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Catalyst by James Luceno
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3501448,560 (3.58)4
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.… (more)
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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Not required, but an interesting introduction to "Rogue One" ....

Luceno, a dependable author in the Star Wars fold, fleshes out the back story of the creation of the Death Star. The rise of a paranoid, suspicious empire seems a bit foreboding in this time, which tempers my appreciation of this story. Luceno does a good job imagining the day-to-day life in the Republic-then-Empire as the clone wars come to a close. ( )
  mrklingon | Apr 22, 2019 |
A quite enjoyable bit of backstory to Rogue One, its characters, and the Death Star's construction. ( )
  morbusiff | Sep 20, 2018 |
3 1/2 stars: Good.

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"The end of the clone wars is in sight. But beyond hope's horizon, the darkest of stars is rising...."

From the back cover: 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 focussed 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 Erso's must untangle Krennic's web of deception to save themselves and the galaxy itself.

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I didn't love the movie Rogue One --I felt it was solid movie but I didn't love any of the characters or bond with any of them. This book---which is essentially the lead in to Rogue One, from Krennic/ Erso family's pov--- is much the same. It's solid. I can't point to anything wrong with it. Krennic in particular was an intriguing character. Yet I didn't find anything to rave about it, either.

A few quotes I liked:

[The introduction of Tarkin]...

"Galen didn't know anything about Tarkin, other than that he had served in the Republic Navy before being appointed adjutant general. A tall man some ten or fifteen years older than Galen, he had sunken cheeks, a high brow, and a look of penetrating intelligence."

"Did it work?"
"Did what work?"
"Defiance. Was that enough?"
"That wasn't the point."
"What was?"
"Believing that your actions mattered, and believing that a good end would come of them, even if you didn't live to see the results."

"How did people convince themselves to act against their nature; to do something entirely out of keeping with who they imagined themselves to be? How did they rationalize lying, betrayal? By claiming situational ethics, or in the belief that they were protecting someone they loved from pain, from hurt? Opening someone's eyes to what wasn't being seen or recognized? If she was trying to explain her actions to Jyn, where would she begin? Where did she need to look to find the words that would make her actions seem at least sensible, if not righteous?" ( )
  PokPok | Jul 4, 2018 |
I'm not sure my rating is really valid. On the one hand, I very much enjoyed this book, and look forward to the next Star Wars novel I read. On the other hand, I am well aware that I joined Star Wars fandom when A New Hope was first released in theaters - anything that lets me play in that universe can get away with a lot :) So I'm rating by how much I enjoyed it, with the understanding that not everyone will enjoy it as much as I did. ( )
  hopeevey | May 20, 2018 |
Not my favorite of the new Star Wars books (that still goes to Bloodline), but still a good story if you are interested in the backstory before Rogue One. How did Galen ever become involved with Orson Krennic and the Empire to begin with, what was their relationship with him before we saw them at the beginning of Rogue One. A very interesting backstory that takes place right as the Empire emerges from the disillusion of the Republic. ( )
  RivetedReaderMelissa | Mar 22, 2018 |
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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
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For Udi Saly and Liz Conover, "bonfire hearts."May the Force be with you infinitely.
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