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

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  2,711 ratings  ·  107 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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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 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
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
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.
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.

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
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
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.
David Jin
The book probably rates a 3.5 on my scale, because there are major strengths and major flaws associated with it. First, the story was pretty boring compared to most plots for SW books. Second, Luceno is a very good writer, as the prose of the book carries it, even when not a lot is going on. In other words, you won't feel bored. You just won't be too impressed with the story when the book ends.

The story has a little less action than many of its kind, and instead you are treated to a lot of polit
Damien Franco
Another great Star Wars book. My wife thinks I'm a nerd. Which I am. Mostly.

I get these from Half Price Books for about a buck or two apiece.

I have to mix in my fiction with all of the non-fiction I read and these are great.

This story is faster paced than some of the other Star Wars books I've read so far. It's action packed with some really great political intrigue. This one hits sometime right before The Phantom Menace and does a good job of setting up some background for the characters.

I'm en
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.

awful. dreadfully boring. Have you ever started reading a book, only to realize an hour or so in that you have no recollection about what you just read? thats this one. even the action sequences read as boring as can be. 'flat,' might be a good descriptor. Like reading a textbook. Some books are just difficult to get into, but this one delivers absolutely nothing to get the reader to take an interest in the characters, or the plot, or even the prose itself. Very uninteresting, except maybe to th ...more
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
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
Lance Goff
Another good read if you're interested in the back story to Star Wars. The events in Cloak of Deception take place just before the beginning of Episode I . It's a good read by itself but especially for detailing Palpatine/Sidious's manipulation of both, the Senate and the Trade Federation, that sets them on the path to war with one another. If you want more of a glimpse into how Palpatine/Sidious plays all sides against each other while ultimately getting what he wants, it's definitely work a ...more
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
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
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
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

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
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
This is a good book that deals a lot with political intrigue. While I liked it, I found it a bit plodding and slow at times. A true fan will suffer through the slow spots. However, it does give a great insight to the Trade Federation and explains why the political scene is the way it is in Episode 1. Definitely worth checking out!
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
Kacey Lundgren
I thought this book was basically going to retell the story of Episode I. Wrong! This story a precursor to Episode I. It was much better than I predicted, the author sets up Episode I quite masterfully. The end is quite exciting with lots of twists and unexpected revelations. Worth reading!
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.
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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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