Review of “Star Wars: Thrawn: Alliances” (Thrawn #2) by Timothy Zahn

Zahn, Timothy. Star Wars: Thrawn: Alliances. New York: Del Rey, 2018.

Hardcover | $28.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0525480488 | 342 pages | Science Fiction

4 stars

Thrawn: Alliances is a wonderful follow-up to the amazing Thrawn. It also pulls off something I had not seen in Star Wars books up to this point, which is the incorporation of two parallel, related timelines, and while I have mixed feelings about it, stylistically, it works for the most part. As well as getting more of Thrawn as a character in general, I loved seeing him working with Darth Vader, as was teased at the end of the previous book, juxtaposed with the Clone Wars-era partnership between Thrawn and Anakin.

The overall dynamic that Thrawn has with both of these versions of Anakin/Vader is great, especially as it shifts due to the characters’ motivations in that particular scenario. Already being aware of Thrawn’s true intentions, I did like the idea of his loyalty being tested and Vader being the one to question him about it. I did feel like Vader was a little too chatty at times, and sometimes might call him a little whiny, which is definitely not something I attribute to the Vader persona, although it is ironic how prequel era Anakin was often decried for being whiny.

Speaking of Anakin and the prequels, I like that this is one of the books that seems to be working to expand on that era and give it more depth. And the depth it gives to his relationship with Padme is wonderful, and is perfectly placed to be in line with the later events of Revenge of the Sith.

While the timelines do work well together, it does feel at times that this book is trying to do too much, and the story overall might have benefited from fleshing one out and finding a different format for the other. However, Zahn did a fairly decent job. i think if you enjoyed the first book, this is worth giving a try.

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