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Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor (Star Wars) Hardcover – December 30, 2008


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Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp
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With only their lightsabers, the dark side of the Force and each other to depend on, the Emperor and Darth Vader, must decide if the brutal bond they share will make them victorious allies or lethal adversaries. Learn more | See more by author Paul S. Kemp
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: LucasBooks; 1 edition (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345477448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345477446
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matthew Stover is the New York Times bestselling author of the Star Wars novels Revenge of the Sith, Shatterpoint, and The New Jedi Order: Traitor, as well as Caine Black Knife, The Blade of Tyshalle, and Heroes Die. He is an expert in several martial arts. Stover lives outside Chicago.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

CHAPTER 1

The Corellian Queen was a legend: the greatest luxury liner ever to ply the spaceways, an interstellar pleasure palace forever beyond the grasp of all but the galaxy’s super-elite—beings whose wealth transcended description. Rumor had it that for the price of a single cocktail in one of the Queen’s least- exclusive dining clubs, one might buy a starship; for the price of a meal, one could buy not only the starship, but the port in which it docked, and the factory that had built it. A being could not simply pay for a berth on the Corellian Queen; mere wealth would never suffice. To embark upon the ultimate journey into hedonistic excess, one first had to demonstrate that one’s breeding and manners were as exquisite as would be the pain of paying one’s bar bill. All of which made the Corellian Queen one of the most irresistible terrorist targets ever: who better to terrorize than the elite of the Elite, the Powers among the powerful, the greatest of the Great?

And so when some presumably unscrupulous routing clerk in the
vast midreaches of the Nebula Line corporation quietly offered for
sale, to select parties from Kindlabethia to Nar Shaddaa, a hint as to
the route of the Corellian Queen’s upcoming cruise, it attracted considerable interest.

Two pertinent facts remained concealed, however, from the winning
bidder. The first pertinent fact was that this presumably unscrupulous
routing clerk was neither unscrupulous nor, in fact, a
routing clerk, but was a skilled and resourceful agent of the intelligence
service of the New Republic. The second pertinent fact was
that the Corellian Queen was not cruising at all that season, having
been replaced by a breakaway disposable shell built to conceal a substantial fraction of a star fighter wing, led by—as was customary in such operations—the crack pilots of Rogue Squadron.

It was approximately the moment that R4-G7 squalled a proximity
alarm through his X-wing’s sensor panel and his HUD lit up
with image codes for six TIE Defenders on his tail that Lieutenant
Derek “Hobbie” Klivian, late of the Alliance to Restore Freedom to
the Galaxy, currently of the New Republic, began to suspect that
Commander Antilles’s brilliant ambush had never been brilliant at
all, not even a little, and he said so. In no uncertain terms. Stripped
of its blistering profanity, his comment was “Wedge? This plan was
stupid. You hear me? Stupid, stupid, stuYOW—!”

The yow was a product of multiple cannon hits that disintegrated
his right dorsal cannon and most of the extended wing it had been
attached to. This kicked his fighter into a tumble that he fought with
both hands on the yoke and both feet kicking attitude jets and almost
had under control until the pair of the Defenders closest on his tail
blossomed into expanding spheres of flame and debris fragments.

The twin shock fronts overtook him at exactly the wrong instant and
sent him flipping end- over- end straight at another Defender formation
streaking toward him head- on. Then tail- on, then head- on
again, and so forth.

His ship’s comlink crackled as Wedge Antilles’s fighter flashed
past him close enough that he could see the grin on the commander’s
face. “That’s ‘stupid plan, sir,’ Lieutenant.”

“I suppose you think that’s funny.”

“Well, if he doesn’t,” put in Hobbie’s wingman, “I sure do.”

“When I want your opinion, Janson, I’ll dust your ship and scan
for it in the wreckage.” The skewed whirl of stars around his cockpit
gave his stomach a yank that threatened to make the slab of smoked
terrafin loin he’d had for breakfast violently reemerge. Struggling
grimly with the controls, he managed to angle his ship’s whirl just a
hair, which let him twitch his ship’s nose toward the four pursuing
marauders as he spun. Red fire lashed from his three surviving
cannons, and the Defenders’ formation split open like an overripe
snekfruit.

Hobbie only dusted one with the cannons, but the pair of
proximity- fused flechette torpedoes he had thoughtfully triggered at
the same time flared in diverging arcs to intercept the enemy fighters;
these torpedo arcs terminated in spectacular explosions that
cracked the three remaining Defenders like rotten snuffle eggs.

“Now, that was satisfying,” he said, still fighting his controls to
stabilize the crippled X-wing. “Eyeball soufflé!”

“Better watch it, Hobbie—keep that up, and somebody might start to
think you can fly that thing.”

“Are you in this fight, Janson? Or are you just gonna hang back
and smirk while I do all the heavy lifting?”

