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Survivor's Quest (2004)

de Timothy Zahn

Sèrie: Star Wars: the New Republic era (novel), Star Wars Novels (22 ABY), Star Wars (22 ABY)

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9581016,104 (3.6)7
Sometimes it seems a Jedi's work is never done and Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker know this only too well. Despite the bond they share in the Force, after three years of marriage the Jedi Master and his wife are still learning the ropes of being a couple--and struggling to find time together between the constant demands of duty. But all that will change when they're united on an unexpected mission--and must pool their exceptional skills to combat an insidious enemy . . . and salvage a part of Jedi history.… (més)
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Although I like Zahn's Star Wars novels best out of all the different authors, this is not one of his better works. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
Yes, I’m reading a fourteen-year old Star Wars book set in a continuity that was obliterated by Disney more than half a decade ago. I’m not entirely sure why, but I’ve been experiencing an up-swell of nostalgia for the New Republic/New Jedi Order-era works, most of which were written closer to Y2K than to today. In retrospect, those years were probably the high-water mark for the Expanded Universe, after the relative desert of the post-RotJ era and before things started getting weird with stuff like Fate of the Jedi/Legacy of the Force. I read a lot of these books relatively close to when they came out, though often out of order and late at night after school, and thus have only fleeting recollections of what happens in the stories. What I really regret is missing out of the early-2000s Star Wars community that seemed to be burgeoning, when the galaxy still teemed with endless possibility. While the objective quality of the old Expanded Universe stories hasn’t diminished, they are still, well, dead, relegated to “Legends” by Disney, with no new canonical content being produced for that continuity. For some reason, I was saddened to think that those stories stopped at, I guess, Crucible. And while, sure, I wasn’t exactly happy with the directions some of the later novels took, I would’ve killed for more adventures with Jaina, a few more side-stories for Mara Jade. Re-reading these old EU tales is thus like walking through a museum of an extinct civilization – you can appreciate its beauty, but that appreciation is inseparable from a sense of loss.

ANYWAYS. Survivor’s Quest, a 2004 EU novel by Timothy Zahn, is one of those few Expanded Universe books I apparently completely missed, so it seemed like a good place to start re-exploring. While Timothy Zahn isn’t my favorite Star Wars author (that’d be either James Luceno or Karen Traviss), it’s hard to dispute that Zahn did more of the heavy-lifting to build the EU than just about any other author. Beginning with Heir to the Empire, Zahn introduced many of the characters, settings, and narratives that would ultimately play defining roles in the EU, including the holy trinity of Mara Jade, Talon Karrde, and Grand Admiral Thrawn. Survivor’s Quest explores many of Zahn’s favorite plot elements – Thrawn, the Chiss, Outbound Flight, the Empire of the Hand, and the Luke/Mara relationship – but does so in a strangely isolated way. This story, it seems, had to exist almost in a vacuum, tucked away in a cranny between other narrative arcs.

SQ is in many ways a quintessential Zahn novel. There’s not a ton of emotional drama, there’s some thoughtful world-building, and every character is constantly engaged in a game of wits with every other scheming bastard around them. I swear Zahn is the reincarnation of Agatha Christie sometimes. Major plot points will pivot on characters deducing something through feats of analytical prowess, many of which revolve around ‘who knows what, when.’. It’s pretty technically flawless (though I’m still a little curious as to why Mara or Luke didn’t sense any malevolence from the Geroons earlier in the story), but also just a little too generic. Mara Jade coming to terms with her survivor’s guilt (good use of a title there) is very well-handed, but never quite carries the emotional punch that it should. And while the jacket promises that the book will address the separation and uncertainty in Jade and Skywalker’s marriage, that marriage never feels at all complicated, with an almost Victorian level of propriety.

But anyways. It’s a good story. Not the greatest of Zahn’s works, and not really all that critical to appreciating the Expanded Universe. But I’m glad I read it. ( )
  pvoberstein | Dec 14, 2020 |
Zahn continues the Star Wars legacy as it pertains to Thrawn, one of the best villains and most interesting characters in the Star Wars universe. The story focuses on Outbound Flight, a flight sent out by the Old Republic years ago and thought destroyed by Thrawn. The Chiss (Thrawn's race) find the ship and seek to return it to the New Republic, specifically Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker. The only thing is that there ends up being four different factions involved and each has their secrets and their hidden agenda. It ends up reading almost as a murder mystery as plot after sub-plot is revealed and a simple task gains in complexity. If you like Zahn's other Star Wars books, don't skip this one. As a bonus, the publishers included the short story Fool's Bargain. It tells a tale of the Imperial 501st Legion. It's a good story and tells a fun tale but short stories don't seem to work well for Star Wars. I think that it's because the story / idea has so much depth and mythos to it that a short story leaves you wanting more and feeling like something is missing. Mix that up with it being placed at the end of the book and it's lack of depth becomes obvious; you can't help but compare it to the rest of the book which you just finished. ( )
  dagon12 | Oct 12, 2020 |
comes right after the Hand of Thrawn duology. About the Outbound Flight. Very enjoyable. Good dynamics between Luke and Mara. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Timothy Zahn lit a fire in the Star Wars universe several years ago when he authored the Thrawn trilogy, beginning with Heir to the Empire. He resumes telling the story of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade Skywalker in Survivor’s Quest, sort of a mystery, which also explores Mara’s doubts about her chosen path. An entertaining read. Zahn is also working on a followup to this novel.

Published in hardcover by Del Rey. ( )
  mmtz | May 26, 2012 |
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Sometimes it seems a Jedi's work is never done and Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker know this only too well. Despite the bond they share in the Force, after three years of marriage the Jedi Master and his wife are still learning the ropes of being a couple--and struggling to find time together between the constant demands of duty. But all that will change when they're united on an unexpected mission--and must pool their exceptional skills to combat an insidious enemy . . . and salvage a part of Jedi history.

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