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Thrawn and his allies race to save the Chiss Ascendancy from an unseen enemy in the second book in the epic Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy from best-selling author Timothy Zahn. Thrawn's latest triumph still rests newly on his shoulders. Despite leading the Chiss to victory and bringing glory to the House of Mitth, the true threat to the Ascendancy has not yet been ex Thrawn and his allies race to save the Chiss Ascendancy from an unseen enemy in the second book in the epic Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy from best-selling author Timothy Zahn. Thrawn's latest triumph still rests newly on his shoulders. Despite leading the Chiss to victory and bringing glory to the House of Mitth, the true threat to the Ascendancy has not yet been extinguished. Their foes do not send threats or ultimatums, or mass ships on the edge of the Chaos. Their weapons come cloaked in smiles and generosity: gifts offered freely. Services granted unconditionally. Across the Ascendancy, seemingly inconsequential events could herald the doom of the Chiss. As Thrawn and the Expansionary Defense Fleet rally to uncover the enemy plot, they discover a chilling truth: rather than invade Chiss capitals or pillage their resources, they strike at the very foundation of the Ascendancy, seeking to widen the rifts between the Nine Ruling Families and the Forty Great Houses below. As rivalry and suspicion sow discord among allies, each warrior must decide what matters most to them: the security of their family, or the survival of the Ascendancy itself.


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Thrawn and his allies race to save the Chiss Ascendancy from an unseen enemy in the second book in the epic Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy from best-selling author Timothy Zahn. Thrawn's latest triumph still rests newly on his shoulders. Despite leading the Chiss to victory and bringing glory to the House of Mitth, the true threat to the Ascendancy has not yet been ex Thrawn and his allies race to save the Chiss Ascendancy from an unseen enemy in the second book in the epic Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy from best-selling author Timothy Zahn. Thrawn's latest triumph still rests newly on his shoulders. Despite leading the Chiss to victory and bringing glory to the House of Mitth, the true threat to the Ascendancy has not yet been extinguished. Their foes do not send threats or ultimatums, or mass ships on the edge of the Chaos. Their weapons come cloaked in smiles and generosity: gifts offered freely. Services granted unconditionally. Across the Ascendancy, seemingly inconsequential events could herald the doom of the Chiss. As Thrawn and the Expansionary Defense Fleet rally to uncover the enemy plot, they discover a chilling truth: rather than invade Chiss capitals or pillage their resources, they strike at the very foundation of the Ascendancy, seeking to widen the rifts between the Nine Ruling Families and the Forty Great Houses below. As rivalry and suspicion sow discord among allies, each warrior must decide what matters most to them: the security of their family, or the survival of the Ascendancy itself.

30 review for Greater Good

  1. 4 out of 5

    Evan Morgan

    This may be one of the greatest Star Wars covers ever.

  2. 5 out of 5

    TheGeeksAttic

    Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good was written by New York Times Bestselling Author, Timothy Zahn. The book was published by Del Rey (thank you for the advanced material). Greater Good is the second installment of the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy. SUMMARY: Thrawn is tasked with finding out if the Vagaari Pirates are returning to Ascendancy space to cause havoc or if they have possibly allied with the Paataatus. During this investigation, Thrawn has a run-in with a group of refugees who believe their w Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good was written by New York Times Bestselling Author, Timothy Zahn. The book was published by Del Rey (thank you for the advanced material). Greater Good is the second installment of the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy. SUMMARY: Thrawn is tasked with finding out if the Vagaari Pirates are returning to Ascendancy space to cause havoc or if they have possibly allied with the Paataatus. During this investigation, Thrawn has a run-in with a group of refugees who believe their world and/or its inhabitants have been destroyed. The leader of these people has the authority to order the rest of her race, to end their life to join the "beyond," to be one with their world once again, in a different form. Thrawn takes it upon himself to prevent these people from killing themselves and to find their world. Elsewhere, a rare/expensive material is given to a member of the Xodlak family as a gift. The after affects of this gift brings the Xodlak family to call its members together, withdrawing warriors and officials within the Ascendency to report in to a family "emergency." The Xodlak find the origins of this material and want to claim it for themselves, this could potentially bring them back into a ruling family status. Will Thrawn save the alien race from committing mass suicide? Will the Xodlak family bring about civil war? Will Jixtus get the answers he's seeking? You'll have to read the novel to find the answers to those questions! CHARACTERS: There are so many characters in this tale that push the plot forward. I'm going to mention just a few. Thrawn, as always seems to have the upper hand. He's a problem solver, a leader, and an artist. He still has an issue with authority. Ba'kif (the General of the Chiss Defense Force) lets Thrawn know that the Ascendency is hesitant in allowing Thrawn to venture too far out of known space. Thrawn's confrontation with Yiv the Benevolent brought unwanted attention by the Syndicure. As a result, the Syndicure doesn't want the Expansionary Defense Fleet to be spread out too thin across space. Thrawn... disagrees. Thrawn has to be reminded of the Ascendancy policy - no military action should be taken unless Ascendancy territory is attacked first! Likinda, Commander of the Chiss warship, Grayshrike, has an interesting conflict that arises between her morality and the Xodlak family. With the events that she faces, it gives us deeper insight as to how the families operate. Jixtus was mentioned briefly in The first book, Chaos Rising. In this tale, he is brought into the story a lot more, but still just a mysterious robed figure with a spy gathering intel on the Chiss. He's very interested in how the Chiss navigate through space. He believes the Chiss have a navigational device from the people in lessor space, taken from the people long ago when the Chiss had taken part in their wars. Jixtus wants this device. Quote of the book comes from one of the Chiss upon receiving a gift: "If one wants the joy of giving, one must in turn except the humbleness of receiving, as to allow others their own joy." OVERALL THOUGHTS: I was pleased with book one, Chaos Rising. Was I pleased with part two, Greater Good? Yes! This book offers an excellent story. It's widely known as the second book in a Thrawn trilogy, but it's so much more than just a Thrawn story. There are many characters in this book that play a critical role in pushing the plot forward. There is a lot of conflict in this story, and it's handled so well. Zahn brings in a whole new level of drama in this book involving differences in alien species, Chiss families, and authoritative conflict within the Ascendancy itself. Thrawn is usually predictable in that, he's perfect... he knows how to resolve everything - always. While that's mostly true, the other characters ground the story, making the novel so interesting and unpredictable. I can't wait to see how Timothy Zahn concludes the Thrawn Ascendency trilogy. There are a few things I have to say about the Audiobook production. First, the positive - Marc Thompson does an excellent job narrating the story. He's highly entertaining and puts in a lot of effort with each character of the book. The negative, I feel that in some parts the music was misplaced and/or too loud. the narration was a little too slow for my taste, which made it a little difficult following along with the story. Rating: This book receives a B+

