STAR WARS: The Cestus Deception

Steven Barnes, Author . Del Rey/Lucas Books $25.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-345-45897-1

Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi strides—and soars and plots and duels—again in this stirring new addition to the Star Wars saga. Hugo nominee Barnes (Zulu Heart ) picks Kenobi up in middle age during the Clone Wars between the good-guy Republic and the dastardly Confederacy, sending Kenobi's impetuous Jedi Padawan (apprentice) Anakin Skywalker offstage and Kenobi as ambassador to the remote planet Ord Cestus, now producing new bio-droids able to challenge the Jedi in combat. Accompanied by another Jedi Knight, tentacle-haired Nautolan Kit Fisto, five superbly bred and trained military trooper-clones, and a wondrously conceived giant slug who proves an inspired barrister, Kenobi plunges into Cestan intrigues, trying to avoid Cestus's destruction and sensing a sinister concealed threat in the nick of time. Loaded with exotic offworlders and vicious baddies, mystical insights from the Force and a poignant love affair between Nate, a clone trooper whose Code demands that he die fighting for the Republic, and Sheeka Tull, a brave and brainy female pilot, this splendid adventure yarn offers a gut-wrenching surprise on nearly every page and a knock-the-socks-off ending nearly as thrilling as Luke Skywalker's original swoop through the Death Star's trench. Go for broke, Obi-Wan, and may the Force provide more like this one. Agent, Eleanor Wood at Spectrum. (June 1)

Forecast: Already well established as a respected SF and fantasy author, Barnes will lure his fans who might not otherwise read a Star Wars novel. They won't be disappointed.

Reviewed on: 05/17/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7393-1272-8
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-0321-4
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 424 pages - 978-0-345-49270-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 480 pages - 978-0-345-45898-8
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