Star Wars: Cloak of Deception
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Star Wars: Cloak of Deception (Star Wars Universe)

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  2,299 ratings  ·  83 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author James Luceno comes an all-new Star Wars adventure that reveals the action and intrigue unfolding directly before Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Mired in greed and corruption, tangled in bureaucracy, the Galactic Republic is crumbling. In the outlying systems, where the Trade Federation maintains a stranglehold on shipping routes, tensi...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 25th 2002 by Random House Publishing Group (first published May 29th 2000)
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Crystal Starr Light
The Trade Federation monopolizes trade to outer systems, a situation the Nebula Front doesn't like. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are out to hunt down Arwen Cohl, one such leader of the Nebula Front, as Palpatine rises to power, and Valorum sees his status crumble.
NOTE: Based on listening to the audiobook and previous reading of the novel

I Liked:
If there is one thing Luceno is good at, it's integrating all of Star Wars Expanded Universe. He makes references to characters like Tarkin (yay!) and Vergere (ya...more
Ron
Jan 09, 2009 Ron rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ron by: Wendell Andrea
Perhaps it's me, but this book fell flat. Other authors have demonstrated that fan fiction can be done with imagination, but James Luceno didn't quite pull it off.

He tried. There are plot twists galore, but knowing who everyone is--it's hardly a spoiler to "out" Senator Palpatine--and where everything will end up for the start of the Episode One movie, didn't leave Luceno much wiggle room.

The only jarring error, which he repeated, was the instantaneous nature of his faster-than-light jumps. As...more
Isis
The problem is that Cloak of Deception knows what it is. It’s a political thriller, and it is good at being a political thriller, chock full of deception, manipulation, and manoeuvring. But it can only go as far as the limitations set upon it. Yes, the political intrigue was alright, and one appreciates having some political intrigue thrown into the mix amongst Star Wars books of other styles... but without a little action, a little character drama, it was rather dry and a tad flat. Let's not fo...more
Marcelo
I don't quite know what to think about this book. It's not good — passable at best — but I read it through instead of abandoning it. There are three story threads here: the first — and least interesting — follows Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi trying to unveil a conspiracy. The high point of that narrative is seeing the "maverick" side of Qui-Gon more intensely, and why he was still only a knight and not a master in the Jedi Order. But the entire Jedi arc of this book, be it involving the vario...more
Tony Evans
This was a great book to get me started in the series. It covers the events before Episode 1. All the details, characters and scenes were exactly what I expected out of a Star Wars book. The book focuses on the reason why the Trade Federation has blockaded Naboo in Episode 1. I didn't give the book 5 stars because it was a little too predictable, but you already know the Jedi's are going to win.
A.
Cloak of Deception is not only an exciting read, but it also nicely sets the stage for the events of TPM.

Most importantly for Star Wars fans, this book explains what the vague "dispute over taxation" at the beginning of Episode I is all about. Much of the information to be found here would have improved the film as well, by more fully explaining the motivations of key characters and more sharply setting the tension. For instance, the fact that the dispute isn't really about taxes, but rather abo...more
Sylvia
As a real Star Wars fan (I try to collect all books on the Star Wars Expanded Universe) I love this story. James Luceno is an awful good author to picture in writing devastating events and fights.

Over the years have bought Star Wars books almost immediately when they were released, but I never was able to read then. They take a large part of my TBR-list. Now that I'm retired I have plenty of time to start reading from the beginning and see how the stories about the Jedi and the Sith develop.

I...more
Joseph
It is not that I didn't like it, I just didn't like it per se.

The events are right before Phantom Menace where Palpatine gains power. It is more of a political book, but there is some action. The ending was good and clever, so that is a plus. It is one of those books that you really don't need to read. I liked Luceno's other SW books much better and they were written after this book. I got it from the library as pretty much all the other SW books that I wanted were checked out. So if you are in...more
Jennifer
BOOOORING! Got 150 pages into it, waiting for the story to begin. I put it aside, which I almost never do, no matter how bad the book. I just hate to leave a book unfinished. But in this case, I had to move on to something more stimulating. Life is too short to waste on crap.
Holden Attradies
A pretty good little lead up to episode one. I really shows how well Palpitine was at having a hundred cons going at one time, how he was the master of deception. I also liked that even though Jedi were featured in here they didn't completely steal the show.
Callista
Sort of convoluted and dull. And I remember Obi-Wan being depicted in a less than complimentary, or at least not particularly multi-dimensional, way.

