Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Audiobook Review: Tarkin

STAR WARS: Tarkin By James Luceno
Publisher: Random House Audio
Release Date: January 1st, 2014
Format: Audiobook narrated by Euan Morton
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

He’s the scion of an honorable and revered family. A dedicated soldier and distinguished legislator. Loyal proponent of the Republic and trusted ally of the Jedi Order. Groomed by the ruthless politician and Sith Lord who would be Emperor, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin rises through the Imperial ranks, enforcing his authority ever more mercilessly . . . and zealously pursuing his destiny as the architect of absolute dominion.

Rule through the fear of force rather than force itself, he advises his Emperor. Under Tarkin’s guidance, an ultimate weapon of unparalleled destruction moves ever closer to becoming a terrifying reality. When the so-called Death Star is completed, Tarkin is confident that the galaxy’s lingering pockets of Separatist rebellion will be brought to heel—by intimidation or annihilation.

Until then, however, insurgency remains a genuine threat. Escalating guerrilla attacks by resistance forces and newfound evidence of a growing Separatist conspiracy are an immediate danger the Empire must meet with swift and brutal action. And to bring down a band of elusive freedom fighters, the Emperor turns to his most formidable agents: Darth Vader, the fearsome new Sith enforcer as remorseless as he is mysterious, and Tarkin—whose tactical cunning and cold-blooded efficiency will pave the way for the Empire’s supremacy . . . and its enemies’ extinction.
I was a little skeptical about if I would like a book about Grand Moff Tarkin. I mean the dude is an all around jerk, but this book kind of gets to the heart of why he was that way. It also really shows you why so many people were swayed to The Empire's thinking.

So Tarkin had a messed up childhood. He learned at an early age about class and to look down at the people that his parents had as servants. They are not supposed to be equals. If that is not enough, this family has a right of passage where they send kids to the middle of the jungle to survive. It's pretty messed up, but Tarkin far surpasses this trial that none of the Tarkins after him complete it. Dude is cold blooded, which is what makes him such a great military strategist.

If you ever wondered why Vader, the right hand of The Emperor, is basically treated like a lackey in A New Hope, this book explains the dynamic between Vader and Tarkin. What I also loved about this novel is that Tarkin figures it out immediately that Vader was Anakin Skywalker. The story of this novel is pretty much a power struggle between the two of them. They go on a mission and fight for control, with Tarkin coming out the victory and being named the first ever Grand Moff.

What I found super interesting was that it seems like The Emperor had a different agenda. He had something else up his sleeve and he wanted someone in high military command to essentially run his empire while him and Vader go off doing other things. This novel ends with Tarkin getting his post on the Death Star, and since we all know how that ends we never really figure out what the Emperor's ulterior motives are. To me this was the most intriguing thing about the novel, and I'm kind of disappointed that I didn't find out what The Emperor was planning.

This novel is mostly about military strategy, so if that is something that really interests you I would suggest trying this one. I listened to the audiobook, and I thought that the narrator had the perfect accent to be telling us the story of Wilhuff Tarkin.

Happy Reads Everyone!