Review of Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn

November 6, 2011
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Science Fiction Audiobook - Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy ZahnStar Wars: Heir to the Empire, 20th Anniversary Edition
By Timothy Zahn; Read by Marc Thompson
13 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: 2011
Themes: / Science Fiction / Fantasy / Star Wars / Revolution / Space Opera /

Listening to Star Wars: Heir to the Empire on unabridged audio was nostalgic for me. I read the novel in print when it came out almost 20 years ago. I liked it then, and I enjoyed this audiobook, too.

There have been many Star Wars audiobooks. Until a few years ago, the available titles were abridged, anywhere from 3 hours to 9 hours in length. One of the qualities of those short audiobooks that I liked is that they successfully incorporated the Star Wars sounds, and I LOVE the Star Wars soundscape. I expected this unabridged reading to leave those sounds behind, but I’m very happy to report that they are here. This audiobook opens with the John Williams opening score, and there are plenty of light sabers, droids, wookies, and blasters throughout. Awesome.

Listen to an excerpt: |HERE|

It’s a few years after the Battle of Endor (from Return of the Jedi), and the New Republic now has to deal with the fact that they’ve won. Many of the characters we know from the original film trilogy are here: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and her husband Han, Chewbacca, R2D2, C3PO, Lando Calrissian, etc. Making things difficult for our heroes is Grand Admiral Thrawn and an unstable Dark Jedi named Joruus C’Boath.

I was impressed with Marc Thompson’s skilled narration. He was able to evoke these well-known characters with his voice, from outright impression to a cadence change or other verbal tic. I always knew which character was speaking.

This novel came out well before the film versions of Episodes 1, 2, and 3, so there are blessedly no midi-chlorians here. If you like the original Star Wars films and have considered reading one of the novels, this audiobook is an excellent place to start. I enjoyed revisiting Lucas’ universe, and it’s an entertaining story.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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