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Last of the Thrawn saga that i have read thus far. Truly an amazing character cultivated by Timothy Zahn and every edition was a page turner! Somehow with time one would think reading about the same universe may get dull or overdone yet it continues to amaze and entertain!
Timothy Zahn did a truly fantastic job with this book, and it is such a great wrap-up to the Ascendancy trilogy. This is a much stronger Thrawn book than Greater Good (which was still very enjoyable for me but it didn't captivate me like Zahn's other books); it is fast paced with amazing battle sequences, it has some very interesting world-building by delving into the history of the Chiss, and it really adds substance to the fracturing political scene in the Ascendancy. To me, the end of Greater Good felt a little to clean and tidy, so I'm glad Lesser Evil really goes into depth about the political ramifications from the previous book.
This book is not always focused on Thrawn, and while I understand why others might dislike that, I found I was actually perfectly okay with it because the other characters have been so well-developed that I was truly interested in their stories. There is a pretty large cast of characters in this, but again, I actually found that very enjoyable. I love that Zahn delves into the history of Thrass, as it adds some more dimension to Thrawn's usually aloof character. However, I do agree what what many others have said about Thrawn being too "strong" in these books. Yes, he's a tactical genius, but the fact that he never loses takes away some of the tension. That said, I still found the battle sequences riveting, especially the last one in this book.
Zahn also did a great job with the world-building of the Chiss Ascendancy and the Unknown Regions in this book. He gives so much detail on the politics and history of the Chiss, as well as a plethora of other alien species, and I really hope we get to see more in the future. This adds so much to the story and all of the characters.
Even though we know that Thrawn will eventually end up in the empire, this book did a great job of tying in the story with Thrawn (2017). Throughout the Ascendancy trilogy, we get to see how Thrawn has made friends and inspired loyalty from those around him, and it made the ending of Lesser Evil more powerful and even a bit emotional.
The one weak point this novel has would have to be the villain, Jixtus. He just was not intimidating at all. We have seen him lose time and time again, and there is simply nothing frightening about him. However, I didn't feel that a lack of a good villain took away from the story all too much, since Zahn has done such a great job with the protagonist characters, immense world-building, and the exciting battle sequences.
Overall, this was such an exciting read, and I was truly hooked from beginning to end. I loved the characters, the action was exciting, and it opened up so many new possibilities for the Star Wars world. I really hope Timothy Zahn will return to write even more about Thrawn and the Ascendancy. If you enjoyed the previous Thrawn books, this one will absolutely not disappoint!
The Thrawn trilogy wraps up with a book filled with space battles, clever devices and a little twist at the end as we leave off Thrawn where he was found (either in the old or new continuity).
The good: The book ties the previous five books together. The book is exciting with plenty of action. Plenty of Thrawn moments where he outsmarts his adversary. Very detailed battles.
The not so good: Too much politics. A five hundred and fifty page book can't be all action but the politics are so convoluted it is impossible to keep track of everything and stay engaged. Poor villain. Thrawn makes an EXCELLENT adversary for Han, Leia and Luke but he doesnt make a good protagonist against brand new villains. A distant novel - this book doesn't feel at all like Star Wars. Some Clone War events are mentioned at the end but that's it. You are essentially in a new world the entire book and I'm not sure it works.
This book is probably more of a three star book - one I will likely never read again. However, it is among the best Star Wars books since 2013 so it get an extra bump.
I would love to see Zahn write a Star Wars book with established characters but that seems unlikely. If you are a fan of Zahn or Thrawn then this book is for you. Otherwise it's probably best to skip.
The jewel in the crown of the Thrawn backstory. Suddenly the whole thing makes sense. It's always interesting to see that he whom we thought the villian is seldom evil in his own mind. Anxious to go back and re-read the other Thrawn novels with this new perspective on his background!
This book has so many paths to follow its important to pay attention, but Zahn does a great job with his transitions so you can always stay in tune with what is happening. The buildup in this story feels like it's happening the entire book. Incredible space battles and Thrawn's intellect and ability to create masterful performances is amazing. I could visualize everything happening throughout the book like it was a movie. Throughout the book I found myself thinking the author had to be crazy smart to spin together this book. It leads beautifully right into the next Thrawn series as well which made me very happy. too often stories change over time and don't connect well. but after finishing this book you can roll right into the next trilogy without missing a beat. Well done Timothy Zahn!