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jaime K

    I’m going to try to be as spoiler-free as possible. A few things to start of this review: ~ The Memories sections bridge the 9 months between books 1 and 2 of this trilogy. After Yiv is defeated, Haplif and Jixtus want to politically (and militarily, because they’re the Chiss) take down the Chiss. They boast about destroying a world (which I forgot about completely as I read). Haplif’s POV is focused on within these memories. Any time I’ll talk about the Memories, I’ll do a double dash before and I’m going to try to be as spoiler-free as possible. A few things to start of this review: ~ The Memories sections bridge the 9 months between books 1 and 2 of this trilogy. After Yiv is defeated, Haplif and Jixtus want to politically (and militarily, because they’re the Chiss) take down the Chiss. They boast about destroying a world (which I forgot about completely as I read). Haplif’s POV is focused on within these memories. Any time I’ll talk about the Memories, I’ll do a double dash before and after (--) ~ There is both a lot of military tactics (as Thrawn is wont to do) and politics. The biggest political issues stem from the 40 Lesser Families, mainly the Xodlak one. Through these struggles, we truly see what glory and honor--and family--mean among the Chiss. The hierarchy of the Chiss is quite telling. Too, we better understand the alliances between the Lesser and Ruling families. With the Xodlak family, all the core names begin with L-A-K. Unlike with other families like the Mitth (T-H), the fact that the first three letters are the same made a lot of names blend together. I personally had a LOT of trouble keeping up with who’s who. I really want a map of Chiss space. Ar’alani and Thrawn work VERY well together. The question comes up as to whether Ar’alani learned from Thrawn or the other way around. She has indeed learned well. Thurfian analyzes Thrawn well in chapter 1: that “he loses all the time” but with each loss and disaster “is followed so quickly by a glowing success that everyone forgets or ignores what came before.” Thurfian may hate Thrawn, but he is quite an interesting character to read. Thrawn always comes up with crazy battle plans. I like Thrawn’s crazy. Thalias is asked by Uingali to meet with the Magys, the head of a matriarchal society, to convince them to go back to their home planet and not kill themselves. It’s a very important subplot, but a lot with the Magys and her suicidal tendencies is quite annoying. The plot is left open by the end of the book. Though we do know the answer to the question: Did the Nikarduns destroy the planet or just take it over? The Magys though are overall interesting in that they are...if not Force users or even sensitive, accept that it exists and respects it as the Beyond. Mid-Captain Sarako is NOT HAPPY with Thalias being the ambassador the Magys; after all, she’s just a Caretaker. Despite his suspicions, I’m glad they have the opportunity to talk. Between Thalias and Che’ri, even more information about Sky-Walkers is provided. I like that Sarako isn’t the only one who is confused as to why certain aspects are never actually addressed and/or holistically understood. -- We see just how hard Haplif worked in 3-9 months to learn Cheunh and about the Chill in general. And then how he manipulated them. Shoot, how the Agbui manipulate in general. -- Indeed, we meet a yuba rancher named Lakphro, along with his family, and he doesn’t trust Haplif from the moment they meet. I like Lakphro from the start, and like him even more as the book progresses. -- The Grand Migration IS quite interesting once Jixtus points out his observations. The Agbui work with a young couple Yomie and Yoponek. Yomie is bloody awesome. I love how she integrates journaling and note-taking within her art. -- I feel very bad for Senior Captain Lakinda. The notion of honor and glory is so embedded in her understanding of life that she feels like everyone looks down on her; that she’s always a fool. Her desire to be better (and have more honor) leads her to be susceptible to a nasty scheme. Because Lakuviv is crazy pants. Memories VI makes me loathe Haplif. As if I didn’t hate him before. But my memory is so shoddy that I didn’t remember details about the characters when opening this book. The truth about the mines and metals is so predictable and foreshadowed along the way that I’m almost mad I didn’t recognize it, but I truly am blind to some of those things. I love that Lakinda immediately accepts that truth, and recognizes that different mindsets doesn’t mean any one person is better or worse than another. And that, in the end, Chiss is greater than family. At the end, Thrawn’s political incompetence really helps. The end is ominous. What I didn’t like: The phrases “hun-bun” and “yokel”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Albert Riehle

    I'm a fan of Timothy Zahn and have enjoyed all of his Thrawn books. As a matter of fact, I think Thrawn might be my favorite non-Lucas-created Star Wars character. But the first Thrawn Ascendancy book was just okay for me and this second just wasn't very good at all. There was a lot about this book that went wrong. There were elbows all over the place in this story. Many moons ago, when Zahn introduced us to Thrawn, he gave his character this long, intricate name, based on his family name, person I'm a fan of Timothy Zahn and have enjoyed all of his Thrawn books. As a matter of fact, I think Thrawn might be my favorite non-Lucas-created Star Wars character. But the first Thrawn Ascendancy book was just okay for me and this second just wasn't very good at all. There was a lot about this book that went wrong. There were elbows all over the place in this story. Many moons ago, when Zahn introduced us to Thrawn, he gave his character this long, intricate name, based on his family name, personal name and and occupation/clan/2nd name, each part separated by an apostrophe. Each character also had a shortened version of their name that made storytelling more practical by using the last few letters of the clan name, the given name and a letter or two from the occupation/clan. To Zahn's thinking, I'm sure he wanted to separate Thrawn from the known Star Wars galaxy and make him somewhat exotic and different. When it was just Thrawn, that wasn't a problem. But in this series, the stories take place in the Chiss Ascendancy and so we have a large cast of Chiss characters. On board ships within the fleet, that isn't too big of a problem. Many of the families can be mixed into the crew. But on the planets of the Chiss, and within their political spheres, many, if not all of the characters in a scene have the first few letters in their names. In particular, much of this story takes place among the family Xolak, so all of the common names for every characters start with L-A-K. It's ridiculous. This story didn't have the greatest pace to start with but the tediousness of trying to remember which Lak-name was which was beyond aggravating. It's a hole Zahn dug himself into a long time ago and I'm not sure how he could have changed it now but he should have tried something. There are at least 10 characters of consequence in this book whose name starts with Lak. It's disruptive. Constantly. The book is centered more around Chiss politics and the families and their desires to move up in status or hold on to status. Look: there are a lot of really good political intrigue books out there. The backstabbing, the manipulation, the intricacy--it can be great fodder for a story. Zahn tries but fails to make it work here. There's a subtleness to the con going on in the background that's done well and I like that it wasn't too convoluted, but honestly, it could have used a few more layers and a bit more oomph. I won't spoil the plot here, but if I told you what this story was about, you probably wouldn't be interested enough to read it. The good? Zahn shines when he let's his Thrawn character out of the box. The space battles, the strategies, the way he dissects a situation to it's core in a matter of minutes--sometimes seconds--and employs his defense or attack is always fun. I wish there had been more of that. This book splits between a bunch of perspectives, including back and forth in time. It's too much of everyone else and not enough of Thrawn. His role is largely diminished in this book--the parts where he was featured read with pace and interest. The rest? Did not. When it comes to Star Wars books, I feel like you have to read them just have a full understanding of things going on in other areas (the new movies, the streaming shows, the other books, etc.) and missing one potentially tears you out of the loop. So, for that reason alone, I suspect you should read this one but don't rush to it. If you can get this from the library you'll probably be less salty than I am after paying for it. And maybe this is worth reading along with something else. It's an easy enough book to put down and there's nothing challenging enough to get through if you come back sporadically other than the name issue which will be an issue even if you read it straight though. So it's a solid 2 stars for me. I don't recommend it as a book you might enjoy, but perhaps as a necessary evil for understanding the full background of a great character who is going to play a part in many of the new projects in the works. I expect better from Zahn.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Koan

