Star Wars: Cloak of Deception by James Luceno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read/listened to the audiobook version of this novel, which is abridged.
Like James Luceno's other books he does a very good job of integrating other characters and storylines into his tale. This book is setup to be the prequel to the prequel trilogy. Given that restriction he does a very good job writing a gripping tale. We get to see Qui-Gon Jinn in action before his untimely demise and a lot of good background on the Trade Federation, as well as, why they were allowed to militarize. The Trade Federation isn't the clear-cut enemy yet and so a separate antagonist in Nebula Front lead by Havac Matalis, and yet you find yourself kind of sympathizing with them and rooting for them as well. Unlike so many other novels, where it is black and white for good vs evil, here there is lots of grey as the pieces fall into place. This grey is what Qui-Gon is best at noticing and reading, and yet because he is unorthodox, politicians and Jedi alike are hesitant to see his big picture. Although, like the prequels, this novel does focus on trade and politics, the twist at the end of this book is excellent and still surprising and the story is engaging throughout.
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