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VOYAIt was to be the journey of a lifetime. Fifty thousand men, women, and children, accompanied by six Jedi Masters and twelve Jedi Knights, plan to travel into unknown space aboard the massive vessel Outbound Flight. Their purpose is to establish colonies and contact intelligent life. Masterminded by Jedi Jorus C'baoth, the expedition initially appears fated to be permanently bogged down by bureaucratic regulations until the Jedi Master defeats an assassination attempt against Senate members. Unbeknownst to C'boath, his heroics are part of a scheme by Sith Lord Darth Sidious, whose goal is also to launch Outbound Flight-and then to destroy it. Also unforeseen is the deadly encounter with brilliant Chiss commander Thrawn. Between the insurmountable external and internal obstacles, the project is doomed from its beginning. Popular Star Wars writer Zahn crafts a nearly flawless tale. In its predecessor, Survivor's Quest (Del Ray, 2004), readers explore the aftermath of Outbound Flight, fifty years later. This novel is the first to relate the account in its entirety. There is something for every fan, from delving into the psyche of the most prominent characters to almost nonstop galactic interplay. Typical Star Wars themes of the dangers of unchecked power as well as bravery and sacrifice are prevalent. The reviewer's only complaint is the token appearances by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, whose ultimate lack of involvement feels unsatisfactory. It is otherwise a thrilling adventure and a must-read for any Star Wars fan. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, Del Rey, 464p., Ages15 to 18.