    There's something to be said about expectations. Sometimes they help you get excited, and othertimes they will cause you to not enjoy the book as much. Case in point: I was not excited for Chaos Rising and was therefore pleasantly surprised. However, I was really excited for this book, and couldn't wait to start reading...and was slightly let down. Emphasis on slightly. After the first book, I was really looking forward to reading more about Admiral Ar'alani and Thalias and Thurfian. While they ar There's something to be said about expectations. Sometimes they help you get excited, and othertimes they will cause you to not enjoy the book as much. Case in point: I was not excited for Chaos Rising and was therefore pleasantly surprised. However, I was really excited for this book, and couldn't wait to start reading...and was slightly let down. Emphasis on slightly. After the first book, I was really looking forward to reading more about Admiral Ar'alani and Thalias and Thurfian. While they are all present, they barely show up in this book. Ar'alani is in the beginning of the book and barely shows up again. Thurfian is important throughout, but his is more of a slow burn. Thalias is present throughout, and has an important plot in this book, but not much happens to her overall plot in the trilogy. If those plotlines are what you were looking for(like I was), you might be dissapointed in this book. However, this is still a WONDERFUL book! I loved reading the main plot, and the way that Zahn tied all the plot threads together was genius! This book focuses on Thrawn's search for a refugee's homeworld and people in the "A-plot", and focuses on a small Chiss world where the Agubi are weaving an interesting web as the "B-Plot". I was not excited for the B-plot, although it was really written well. It served exactly the purpose it should have, and made the ending truly epic, but it just wasn't what I was excited for. I just wanted to get to the A-plot. Thawn's story was great. His ability to dissect his opponents and come up with a grand strategy was brilliant! Samakro's problems with Thrawn were shown throughout, but he had good character development. The character who I'd say is the standout in this book is Senior Captain Lakinda(I am NOT going to type out her full name). I don't believe she was in the first book(if she was, I don't remember). Her arc was the most compelling and I found myself really wanting her to succeed. Like the first book, this had a lot of situational humor that I really enjoyed! Zahn's dialogue is really top notch. And while I felt deflated after reading the Alphabet Squadron books, I feel delighted and energized reading these books. That isn't to say that Alexander Freed's writing style is particularly bad, but it's depressing, and I like the joy and excitement that come from Zahn's style. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the overall, A-plot of this book, even though I enjoyed the overall experience of Chaos Rising more. I believe that's due to the impressive "Memories" that were in Chaos Rising. There were "Memories" present here, but they didn't add to any of the main characters, but they had to do with Haplif(the main villain) and his portion of the B-plot. Not what I wanted, but was still fun to read. Also, I am on the edge of my seat to find out more about Jixtus. Give me EVERYTHING! Overall, I quite enjoyed this book. It's a fun, complex ride with characters that I didn't know I needed to read about. Zahn has earned the right to write whatever he wants to in Star Wars, I will read it no matter what. 9.0 out of 10! P.S. If you like the style and flow of the Ascendency Trilogy, I highly recommend Zahn's old "Conqueror's Trilogy" that came out in the 90s. It has similar plots and naming conventions, but is more of a traditional sciene-fiction book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris Monceaux

    See more of my reviews here! Thrawn is one of my favorite Star Wars characters. So, to say I was excited for this book doesn't even begin to explain the anticipation I had for this release. I picked it up on release day before it even got to the shelf at Barnes and Noble; I took it off the cart holding the books being stocked that day. All in all, the book met my expectations and was a really great read. There were so many things to like about this book. The writing style was engaging and kept me See more of my reviews here! Thrawn is one of my favorite Star Wars characters. So, to say I was excited for this book doesn't even begin to explain the anticipation I had for this release. I picked it up on release day before it even got to the shelf at Barnes and Noble; I took it off the cart holding the books being stocked that day. All in all, the book met my expectations and was a really great read. There were so many things to like about this book. The writing style was engaging and kept me glued to the page. I enjoyed the overall story and the level of mystery surrounding the villains that slowly unfolded over the book. The tying together of seemingly disparate threads is something that Thrawn, and by proxy, Zahn, did so well here. I enjoyed seeing this take on destroying the enemy from the inside because I was never quite sure exactly what the plan was until it all unfolded. Then, in hindsight, it was perfectly obvious. My only complaint about the plot is that it seemed somewhat low stakes for the second book in a trilogy, especially with how the crisis in the book was resolved. I expected the ending to be much more dramatic than it turned out to be. The characters were well-rounded and interesting. There were many returning faces from the first book in this series, including Admiral Ar'alani, Thurfian, and Thalias. Although, only Thalias had a large role to play throughout the story. Thurfian was more in the background until the very end of the book, and Admiral Ar'alani was largely sidelined. Even Thrawn was missing from a great deal of the story, which is one of the few things I didn't like about the book. In their absence, though, several new characters were introduced. I especially enjoyed meeting Lakinda and seeing the major conflict of the book play out from her perspective. What is more important? The pride of one's unit/family or the overall survival and success of the entire society and way of life. It is a compelling question, especially when set within the environment of the Chiss society. There was so much information in this book about the Chiss Ascendancy and way of life. It expanded on the lore in big ways by showing how people outside of the military live. The book also provided more detail about the structure of Chiss power and the strengths and weaknesses of their social hierarchy. Being the Star Wars nerd I am, I loved getting all this new info and am continuing to geek out over it. The ending of the book also foreshadowed some future big reveals about the history of the Chiss and potential ties to events from the last Thrawn trilogy. Needless to say, I'm already biding my time until the last book in the series comes out next year! Overall, this book was a fun read that provided an interesting mystery, new villains, and a ton of information about the Chiss society. I was somewhat annoyed that it sidelined some of my favorite characters and didn't have the dramatic impact I expected from the second part of a trilogy. However, I also greatly enjoyed the new characters and information along with the teases for future stories. Therefore, I rate the book 4 out of 5 stars. If you are a fan of Star Wars or Thrawn, I definitely recommend it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Lovitt

    Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy (Book II: Greater Good) suffers from “middle book fatigue” but offers up compelling political intrigue, expansive world-building, and a healthy dose of battle strategy. (READ MORE: https://yourmoneygeek.com/star-wars-t...) With the triumph of Thrawn’s latest victory for the Chiss resting on his shoulders, he and his allies find themselves in a race to save the Chiss Ascendancy from an unseen enemy that has yet to be extinguished. But the enemy is almost as clever as Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy (Book II: Greater Good) suffers from “middle book fatigue” but offers up compelling political intrigue, expansive world-building, and a healthy dose of battle strategy. (READ MORE: https://yourmoneygeek.com/star-wars-t...) With the triumph of Thrawn’s latest victory for the Chiss resting on his shoulders, he and his allies find themselves in a race to save the Chiss Ascendancy from an unseen enemy that has yet to be extinguished. But the enemy is almost as clever as the Sherlockian-like Thrawn, opting to further the rifts between the ruling families, rather than attack them among the stars in battle.  These enemies bring some of the most interesting elements within the novel, revealing their infiltration through rich flashbacks. If you enjoy familial drama, then the rivalries between the ruling Chiss families will captivate you.  While the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy boasts the fan-favorite Thrawn as the central character, his own story often takes the backseat in terms of narrative structure. Thrawn is the sun of the trilogy and the books are simply exploring the characters that are caught in his orbit. The plots that do directly relate to Thrawn feel lackluster — we’re told about his flaws, but they never fully come into play.  Zahn is a master at creating characters and Greater Good has a plethora of interesting characters that interact with each other in various ways, but I was still left wanting to know more about them. When so much of the story is driven by character choices and conflict, having so many uniquely different characters can be frustrating.  You might be intimidated by the size of Greater Good, but Timothy Zahn has a true genius for writing prose that keeps you engaged with it’s fast-paced style. At times the story wanders away from the central plot, to the extent that key factors set-up in the first half of the book are forgotten by the second half, but it ultimately manages to tie it together in the end.  I have a passing interest in Thrawn and his exploits, so Greater Good falls somewhere within my “good Star Wars books” ranking. It’s a fun read, with intriguing characters, but in the end it’s just alright for me. The Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy started strong with Chaos Rising, however Greater Good has left me hoping it can pull off a strong finish.  Whatever my qualms with Thrawn Ascendancy, there is something truly special about having a series written by Timothy Zahn about a character that he created thirty years ago in Heir to the Empire. Nine years ago this month, Disney’s acquisition de-canonized the Expanded Universe and Grand Admiral Thrawn, but — against all odds — he was brought back to the canon through Star Wars: Rebels, The Mandalorian, and his own novelizations.  For fans of Thrawn, the Thrawn Ascendancy and all of Timothy Zahn’s work is a dream come true and this trilogy is bound to find a special place on the bookshelves of Star Wars fans. 

