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Star Wars: Cloak of Deception (Star Wars Universe)

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  3,710 Ratings  ·  159 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 The Phantom Menace.

“The Chancellor has little real power… He is mired down by baseless accusations of corruption. A manufactured scandal surrounds him, “ Senator Palpatine told Queen Amidala in Episode I. Tracing the thrill
Audio Cassette, 0 pages
Published May 29th 2001 by Random House Audio (first published May 29th 2000)
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(showing 1-30)
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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
Jan 02, 2009 Ron rated it liked it  ·  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
Aug 06, 2011 Iset rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
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
Jun 18, 2010 Marcelo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Ashley Bogner
Cloak of Deception is an interesting look at the events leading up the The Phantom Menace . I enjoyed learning why the Trade Federation joined forces with Sidious, as well as what Qui-gon and Obi-wan were doing before being sent to negotiate the Naboo blockade issue. Like most Star Wars novels, it was clean, and we're introduced to a cast of new characters, and we get to learn more about the pre-existing characters like Qui-gon, Obi-wan, Palaptine, Vollorum, Queen Amidala, Viceroy Gunray, a ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Prequels Completists
I enjoyed Star Wars: Darth Plagueis a lot, so I really wanted to give this one a chance however the incessant plotting and intriguing wore me down.

Due to the cover art I was really expecting a Star Wars novel focusing on the relationship between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, but sadly they were marginal characters throughout at best.

Tony Evans
Jul 12, 2013 Tony Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 27, 2008 A. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xstar-wars
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
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.

Aug 15, 2011 Joseph rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
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
Apr 18, 2015 Fredrik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was probably one of, if not THE, fastest Star Wars novel I've ever read.
But that's not a bad thing!

It was a good a story, likeable characters, some cool action.
The only downside is that I knew what is to come, since this novel takes place just before the evens of the Phantom Menace.

But, all in all, this was another cool Star Wars EU novel that I truly recommend! :)
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.
Jan 11, 2011 Jennifer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Дени Проданова
Явно рязането на ръце е задължителен реквизит. Убедих се когато хвръкна поредната...
Книгата е предистория на "Невидима заплаха" и обяснява окупацията на Набу. Това хубаво, ама защо толкова нелогични се случват нещата? Май само Хавек знаеше що-годе какво върши. Не съм доволна.
Star Wars Legends Project #64

Background: Cloak of Deception was published in May of 2001. It was written by James Luceno, one of several Star Wars novels he has written.

Cloak of Deception is set around 33 years before the Battle of Yavin, less than 1 year before The Phantom Menace. Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Senator Palpatine all play major roles, as does the planet Eriadu previously mentioned in Luceno's Darth Maul: Saboteur (my review). Actually, the cast of characters is one of the largest I've
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
Jason Duran
Jun 13, 2013 Jason Duran rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jess Neuner
While there's plenty of action, Cloak of Deception is definitely more political thriller than anything else. Set just prior to the events of The Phantom Menace, there's a limit to just how intriguing the intrigue can be. We all know it's really Palpatine pulling the strings and that the trade summit will eventually result in the blockade of Naboo, but it's still interesting to see how we get there. I liked that Palpatine's true identity wasn't stated, but also wasn't kept 'secret' - since we all ...more
Like Darth Plagueis, this book takes a broader look at the events that occurred before The Phantom Menace, but not quite as broadly as that book did. Cloak of Deception instead reveals how the Neimoidian Trade Federation, with the help of Darth Sidious and an outside terrorist group whose target is the federation, managed to take control of the outer rim of the galaxy, and how they became a military force as well as a monopoly on the outer trade routes.

Luceno's style still fails to impress me, t
Jul 31, 2009 Bradley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
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
Jeff Cothern
Sep 28, 2012 Jeff Cothern rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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

Aug 27, 2016 J rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Star Wars Fans
Story Review:
Cloak of Deception is the prequel to the Star Wars prequels and as such suffers from the short comings of that style. In the distant areas of the galaxy strife is building between the Trade Federation who are responsible for shipping through these remote areas and the independent-minded colonists living there. This takes the form of piracy and revolutionaries, and man named Cole takes a job as a privateer, attacking a rich prize freighter. And soon, he finds himself pursued by the
Joe Rigaud
Sep 18, 2016 Joe Rigaud rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the expanded universe!!

Star Wars was all around me growing up in my family. Being a teacher and a Star Wars fan, I love sharing the expanded universe with my students!
Jan 19, 2010 Leeanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
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
Jaime Krause
Captain Cohl is in charge of the Hawk Bat, and is hired by the Nebula Front to go against Chancellor Valorum due to his stance on "working" with the Trade Federation. This also means Cohl attacks Federation Neimodians, like Dofine.

I did have to look up the ship's name since it sounded so familiar. It appears a few ships were named as such, which doesn't fully surprise me.

Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon have been working against Cohl and continue to do so. They thwart the ,an at times and chase him across th
Ian Reay
Jul 01, 2016 Ian Reay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
I'm a huge fan of the Star Wars movies and I was hungry to learn more about the worlds, characters, species, and interim events of this spectacular epic. So years ago , I started reading the EU novels in chronological order, starting after ROTJ up untill the Thrawn Duology then i decided to go with some prequel books they where great and then I came across this gem Cloak of Deception. I was not disappointed.

Although I believe anyone can enjoy this novel, knowing the movies in and out makes readi
Eric Sullenberger
Oct 07, 2015 Eric Sullenberger rated it really liked it
I read/listened to the audiobook version of this novel, which is abridged.
Like James Luceno's other books he does a very good job of integrating other characters and storylines into his tale. This book is setup to be the prequel to the prequel trilogy. Given that restriction he does a very good job writing a gripping tale. We get to see Qui-Gon Jinn in action before his untimely demise and a lot of good background on the Trade Federation, as well as, why they were allowed to militarize. The Trad
Alexandru Florescu
I read this with the anticipation of finding more about Qui-Gon, one of my favorite characters from the SW universe, as from my current knowledge this is the only book which features him, except for Episode One. My expectations were not really met, as the main focus of the book is on a political plot, and this fills out more space than action sequences and anything else.
While adding a decent set-up to the events in Episode One and offering a more in depth view of how Palpatine managed to play ev
Erik Akre
Mar 09, 2016 Erik Akre rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Star Wars nerds, fans of Episode I
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the first Star Wars novel I read, and I was surprised (as I continue to be surprised with most of them, actually) at how readable it was. "It's candy," I said to myself at the time. This one is set in the galaxy before Episode I (The Phantom Menace), with all the political intrigue that led to the plot of that movie.

There is nothing particularly exceptional to note about the book, except that it does a great job drawing you into the Star Wars world. The imagery of droids and space vehic
Aug 24, 2014 Carlos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite Star Wars novels. Although I read it back in 2002, I still have good memories from this story. Episode II was still fresh, and I had gone over many Star Wars marathons, and was still hyped from Episode I. I know many people and fans alike don't like the prequels, but for me they also have their charm. The beginning of the novel reminded me much from the beginning of Episode I, and the fact that you could get action time from several Council members such as Plo Koon and Master ...more
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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...

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