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Friday, January 27, 2012

Crimson Empire (Star Wars) by Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley

Published by HighBridge in March of 1999.
Performed by an ensemble cast.
Duration: 2 hours.

I have not read the graphic novel so the audiobook is my only experience with this story about a member of the Emperor Palpatine's elite Imperial Guard. I think this is important to note since it has to be difficult to convert a graphic novel, with its emphasis on visuals to move the storyline, to a completely audio format. Audiobooks from regular novels don't have this issue.

This point is important - the audiobook depends rather heavily on sound effects to cover up for this visual to audio conversion. Sometimes it works quite well while at other times it becomes a jumbled mess of various punching sound effects that the listener has to wade through until the story picks up again.

In general though the sound effects, the use of multiple actors (like an old-fashioned radio play) and the inclusion of snippets of Star Wars music from the movie soundtracks is a great help. But, it fails to make up for the often adolescent level of dialogue and mind-bogglingly stupid battle tactics used by the remnants of the Imperial fleet at the end of the tape. These combine to make a potentially great work merely average.

I rate this audiobook 3 stars out of 5.

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here:  Star Wars: Crimson Empire (Dramatized)

Reviewed on December 21, 2007.

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