Cloak ★★★☆½

cloak (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Cloak
Series: ———-
Author: Timothy Zahn
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 566
Format: Digital Edition





A scientist is working on an invisibility cloak. He and most of his team are murdered and the cloaks stolen. The scientists wife is ambushed by skimasked killers and it is only through the intervention of a local private investigator that she stays alive. The detective convinces her not to go to the police but to stay on the run with him. His motives are murky at best.

At the same time, a tactical nuke is stolen from India and somehow the responsibility for finding it rolls right off the Indian government’s shoulders and into the United States’ lap. But the group that stole it knew the US would be looking and plays so many games of misdirection that nobody is sure where it is, where it is going or what the final purpose for it is.

At the same time, the President of the United States is touring the country trying to drum up support for an initiative he wants to pass at at upcoming United Nations meeting. The initiative? To give the UN their own true army, fully weaponized, including tactical nukes.

It call comes together in New York where a rogue Indian General and his agents are trying to nuke the UN meeting to wipe out a lot of political dissidents from around the world and it is up to the scientist’s wife, the PI (who is really a retired FBI agent) and 2 others to stop them. But how do you stop an invisible nuke that you aren’t even sure is in the city?

You figure out it is on an invisible zeppelin floating down the streets of New York of course! And then deactive it.

Score for the good guys.


My Thoughts:

When I read Zahn’s Soulminder back in ’14, even though I enjoyed it, I wasn’t impressed. I enjoyed this one a good bit more. The misdirection is impossible to ignore so I didn’t even try to figure out what was going on. I just sat back and let things happen.

I didn’t know WHAT was going to happen until it did and letting go was good for me. I felt like it was the real strength of the book while at the same time being its kryptonite. I doubt this has any re-read value and honestly, the older I get, the more I like to re-read. So some of my consideration of a book is “would I want to re-read this”. With knowing everything, I suspect most of the punch would be gone.

But since I didn’t know everything, this really packed a punch. Sometimes Zahn would misdirect purposely and at other times it was like he was using previous instances of misdirection to make me question if this current situation was a misdirection or not. I love having my chain yanked like that, when I know it is happening anyway.

This was a kickstarter originally. Honestly, I wish he’d do more kickstarter projects and write the books he wants to write instead of sticking to the miserables sods in the Star Wars universe. Well, I don’t know, maybe he LIKES writing in that “wretched hive of scum and villainy” but since I’m no longer a Star Wars fan I want other stories by him. I guess this will have to tide me over.



bookstooge (Custom)



22 thoughts on “Cloak ★★★☆½

  1. Had him associated to SW way too often, it made it hard to realize that he actually wrote other things like this. Nice to see that you still seek his work outside the SW universe. Says that the dude has a writing style that can’t be ignored. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankfully I discovered Zahn before his Star Wars time. But I guess that is what pays the bills so he seems to be in that. He’s had 2 big sellers in the new time line, so Thrawn is still a hit with the fans…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Honestly, I wish he’d do more kickstarter projects and write the books he wants to write instead of sticking to the miserables sods in the Star Wars universe. Well, I don’t know, maybe he LIKES writing in that “wretched hive of scum and villainy” but since I’m no longer a Star Wars fan I want other stories by him.”

    I’ve been wondering about that, too, and there might be a very good reason for his staying with the company. I found out recently that Zahn has some control over how his characters will appear in future Star Wars media. He can veto a cameo appearance by Mara Jade in the films in order to get what he REALLY wants for her – an important, long/medium length part in a story. The same probably applied to Thrawn and may extend to Talon Karrde and other characters he created for SW as well. So that might explain why he has stayed with Star Wars despite the radical, offal (pun 🙂 ) changes to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would make sense. However, I wonder how he acquired those rights, if he has them? Because when Jade died in the EU and it wasn’t even Zahn who got the honor of writing it, I figured he had zero control…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point; and I don’t know that he has THAT much control over them now. He may have gained that traction after Mara’s death in the old EU by copyrighting the characters in conjunction with Lucasfilm to prevent that from happening again in the future. Or he made his participation in the new timeline contingent on his power to veto certain changes to the characters in the story.

        There are rumors circulating that Mara may appear in Episode IX next year, but given how much they have messed up in the franchise, I’m not at all sure I want her to come back. Not unless she reappears as Rey’s long lost mom with a fleet of Jedi backing her up, anyway. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I haven’t even bothered to watch the Last Jedi and after a review by both Larry Correia and John C. Wright (both authors whose works I enjoy) I won’t be. Nor will I be watching ANY future Star Wars films. The whole franchise is completely dead to me now that Disney and various directors have excremented all over it. 😦

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I feel pretty much the same way. I can still enjoy Rogue One and Star Wars Rebels (up until season four) because they can be fitted into the original EU, but as of now, I am done with the rest of the New Timeline. Even the fact that the director for Thor: Ragnarok (a really fun film) will be handling the fourth episode of a new series called The Mandalorian can’t convince me to go back to the new Star Wars franchise. I appreciate Zahn sticking around to protect his creations, but I’m not going to read even his New Timeline novels. Disney/Lucasfilm had their chance and they blew it. Big time.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. I actually tried getting into the first chapter of his first new Thrawn book, but between the fact that I knew who he had to please and that he was basically editing certain things out of Thrawn’s old history, I just couldn’t get into it.

                There was a similar sort of problem that I experienced with his novel Scoundrels; I actually skipped to the end of that book, the first time I have ever done that to Zahn. I don’t know if it was because I was feeling hurried with that reading (it was a library book and I didn’t want to be late with it), but I got very impatient with Scoundrels. It was weird; the novel was published about the time Disney announced it was scrapping the old EU, but I thought Scoundrels was published before that happened. I’ve been meaning to reread it to see if it still bothered me the way it had previously, but haven’t found the time yet….

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I enjoyed Scoundrels, but it was one of the last Star Wars books I read and I suspect that had more to do with my enjoyment than anything. I seem to remember it being an Oceans 11 but Star War’ized.

                  And good to know about Zahn’s stuff. That will help me not keep being tempted and then trying it. And being massively disappointed…

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. It was “Oceans 11 but Star War’ized.” The story worked, and in some cases it worked quite well. I liked it – especially seeing from Winter’s POV. I guess I was just in too much of a hurry to really appreciate it…

                    Glad to help you out with that, and good point. I’ve been disappointed enough by various other New Timeline writers; I certainly don’t want either of us to be disappointed by such a great writer as Zahn going forward. 😦

                    Oh, and I found the interview where Zahn spoke about Mara, Thrawn, and the new timeline. You can read it here, if you would like:

                    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s