Dark Force Rising (Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy #2)-Timothy Zahn

216442Grand Admiral Thrawn has taken command of the remnants of the Imperial fleet and launched a massive campaign aimed at the New Republic’s destruction. Meanwhile, Han and Lando Calrissian race against time to find proof of treason inside the highest Republican Council–only to discover instead a ghostly fleet of warships that could bring doom to their friends and victory to their enemies.
Yet most dangerous of all is a new Dark Jedi, risen from the ashes of a shrouded past, consumed by bitterness…and scheming to corrupt Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side. (synopsis from Goodreads)

Rating: 9/10

This second installment of the Thrawn Trilogy is just as good, if not better, than the first one. Timothy Zahn stays faithful to the original characters while also allowing them to grow in believable ways. Never once did I feel that the characters were acting out of sync the personalities that we know and love and Zahn’s new additions to the pack are becoming even more developed and interesting.

Admiral Thrawn is still one of the coolest villains. He’s a genius and is able to give the Republic a run for their money. While Thrawn could have become a rather boring villain by constantly out-smarting everyone and never misjudging the opposing forces, Zahn is sure to show that Thrawn is not an unstoppable force. There are various times in the book where Thrawn makes mistakes that are sometimes rather detrimental to his original plans, forcing him to regroup and restrategize. Interestingly enough, I actually kind of admire the guy despite that fact that he is evil and works for the Empire. It’s hard not be awed by this guy’s forethought and long term planning. I wish I could plan things as far in advance as he does!

Mara Jade is also one of those interesting characters where you aren’t really sure where you stand with her. You really want to like her since she would be a huge asset to the Republic and you get really annoyed that she hates Luke with such a fiery passion but at the same time, you don’t really blame for being angry. By the end, you just kind of hope that she gets over her anger and decides to side with the good guys.

I think that Zahn does a good job of balancing the action with politics. Both are highly important for the story, but going too much in the political direction could be really boring and going overboard with the action can be tiring. Overall, I think there is a good mix of both which makes the book engaging on multiple levels all the way through.

This book was really hard for me to put down. It was an exciting read that managed to develop highly interesting characters amidst all of the action taking place, which is a difficult thing to do. Very well-balanced and makes you want more by the end. And with that, on to the third one!

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