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"Specter of the Past," by Timothy Zahn [Bantam, 1997]

Discussion in 'Literature Review Forum' started by dp4m, Feb 7, 2003.


"Specter of the Past," by Timothy Zahn [Bantam, 1997]

Poll closed Mar 25, 2012.
  1. 10 (Excellent)

  2. 9

  3. 8

  4. 7

  5. 6 (Average)

  6. 5 (Average)

  7. 4

    0 vote(s)
  8. 3

    0 vote(s)
  9. 2

    0 vote(s)
  10. 1 (Poor)

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  1. dp4m

    dp4m Chosen One star 10

    Nov 8, 2001
  2. dp4m

    dp4m Chosen One star 10

    Nov 8, 2001

    Synopsis:[blockquote]"The Empire stands at the brink of total collapse. But they have saved their most heinous plan for last. First a plot is hatched that could destroy the New Republic in a bloodbath of genocide and civil war. Then comes the shocking news that Grand Admiral Thrawn--the most cunning and ruthless warlord in history--has apparently returned from the dead to lead the Empire to a long-prophesied victory. Facing incredible odds, Han and Leia begin a desperate race against time to prevent the New Republic from unraveling in the face of two inexplicable threats--one from within and one from without. Meanwhile, Luke teams up with Mara Jade, using the Force to track down a mysterious pirate ship with a crew of clones. Yet, perhaps most dangerous of all, are those who lurk in the shadows, orchestrating a dark plan that will turn the New Republic and the Empire into their playthings."[/blockquote]

    JADES_FIRE Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 3, 2001
    Zhan's the man! :D It seems that you either love him or hate him.

    I really enjoyed this book as it was the return of the author who got me hooked and it also showed how weak the NR really were.

    As soon as they heard that Thrawn was back they virtually gave up.

    A good lead up to the NJO.
  4. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Aug 16, 2002
    I give a 9. Zahn is the man. 8-}
  5. ReconSEAL

    ReconSEAL Jedi Youngling star 2

    Feb 3, 2003
    My only problem w/ it was it gave away who Thawn was way too early. I ended up laughing at the characters throughout the duoligy as they panic about the rumours of Thawn. "You idiots! It aint Thawn!!!"

    Gave it a 9
  6. Tracer_Bullet

    Tracer_Bullet Jedi Youngling star 1

    Apr 18, 2003
    I agree with ReconSEAL. The story would have better if the secret involving Thrawn wouldn't have been revealed so early. It would have provided more suspense for the reader.

    But as it is, Specter of the Past is still a good book.

  7. neeldawg66

    neeldawg66 Jedi Master star 8

    Mar 21, 2002

    Zahn scores again. The only reason the I didn't give it a 10 is because I thought the book ended too abruptly and because everyone reacted a little too scared when Thrawn was mentioned. Other than that this is a well written novel, that stays true to the characters and has a great plot.
  8. sithspit4

    sithspit4 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Apr 2, 2002
    10 <no comment>
  9. jada_marnew

    jada_marnew Jedi Knight star 5

    Feb 22, 2003
    I gave this book an 8.

    This was actually my first adventure back into the world of Star Wars literature. So imagine my surprise when the Noghri refer to Leia as Lady Vader.

    I have read most of Zahn's Star Wars writing and I do really like him. I love his characters, he has amazing vision and discipline to weave the story together.

    I have some issues with Zahn as far as the descriptions he gives. Characters are growling (Luke growled at Mara, etc.) Rain is oily or greasy. OK, I know these may seem minor but they got very annoying to me as the book (s) went on.

    However, I do bow before Zahn as a master. I wish he and Stackpole would get together with Spielberg and they can make EP 7-9!!!!!
  10. Sam_Skywalker

    Sam_Skywalker Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 30, 2003
    10. Gripping, with fascinating characters and plot development. Zahn is the king of EU :D
  11. Eternal_Jedi

    Eternal_Jedi Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Sep 12, 2001
    6. Better than most of the novels, but I found it spent too much time dealing with characters and plots that I didn't care about from books between the first Thrawn trilogy and this duology.

