• Star Wars: Hand of Thrawn, Book 1: Specter of the Past

  • By: Timothy Zahn
  • Narrated by: Anthony Heald
  • Length: 3 hrs and 3 mins
  • Abridged
  • Release date: 02-21-07
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • 4.0 (160 ratings)

Regular price: $15.93

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Publisher's Summary

Hugo Award-winning author Timothy Zahn made his triumphant return to the Star Wars universe in this first of an epic two-volume series in which the New Republic must face its most dangerous enemy yet: a dead Imperial warlord.
The forces of the Empire stand at the brink of total collapse. But they have saved their most heinous plan for last. First a plot is hatched that could destroy the New Republic in a bloodbath of genocide and civil war. Then comes the shocking news that Grand Admiral Thrawn, the most cunning and ruthless warlord in history, has apparently returned from the dead to lead the Empire to a long-prophesied victory. Facing incredible odds, Han and Leia begin a desperate race against time to prevent the New Republic from unraveling in the face of two inexplicable threats: one from within and one from without. Meanwhile, Luke teams up with Mara Jade, using the Force to track down a mysterious pirate ship with a crew of clones.
Yet perhaps most dangerous of all are those who lurk in the shadows, orchestrating a dark plan that will turn the New Republic and the Empire into their playthings.
© and (P)1997 Lucasfilm Ltd. and TM.
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Critic Reviews

"Zahn turns in his usual high-caliber performance." (Library Journal)
"Longtime fans should get considerable pleasure from this addition to the saga." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By A. Prime Lover on 01-20-14

DON'T DO IT! Get the full unabridged version!!!

What disappointed you about Star Wars?

This version is short... The full unabridged version is 14 hrs long... But that's not even my biggest complaint. Anthony Heald is fine as a reader I suppose, but after listening to Marc Thompson, he's absolutely horrid!<br/><br/>I did the 1st Thrawn trilogy with Marc Thompson narrating and loved the whole 60+ hours of it... after 3 hours of Heald, I'd ready to stab myself with a dull light saber. =(

What could Timothy Zahn have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Not Zahn's fault.

How could the performance have been better?

... Where do I begin? The voices have zero familiarity... and almost zero variety... and only slightly better livelihood... It's just monotonous and boring.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It gave my a glimpse of the story... So now that Marc Thompson has a full unabridged version I might enjoy it even more!

Any additional comments?

I wouldn't have finished the series if this is what I had to look forward to... now that Marc Thompson has a version, I'm giddy with anticipation!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By T. Mcpherson on 12-21-08

Terrible abridgement, Horrible Narration

I haven't read the book, but I was looking for something light to listen to in the car on the way to work. I'm not sure how much of the book they cut out for this abridgement or whether it was any good even with the missing material, but this audiobook sounds like a writer's outline or pitch for a book...not an actual book. There is no plot, no character development, no anything. There go here, do this, go there, do that. The End. Even at the low price, this is a huge ripoff because you aren't getting an actual book with this thing. I'm also listening to the Legacy of the Force series and at a little over 6 hours each, they leave enough material to be decent enough...although they would also be better unabridged. Rule of thumb, if you see a star wars audiobook that is under 6 hours, pass on it. You will not be happy with what you get. Also, email the publisher and demand that they stop producing abridged audiobooks. I did and they actually did send a response to me. If enough people complain, they may reassess their position on this issue.

Oh, one more thing, the narrator on this book is about the worst I've heard. I hate to be this critical, but he is just not in the right line of work. It can sometimes take a while to get used to a narrator's style and I kept trying to give this guy a chance, but he just isn't any good at this. Inappropriate pauses in the dialogue, corney attempts at assuming different character voices, I sort of feel embarrassed for him. The only time I didn't mind listening to him was when he was using his version of Pellaenon's voice. The rest of his characters alternated between wooden and simpering.

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6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By thomas on 04-13-13

My first audio book...

This was my first audio book, and it got me hooked!



I've previously read Timothy Zahn's other Star Wars novels and thoroughly enjoyed them, as such, i'd consider this and 'Vision Of The Future' to be must reads (must listens?).



I've come to look forward to Anthony Heald's narration too. He has a good voice and does a good job portraying the characters.

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