NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The Sith Empire is in flux. The Emperor is missing, presumed dead, and an ambitious Sith lord's attempt to seize the throne has ended fatally. Read more...
- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: Nov 2012
From the book
Theron Shan walked quickly through the packed streets of Nar Shaddaa's Promenade. His unassuming features--pale skin, brown hair, brown eyes, average build--allowed him to blend easily into the crowd. The cybernetic implants visible around his left eye and right ear were his most distinguishing features, but he wasn't the only one sporting them on Nar Shaddaa, and they typically didn't draw unwanted attention.
The Hutt-controlled moon was a landscape of unfettered urban sprawl, marked by towering skytowers crammed too close together and gaudy, glowing billboards that dominated the horizon as far as the eye could see in every direction. Sometimes called Little Coruscant, it was hard to accept Nar Shaddaa as a true homage to the Republic capital world; in Theron's eyes it was more akin to a grotesque parody.
Coruscant had been designed with an eye to aesthetics: there was a pleasing flow to the cityscape and a consistent and complementary style to the architecture. The city was carefully divided into various districts, making it easy to navigate. The pedestrian walks were crowded but clean, the endless stream of airspeeders overhead stayed within the designated traffic lanes. On Coruscant, there was an unmistakable sense of order and purpose. At times, Theron found it positively stifling.
Here on the Smugglers' Moon, however, it was a glorious free-for-all. Run-down residential buildings were scattered haphazardly among seedy-looking commercial structures; factories abutted restaurants and clubs, with no regard for the toxic clouds of filth spilling out over the patrons. With no traffic rules in force, airspeeders and swoop bikes darted and dived in seemingly random directions, sometimes flying so low the pedestrians ducked and covered their heads.
As Theron turned a corner, he realized someone was following him. He hadn't actually seen anyone on his tail, but he could sense it. He could feel eyes watching him, scoping him out, measuring him as a target.
Master Ngani Zho, the Jedi who'd raised him, would probably have claimed Theron's awareness came through the Force. But despite coming from a long line of famous Jedi, Theron wasn't one of the Order. In fact, he had no special connection to the Force at all.
What he did have was a decade's worth of experience working for Republic Strategic Information Service. He'd been trained to notice minute details; to be hyperaware of his surroundings at all times. And even though his conscious mind was distracted by the details of his coming mission, his subconscious one had instinctively picked up on something that had triggered alarms in his head. He knew better than to ignore them. Careful not to break stride, turn his head, or do anything else that might tip off his pursuer, Theron used his peripheral vision to scan the area.
At street level, everything was a chaotic mishmash of bright, flashing colors. A constant assault from an army of pink, purple, green, and blue signs and billboards provided perfect camouflage for whoever might be following him. Fortunately the intensity of the inescapable neon was muted by the layer of grime that clung to every surface--a reminder of the unchecked pollution in the atmosphere that would eventually transform Nar Shaddaa into an uninhabitable wasteland.
It wasn't easy to pick someone who looked suspicious out from the crowd. The population of the Smugglers' Moon was as varied, unpredictable, and seedy as the surroundings. In the years since the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant, the Hutts had remained staunchly neutral in the ongoing cold war between the Republic and the Sith Empire, making Nar Shaddaa a common gathering...
"An espionage story interwoven with personal conflicts . . . space battles, lightsaber fights, and gripping spy missions . . . Annihilation may be Karpyshyn's strongest novel yet."--Roqoo Depot
"Pure Star Wars action-adventure entertainment as only Drew Karpyshyn can write it." - The Founding Fields