    I know part of the point of the "Hand of Thrawn" story was to tie together loose ends from the Bantham books and prepare for the NJO, but it kind of drags down the story.

    The fake Thrawn was kind of a goofy plot device. Might as well have just made him a clone; it wouldn't have been much less silly.
  12. Bib Fortuna Twi'lek

    Bib Fortuna Twi'lek Jedi Youngling star 10

    Jul 9, 1999

    The only thing keeping this from being a 10 is the rather abrupt ending. It's almost like Zahn wrote SOTP and VOTF as one book, then split it down the middle.
  13. Warlord_Zsinj

    Warlord_Zsinj Jedi Youngling

    Sep 21, 2002
    9. Zahn is the master. The only author who's actually competent enough for me to read his non-SW material, and make me love it just as much.

    My only problem with this duology is how everyone over-reacts to Thrawn's return. I think Zahn went down a littel trip on Ego lane.

    Warlord Zsinj
  14. Darth McClain

    Darth McClain Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2000
    Specter of the Past is not bad. It is a lot better with Vision of the Future to finish the story. I like a lot of the character descriptions, like Pelly and the Imperial loyalists, and Karrde and his organization.

    I think Zahn had some self-esteem problems when he wrote this book, because everyone is going on and on about Thrawn. It gets old after a while.

    I gave this book an 8.
  15. Stormtrooper_Shrink

    Stormtrooper_Shrink Jedi Padawan star 4

    Feb 11, 2004
    Bib Fortuna, that is precisely what he did. It was meant to be a single book, but he needed more time, so he split it.

    Personally, I liked it. I'd give it a nine. Zahn is the best.
  16. KWagner

    KWagner Jedi Youngling

    Feb 27, 2004
    I admit that I had high expectations for this first book in HoT since the previous trilogy was my first exposure to the Expanded Universe, and while it was very good I agree it does suffer from being part 1 in a series where all the big events took place in the second book. Still good, especially the scenes with Mara and Luke.

  17. Sniper_Wolf

    Sniper_Wolf Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 26, 2002
    9. Very good Zahn writing. One of the first EU I read, HOT together being better than TTT IMO.

  18. morgoth_17

    morgoth_17 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 19, 2003
    I voted 7. some parts with luke and mara and everything with admiral pellaeon are very good, but I think most of it is pretty boring. except for the caamas-document storyline which was really good.
  19. Darth_SaberTooth

    Darth_SaberTooth Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 19, 2003
    10! perfect, though i like the original thrawn books better.
    I love any star wars book with war strategy, especially if the orders are given are from a star destroyer!
  20. Thrawn1786

    Thrawn1786 Jedi Master star 5

    Feb 8, 2004
    7. I found most of it somewhat boring, and the whole fake Thrawn bit was disappointing. It was funny to see the NR immediately have a big panic attack at the news of his 'return'. Considering that was ten years ago, you'd've thought they would be a strong enough government to say 'no sweat, we can handle this' and go finish Thrawn off.
  21. DarthShona

    DarthShona Jedi Master star 5

    Jul 29, 2003
  22. fett 4

    fett 4 Force Ghost star 5

    Jan 2, 2000
    Probaly a 7. The fake Thrawn was pretty cheessy while the idea that Han Solo would wet his pants at the mention of Thrawns name is a hard to swallow.
    As for Shada umm Mara Clone.
  23. JediTrilobite

    JediTrilobite Jedi Master star 7

    Nov 17, 1999
    Love this book. Zahn did an excellent job with the character and political setup in this novel, plus using several characters from Michael Stackpole's novels almost flawlessly. Great great job.
  24. Darth-Seldon

    Darth-Seldon Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 17, 2003
    I loved this book.
    The politics, the characters, the plots, the was everything a SW book should be.

    Zahn returned and brought EU back on the right track.
    The story was very interesting.
    A work of genius!

  25. Fels_Hammer

    Fels_Hammer Jedi Youngling

    Apr 11, 2004
    This is my favorite Star Wars book, can you guess why?
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