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Specter of the Past (Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn, #1)
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Specter of the Past (Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn Duology #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  15,074 Ratings  ·  269 Reviews
L’Impero è sull’orlo del collasso totale, ma per ultimo si è riservato il suo piano più atroce. Prima di tutto viene ordita una congiura che potrebbe distruggere la Nuova Repubblica nel sangue del genocidio e della guerra civile. Poi arriva la sconvolgente notizia che il Grande Ammiraglio Thrawn, il più astuto e spietato condottiero della Storia, sembra tornato dal regno d ...more
ebook, 420 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by Del Rey (first published November 1997)
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Dec 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ron by: Wendell Andrea
Zahn's return to the Star Wars genre was every bit as satisfying as his first foray. On the other hand, Specter is less of a stand alone than his first three novels. This volume serves as a four hundred page introduction to the companion Vision of the Future.

Excellent cover art by Drew Struzan.

After second reading: Zahn is so much better than the norm for SW writers that he should either train the others or be the only person allowed to publish until the others come up to his level.

I've raised
This book is still much, much, much better than a lot of the Star Wars novels I've read, but it's not as good as I remember it being. Granted, my standards weren't suuuuuper high in 2004. I was young, and very, very distracted by the whole THING of being a freshman in college. Plus, all I realllllly cared about was Luke/Mara Jade and kissing and such, and that is definitely something that this series is focused on (although most of it occurs in the second book, not this one). This one is all Zah ...more
Scott Rhee
Thank God for Timothy Zahn.

I don’t say that lightly, either, or ironically, as in “Thank God for burritos” or “Thank God for Internet porn”. It’s not a simple throw-away praise to the heavens. It’s heartfelt. And this from someone who doesn’t necessarily believe in the heavens or God or all that stuff.

I really mean it. Thank God for Timothy Zahn.

Because I’m not going to lie: when I decided several weeks ago to read all of the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels (post-”Return of the Jedi”), I did
Jul 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Quickie Review

Timothy Zahn may have been the one that kicked Star Wars literature into high gear with the original Thrawn trilogy, but his writing style has always left something to be desired, in my opinion. The story itself is as involving as the movies, and has a great cliffhanger ending; still, some folks may not find it worth trudging through Mr. Zahn's awkward prose to do it.

Score: 3.75/5
Crystal Starr Light
Jul 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
"There are indeed some things that must never be forgotten"
Ten years have past since our daring trio has faced the masterful Thrawn. The New Republic is firmly established. Peace abounds...or maybe not? The Empire appears to want to negotiate peace, but a triumvirate within is working hard to continue the hostilities. And the New Republic may just destroy itself with the revelation of the Camaas Document, a document revealing the Bothans were involved in the destruction of Camaas many years befo
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since finishing Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy, I couldn't wait to track down the follow-up Hand of Thrawn duology. Specter of the Past I believe does a good job serving the sequel role.

In this book, a decade has gone by since the defeat of Grand Admiral Thrawn, and the New Republic has been recovering since. But there's a new threat of political upheaval when evidence surfaces that entangles the Bothan people who may have been behind the destruction of a planet before the Clone Wars.

As outrage
Specter of the Past doesn't get the extra nostalgia star that the Thrawn trilogy does because I didn't read it until college. It's still good stuff, though - certainly much better than the majority of the Extended Universe work. Timothy Zahn returns to Star Wars with his best (surviving) characters, Karrde, Mara Jade, and Admiral Pellaeon. Grand Admiral Thrawn is, alas, still dead - but a clever Moff and a former Imperial Guardsman have a con man prepared to impersonate him, and this impersonati ...more
Eliza Baum
I KNEW IT. Freakin' cliffhanger. This is one of those books that's obviously designed to not really be a complete story, and it really leads right into the next book, but for whatever reason the publisher decided it needed to be two books. I suspect, in this case, that it simply would have been too long. Ugh. But I hate cliffhangers.

That said, this book was still enjoyable. Not quite to the level of the Thrawn trilogy, but still fun. Marc Thompson is still the best narrator EVER. Probably at lea
Audio book read by Marc Thompson

No one does Star Wars quite like Timothy Zahn. He knows how to play the characters just right and make good use of the different factions in the Star Wars universe to make for an interesting story. Zahn has added the most significant and lasting characters to the series after the movies themselves and is the author who really got people excited about Star Wars novels after his trilogy that starts with Heir to the Empire. Specter of the Past is a great book if you
Георги  Бранкованов (Grim)
Много добро изпълнение от страна на г-н Зан. Може би щеше да е по-интересно ако точната природа на "Траун" и планът на Тирс и Дизра бе останал скрит от читателите по-дълго време. От друга страна тази всевиждаща гледна точка, дава уникален поглед върху вселената на Star Wars. За първи път (Поне за мен. Вероятно някой ще ме поправи.) виждам империята, не като безлико олицетворение на злото, водено от зъл гении, а като реална фракция, съставена от реални хора, които се борят за реални цели. От една ...more
A Bald Mage** Steve
Timothy Zahn is one of the best Star Wars writers but this isn't his best work but it's whole lot better than some of the books written by other people..... 6/10
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, star-wars
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The Hand of Thrawn Duology is set about 16 years after Return of the jedi. It consists of:
Spectre of the Past
Vision of the future

This series is everything you expect from Timothy Zahn and is a great 'filler' that provides an important step from the outcast Empire becoming a viable political party within the new Republic. This short duology also further enhances the characters and defines the relationships of the main characters within the Star Wars universe - most notable is the blooming love be
Brayden Raymond
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
Believe it or not this was my first dive back into the Legends realm since the Canon changed. At least I am pretty sure it is. Anyways this novel is great. It reminded me of the many characters we have lost in the new continuity but at the same time some of the references to events reminded me of all the garbage that is now gone. Of course Zahn crafted a spectacular story and for what its worth parts of me wish this was still the true story.
Benjamin Allen
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Timothy Zahn is a master at the feel of the Star Wars galaxy. Top tier of Star Wars authors.
Brian Carr
Took me a really long time to read this one. It just doesn't grip me the same way Zahn's original Thrawn series did.
Apr 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spectre Of The Past is the first of a two-book series and is the continuation of Timothy Zahn's Grand Admiral Thrawn Trilogy.

