Death Star

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Authors: Michael Reaves & Steve Perry
Cover artist: John Harris
Publisher: Del Rey
Release date: October 16, 2007
Pages: 363
Era: Rebellion

summary

“THAT’S NO MOON.”
–Obi-Wan Kenobi

The Death Star’s name says it all, with bone-chilling accuracy. It is a virtual world unto itself–equipped with uncanny power for a singularly brutal purpose: to obliterate entire planets in the blink of an eye. Its annihilation of the planet Alderaan, at the merciless command of Grand Moff Tarkin, lives in infamy. And its own ultimate destruction, at the hands of Luke Skywalker, is the stuff of legend. But what is the whole story, and who are the players, behind the creation of this world-killing satellite of doom?

The near extermination of the Jedi order cleared the way for Palpatine–power-hungry Senator and Sith Lord–to seize control of the Republic, declare himself Emperor, and usher in a fearsome, totalitarian regime. But even with the dreaded Darth Vader enforcing Palpatine’s sinister will, the threat of rebellion still looms. And the Emperor knows that only abject fear–and the ability to punish dissent with devastating consequences–can ensure his unchallenged control of the galaxy. Enter ambitious and ruthless government official Wilhuff Tarkin, architect of the Emperor’s terrifying dream come true.

From inception to completion, construction of the unprecedented Death Star is awash in the intrigues, hidden agendas, unexpected revelations, and daring gambits of those involved on every level. The brightest minds and boldest egos, the most ambitious and corrupt, the desperate and the devious, all have a stake in the Death Star–and its potential to control the fate of the galaxy.

Soldiers and slaves, loyalists and Rebels, spies and avengers, the innocent and the evil–all their paths and fates will cross and intertwine as the Death Star moves from its maiden voyage to its final showdown. And a shadowy chapter of Star Wars history is stunningly illuminated in a thrilling, unforgettable adventure.

review

Hello and welcome to my review of the book Death Star by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry. The book was released in 2007 and runs 363 pages.

Well, how am I going to structure this review compared to my Republic Commando ones? I guess you can say it’s going to be shorter then what I have done before.

The story takes place against the backdrop of the construction of the first Death Star until its demise at the hands of Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance. I will deal with some of the main characters, plot and if the book was worth reading. See this should be short and sweet.

The character stories in the book revolve around a bar keep, Imperial officers / soldiers, a doctor, an “escaped” prisoner and Darth Vader.

Oh, I’ll just get to the point, I found the book slow and predictable. I’m glad that I got it from the library instead of adding it to my library. It’s hard for me to say this because I respect Michael Reaves as a great storyteller within the body of work he has done over the years. And, it’s also harder since he and I have inadvertently crossed paths a few times in the past. Just to let you know he probably does not know me personally but he was one of the main writers for Gargoyles when I worked on the show and he was working on Batman at Warners when I was on Tiny Toons. But enough about my past, you’re all probably asleep by now so I guess I’ll start the review.

The predictable, a Twi’lek bar keep by the name Memah Roothes owned a bar in the depths of Courscant City. She one night spies two patrons in her bar that the bouncer Rodo pegs as Imperial Officers sitting in a booth checking out the place. She feels something is wrong, mentions it to Rodo who says he’ll keep an eye on them. A couple days later the bar burns down by mysterious circumstances and while Memah is standing there looking at the rubble in disbelief, an Imperial official offers her a job to run the bar on the first Death Star. Now, who saw that one coming??? Once she and Rodo set up shop in their new “home” (that they signed on for a two year stint) the story takes place to me, mostly in the bar.

We now jump to the prison planet Despayer where the first Death Star is being built. Taking advantage of the free labor force imprisoned on the planet, the Empire recruits the not-so-bad criminals to help with the facility. But along the way there is naturally sabotage happening and Tarkin (oh did I forget to mention him?) is not pleased. He calls for help from his lover Admiral Daala who rides to the rescue to try to find out who’s mucking up the works.

