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Most satisfying Star Wars EU content I've consumed

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-03-2020

Pretty sure I smashed this in less than a week. Captures Star Wars better than movies have done now. Will defend this aggressively.

its "The Empire Strikes Back" of Audiobooks

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-03-2020

Picks up where Heir to the Empire left off, I consumed this voraciously. A blessing that I'm writing this now in 2020 and not having to wait for a painstakingly long time between books because I couldn't have waited between books.

Excellent production, essential listening for SW fans.

The sequel to ROTJ I never knew I needed

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-03-2020

This is the first Star Wars Extended Universe (EU) work you should touch, doesn't get better than this.

Spectacular story, the second SW audiobook I've listened to and by God it captures the energy of the Original Trilogy (OT) so goddamn well. A Space Opera that has all the early charm of the characters as well as the menace of the Empire, this got me hooked on Zahn and introduces all the excellent characters he's created (shout out to Grand Admiral Thrawn, Captain Pelleaon, Talon Karrde and Mara Jade) as he gives you a taste and makes you want more.

Marc Thompson does extraordinary work as well, big kudos for his voice work for (my faves being Han, Lando, and Thrawn). Gets me on the Marc Thompson bandwagon, future listeners have faith in Marc's abilities (however as the case with all voice actors, could do female characters better, but don't ask me how).

Writing a new paragraph specifically for Grand Admiral Thrawn. An excellent counterpart to Palpatine's villain, Thrawn is an adversary you fear and respect. Moving away from Star Wars and just focusing on writing, crap villains with awful motivations (evil for the sake of evil) are so common, but Thrawn works so well. Well done Zahn, take credit for one of the greatest contributions to the SW Extended Universe.

Solo's Eleven scores big

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-03-2020

"Well first you're gonna need a crew made up of the worst scum, villainy and rogues in the galaxy. We're gonna need to pull off a series of simultaneous cons and jobs if we're gonna pull off this heist."

Hitting the brick wall of Zahn/Thompson

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-03-2020

At this point I've been hesitant to listen to new audiobooks that aren't written by Timothy Zahn/narrated by Mark Thompson (if it's not broke, why fix it?) and wanted to get through all his (Unabridged) books, and I guess I've left this one to last.

To be honest it's not that bad, explores a cool little side world of Stormtroopers with souls who question orders and makes you think about all the little people in the big galaxy out there. Mara Jade story is fun exploration of her Emperor's Hand backstory (I will take character building from the main crop of Zahn written SW characters anyday) but the actual plot does feel a bit thin. Better than nothing, but about time to change it up with something new. Another enjoyable Zahn outing.

PS: Listened to Dune after this, excellent read.

A grand sequel (maybe too grand)

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-03-2020

I sometimes find that listening to books in the Dune series (listening to Children of Dune as writing this) I can often zone out as Herbert's wonderfully illustrative writing turns into pretentious waffling on, just because the grand epic scale of the Dune books comes so well from how operatic Herbert writes.

That said, Dune Messiah still has the grand space opera elements but feels much more dry as it focuses on political intrigue and Machievellian machinations, combined with exploring the epic ideas Herbert writes about so well. Less actiony but still thought provoking, Herbert peppers in fantastic details as he fills you in on this expansive world, without ever being too cryptic or withholding.

I know the voice work in Dune is contentious. It's sort of refreshing when they mixup the voice actors with different voice actors, but just makes me wish they could commit to a full voice cast doing a full read through. Why tease us and then take it away?
An excellent sequel that's almost too grand in scale, take your time.

Makes me yearn for more Prequel Trilogy Star Wars

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-03-2020

The excellent world-building from the prequel trilogy is really what gets me hooked, particularly Qui-Gon Jinn, the rebellious Jedi Master of unconventional methods and Gray does the character justice. The story explores the Master/Apprentice dynamic nicely from different facets, although I feel Obi-Wan Kenobi gets pretty whiny for a good chunk of it.

Also, well done to Jonathan Davis on some excellent voice work channelling Liam Neeson's soft Irish wisdom, and the youthful eagerness Obi-Wan. Rogue fiend of a Jedi Rael Averross is sick, and Rahara Wick and Pax Maripher's story is quite sweet. I rarely have a bad time listening to Star Wars audiobooks, and this isn't any exception.

An inspiring epic saga of a story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-11-2019

Frank Herbert's grand story barely feels like science fiction. Prepare to feel overwhelmed by the scope of story telling focusing on people, politics, planetary ecology and power struggles. Ideally it would be great to have the voice actors do every chapter, but what is here also works fine. Kudos to the voice actors and Frank Herbert for this, would strongly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

Entering into the foray of Star Wars Audiobooks

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-11-2018

I had a great time with The Old Republic: Revan. To me, the KOTOR games are some of my all-time classics, and this book really helped fill the void of knowledge that it left. A good novel by Drew Karpyshyn, but I don't necessarily love the way he writes, however that's another issue.
Marc Thompson is fantastic. A wonderful job with voices (an exception re: Bastila, but a decent job considering he's up against Jennifer Hale), he's a very engrossing story teller. The odd pronounciation of words bugged me (Twi'lek, Ebon Hawk), but minor issues.
A great listen for any fans of the KOTOR series, would recommend.

EDIT: I've been listening to Heir To The Empire by Timothy Zahn, and upon retrospect it's made me think about the writing in TOR: Revan, particularly how lazy it feels. Relies too much on coincidences and easy scenarios. The world building was either non-existent or patronising. And I don't like the way the female characters are written, particularly Bastila. Feels like the fighting sense of spirit in her is gone, or maybe Karpyshyn just didn't know what to do with her.

3 people found this helpful

First for everything

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-10-2018

The first audiobook I’ve listened to, first purchase on Audible, first time listening to The Hobbit, but I had an enjoyable experience. Rob Inglis does a great job, and I commend him for all the different character voices he does in what’s a very large book. Would recommend.

EDIT: Having listened to more audiobooks after this, I feel the book suffers from the performance. The songs are less engaging and hard to follow a bit, and could have used maybe some better production (having some actual instruments wouldn't hurt). Hard to distinguish some of the characters too sometimes, but there is heart in the performance.