Quite frankly I was expecting more from this book. It was written before Darth Plagueis, which I really enjoyed, but I don’t think its continuity lined up very well. Cloak of Deception (Star Wars) was written around the time of the move releases, so the aura of not knowing that Papalpatine is Darth Sideous is still present throughout this book. I would have liked to see more of the behind-the-scenes story about what Sideous and Plagueis are doing at the time. In reality, I think this book was written too early, and would have been a nice sequel to Plagueis if it was written around the same time.
Also, I didn’t think the story was all that interesting. Qui-gon and Obi-wan seemed to be more at-odds with each other than they were in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Added to that, I wouldn’t really call this story a prequel to Episode 1. It didn’t really have anything to do with the story we see in the movie, although it did involve many of the same characters. The story of this book revolves around the taxation of the trade routes, and the Trade Federation building a droid army, which we see the results of both in The Phantom Menace. But there are several characters and plots that take place in this book, that pretty much end when the book does. It didn’t hold my attention the way I was hoping it would.
I’ve already started the next Star Wars book, Shadow Hunter (Star Wars: Darth Maul). I’m hoping to get a more interesting story, and one that ties directly into the movie, and then continues on later in the series of books.