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Disclaimer: I have not read a lot of books so my opinion on books may not be as accurate compared to my opinion on movie, which I have seen many movies. And you have to be at least like Star Wars to like the book. If you haven't seen Star Wars stop what you are doing and go watch Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope right now!
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Note: Although I listened to the audiobook I will say that I "read" the book in the review because it just sounds weird saying that I listened to it. And I am going to review with very few spoilers, only the few chapters if that much.
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We are splitting up the review into two parts.
Part 1: Is this one about the book and a general review.
Part 2: Is about the character especially the new ones like Thrawn and Mara Jade.
Okay now on to the review: First off I just want to say WOW!!! This is first book I actually enjoyed. I have read some books but none of them I enjoyed reading and actually cared about what happened in it. But Heir to the Empire changed that! It was fantastic! I had high hopes going in since this is considered one of, if not the best Star Wars book. The reason I decided to go with the audiobook was that it adds another dimension and I listen to it when I doing things like driving, exercising, ect. I was very surprised by how entertaining listening to it. I listened to the 20th Anniversary Edition by Marc Thompson and I have to say that his impressions of some of the characters were very close to the characters from the movies but more on that later. The story blew me away, one of the best stories of anything Star Wars maybe even better than some of the prequels. If there was an Episode VI (7) this would be it. And the new characters like Thrawn and Mara Jade were fantastic. Now I understand why Thrawn is considered one of the best EU (expanded universe) characters. His brilliant military strategies, which gave him the rank of Grand Admiral, using the knowledge of a culture's art he forms a strategy that almost always succeeds. And Mara Jade is a very interesting character. But knowing her ultimate relationship with Luke kind of spoiled the surprise in the next two books. Although most Star Wars fans know who Mara Jade is I will not give away any spoilers about the character. More about the characters in Part 2.
Author: Timothy Zahn
Genre: Sci-Fi, Star Wars,
Release Date: 1 May 1991
Audiobook Running Time: Around 18 hours
If you want to listen to the audiobook Click Here to check out the playlist but there has only been 6 chapters uploaded out of the 32 in the book.
Here is the first part of audiobook.
Plot: The following plot summery is copied from Wikipedia.com.
Gilad Pellaeon, captain of the Imperial Star Destroyer Chimaera, receives word that an information raid on the Obroa-skai system was successful. A retaliatory strike by an Obroa-skai task force is easily defeated by Pellaeon's superior, Grand Admiral Thrawn. On Coruscant, Obi-Wan Kenobi approaches Luke Skywalker in his sleep to say farewell, sending Luke into depression. Leia Organa Solo, three months pregnant with twins, senses Luke's depression and sends C-3PO to speak with him. On Tatooine, Han Solo and Chewbacca offer legal work to Dravis and his smuggler allies in an attempt to solve the New Republic's shortage on cargo ships; Borsk Fey'lya, a New Republic council member and native Bothan, dismisses this gesture as futile.
On Myrkr, smuggler Talon Karrde and his subordinate, Mara Jade, help Thrawn and Pellaeon obtain several creatures called ysalamiri. Afterward, the Chimaera travels to the Emperor's storehouse on Wayland. On the planet, Thrawn and Pellaeon encounter Joruus C'Baoth, the guardian of the storehouse. The ysalamiri that Thrawn brought with him prevents C'Baoth from using the Force within a short radius; with little choice, C'Baoth offers his services in exchange for two prospective students: Luke and Leia. Thrawn sends a group of Noghri to capture Luke and Leia on Bimmisaari, but the attempt fails. Read the book to know what happens next.
Plot: 10/10- Overall the plot was excellent! Heir to the Empire had new characters, plot twists, suspense, fantastic dialogue, and everything a Star Wars fan would want. I was so infested in the story and characters I didn't want to be over. It was also unpredictable I had no idea what was going to happen next and way the book ties all of the characters fates together was perfect. It also answered a few questions from the Original Trilogy and added a vast universe to expand upon. Heir to the Empire ended with a cliff hanger and I am very excited to know what is going to happen next! Unfortunately the Unabridged 20th Anniversary is the only one of the new Thrawn Trilogy to get a re-mastered audiobook but they coming in June with the other two books read by Marc Thompson, who read this one. As much as it I want to go ahead listen to the old audiobook with not near as good quality of audio and on sound effect or music I am going to hold off and wait for the new. I know if I go with the older one I will kick myself later for not waiting and listening to the better version. The only thing I can say bad about it was the first conversation between Leia and Winter just didn't seem right but other than that the dialogue was perfect.
Audiobook: 10/10- This part of the review is about the audiobook its self. Although this is the first audiobook I have listened from beginning to end. I have listened to parts of other audiobooks and this is one of the best with sound effects, John Williams music, and reading by Marc Thompson. I read a few reviews saying that it was a very good audiobook so I am not the only one who likes it. The sound effects of the blasters, lightsabers, spaceships and the ambient noise of the surroundings really made a mental picture of what would look like just with sounds. You could hear the hum of Luke's lightsaber as he slices through an enemy dispatches a few others. And the Marc Thompson's impression of Han Solo was very good and it sounded very similar to what he really sound likes. His voice for Luke also sounded good. And surprisingly his voice for Lando sounded similar. The only ones that didn't sound right were the female characters. But isn't a real problem since it is a guy narrating the book so I got use to it after a while. The thing that impressed me the most was Thrawn's voice. If he is in The Clone Wars or any movie it will hard to think of him without Marc Thompson's epic voice. He sounded just like you would expect someone like him to sound. The sound in general sucks you into the world and places in the book, especially if you already some about the planets. And John Williams' beyond amazing score added a lot to the overall audiobook. At time it was bone chilling.
Overall: 10/10- I have to give it a perfect Ten. It is the best book I have ever read and the first book I have enjoyed. If you are a Star Wars fan you have to read this or listen to the audiobook but I highly recommend the audiobook. This should be made into a movie or TV series but that is unlikely to happen but it should.
Closing comments: If you are a die heart Star Wars fan you must read (or listen to) this.
Recommended for: Star Wars fans, Sci-Fi fans,
Check back tomorrow for Part 2.
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