Choices of One

March 29, 2018 at 5:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

choicesChoices of One by Timothy Zahn

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This is the second book by Zahn that features the Hand of Judgment, a group of renegade Stormtroopers who tour the galaxy looking to bring real justice to citizens of the Empire. Having seen the corruption and cruelty the Empire hands out, they went AWOL, though they didn’t necessarily defect; they still believe the Rebels are a threat to the Empire, they just go about protecting the Empire in their own way.

I’ve enjoyed this perspective, because it shows that the Empire isn’t corrupt to its core. It’s easy to get caught up in that thinking, since we see the Emperor, Vader, and Tarkin most prominently, but Zahn delved deeper, to show there are still good people who serve the Empire. It’s also enjoyable to see them work with Mara Jade, since her character is complex by the time of the Thrawn trilogy, and we get to see how some of that complexity came to be through these books.

This is a strong book, enough so that I think I like it even better than the Thrawn trilogy. There are three distinct plots happening here, all of which are intriguing, and all of which come together nicely. One of the big reveals seemed a bit obvious, but only because Zahn presented the story in such a way that it was the only possible conclusion, unless he pulled in something brand-new to the story at the time of its reveal. Nothing in the story felt forced or out of place.

The main story is that of Luke, Leia, and Han attempting to establish a new Rebel base near the outer rim of the galaxy, and Zahn captures the three characters well. The most realized characters to me were the Hand of Judgment, enough so that it reminded me of how well Karen Traviss captured the clone troopers in her books. I think authors always do a better job writing their own characters than someone else’s, so this isn’t surprising to me.

Books like Choices of One make me regret that we won’t see any new books featuring these characters. I certainly don’t have a problem with Disney casting aside the old canon for something new, but when I realize we won’t get any new books featuring old characters (Thrawn being the exception), it makes me a little sad. This is one book where I’d like to see more development of their characters.

Started: December 31, 2017
Finished: January 4, 2018

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