Michael Alexander Henke
I wasn't a huge fan of the prequel movies when they came out, so i decided to skip the tie in novels. I was able to pick them up very cheaply years later and figured I may as well read them, I've read just about every other Star Wars book published.
This book is a prequel to Episode 1, so we get to see Qui-Gon with Obi-Wan as his padawan. This is prior to any hostilities breaking out so there isn't very action to be found. Funnily enough much of the book is about the Trade Federation and taxation...more
Brandon Daviet
The stories in novels concerning Episode I-III are politically heavy, just like the movies the self. That said I did find this on very entertaining simply because it fleshed out the Chancellor Valorium. I also found that this book made watching the The Clone Wars series more enjoyable, particularly the just released 6th season episodes. It has been more than a decade since I joyfully devoured many of the early Star Wars EU novels, this book made me glad I have once again invested my time to the...more
Darth Revan9
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bradley
James Luceno’s Phantom Menace prequel is definitely an acquired taste. One has to have an interest in politics to like some of the writing here.

I give this 5 stars because Luceno pulls off the impossible. He actually makes George Lucas’ Episode 1 more creditable! As has been witnessed in the last decade, Lucas has been descending further and further into insanity (the latest sign being his changes to the original trilogy on Blu Ray) so it’s been up to other writers to clean up his mess and try...more
Adam
The strange, arbitrary plot of Star Wars Episode 1 is a riddle, and Cloak of Deception is James Luceno's answer to it. Luceno's Herculean task is to make the baffling events of Episode 1 make sense in some broader context. Given the difficulty of the task, Luceno deserves some slack for the somewhat convoluted motivations in the book itself. The plot events are quite clear, but it is often poorly explained why various actors want to make them happen. Some of this is attributable to Darth Sidious...more
Leeanna
Star Wars: Cloak of Deception, by James Luceno

"Cloak of Deception" starts slowly as Luceno sets up a political thriller in the Star Wars universe. As the political plots are established, the book picks up steam, and I couldn't wait to finish it. Setting the background for "Episode I: The Phantom Menace," this book explains the trade routes and taxation that will eventually lead to the Naboo blockade. If you were confused by the movie's political events, this is a good book to read before re-watc...more
Jeff Cothern
From Library Journal

At last, what you've been waiting for: a prequel to the Star Wars ramble that will explain why Chancellor Valorum fell from power.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Description

From New York Times bestselling author James Luceno comes an all-new Star Wars adventure that reveals the action and intrigue unfolding directly before Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Mired in greed and corruption, tangled in bureaucracy, the Galactic Republic is crumbling. I

...more
Jared
Cloak of Deception was written by James Luceno and published in May of 2001. Luceno has unleashed a number Star Wars novels on the world in the past several years, and he's still writing them. This was his 3rd foray. Other writings are largely also playing around in other people's universes: some Robotech books and the novelizations of The Shadow and The Mask of Zorro. In my opinion, his novels are about as distasteful as that resume suggests, but apparently the publishers and large segments of...more
Jason Duran
James Luceno is one of the EU's best authors. I think he's also the clean up guy for Episode 1. Darth Plagueis was a book that made me want to watch Episode 1, for enjoyment this time. I had already listened to Darth Maul Shadow Hunter years ago and later read the eBook Darth Maul Saboteur. When I read/listened to Darth Plagueis these books were part of the story line. So was the assassination attempt at Eriadu. But I had no idea what it was. I didn't know who or what it involved so I looked it...more
Mike Jozic
I won't say that my rating isn't influenced by the fact that I've just seen TPM in the theatre again, but credit where credit is due, James Luceno has crafted a nice prequel to the first prequel film in the Star Wars saga. "Cloak of Deception" covers events leading up to what many consider a confusing beginning to "The Phantom Menace" where the Trade Federation has blockaded the peaceful world of Naboo in order to protest taxation of outlying star systems. Here we get to see the bill being prese...more
Rosemary
This book is set just prior to events in The Phantom Menace. A colleague loaned it to me after I mentioned how I wished there was more Qui Gon Jinn in the Star Wars universe, since Qui Gon is really the hero of this book--the the extent it has one.

