Is this a good adaptation of Timothy Zahn’s 2016 Thrawn novel? Yes. Should you read it if you haven’t read the novel first? I wouldn’t.
Jody Houser, Luke Ross and Paul Renaud do a fine job of adapting this work but it’s inevitable that some elements of Zahn’s novel will be lost in the translation; Eli Vanto, our PoV protagonist sees his role contracted, for example. Thrawn shines (it’s what he does), and so does Arihnha Pryce (surprisingly). The most important events are given the necessary breathing room, but many of the complexities of Thrawn’s relationship with the Empire and many an imperial are given little more than passing nods. If this run had two additional issues, perhaps, Houser would’ve had more time to pack this in with some more of the character that oozes out of Zahn’s novel.
The art is what makes this trade paperback worth owning–it’s not the best line art I’ve ever seen, but it has a distinct Star Wars feel to it, and it gives a visual dimension to Thrawn that you won’t otherwise get from Zahn’s novel. Some really cool covers, of course (Marvel’s great with Star Wars covers):
Like the book, this has all-star appearances by the biggest names in the who’s who of the Galactic Empire–Grand Moff Tarking, Emperor Palpatine, and even Darth Vader. The dynamics between the Emperor and Thrawn are rendered faithfully–their meeting is done well, I believe the lines are drawn from the novel verbatim.
My score for this is a 3.5 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. I’m not sure whether I’ll mark up or down for this one…choices, choices. Shockingly, I don’t have a proper review of the 2016 novel, so I can’t link to that one at the end of this post, but if you’d like to read about Zahn’s latest Thrawn novel, follow this link!
I borrowed this from my local library–support your libraries, folks!