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    This dad read the anticipated next entry into Timothy Zahn’s newest Thrawn trilogy, “Star Wars Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good” released April 27, 2021 by Del Rey. Having really enjoyed 2020’s “Ascendancy: Chaos Rising” I had my hopes set high for this one. Too high it turns out. For the majority of this book I found myself confused, struggling to keep up with the plot and honestly bored. Zahn’s writing skills are stellar, however with the pure headcount of characters (many of them having very si This dad read the anticipated next entry into Timothy Zahn’s newest Thrawn trilogy, “Star Wars Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good” released April 27, 2021 by Del Rey. Having really enjoyed 2020’s “Ascendancy: Chaos Rising” I had my hopes set high for this one. Too high it turns out. For the majority of this book I found myself confused, struggling to keep up with the plot and honestly bored. Zahn’s writing skills are stellar, however with the pure headcount of characters (many of them having very similar-sounding names) and variety of subplots, “Greater Good” meandered like a ship lost in space a majority of the time. The goal of this new trilogy is to delve deeply into the Chiss Ascendancy, a large sector of The Chaos (Wild Space) home to a variety of planets who are organized into families. A power structure has existed in the Ascendancy for generations where various families have been a part of the ruling class – a unique setting that Zahn set up well in the first book. Where this second book differs from the first is that instead of focusing solely on Thrawn and his individual character journey, Zahn is widening the scope of the story to include more Chiss family drama. We’re introduced to more planets, more politics and more small players. Having a large cast of characters is by no means a bad thing and they all play important parts in the story. For me it was a reading experience that felt more like a chore to keep up with rather than a pleasure. Having said that, upon completing the book all of the plotlines do fall into place and a satisfying resolution occurs. But I can’t help but wonder how much more enjoyable the journey to get to the end could have been. There were parts that I did enjoy. Seeing Thrawn back doing what he does best is just so much fun. Zahn writes him in a way that while readers likely know what to expect from Thrawn, it’s always mysterious and fun seeing it all play out. Joining him are returning favorites of mine Admiral Ar’alani, caretaker Thalias and navigator Che’ri. I wish we could have spent more time with all of them in book two, they’re part of the ensemble instead of being lead characters, but I’ll take what I can get. The fact that this new trilogy is so unlike anything else that exists in Star Wars is a good thing. I could argue myself out of this by saying that there are no points of reference to let readers know this is still Star Wars: no Jedi, no lightsabers, no Empire, no Grogu! I’m still choosing to view this as a positive thing though. In the Ascendancy, the galaxy is wide open to possibilities and in Zahn’s capable hands I’ll continue to do what I always do, get my hopes up for the next one. Also a juicy cliffhanger never hurts! Was this book my absolute favorite new Star Wars work? No. Do I still recommend it if you love Thrawn/Zahn? Yes.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mandy Barber

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. SPOILER-FREE I loved this book even more than the last one! I don’t know if it was easier to understand or if I’m finally getting better at following along with these complex plots, but whichever it was, I had a much better grip on what was happening, and it was fascinating to watch the pieces coming together. Unfortunately Thrawn himself wasn’t featured as much as you’d think, but thankfully I loved all the other characters who were focused on. Everything about this book (except the somewhat lac SPOILER-FREE I loved this book even more than the last one! I don’t know if it was easier to understand or if I’m finally getting better at following along with these complex plots, but whichever it was, I had a much better grip on what was happening, and it was fascinating to watch the pieces coming together. Unfortunately Thrawn himself wasn’t featured as much as you’d think, but thankfully I loved all the other characters who were focused on. Everything about this book (except the somewhat lack of Thrawn) is just so satisfying to me! 📚 SPOILER RAMBLINGS I just really love all the characters and their plot lines! I always love watching Ar’alani do literally anything. She’s so purposeful, capable, and trustworthy. Lakinda’s internal conflict is fascinating, and she definitely proves her worth by focusing on the good of the Chiss as a whole instead of her own family’s glory. Samakro is a great first officer, but he still has doubts and dislikes regarding Thrawn and Thalias that are interesting to read about. Lakphro has got to be my favourite side character. Having been used to seeing Chiss in political and military roles, I LOVE seeing one as a simple-living, steadfast farmer, and his attitude in general is just so funny. “Everyone in the district knows about you. Of course, everyone in the district also knows about hoof fungus.” Thalias is definitely my favourite main character (aside from Thrawn)! I love how she keeps stepping out of line with what she says and does to help people, but Thrawn is always fine with it since it gets results. And I LOVE Che’ri! Any scenes with her make me so happy. She adds a degree of fun and energy to the drama of politics and military issues. As for other characters, I love watching Haplif’s schemes as he figures out how to best manipulate everyone to get what he needs. Yoponek is an easy target, poor fellow, but Yomie is definitely more of a challenge. I’m glad she was smart enough to figure out what was going on, even though ... RIP. Learning about the Magys’ species and culture is fascinating, and Thalias does such a great job of talking them out of the mass suicide. I’m so proud of her. I don’t know enough about Jixtus to have an opinion about him, but I like his meditation room and the troublesome chairs that are hard to get out of, haha. Still not sure how I feel about Thrawn’s plan of having Che’ri use Third Sight backwards ... seems a bit strange, but I guess I’ll buy it. I’m mostly just happy to see Thrawn incorporating Che’ri and Thalias into his plans. That’s always my favourite thing to see those characters work together. And let’s all give Laknym a round of applause. And the end was hilarious, seeing Ba’kif try to figure out the situation details that the families are blatantly trying to cover up. But that cliffhanger ... what even?

  10. 5 out of 5

    SWbookcollector

    Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good by Timothy Zahn. Review copy Tasked with cleaning up the remnants of the Nikardun forces after their defeat, Senior Captain Thrawn once again pushes the boundaries of protocol and the patience of his peers when he discovers a mysterious and suicidal group of refugees, that have given up hope after the destruction of their un-named home planet. Thrawn and the, now familiar, crew of the Springhawk take it upon themselves to simultaneously investigate the potential th Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good by Timothy Zahn. Review copy Tasked with cleaning up the remnants of the Nikardun forces after their defeat, Senior Captain Thrawn once again pushes the boundaries of protocol and the patience of his peers when he discovers a mysterious and suicidal group of refugees, that have given up hope after the destruction of their un-named home planet. Thrawn and the, now familiar, crew of the Springhawk take it upon themselves to simultaneously investigate the potential threat to the Ascendancy and save the lives of these refugees by proving to them that hope is not lost. Meanwhile the nefarious enigma Jixtus executes clandestine machinations that appear to have a far larger scope than the Nikardun threat exhibited. The second book in the Ascendancy trilogy does what all good second acts do. It takes what came before it and expands upon and adds depth, weaving story threads and developing existing characters whilst introducing new, crucial ones. It slows down the frantic and sometimes wonderfully confusing world building of Chaos Rising and allows the characters and stories to breathe and move forward leisurely. This was a much needed change of pace as I found myself warming to these characters and this world more and more with each chapter. It's a more complex story than Chaos Rising but one that's much easier to follow as it's less about remembering names, ranks, species and the intricacies of House politics and more about the narrative itself and the relationships between the characters. It's also worth noting that this is easily the canon Thrawn book to feature the title character the least. This is by no means a bad thing as Zahn has given us such compelling characters like Ar'alani, Thalias and newcomers Haplif and Lakinda that it serves the story better to see it from multiple POV's. Greater Good also confirms that Thrawn Ascendancy is a more cohesive and serialised sequence of books than the previous canon trilogy. Thrawn, Alliances and Treason were all very much their own stories that were only tangentially linked by characters and some small story details. The Ascendancy trilogy is very much one story, perhaps closer to his Legends trilogy in that regard than anything else. The use of the memory chapters in this book are more focused this time around, following one story thread and giving more context to a certain thread. It's effective and these chapters were some of my favourite parts of the book. Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good builds on the groundwork laid by the first book to create a compelling and vital second part that does as much for this trilogy as Empire did for the OT. 