I thought the book was better written (in terms of Standard English conventions) than many Star Wars and Star Trek books. In terms of plot and character development, however, it was not very good. Too much plot for too little book. It's really a politi...more
Josh
The Episode I tie-in, Cloak of Deception, introduced Star Wars fans to James Luceno, a name that has quickly grown in stature to be measured against other fan favourites Zahn, Stackpole, and Allston.

What makes Luceno such a delight to read is his flowing style of writing, intricate plots, and genius use of the whole Star Wars canon. In his debut, Luceno gives the EU its first true political thriller, and its brilliant.

What also puts this book very high on my list is the large amount of materia...more
Christopher Landing
A mildly interesting political thriller set a few years before the Phantom Menace. If you've read the New Jedi order series, it contains a familiar character, and shows the rise of the Trade Federation. Mildly interesting, I only recommend it for hardcore fans who can't enough.
Jedimelinda
An extremely dry read. This was probably the hardest book I ever read cover to cover. If it wasn't for the fact that it was a Star Wars book, I would have put it aside long before I got half way through it.
Yves
Cloak Of Deception se déroule quelques mois avant le livre sur Darth Maul et est un peu la mise sur table du projet de mettre à terre la République par Palpatine. Ce livre se passe environ 6 mois avant Épisode 1.

Je dois dire que ce livre est selon moi le meilleur thriller politique de tous les livres de Star Wars. J'ai aimé les intrigues politiques du sénateur Palpatique qui tente sournoisement de prendre le pouvoir. J'ai bien aimé connaitre plus les membres du Conseil Jedi. De plus, j'ai été co...more
Naísia
A melhor indicação para este livro seria simplesmente copiar um dos diálogos políticos dele.
Qualquer um, envolvendo Qui-Gon e Obi-Wan, o Chanceler Valorum e o Supremo Conselho Jedi, o senador Palpatine...
O primeiro capítulo é mal escrito, mas a cada um deles, vai valendo cada vez mais a pena.
Foi minha primeira experiência com um romance do universo Star Wars, e eu recomendo.
Detalhe pertinente: A editora providenciou símbolos para identificar em período da história intergaláctica cada romance se...more
Victor Orozco
Very good story. In Episode I its made clear that Palpatine was elected to become the Supreme Chancellor because of the weakness perceived from his predecessor Valorum. Reading this book you understand just how bad it was and how corrupt the Republic was coming for the Sith to successful manipulate. A political thriller amidst the wonderful Sci-Fi backdrop of the Star Wars Universe, yet with plenty of adventure and excitement to keep anyone happy. But one has to pay attention and keep track of t...more
Andres Heredia
One thing positive to say is that it is indeed a book.
Eaglechen
Ich mag keine Politik, auch nicht, wenn sie im STAR WARS Universum spielt. Aber es ist ganz nett, was sich der Autor ausgedacht hat, um den Konflikt mit der Handelsföderation zu erklären und den Angriff auf Naboo. Die Rolle von Palpatine im Hintergrund wird gut aufgezeigt.
Die Nebengeschichte mit dem Schmuggler wirkte eher aufgesetzt und diente meiner Meinung nach dazu, die Klasse im Online-Spiel zu promoten... Da fallen einem sowieso einige Sachen zu auf. Hoffentlich nimmt das in zukünftigen Büc...more
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9346
James Luceno co-wrote a lot of books with Brian Daley as Jack McKinney.

He is a New York Times Best-Selling author currently living in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife and youngest child.
More about James Luceno...
The Unifying Force (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #19) Darth Plagueis (Star Wars) Hero's Trial (Agents of Chaos, #1) (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #4) The Rise of Darth Vader (Star Wars: The Dark Lord Trilogy, #3) Jedi Eclipse (Agents of Chaos, #2) (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #5)

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