“Haven’t decided yet.” Wes Janson’s X-wing came out of nowhere,
streaking in a tight bank across Hobbie’s subjective vertical. “Maybe
I can lend a hand. Or, say, a couple torps.”

Two brilliant blue stars leapt from Janson’s torpedo tubes and
streaked for the oncoming TIEs.

“Uh, Wes?” Hobbie said, flinching. “Those weren’t the flechette
torps, were they?”

“Sure. What else?”

“Have you noticed that I’m currently having just a little trouble
maneuvering?”

What do you mean?” Janson asked as though honestly puzzled.

Then, after a second spent watching Hobbie’s ship tumbling helplessly
directly toward his torpedoes’ targets, he said, “Oh. Uh . . .sorry?”

The flechette torpedoes carried by Rogue Squadron had been designed
and built specifically for this operation, and they had one primary
purpose: to take out TIE Defenders.

The TIE Defender was the Empire’s premier space- superiority
fighter. It was faster and more maneuverable than the Incom T-65
(better known as the X-wing); faster even than the heavily modified
and updated 65Bs of Rogue Squadron. The Defender was also more
heavily armed, packing twin ion cannons to supplement its lasers, as
well as dual- use launch tubes that could fire either proton torpedoes
or concussion missiles. The shields generated by its twin Novaldex
deflector generators were nearly as powerful as those found on capital
ships. However, the Defenders were not equipped with particle
shields, depending instead on their titanium- reinforced hull to absorb
the impact of material objects.

Each proton torpedo shell had been loaded with thousands of tiny
jagged bits of durasteel, packed around a core of conventional explosive.

On detonation, these tiny bits of durasteel became an expanding
sphere of shrapnel; though traveling with respectable velocity of
their own, they were most effective when set off in the path of oncoming
Defenders, because impact energy, after all, is determined by
relative velocity. At star fighter combat speeds, flying into a cloud of
durasteel pellets could transform one’s ship from a star fighter into a
very, very expensive cheese grater.

The four medial fighters of the oncoming Defender formation hit
the flechette cloud and just . . . shredded. The lateral wingers managed
to bank off an instant before they would have been overtaken
by two sequential detonations, as the explosion of one Defender’s
power core triggered the other three’s cores an eyeblink later, so that
the unfortunate Lieutenant Klivian was now tumbling directly
toward a miniature plasma nebula that blazed with enough hard radiation
to cook him like a bantha steak on an obsidian fry- rock at
double noon on Tatooine.

“You’re not gonna make it, Hobbie,” Janson called. “Punch out.”

“Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Hobbie snarled under his
breath, still struggling grimly with the X-wing’s controls. The
fighter’s tumble began to slow. “I’ve got it, Wes!”

“No, you don’t! Punch out, Hobbie—PUNCH OUT!”

“I’ve got it—I’m gonna make it! I’m gonna—” He was interrupted
by the final flip of his X- wing, which brought his nose into line with
the sight of the leading edge of the spherical debris field expanding
toward him at a respectable fraction of lightspeed, and Hobbie Klivian,
acknowledged master of both profanity and obscenity, human
and otherwise, not to mention casual vulgarities from a dozen
species and hundreds of star systems, found he had nothing to say
except, “Aw, nuts.”

He stood the X- wing on its tail, sublights blasting for a tangent,
but he had learned long ago that of all the Rogues, he was the one
who should know better than to trust his luck. He reached for the
eject trigger.

Just as his hand found the trigger, the ship jounced and clanged as
if he had his head trapped inside a Wookiee dinner gong at nightmeal.

The metaphorical Wookiee cook must have been hungry, too,
because the clanging went on and on and kept getting louder, and
the eject still, mysteriously, didn’t seem to be working at all. This
mystery was solved, however, by the brief shriek of atmosphere
through a ragged fist- sized hole in the X- wing’s canopy. This hole
was ragged because, Hobbie discovered, the fragment that had made
this opening had been slowed by punching through the X- wing’s
titanium- alloy ventral armor. Not to mention the X- wing’s control
panel, where it had not on...

Customer Reviews

Read the Best Star Wars Novel Ever Written.
Richard Raley
Some of the characters just seemed a bit off (most notably Luke), and some seemed to be trying too hard to be important to the story (Threepio and R2).
Jerry B. Ray Jr.
I just keep getting yanked back into reality, because they just don't feel like they're in danger.
Noname

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David Pruette VINE VOICE on February 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shadows of Mindor is set in the period after the battle of Endor. Palpatine and Vader are dead, and the New Republic is in charge. However, not everyone agrees that this is the way things should be. Serious bad guys still exist, and Luke Skywalker and his friends are called upon once again to set things right in the galaxy. This time they face a legion of black-armored stormtroopers who are led by Warlord Shadowspawn and who operate from an extremely unusual position on the planet Mindor. To further complicate matters, the Sith appear to be involved as well. Fortunately, Luke has help from Han, Leia, Chewbacca, Lando, R2-D2, and C-3P0 in this mission. Needless to say, having all of these folks back in action is great fun for the reader.

