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Star Wars: Cloak of Deception (Star Wars Universe)

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  3,871 Ratings  ·  172 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
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
Jan 02, 2009 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 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 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 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Prequels Completists
Shelves: guerre-stellari
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 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx_first-order
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 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 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 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
Mark Oppenlander
Set almost immediately before the events of The Phantom Menace, this novel depicts the political intrigue that led to the blockade of Naboo. A terrorist organization known as the Nebula Front has been harassing the Trade Federation and they want military protection from the Republic. Influenced by Senator Palpatine, Supreme Chancellor Valorum suggests that, in exchange for patrols of the Outer Rim, the trade routes become subject to taxation, thus allowing a means to pay for the additional suppo ...more
"Cloak of Deception" get two out of five stars from me. It was a chore for me to "Force" (pun intended) my way through this book. I actually got halfway through it and gave up on my first read. But, I wanted to see what it adds to the Legends side of Star Wars and see how it ultimately ended.

Sadly, like "The Phantom Menace" movie, this book gets bogged down in boring pseudo-political minutia. Trade disputes are front-and-center. The machinations of the various and corrupt Galactic Senate player
Ursula Johnson
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
Deception Abounds Indeed

Cloak of Deception is aptly named. A tale of political intrigue and subterfuge, shows the brilliance of Darth Sidious/Senator Palpatine's plans to imperil the Republic, properly position the Trade Federation and hamstring the Jedi by undermining Supreme Chancellor Valorum's political standing. Under the guise of a terrorist plot and the strained relations of the Outer Rim worlds, this intricately woven plot keeps you guessing. The twists and turns make for interesting rea
Kyle Sala
Hard to give an honest rating, I listened to the audiobook which I only found out after the fact was abridged. I felt like the story didn't go into enough detail; the abridged audiobook was why. Frustrating the only audiobook is abridged.

All in all the book was decent enough. Definitely forgettable in the spectrum of other books. Doesn't really add a lot of details. The plot is interesting but pretty mild.

I did enjoy it and I liked reading about the inner workings of the senate. A fun read, bu
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book walks the reader up to the events of Episode One The Phantom Menace film, and novel of the same name.

This novel gives more background on Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi should you be looking to read more on them, as well as the beleaguered and short lived (on screen) reign of Chancellor Valorum.

As a big fan of the prequel novels and the novels which fill in the blanks between films, this novel was a must read, was fun while being read and as much as many others - highly
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-wars
Reread (16 years later) I did not remember much from this novel so it was a pleasant surprise to be reminded of all the Jedi we catch a glimpse of in this one, including Vergere hmmm and Yaddle. It's also nice to get one more story of Qui-Gon. This story is mainly about the taxation bill with the backdrop of the terrorist organization the Nebula Front and leads directly into thePhantom Menace. It doesn't even reveal that Palpatine is Sidious.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Traaaaaaaaaade Disputes!

If the opening crawl of Phantom Menace made you itch to know exactly how the Republic was loosing its mojo due to tedious bureaucracy, search no further! This book has all the bureaucracy you could ever wish for and no amount of assassinations or lightsabers can hide this unfortunate reality.

Some really cool plot twists at the end, but not quite the level of engagement to make the journey especially worth it.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Taught thriller

For anyone who raised an eyebrow about how taxes to free trade lanes caused the events of episode 1 or wondered how the trade federation came under the influence of Sidious, this is the book for you. To put it bluntly, this book as far better with more thought given to it than it needed to be.
Helena R-D
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got an early ride into Singapore and packed this book to read. Short and sweet after reading too many literary high brow bs novels.

I liked the relationship between Qui Gon and Obi Wan, I liked the pieces being set up for later betrayals and it was light escapist fiction in the Star Wars Universe.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Essentially this is the back story to the Phantom Menace opening crawl.
James Luceno has a thankless task to document a story of political manoeuvres and double crosses.
I had it as a 2 star book, but the last few pages earned it an extra star.
This book can be skipped without losing out in much of the story of the galaxy far far away.
Stanislav Malchev
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good Star Wars story.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Has always been one of my favorite Star Wars books.
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
A Bald Mage** Steve
A book full of Politics but its rather good.... 6/10
Jason Duran
Jun 13, 2013 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
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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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