Monday, May 29, 2017

Review: Catalyst

Star Wars Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: December 14th, 2016
Format: Hardback, 330 pages
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
War is tearing the galaxy apart. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. As a member of Chancellor Palpatine’s top secret Death Star project, Orson Krennic is determined to develop a superweapon before their enemies can. And an old friend of Krennic’s, the brilliant scientist Galen Erso, could be the key.

Galen’s energy-focused research has captured the attention of both Krennic and his foes, making the scientist a crucial pawn in the galactic conflict. But after Krennic rescues Galen, his wife, Lyra, and their young daughter, Jyn, from Separatist kidnappers, the Erso family is deeply in Krennic’s debt. Krennic then offers Galen an extraordinary opportunity: to continue his scientific studies with every resource put utterly at his disposal. While Galen and Lyra believe that his energy research will be used purely in altruistic ways, Krennic has other plans that will finally make the Death Star a reality. Trapped in their benefactor’s tightening grasp, the Ersos must untangle Krennic’s web of deception to save themselves and the galaxy itself.
So I will say that if you haven't seen Rogue One and you read this book, that is actually cool because it gives you a lot of background about the Ersos and really gives you a look into Orson Krennic and why he does what he does. Also why Tarkin is pretty much babysitting him in the movie. I don't think you need to read this book to enjoy the movie, but I think it helps to understand why the Ersos were so desperate in the beginning of the movie.

James Luceno can be hit or miss with Star Wars books for me, but generally I do think he does a good job writing for this property. I enjoyed this book a lot. I think it got off to a little bit of a slow pace, but once Galen started to work on the Kyber crystal energy project that's when it started to get interesting. This is also when we start to see how everything has unraveled.

I hated Krennic in the movie, but he's even worse in this novel. This dude thinks he's the force's gift to the empire, when he's really not that competent in his job. This dude thinks he's amazing and he should be given promotions, when he doesn't deserve them. He even gets demoted as one point and says to a higher up that he refuses to accept it. Like, dude are you for real? It definitely made me appreciate the scene in the movie where Vader force chokes him. Dude kind of deserved it.

One thing I really like about this novel was Lyra's relationship with the force. I think when the movie came out a lot of fans were wondering if she was a Jedi. In the movie it definitely looks like her attire resembles Jedi robes, but she is not a Jedi. I didn't get the sense that she is force sensitive either, just that she believes that the Jedi were good and noble and she wants to believe whole heartedly in the force. I did appreciate that she was suspicious of Krennic for the entire novel. It made me like her even more.

I thought Galen was really naive in this book, but I think that is kinda of the point. We have to see how Krennic manipulated him, and we have to see why they were in hiding from him. Galen was too focused on his work to really see what was going on with The Empire and with his old friend, and he pays for it.

As a tie-in to the Rogue One movie, I think this book was pretty good and I found it very insightful to explain things that were left out in the movie. It's definitely for Star Wars geeks, so if that means you I'd recommend this one. It was definitely a book for me!

Have you read this book? Any of the new canon star wars books? What do you think of the storyboard new direction in these books?
Happy Reads Everyone!