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hope M

    I'm torn on this book. I really hated the first half, but I adored the second half. This book really showcased Zahn's strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Zahn is really good at building mysteries and battle math, but that might not be for everyone. He is certainly not Arthur Conan Doyle, so a lot of Thrawn's Sherlockian tendencies drag on and fall flat. These books all feel very dated since Thrawn: Treason came out. Treason and the two Ascendancy books have essentially the same plot: -Mystery bu I'm torn on this book. I really hated the first half, but I adored the second half. This book really showcased Zahn's strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Zahn is really good at building mysteries and battle math, but that might not be for everyone. He is certainly not Arthur Conan Doyle, so a lot of Thrawn's Sherlockian tendencies drag on and fall flat. These books all feel very dated since Thrawn: Treason came out. Treason and the two Ascendancy books have essentially the same plot: -Mystery build, spin wheels for 100 pages, middle chapter reveals, Thrawn has some battle math and Sherlockian jumps, final battle, resolve with everyone shaking their fists going, "That Thrawn is so smart, but boy we don't like him!" What made Thrawn (2017) so good was we were actually in Thrawn's head watching him actively deduce. I know Zahn HATED writing that way (he talked about it at 2019's Dragon Con), but it was really his strongest and best written book in the new canon. I hope to see him go back to that, because all of these Thrawn books are the same plot with different characters. That said, he is very good at writing characters which is what kept me in this story. The bad guys of this series are really intriguing and added a lot back into the Thrawn Imperial Trilogy novels. Zahn also writes really layered and great female characters, something he's done since his days of creating Mara Jade. Though speaking of a Legends character, I'm tired of getting punished because I have not read Outbound Flight yet. They keep bringing up Thrass as this big loss for Thrawn. The government officials loved Thrass. Two books into Ascendancy, this character has been brought up 3-4 times. Unless he's going to miraculously be brought back in book three, why does this Legends story and character have so much weight over this canon novel? Speaking of Thrawn losing Thrass, let Thrawn lose more. Part of why these books are so boring is Thrawn always wins. Thrawn (2017) was interesting because Thrawn lost a moral victory to Governor Pryce who played him. He of course lost Thrass. And then in Rebels, he loses to Ezra which is why we all want that follow up story so bad. Thrawn is interesting in his losses. But because he never loses in these books, he's boring because it is more of the same thing. I really loved the second half of this book. It was able to pull me back in and make me excited for the third novel. Also, the rancher is the MVP and I hope we get more of him.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Tatham

    Excerpts from my review for Dork Side of the Force: https://dorksideoftheforce.com/2021/0... "Heading back into the mysterious, not-quite-lawless area of the Unknown Regions of the galaxy, legendary Star Wars author Timothy Zahn once again presents a slow-burn political thriller featuring the beloved blue-skinned Chiss commander, Thrawn. Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good is the second book in Zahn’s newest Thrawn trilogy, taking us farther back into the future grand admiral’s origins as he navigate Excerpts from my review for Dork Side of the Force: https://dorksideoftheforce.com/2021/0... "Heading back into the mysterious, not-quite-lawless area of the Unknown Regions of the galaxy, legendary Star Wars author Timothy Zahn once again presents a slow-burn political thriller featuring the beloved blue-skinned Chiss commander, Thrawn. Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good is the second book in Zahn’s newest Thrawn trilogy, taking us farther back into the future grand admiral’s origins as he navigated his own homeworlds, culture and familial bureaucracy. Picking up where the first book, Chaos Rising, left off, Greater Good sows the seeds of civil strife planted in the former novel as the militaristic Chiss try to sweep up the remnants of one enemy only to find a larger one trying to infiltrate their home. Besides Thrawn, returning favorite characters include Thalias and Sky-walker Che’ri and Thrawn’s closest ally Admiral Ar’alani. However, Thrawn and his compatriots take a back seat for much of the novel in favor of spotlighting a new character Senior Captain Lakinda, her family the Xodlak and a mysterious alien race who seem a bit too friendly to be good." "Being a Thrawn novel, Greater Good is also a classic Zahn story and can be a bit overwhelming and heavy in the first half. Zahn is a master at laying out the game board and slowly moving the pieces into place while the reader is understandably distracted by the intricate and epic space battles and intriguing details of Chiss family culture. Just as the complexities of Chiss virtues like ambition, power and respect come into greater focus, the long con of a mysterious larger enemy is revealed, pushing the blue-skinned aliens to the brink of civil war. Like all Thrawn novels, Greater Good doesn’t focus on if Thrawn can solve the mystery in time, but how he gets there. Fans know that Thrawn is a brilliant strategist who leaves little room for doubt of his intellectual skills. But it is just as intriguing seeing Thrawn’s mental methods at work through the eyes of other Chiss — some of whom respect and admire or despite Thrawn. With Zahn’s detailed, stream-of-consciousness style writing, Greater Good brings you right into the middle of the mystery, prompting you to pick each character’s brain to try to solve it before the cerebral Thrawn does."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jack Rogers

    Thrawn's prequel series continues with the 2nd entry into the Ascendancy storyline; Greater Good. This entry in the series follow's straight on after the events of the 1st book; Chaos Rising. With Thrawn and his fellow military personal aboard the Springhawk following new orders provided by the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet. At the same time while Thrawn is following a new mission, sinister forces outside the Chiss Ascendancy are plotting a cunning plan to lead the Chiss empire to their doom. Thrawn's prequel series continues with the 2nd entry into the Ascendancy storyline; Greater Good. This entry in the series follow's straight on after the events of the 1st book; Chaos Rising. With Thrawn and his fellow military personal aboard the Springhawk following new orders provided by the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet. At the same time while Thrawn is following a new mission, sinister forces outside the Chiss Ascendancy are plotting a cunning plan to lead the Chiss empire to their doom. In terms of the narrative this book continues to follow the amazing structure and foundations Zahn had established in his prior book, Concepts, terminologies and plotlines all established from the first entry follow through into this entry very smoothly and Zahn has an impressive ability to continue to elaborate and build upon them. Character journeys are also expanded upon in the entry too. Thrawn is the central character but I appreciate how Zahn builds up a lot of developments for supporting characters around him and the overarching plot. Pacing is also a notable strong point for the book too. Despite the book being notably larger in page count compared to the first entry there isn't much of the book that feels long-winded or wasted. Every chapter adds important backing and purpose to the story and Zahn even utilised the memories extracts again to help further outline the past of the evil forces this time around. It's a comprehensive story with a structure that feels well balanced. This isn't a negative for me, but I feel it's fair to point out that again the terminologies and phrases thrown around in this story are very lore-heavy. So if you're not able to properly sink yourself into the world the story is creating the concepts being laid out may be difficult to understand. Having already read the first book I benefit from already having a decent understanding of the concepts so far though. I'm ready for the final entry in this series; Lesser Evil. I'm very hopeful Zahn will end it on a very solid note and help lead in to the future of Thrawn in other, older books and even the TV shows!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Dinges

