this book. It gives you more information about what happened between the movies.
    I would recommend this book to people who like starwars and have seen the movies. Not to long of a book and keeps you intreastead .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Not a book of action.

    It has action in the beginning and at the end. I did like the discussion into Obiwans feelings regarding Anikin's training. After Qui Gon forced it upon Obiwan. It is a book of explanations that you will find interesting after you have read through the New Jedi Order19 book series - The Vong Invasion. For info - YES? For action - NOT SO MUCH

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    Shd

    You havn't seen anything like this

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2011

    Very insightful int othe series as a whole

    This is a very good book bacause it gives more insite into Anakins training inbetween episodes one and two. It also shows how more intune with the force he is than with most people by subtle hints inside the text.

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  • Posted July 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An Okay Story

    This story does take the reader back to the early days of Anakin and Obi Wan as master and apprentice. It will also introduce a few facts that are brought up again in the New Jedi Order series, but there was not enough excitement like I have come to expect from a Star Wars story.

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  • Posted December 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Pick this up and read it NOW !

    Once you unravel the mystery of Zanoma Sekot this you will undeniably question your new found love for Star Wars.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Why?

    While Rogue Planet embodies a bright idea: Show us Kenobi and Skywalker early in their relationship, during Anakin's troubled early adolescence, against the backdrop of an exciting mission, the pacing and somewhat pedantic style get in the way. The book tells us about the characters' emotional responses to various stimuli without actually showing us. The author's perspective hovers somewhere between third person limited and third person omniscient, too distant to allow us to see through any particular set of eyes--or into any particular mind or heart--without actually providing a bird's eye view of any scene. This book will be most appealing to readers who want more "trivia" or background information on the political situation in the Old Republic preceding the Clone Wars and the relationship between Obi-Wan and his misfit apprentice in particular. Readers hoping for insight into this or any other developing relationship will be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2006

    That's one great book!

    It was really interesting. I think it gave a really nice history of Zonoma Sekot and gave alot of insight into Anakin Skywalker.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2006

    Zonama Sekot Here We Come!!!

    This book is an excellent introduction to the living planet of Zonama Sekot. It leads into the events of the NJO perfectly. Who needs lightsaber action when you have the origins of just about every major star wars event presented in this book?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2006

    Horrible!

    It was pretty bad. it was so boring that i almost stopped reading it after the 12th chapter. definately not up to par with the rest of the star wars universe.

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

    Posted October 9, 2005

    Finally understnding Anakin.

    This book helped me understand Anakin a lot, on how he became Darth Vader. A line in the book 'He loses everything that he loves' really helps you understand his transition to the Dark Side. Not very complex reading so anyone can read this book. I noticed one reviewer dissappointed because there wasn't much lightsaber action, but I don't think that is what the author wanted, I think the author wanted to help readers understand Anakin a little more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2005

    Too wierd for my tastes

    I'm just starting to read STar Wars books. This was my first venture into the 'EU' after having read the novelizations for all six movies. This was a very strange book. It didn't feel like STar Wars. I love the Star Wars universe but not sci-fi or fantasy in general and this book was just too 'science fiction' for me to digest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2005

    not what i expected

    What can i say besides being a different book than your usuall star wars...feeling. Nothing really happend till the end but i kind of like that. although i was hopping for a little bit of light-saber action, i didnt get much, if at all. The story was very original, to say the least. Good but not the best. I would recomend for those readers who just want another star wars book added to there 'already read list'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2004

    UHHH hmmm...

    Ok. This book was a difficult read for me. Not becuase of a complex writing style but becuase of a general lack of direction. That, and throw in the fact that the author had very short chapters that tended to throw u off a bit. What kept me from rating this a mere 1 star is the fact of its originality. It was distinct in a sense by presenting a new concept of actual living star ships.. THe idea still blows my mind. And the details were phenomenal, i believe this author has much talent, only that his heart wasn't into this book as it should have been. Period

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2004

    could have been better

    this book wasnt what i was expecting - hardly any action until the end-which is unusal for a starwars novel- took too long to establish a plot. however, some parts were okay.

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