My Book Review of "Thrawn" by Timothy Zahn and Narrated by Marc Thompson


*NOTE: This review covers the audiobook version (which is unabridged), so there will be references to the performance by the voiceover actor Marc Thompson)

As a big fan of the Star Wars animated series "Rebels", I was always fascinated by the character of Grand Admiral Thrawn. He was clearly one of the most formidable opponents I'd ever seen on any show (with the exception of Naraku from the anime "Inuyasha"). Thrawn was extremely intelligent, cunning, effective, a really knew how to analyze a situation and who his opponents in order to anticipate most of their possible moves. I often had the impression that if you tried playing chess with him, he'd figure out all your possible moves and how quickly to win the game when you were still trying to figure out which of your pieces you'd finally decided to move first. And I always wanted to know much more about him and what made him so damn impressive.

Well, this book answered most of my questions and brought the character more to life for me than ever. In particular, I was both surprised and impressed to learn that the character was actually was capable of becoming a genuine friend to someone. In this case, it was a simple ensign named Eli Vanto, a human who comes from a simple background and who's highest hopes and ambition was to make it to a supply officer on a starship.

The author does a really great job of creating a sort of Holmes and Watson relationship between Thrawn and Eli. As with the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Eli can find Thrawn manner and behavior quite frustrating and infuriating at times, even after he's given a logical easy to follow explanation for his friend's attitude and way of doing things. Yet as the story progresses, we get to see how Thrawn is actually teaching and showing Eli a new way of looking at situations and how to approach them. We actually watch Eli develop his own skills to the point that he begins to find himself being placed in positions far beyond anything he ever dreamed possible.

And while this friendship is a wonder to watch unfold, we are also given a deeper look inside another character from the Star Wars "Rebels" series, Governor Arihnda Pryce. We get so learn more of her background and motives for joining the Empire and growing aspirations for power. We also learn how her and Thrawn's paths crossed and how each wound up assisting the other's rise within the Empire.

In addition to complimenting Mr. Zahn's efforts in creating this fascinating narrative, I also want to offer praise to Marc Thompson, for his wonderful vocal performance in bringing life to all the characters who appear in this tale. Including a number of very familiar voices such as Grand Moff Tarkin, Emperor Palpatine, Colonel Yularen, and so many others.

Can't wait to dive into the second book in this series. I highly recommend this to fans of Star Wars and especially the "Rebels" series, since Disney and Star Wars have announced that Grand Admiral Thrawn is going to be appearing as the main antagonist of the upcoming "Ahsoka" live action series.


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