    Greater Good is the second book in the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy by Timothy Zahn. It's a fairly unique entry in the greater Star Wars canon in that it exclusively explores Grand Admiral Thrawn's past in the Chiss Ascendancy. The Ascendancy exists completely outside the realm of the Republic or Empire. In fact, apart from Thrawn himself, and very fleeting references to the Force, the trilogy is almost completely detached from the rest of the Star Wars canon. The planets, races, themes, and even te Greater Good is the second book in the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy by Timothy Zahn. It's a fairly unique entry in the greater Star Wars canon in that it exclusively explores Grand Admiral Thrawn's past in the Chiss Ascendancy. The Ascendancy exists completely outside the realm of the Republic or Empire. In fact, apart from Thrawn himself, and very fleeting references to the Force, the trilogy is almost completely detached from the rest of the Star Wars canon. The planets, races, themes, and even technology are different. At times, it makes this trilogy feel very much unlike a Star Wars book. Of course, the exception is Thrawn himself. Most of the time, Thrawn is enough to remind you that you're still in a universe far, far away. Thrawn remains (especially in Zahn's hands) one of the single most compelling characters that the Star Wars universe has given rise to. That's including the movies, books, TV, games, legends or Disney canon, etc...Despite his status as a villain, it's very easy to slip into the mindset of viewing Thrawn as a protagonist. When he is ruthless, it is logical and calculated. He is often more open-minded than his colleagues and his rebellious streak makes him suited for his role as an outsider in the Ascendancy. The balancing act between portraying Thrawn as hero and villain is one that is old hat to Zahn, and one that he has mastered. Greater Good sometimes suffers from feeling very much like the second act in a trilogy. There is a satisfying conclusion to the narrative of this book, but it feels like bigger things are on the horizon. I think fans of Star Wars will find it worthwhile. Fans of Thrawn specifically should like what's here. If any character is going to receive this kind of treatment, Thrawn is a good fit. I'm looking forward to the conclusion of the trilogy later this year.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Eli

    If you're hungry for Chiss lore, you're gonna love this. If you're hungry for Thrawn specifically, it leaves something to be desired. Unlike the first novel in this trilogy, which focuses primarily on Thrawn, the scope of Greater Good is much wider. Lots of new characters introduced, and a lot of names to keep track of. I personally didn't find the name thing difficult, but the story veers far away from Thrawn a lot of times. It's clear that Zahn wanted to showcase the vastness and diversity of th If you're hungry for Chiss lore, you're gonna love this. If you're hungry for Thrawn specifically, it leaves something to be desired. Unlike the first novel in this trilogy, which focuses primarily on Thrawn, the scope of Greater Good is much wider. Lots of new characters introduced, and a lot of names to keep track of. I personally didn't find the name thing difficult, but the story veers far away from Thrawn a lot of times. It's clear that Zahn wanted to showcase the vastness and diversity of the Chiss Ascendancy with this one. The returning characters are lovely, and the new major character, Lakinda, is pretty likable too. The antagonists are absolutely despicable (in a good writing way) and the main villain, the big bad, is undeniably intriguing and attractive in a way. As for Thrawn himself, he's brilliant, and I still never cease to be amazed and delighted every time he shows up. As far as the plot goes, it was good, and Zahn really knows how to spin a good intrigue, but at the end, I once again felt like the stakes weren't as high as they could've been. The questions I was left with after finishing, besides the cliffhanger in the very last sentence, were mostly minor ones about Chiss culture. The main intrigue of the book got pretty much entirely resolved by the end of the book. I'm excited for the next one, but I was left feeling like the conflict was a bit too tame. With all that said though, this book has its wonderful moments. We finally got to see how Chiss who aren't in the military live their lives; what problems they run into, what their hopes and dreams are. Us Chiss fans got enough lore to keep us busy for months. Overall, if you like Thrawn and want to know more about Chiss culture, this is a great read. I recommend.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Arezou

    Thrawn is back! Well..."back". For all that is name is on the cover of this book, he isn't actually in it all that much. And unlike last time, people don't even talk about him that much. He just sort of...is there. While other people are there. [READ FULL REVIEW: https://arezoudeetoo.com/2021/05/09/b...] That's not to say that I'm not still enjoying the world of this story. It's still so removed from the rest of Star Wars that it feels like conventional science fiction. Or rather Star Trek-flavou Thrawn is back! Well..."back". For all that is name is on the cover of this book, he isn't actually in it all that much. And unlike last time, people don't even talk about him that much. He just sort of...is there. While other people are there. [READ FULL REVIEW: https://arezoudeetoo.com/2021/05/09/b...] That's not to say that I'm not still enjoying the world of this story. It's still so removed from the rest of Star Wars that it feels like conventional science fiction. Or rather Star Trek-flavoured Star Wars. That said, I wish Timothy Zahn was better at describing alien beings because we've never seen any of these species before, and I have no idea what they look like... OK, I'd be lying if I said it was easy to explain what happens in this book. There's so much battle math and fighting and spaceships and *sigh*. One plot picks up where the last book left off, with Thrawn, Ar'alani, Lakinda and co. (including the sky-walker Che'ri) fighting those who would seek to destabilize and scatter the Chiss. Through it all, they must convince an alien names The Magys not to kill herself and all her people out of a false belief that their homeworld is destroyed. The second concerns a farmer named Lakphro, who plays unwitting host to Haplif, , an alien working for Jixtus, a Grysk looking to destabilize the Ascendancy. Haplif is playing a long game, trying to drag some of the 40 high ranking families of the Chiss into a conflict among themselves using a very elaborate plot using handmade jewellery. It takes about 300 pages for these two plots to converge properly, and for the main mystery to unfold.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sal Perales

    “The odds are never impossible, merely unfavorable.” -Thrawn The second book in Thrawn’s prequel trilogy is here! Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good continues the story of our little blue guy’s rise through the military ranks in the Chiss Ascendancy. Once again Timothy Zahn pits Thrawn and his fellow Chiss against their enemies deep in the Unknown Regions. This time, however, the danger isn’t just fleet tactics and capital ships. The enemies of the Ascendancy strike with subterfuge and politics. A ne “The odds are never impossible, merely unfavorable.” -Thrawn The second book in Thrawn’s prequel trilogy is here! Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good continues the story of our little blue guy’s rise through the military ranks in the Chiss Ascendancy. Once again Timothy Zahn pits Thrawn and his fellow Chiss against their enemies deep in the Unknown Regions. This time, however, the danger isn’t just fleet tactics and capital ships. The enemies of the Ascendancy strike with subterfuge and politics. A new battlefield for Thrawn where he might not be the genius tactician he is on the battlefield. The book takes most of the Thrawn story tropes and tosses in a mix of Chiss politics and the sowing of dissonance to bring a very interesting story that strays a bit from the usual "Thrawn wins fleet things." As the second book in a trilogy, there are plenty of loose threads to ponder on as we wait until Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil arrives in November. I think I enjoyed this book a bit more than Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising because of Chaos Rising's great job in setting up these characters and the world-building of Chiss society. Greater Good plants some very interesting seeds and raises some very interesting questions that I can’t wait to see resolved in the final book. This book is definitely a must-read for any Thrawn fan or fans of political intrigue! Full review: https://theroguerebels.com/2021/04/27...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarmat Chowdhury