When I was in Junior High I was given a copy of Heir To The Empire, the first of the Thrawn Trilogy and the launching of the Star Wars alternate literary universe. I was blown away. Remember that at this point there was no such thing as episodes one through three. If you wanted to see the Star Wars films you had to be lucky enough to catch them on cable or you had to get
Darryl Dobbs
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So Thrawn is back, but not really. But thankfully the SWEU didn't dip into the 'clone' well again. That trick was growing tiresome. No, this novel was wonderfully written - riveting at times, with each branch of the storyline as interesting at the others. It had all the great characters from Luke, Han, Leia and Lando (Chewie was absent, but you likely wouldn't notice), as well as the classics who were introduced in the expanded universe such as Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, Admiral Pellaeon and even ...more
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
this was maybe not the best book to start with in terms of being new to reading star wars books. but, Timothy Zahn did a great job of introducing a ton of characters, all doing different things in different places, while explaining clearly who they were and where they were coming from, without the story getting bogged down (although someone who's already familiar with the characters might feel differently). there's political intrigue, action, children carefully shoved off-screen, curiouser and c ...more
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Karrde: Mara is in danger and i need you to go save her.
Luke: I can't leave i'm busy doing Jedi stuff
Karrde: But-
Luke: Ok you have persuaded me i will go and save her
Karrde: *Ships it* Ok best be on your way then
Luke: *Heroicly sets off to save Mara*
I picked this up immediately after reading the Thrawn trilogy hoping for more cheesy Star Wars action. However, this second series just isn't as good as Thrawn. The bad guys aren't anywhere close to as interesting or satisfying. The struggles the New Republic are going through are pretty boring. And Zahn's reliance on coincidence to put the same characters miraculously into the thick of things over and over again is so heavy-handed that it makes it actually strains credibility even for a hard-co ...more
Addison Etnier
This book takes place ten years after the Thrawn trilogy. Luke's power has grown incredibly powerful, and Han and Leia's twins are now ten years old with a younger brother. A new enemy in the nearly-decimated Empire arrives and tosses the New Republic an issue that could destroy it. This book wasn't as good as the Thrawn trilogy; it's mostly setting up the story for the next book, but it's politics are even more interesting than in the trilogy. Not my favorite Star Wars book, but a good enough r ...more
Sarah Maddaford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Timothy Zahn is one of the best Star Wars authors by far. After amazing me with the Thrawn trilogy, The Last Command was even better. Even after his death, Admiral Thrawn still manages to cast a shadow over the New Republic. With this new season of Star Wars Rebels, I haven't been able to get my mind off of the EU Thrawn, I'm really glad he's Canon now, he's quite the villain.
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Point," Insert-Character-Name conceded.
Wade Schacht
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good, but could not live up to the original Thrawn Trilogy, probably because Thrawn is dead.
Colin McEvoy
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
Timothy Zahn has a well-deserved reputation as among the best Star Wars authors out there, if not the best. I happen to agree with this consensus, and I’m one of the many who believ his original Heir to the Empire trilogy – the one that kickstarted the Expanded Universe and brought Star Wars stories roaring back to life well before there was even a prequel trilogy – are the best novels in the franchise. So I was excited to finally get around to Specter of the Past, especially since most of Zahn’ ...more
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think this was as strong as Timothy Zahn's previous Thrawn Trilogy but it was still an enjoyable follow up. A few things bothered me along the way, detracting from the overall narrative, unfortunately.

Firstly, Spector of the Past is lacking a strong villain. Thrawn really was the most interesting part of the last series and his absence (kind of) is sorely missed here.
There also seems to be so many new characters, which leads to a lack focus on our original trilogy characters. I like the
Mar 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I dropped this 3 hours and 10 minutes into the audiobook.

I was very excited for this book. Unfortunately, I read a plot synopsis and I just found the conceit of this book dumb.

The actual Hand of Thrawn is a disappointment.

The character of Flim is aggravating, which I guess is the point but I'm not putting up with it.

I was intrigued by Teirce because up until that point, I had never read about a character in the Royal Guard. (You know, those red soldiers that flank important people in the Empire.
Amanda Thompson
Zahn does it again! Picking up several threads left over from his Heir to the Empire trilogy, Zahn expounds on and lengthens those threads into a new tangled web of treachery, politics, and danger, while carrying on the emotional and developmental journeys the characters have continued since Zahn's last foray into the Star Wars universe. Best of all -Luke begins an internal struggle here of when and how he should truly use the Force, and whether becoming too powerful in it -even for the right re ...more
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Timothy Zahn attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1973. He then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and achieved an M.S. degree in physics in 1975. While he was pursuing a doctorate in physics, his adviser became ill and died. Zahn never completed the doctorate. In 1975 he had begun writing science fiction as a hobby, and he bec ...more
More about Timothy Zahn...

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Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn Duology (2 books)
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“But Mount Tantiss was gone, destroyed by agents of the New Republic and C'baoth's own madness and treason. And Grand Admiral Thrawn was dead.

And the Empire was dying.”
“Grand Admiral Thrawn could perhaps have breathed the remaining sparks into an Imperial Victory. But Grand Admiral Thrawn was gone.” 0 likes
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