For a beleaguered Empire, desperate times call for desperate measures. Sowing discord among the fragile coalition of the New Republic, remnants of the once powerful Empire make one last play for victory. Having implicated the Bothans in the genocide of the Caamas, they now plan an attack on Han and Leia that is also to be blamed on the Bothans. If they are successful, the New Republic will be torn asunder. To prevent inevitable disaster, Luke, Leia, Han, and their friends must prove the Bothans innocent and reveal the Empire's treachery. But time is running out.
The cunning major Tierce has joined with the ambitious Moff Disra in the Empire's master plan. At its heart lies the most elaborate con of all: the rumor that the legendary Grand Admiral Thrawn, long believed dead, has returned to lead the Empire to a prophesied triumph. The news of Thrawn's return is already rallying Imperial forces against the New Republic.
As Leia travels to a secret rendezvous with an Imperial commander who claims to want peace, Han and Lando Calrissian journey into enemy territory to learn the truth of Caamas destruction. Meanwhile, Luke and Mara Jade infiltrate a hidden fortress where Thrawn's most fanatical followers await his call to arms. And Talon Karrde returns to his underworld past and a brutal crime lord whose knowledge may save the Republic. But it is the truth about Thrawn that is most important. In his hands, alive or dead, rests the fate of the New Republic.
© and (P)1998 Lucasfilm Ltd. and TM.
"Anthony Heald is a superb performer for the various Star Wars audiobooks. He slides in and out of distinctive Star Wars characters with such smoothness that the characters are instantly recognizable, as if the original actors were working in ensemble." (AudioFile)
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"Too Much Left Out"
Visions of the Future is perhaps the best Star Wars novel ever written by Timothy Zahn, and it is 697 pages long in paperback format. Needless to say, in order to create an audio version of the book would require the cutting of some material. The Thrawn Trilogy, when you combine all three books has about the same page length as the combined length of the two Hand of Thrawn books. However, to cut 697 pages to 3 hours of narration is an act of injustice. Whole sections of the plot are left out, in particular with regards to the developing relationship between Mara and Luke. Their entire journey through the caverns is excluded, as well as all the amazing dialogue of those scenes that show the development of their characters, and the rekindling of their affections for each other. Other key scenes and plot elements are excluded as well. Han Solo disappears from Leia's side and then appears on the Imperial Captial without any explanation because those scenes were eliminated. Also Talon Karrde's wonderful journey in search of his former mentor is gutted to almost nothing, thus his character gets almost no attention towards developing from a smuggler to a man in love who becomes an upstanding citizen at the end of the story. If you can over look those frustrating facts then you can enjoy a well voiced and excellent sound track applied to the story. However, do yourself a big favor, especially if you like to read excellent novels of length, just buy the book and read it on a nice sunny weekend.
I know this book is abridged - but the abridgement was terrible! They skipped a huge section of the book, basically most of the part with the Chiss, and it barely made sense. I would definately not get this book again and am leary of the other abridgements in this series.
"Good story, but I would rather have it unabridged"
I really liked the book when I read it unabridged. I didn't realize that it was abridged until I started listening to it. The shortened version leaves out too much flavor that I like in Zahn's writing, which is why I gave the overall two stars. I loved the first three Thrawn books by Zahn and expected these two to be as well narrated. Anthony Heald did a decent job with the book, but is a poor second to Marc Thompson's narration that included accents for introduced characters and good copies of known character voices and so Performance got three stars. I gave the story a three, not because I didn't enjoy the story, I love the unabridged version, but because so much of the book was trimmed out or summarized. Timothy Zahn's Scoundrels is also narrated by Marc Thomson and I highly recommend it.
"I dont like abridged books too much"
I bought the unabridged version of this when it became available. I'm not a fan of anthony Heald though, marc thompson does a much better job
most interesting - mara and luke hook up. Least interesting - the annoyances of abridgement.
he doesnt differentiate the characters well, makes them all sound like senior citizens with whiny accent.
this should be episode 10-11, depending on how the movie goes by the books
I am listening to the unabridged version of this now. I HATE abridged versions
"If this was a stand alone book I'd give it 4 stars"
What I liked most? Its a Timothy Zahn book. Maybe not one of his strongest works but not bad.
What I absolutely hated about it was the voice actor. I don't want to be too negative of Mr Heald, but Marc Thompson has been doing Mr Zahn's stores for a while now. Frankly after back to back to back to back stories where Marc Thompson has nailed most of the characters brilliantly and where his depiction of Thrawn from a vocal standpoint sound exactly as I'd expect from the physical description given. After all that, Anthony Heald just didn't pull it off. Enough so that 15 minutes in I really wish Audible had a return policy. I actually put the ebook away for a few days and considered just pulling out the physical book and rereading it. I worked my way through the book but even some of the names were pronounced wrong. The level of jarring this book was compared to others. Not good. From here on out I will be listening to all samples. I made a mistake here.
Marc Thompson, without hesitation. He has played these characters brilliantly in all previous books. I don't know why he wasn't picked up for book 2, but it was a gross mistake.
Of all the various books I've purchased on Audible, this is the first time I've ever regretted the purchase.
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