    Another awesome Thrawn story courtesy of Timothy Zahn. "Greater Good", the second book in the Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy series follows Mid Captain Thrawn during his time with the Chiss Defense Expansion Force as they clean up the remnants of the aggression from the end of the first book in "Chaos Rising". The second book continues to follow Thrawn aboard the Springhawk, along with other members of the Chiss and their families that we were introduced to in the first book, along with more alien Another awesome Thrawn story courtesy of Timothy Zahn. "Greater Good", the second book in the Star Wars: Thrawn Ascendancy series follows Mid Captain Thrawn during his time with the Chiss Defense Expansion Force as they clean up the remnants of the aggression from the end of the first book in "Chaos Rising". The second book continues to follow Thrawn aboard the Springhawk, along with other members of the Chiss and their families that we were introduced to in the first book, along with more alien species that reside in the Chaos, the part of Greater Space that the Chiss Ascendancy is found. The second book in the trilogy continues to add to the myth of the Chiss, with readers getting a better look at the various political webs that bind the members of the Chiss to their families (the current Nine ruling and the Forty Greater Families) along with the homogeneity the Chiss system in regards to outsiders. We continue to see that the Chiss enjoy their presence of isolationism and non-interventionism, how they react as a society to refugees, and we continue to attempt to figure out who and what is the motivation for the main antagonist for the trilogy. Zahn does an amazing job once again in fleshing out Thrawn and his early days in the Ascendancy, and also how the Chiss are as a people and system.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Vandergriff

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I liked Thrawn: Greater good. It does a good job of setting up stakes for the climax of the book with what I think is a good payoff. A little more of the main defense fleet characters would have been good to see at the end. Thrawn was somewhat present in this book. The book mainly focused on the events and characters around Thrawn and setting up the world of the Chiss Ascendancy, his allies/ enemies, and the bigger political picture (of which Thrawn knows nothing or is implied to). It might have I liked Thrawn: Greater good. It does a good job of setting up stakes for the climax of the book with what I think is a good payoff. A little more of the main defense fleet characters would have been good to see at the end. Thrawn was somewhat present in this book. The book mainly focused on the events and characters around Thrawn and setting up the world of the Chiss Ascendancy, his allies/ enemies, and the bigger political picture (of which Thrawn knows nothing or is implied to). It might have been nice to get a pov from Thrawn at some point to see what he thinks or knows of the political structure but I think the absence of one was done for a reason. This was touched on in the last book with him being oblivious to the politics. It would be interested to see if he learned from that and is more competent in the area now. Maybe next book. Although he still doesn't know much of politics on the first Thrawn book from 2017. More on how the book was written. I've always enjoyed Zhan's writing style. For me at least it flows well and I haven't encountered anything that took me out of the story becuase it was written weird. I found it easy to read it for extended periods of time. Overall 4.7*

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Clocking in at 410 pages, this is one of the longer Thrawn novels in the current timeline. This novel has a different feel to it than the other novels. It's slower pace helps build tension as the reader pieces the plot together before Thrawn does. This is an excellent use of Hitchkock's bomb under the table explanation of how to build suspense. The last 120 pages read as the tense and fast paced Space Opera you would usually expect but with much higher stakes because you've spent 300 pages or so Clocking in at 410 pages, this is one of the longer Thrawn novels in the current timeline. This novel has a different feel to it than the other novels. It's slower pace helps build tension as the reader pieces the plot together before Thrawn does. This is an excellent use of Hitchkock's bomb under the table explanation of how to build suspense. The last 120 pages read as the tense and fast paced Space Opera you would usually expect but with much higher stakes because you've spent 300 pages or so getting to see how all levels of Chiss society are being impacted or will be impacted by the actions of Thrawn, the villains, and their own political and familial hierarchies. The villains in this series are far more intimidating because they feel the most grounded in reality for how groups can operate to destabilize countries and cause civil war. The rancher Lakphro is probably the most important character in this book. This was an excellent piece of cloak and dagger political thriller blended with military scifi and family intrigue worthy of praise from the Drow. That ending has me begging for more. Thankfully book 3 releases in November of this year, so I only have to wait six months to read it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I'm not quite sure what to say on this one, but I'm going to give it a try. This wasn't a book I loved. I really enjoyed Chaos Rising, and count it as the first book that really turned me on to Thrawn and made me see his appeal to fans. What I loved most about the first book was seeing how others saw Thrawn. They saw him as a mentor, a trusted ally, a traitor/threat. A true highlight for me was Ar’Alani and Thrawn’s interactions with one another, where they played on their strengths. In book 2, a I'm not quite sure what to say on this one, but I'm going to give it a try. This wasn't a book I loved. I really enjoyed Chaos Rising, and count it as the first book that really turned me on to Thrawn and made me see his appeal to fans. What I loved most about the first book was seeing how others saw Thrawn. They saw him as a mentor, a trusted ally, a traitor/threat. A true highlight for me was Ar’Alani and Thrawn’s interactions with one another, where they played on their strengths. In book 2, all our characters are apart from one another and we don't get that great character drama. We add a new hero perspective, and a new villain perspective, on top of both the major and minor threads that carry over from the first book and the once that start with the new characters. This book feels needlessly complicated and felt like it could have been accomplished in a shorter, more compact volume, or have this trilogy just be a duology. As for the audiobook: I'd highly recommend reading this book in the audiobook format if you choose to pick it up! Marc Thompson delivers an excellent performance, portraying a cast of characters with a wide variety of accents and inflections. The music and effects on this audiobook are also top notch, creating a world distinct from the world in Lesser Space but one that is still recognizable as Star Wars.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sal Perales

    The second book in Thrawn's prequel trilogy is here! Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good continues the story of our little blue guy's rise through the military ranks in the Chiss Ascendancy. Once again Timothy Zahn pits Thrawn and his fellow Chiss against their enemies deep in the Unknown Regions. This time, however, the danger isn't just fleet tactics and capital ships. The enemies of the Ascendancy strike with subterfuge and politics. A new battlefield for Thrawn where he might no longer be the ge The second book in Thrawn's prequel trilogy is here! Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good continues the story of our little blue guy's rise through the military ranks in the Chiss Ascendancy. Once again Timothy Zahn pits Thrawn and his fellow Chiss against their enemies deep in the Unknown Regions. This time, however, the danger isn't just fleet tactics and capital ships. The enemies of the Ascendancy strike with subterfuge and politics. A new battlefield for Thrawn where he might no longer be the genius tactician. The book takes most of the Thrawn story tropes and tosses in a mix of Chiss politics and the sowing of dissonance to bring a very interesting story that strays a bit from the usual Thrawn fare. As the second book in a trilogy, there are plenty of loose threads to ponder on as we wait until Thrawn Ascendancy: Lesser Evil arrives in November. I enjoyed this book a bit more I think because Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising did a great job in setting up these characters and Chiss society. Greater Good plants some very interesting seeds and raises some very interesting questions. This book is definitely a must-read for any Thrawn fan or fans of political intrigue!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mario

    The middle book in the Ascendancy trilogy is less Thrawn-centered than the previous one. After the defeat of Yiv the Benevolent, the Chiss Ascendancy eliminates the remaining pockets of resistance of the Nikardun Destiny. But as we saw at the end of Chaos Rising, there was one being pulling the strings, only known as Jixtus. He says that the Nikardun were only the first phase in his plan, while an internal destabilization of the Chiss politics would be next. We are treated to a vagrant alien trib The middle book in the Ascendancy trilogy is less Thrawn-centered than the previous one. After the defeat of Yiv the Benevolent, the Chiss Ascendancy eliminates the remaining pockets of resistance of the Nikardun Destiny. But as we saw at the end of Chaos Rising, there was one being pulling the strings, only known as Jixtus. He says that the Nikardun were only the first phase in his plan, while an internal destabilization of the Chiss politics would be next. We are treated to a vagrant alien tribe that roams Chiss planets with an unknown purpose, while the characters from the previous books encounter new threats and deal with them. All these plots will slowly converge on a conflict that can start a Chiss civil war... but only one being can save the Ascendancy and prevent bloodshed. (And no, it's not who you are thinking of). Again, the weakest (or strongest) point of the trilogy is its loose connection with the Star Wars galaxy at large. In Chaos Rising at least we had an encounter with Anakin and a Batuu visit. But in Greater Good all the action is inside "the Chaos", what we know of as the Unknown Regions. There is no contact with the Star Wars galaxy that you know and are familiar with. Here you will have to get acquainted with totally new species, new environments, new technology, new politics. It's like picking up a good science fiction novel, and finding later that oh, it's in the Star Wars galaxy somehow! Yes, it's a very very good book. I'm just not sure if it's a good STAR WARS book. In any case, if you are a Thrawn diehard fan, this doesn't dissapoint.