On the prison planet Despayer, where if you are not killed by another prisoner, the planet or local animal life could do it instead, we’re introduced to Celot Ratua Dil. You see he’s a Zelosian male who has uncanny speed (kinda like the comic book character Flash) and is also a talented scavenger who can get you anything you can imagine. He manages to con his way onto a transport that leads him to the Death Star where he sets himself a pretty good life on the station. He does this under the nose of the Empire and gets away with.

Also on the planet Despayer we are introduced to an Imperial Marine named Nova Stihl. As you read through the book you find that he’s a great fighter that uses this talent to teach “lesser” prisoners on the planet how to survive. As you read more about this character you come to find out that he is haunted by bad headaches and dreams that seem so real they are nightmares to him. See, at a certain point in the book he begins to realize that dreams start to show him the future. These dreams and headaches get so bad it causes him to lose sleep so he goes to the doctor to get checked out.

We then meet a disgruntled Imperial doctor Kornell “Uli” Divini. He was hoping to be released from his service to the Empire after the Clone Wars but the Empire had other plans. Those plans involved sticking him on the Death Star as a surgeon then later as just a regular doc. And who happens to be one of his patients? Yup, Nova Stihl comes to him to get a complete physical. And during the battery of test that Uli performs, an interesting factor gets thrown into the mix. Midi-chlorians are found in Nova’s blood. Dun – dun – duuunnnnnnn. Uli had to really think about doing research into this fascinating find but does so with hesitation. He knows that Empire has erased all records of midi-chlorians from the archives and later in the book Uli’s decision to look for info does get him trouble – Imperial trouble. Sorry folks, if you really want to finish this suspenseful moment – read the book.

Three other characters I’m going to combine here are TIE Fighter Pilot Villian Dance, architect Teela Kaarz and Tenn Graneet . They also play an important role in the book so if you want find out …… you get the idea.

The last person I’m going to mention: Chief Librarian Atour Riten. He’s assigned to the library on board the Death Star and a main catalyst for getting some of our main characters off the station before it blows. When you read the book you will see how he works through this whole story line and quite possibly see that maybe he’s the one that was the catalyst for the Death Star plans to be found.

As you can figure from how this review is going, I was not really impressed with the book. It did hold my attention when the book follows along the New Hope story line. Take for example when doc Uli meets Princess Leia in her cell or the lightsaber battle between Vader and Obi Wan, then when Luke, Han and Chewie with Leia escape the Death Star. Lastly, when the main gun was going to be fired at Yavin and the main gunner Tenn Graneet, who was so excited at the beginning of the book to be the one to fire the biggest gun in the universe, starts to get cold feet.

Sorry to be down on this book fellow readers but this book really didn’t catch my full attention. It was a typical Star Wars book and to me it could have been better. It just seemed that they took the idea of Babylon 5 and crossed it with Star Trek Deep Space 9. This book to me just didn’t click.

I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading this book. To anyone else, they could find this book very exciting and moving faster than how I perceived it. There was a moment that did shine but (and this could be a spoiler) that was after the point when most of the main characters end up at Memah’s bar drowning their sorrows in alien ale. I can understand why they all ended up there since it was the flash point for them to plan their escape attempt from the Death Star that will come later in the book. But sadly to me, this was the point the book when it actually started to pick up and sadly, that was toward the end of the book.

Would I recommend this book? If you need something to read on a trip to pass the time, yes. If you want to see the inner workings of the first Death Star, yes. If you are looking for action and an adventure be warned, this is not the book. Look for any other Star Wars book like “Legacy of the Force” or “Republic Commando” or even” The Clone Wars” books. This book just didn’t have it. That’s my opinion and I look forward to your comments as always good or bad.

This is Tom Pniewski aka Kal Skirata in the forum’s and blog – signing off, Good Night :-)

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