Luke is the reigning hero in the galaxy, but he is still very young and does not have a clear understanding of his role in reestablishing the Jedi, much less a clear understanding of the Force itself. He is now General Skywalker and not at all sure that he should be. Luke's struggles in trying to find his way and win victories for the Republic while minimizing loss of life make for extremely interesting reading.

Mr. Stover is a highly respected author in the Star Wars world. He was responsible for the novelization of Revenge of the Sith as well as the novel Shatterpoint. Both were excellent. For the most part, he does not disappoint in Shadows of Mindor. He does a great job of portraying the characters. Luke is in doubt much of the time, but you would always want to have him on your side. Han is presented as he was in the films - easily bored, extremely loyal, highly effective in pressure situations, and one of the best pilots anywhere. You also have an opportunity to hear Han's true opinion of Mandalorians.
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54 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Richard Raley on January 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I promised myself I wouldn't waste my time on reviews any more...I've even conquered the urge a few times on products I really wanted to steer people away from (looking at you "Innocent Mage"!), but I just couldn't help myself this time. Buy this novel, read this novel, enjoy this novel.

I'm not one for hyperbole and I'm not one to hand out 5 star reviews like they are sour-apple candies, but I've actually been asking myself the question in my title. Is this the best SW novel ever written to this point?

A few years ago Timothy Zahn was given an opportunity to return to the glorious era that was the Original Trilogy and the surrounding New Republic adventures, an area that is filled with Bantam novels over fifteen years old. It was an amazing gift, one that was magical, and one that was a complete disaster. We got cardboard Han, Leia, and Luke and about 90% of the novel was filled with stormtroopers that no one cared about and Mara Jade. The magic died a death before it could even get started.

But here we are now with "Shadows of Mindor" and the promise of this time period has finally been fulfilled one more time. My God, your deity, everyone's deity, what a novel! I've read probably 99% of the SW novels available. I've read SW novels that had great action in them (Stackpole), novels with great villains (Thrawn), novels with a bit of actual literature and theme (Commandos), novels that really had their SW continuity together (Lucendo), and novels that made me laugh (you all know who). I have read a SW novel that did all of those things a hand full of times, and "Shadows of Mindor" is one of them, and its the best one.

Stover manages all of that while at the same time nailing each and every Star Wars character.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Nathan on December 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I must admit that when I started this book I was a little concerned. Uncharacteristically for a Matthew Stover novel, it didn't grab me from page one. In fact, the first few chapters were, while certainly readable, not terribly compelling. And then I got to chapter four and was reminded why, whenever Stover releases a new novel, I drop everything else and read it immediately: because it is guaranteed to knock my socks off and leave me with a big stupid grin on my face. This novel is dedicated to Alan Dean Foster and Brian Daley, for good reason: it's a postmodern upgrade of the old-school rollicking adventure novel. Fun, funny, fast-paced, exciting, thrilling, heroes-against-incredible-odds storytelling that's nigh impossible to put down before you get to the end. Set shortly after the events of Return of the Jedi, the book's accessible to new fans, yet full enough of familiar characters and references to other Star Wars stories to satisfy even the most obsessed fanboy. Stover *gets* his characters, gets them exactly right, and he can still write an action scene better than anyone else in the business. I was silly to be concerned. Matt Stover persists in writing the best Star Wars stories to grace our bookshelves and our imaginations. Thank you, sir, for once again taking me back a long time ago, to a galaxy far, far away.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Noname TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have mixed feelings about "Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor." The prologue is powerful and moving. Luke is in despair, with the rawest emotions I've ever seen. It was deep and dark and full of mystery. It is the reason I plowed through the book. I needed to know how and why.

Unfortunately, Chapter I opens with a battle scene that I had to read and re-read. It was so unreal, I thought the fighter pilots weren't actually in a battle, they were just training. In fact, if it weren't for Wedge and the fact that X-Wings were mentioned, I'd have thought it was a bunch of men chit chatting in a bar. No military talk here. Nothing formal at all. Heck, what happened between "Return of the Jedi" and now -- just six months later? They're throwing jokes around in a battle, for Yoda's sake!

Joking around during battles is not the only problem. Jokes are thrown around at the most inappropriate times. Sure, Han is known for his quips during the most tense moments to relieve the stress, and that worked. But here, *everyone* is doing it -- Leia, Lando, C-3PO -- they all seem to *want* to be funny. Even worse, the bantering goes back and forth in the heat of a storm. I just keep getting yanked back into reality, because they just don't feel like they're in danger.

As a matter of fact, the characters don't feel in character at all. Leia is scrappy, always has been, but she's a princess. She's regal, she's got class. Here, she is rough and tough, like maybe she didn't grow up in a palace. Did they have trailer parks on Alderaan? Since when did Leia slug someone because she was jealous?

Luke is still trying to figure out his place in this New Republic, what he should be doing as a Jedi Knight. I get that.
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