  24. 5 out of 5

    JAGD Reviews

    This book comes out just a couple weeks before the 30th Anniversary of "Heir to the Empire", which marked the start of the EU, Timothy Zahn's amazing run of fantastic Star Wars books and the creation of Thrawn. After the original Thrawn trilogy, Hand of Thrawn duology, Outbound Flight in the EU and now five Canon books you would think the character would be either stale or out of new ground to tread but the Ascendancy prequel trilogy blazes an awesome trail of new mythology. By going back in time This book comes out just a couple weeks before the 30th Anniversary of "Heir to the Empire", which marked the start of the EU, Timothy Zahn's amazing run of fantastic Star Wars books and the creation of Thrawn. After the original Thrawn trilogy, Hand of Thrawn duology, Outbound Flight in the EU and now five Canon books you would think the character would be either stale or out of new ground to tread but the Ascendancy prequel trilogy blazes an awesome trail of new mythology. By going back in time and showing us the inner workings and cultures of the Chiss Ascendancy and the rest of the Outer Region races this trilogy becomes a completely unique flavor of Star Wars. Greater Good doesn't quite hit the emotional highs of Chaos Rising but delivers enough intrigue and inner workings of the Chiss to mostly make up for it. I know we have one more book left in the trilogy but I am full convinced Zahn's six books are setting us up for Thrawn to redeem himself in the new Ahsoka show. Mark your calendars and come back to tell me how wrong I was!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Bulthaupt

    I listened to this book via Audible. Greater Good is the sequel to Chaos Rising and the second book in the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy. It continues the story of the Chiss tactician's earlier years as he works to do his best to defend the Ascendancy from all threats. It's never easy though... As the middle book in a trilogy, I'm not sure there's much I can offer by way of review. Either you enjoyed the first book and want to keep going, or you didn't like it and probably aren't even reading this. It I listened to this book via Audible. Greater Good is the sequel to Chaos Rising and the second book in the Thrawn Ascendancy trilogy. It continues the story of the Chiss tactician's earlier years as he works to do his best to defend the Ascendancy from all threats. It's never easy though... As the middle book in a trilogy, I'm not sure there's much I can offer by way of review. Either you enjoyed the first book and want to keep going, or you didn't like it and probably aren't even reading this. It's more of Thrawn's brilliant insight and strategies, more Chiss political infighting, and more mystery and intrigue. There's new aliens to meet, new plots to untangle, and and ending that will make you glad the third book is coming out this fall instead of next year. I was very happy when Thrawn showed up in Star Wars Rebels, and even happier when Timothy Zahn was able to write about him again. If you like Star Wars, you should read this book, and all of the other Thrawn books as well!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ruairi Hegarty

    Greater Good is an interesting follow-up to Chaos Rising. It delves deeper into this new part of Star Wars by focusing mostly on new characters rather than the titular Chiss. This different focus is excellent for world-building, allowing the reader to examine the complicated internal politics of the Ascendancy through characters at the very top and bottom of its hierarchy. It does feel that there was perhaps too much going on at times in this entry as we jump from multiple different starships wi Greater Good is an interesting follow-up to Chaos Rising. It delves deeper into this new part of Star Wars by focusing mostly on new characters rather than the titular Chiss. This different focus is excellent for world-building, allowing the reader to examine the complicated internal politics of the Ascendancy through characters at the very top and bottom of its hierarchy. It does feel that there was perhaps too much going on at times in this entry as we jump from multiple different starships with their individual crews as well as a parallel story in the Chiss homeworlds all within single chapters. The memories entries are excellent however, focusing on (mostly) one narative and one perspective. While we learn little new information about Thrawn himself, one aspect of the story which is particularly effective is its subtle explorations of his effects on those around him, much like the more recent trilogy. Overall, I am interested in this story continuing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jared Mayes

    Out of all of Zahn's amazing Star Wars work, this isn't particularly one of my favorites. There's a lot to like, though! The flashback scenes were different enough from the main plot this time around to clearly distinguish where we were in the story. Then, the side plot coalesced brilliantly with the main story, culminating in a twist on par with the best Zahn has ever achieved. The new villain was a true joy to hate, the Paccosh people are given an interesting story following up on their introd Out of all of Zahn's amazing Star Wars work, this isn't particularly one of my favorites. There's a lot to like, though! The flashback scenes were different enough from the main plot this time around to clearly distinguish where we were in the story. Then, the side plot coalesced brilliantly with the main story, culminating in a twist on par with the best Zahn has ever achieved. The new villain was a true joy to hate, the Paccosh people are given an interesting story following up on their introduction in Chaos Rising, and Thrawn's mentorship of Che'ri is absolutely heartwarming. Having just re-read Outbound Flight before this, it just didn't quite live up to its Legends' predecessor's glory.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    After reading all the other canon Thrawn novels, I feel like I can finally understand this book. After reading Chaos Rising, which I didn't enjoy, I was worried I wouldn't get into this one either. I was wrong and happy to be wrong about it. This was so much better than the first book! I liked to see the discourse about the nature of the Force. In all other novels, it is written off as an archaic religion or simply a prominent part of the galaxy. However, to the Chiss, it is a vital resource. The After reading all the other canon Thrawn novels, I feel like I can finally understand this book. After reading Chaos Rising, which I didn't enjoy, I was worried I wouldn't get into this one either. I was wrong and happy to be wrong about it. This was so much better than the first book! I liked to see the discourse about the nature of the Force. In all other novels, it is written off as an archaic religion or simply a prominent part of the galaxy. However, to the Chiss, it is a vital resource. They don't understand the mysteriousness of it, and due to the culture, they may never see it that way. I loved the secondary story, so gripping. I wanted to know what was happening with them, and it pulled me into the account is a great way.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alexander

    This was enjoyable enough, but the litany of difficulty named minor characters and the relatively minimal screen time for our favorite blue-skinned, red-eyed Sherlock Holmes was a bit disappointing. (And I'm a broken record on this, but it's hard to top Heir to the Empire and its sequels, so definitely grading on a curve here.) This was enjoyable enough, but the litany of difficulty named minor characters and the relatively minimal screen time for our favorite blue-skinned, red-eyed Sherlock Holmes was a bit disappointing. (And I'm a broken record on this, but it's hard to top Heir to the Empire and its sequels, so definitely grading on a curve here.)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Poppy Parkes

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I am ridiculously happy with this book! I have seen a few people suggesting that Greater Good suffers from 'Middle Book Syndrome' not really contributing much plot-wise, just filling space until Lesser Evil is released. However, I could not disagree more, my main problem with Chaos Rising was that I kept losing track of who was who and how everything fit together. But this book clears up all of those questions and leaves me with so many that are more exciting that I cant wait to be answered. I d I am ridiculously happy with this book! I have seen a few people suggesting that Greater Good suffers from 'Middle Book Syndrome' not really contributing much plot-wise, just filling space until Lesser Evil is released. However, I could not disagree more, my main problem with Chaos Rising was that I kept losing track of who was who and how everything fit together. But this book clears up all of those questions and leaves me with so many that are more exciting that I cant wait to be answered. I do wish that Thrawn's sister would have been revealed. I NEED someone to discuss the ending with!!!

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