Picture of author.

James Luceno

Author of Hero's Trial (Agents Of Chaos I)

55+ Works 11,055 Members 186 Reviews 9 Favorited

About the Author

James Luceno was born in 1947. His works include the Star Wars novels Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, Cloak of Deception, Labyrinth of Evil, Millennium Falcon, and Darth Plagueis as well as the New Jedi Order novels Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial, Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse, and The show more Unifying Force. He also writes the Web Warrior series. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: wikia


Works by James Luceno

The Unifying Force (2003) 1,031 copies
Darth Plagueis (2012) 991 copies
Labyrinth of Evil (2005) 931 copies
Cloak of Deception (2001) 893 copies
Catalyst (2016) 726 copies
Star Wars: Tarkin (2014) 662 copies
Millennium Falcon (2008) 508 copies
The Dark Lord Trilogy (2008) 114 copies
The Shadow (1994) 104 copies
Event Horizon (1991) — Author — 96 copies
The Mask Of Zorro (1998) 58 copies
Illegal Alien (1990) 57 copies
Artifact of the System (1991) 56 copies
Agents of Chaos (2000) 50 copies
A Fearful Symmetry (1989) 46 copies
The Big Empty (1993) 43 copies
Free Radicals (1992) 40 copies
Hostile Takeover (1993) 25 copies
Maska kłamstw (2002) 1 copy
Star Wars. [Háv klamu (2007) 1 copy
Head Hunters (1980) 1 copy
Rock Bottom (1990) 1 copy

Associated Works

Smoke on the Water (1998) 96 copies
Screaming Across the Sky (1998) 67 copies
The Broken Country (1998) 43 copies
To Waters' End (1999) 30 copies
Star Wars 2015 Del Rey Sampler (2015) — Contributor — 3 copies


Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Luceno, James
Other names
McKinney, Jack (joint pseudonym with Brian C. Daley)
Places of residence
Annapolis, Maryland, USA



Star Wars: Tarkin is a confident book that is written by a confident author. It is filled with the intrigue, action, and fascinating characterization that we've come to expect from a Luceno Star Wars book. In my opinion, Luceno is one of the best authors of Star Wars fiction writing today (alongside of Timothy Zahn and Claudia Gray). He is also very proficient at describing the technology world of the star wars universe without bogging the reader down.

The story takes place five years after the end of the Clone Wars. Emperor Palpatine is using his influence and the dark side of the Force to manipulate the galaxy and change the landscape. Moff Tarkin is in the Outer Rim overseeing the construction of the Death Star, and Darth Vader is doing whatever the Emperor wants. In this case, the Emperor wants Vader and Tarkin to work together to investigate what appears to be an act of insurrection. Mystery ensues.

As the plot unfolds, so does Tarkin’s past. We learn about his family, his home on the planet Eriadu, a little about his time in the Clone Wars, and most importantly, we see his family’s peculiar rites of passage. Those experiences – which are essentially an intense game of Survivor that pits Tarkin against wild creatures and nature – are what ultimately shape Tarkin into the man we meet in Episode IV. They taught Tarkin the value of ruling with fear, and it’s a theme that runs throughout the book. The Empire’s governing techniques are rooted in intimidation. I mean they're building a Death Star to rule with terror.

And this is more or less the plot of the book. I found it interesting to read about the insurgency (one of those many flickers of hope throughout the galaxy). It gives you insight (the way Enfys Nest did in Solo) into all the different freedom fighters that exist in the galaxy before the rebellion really gets organized.

Anyway, as fascinating as freedom fighters are, this is Tarkin's story and a captivating one at that. You really see how he learned to be such a tactical and cunning leader. I found the ending to be completely satisfying and his characterization dazzling. Kuddos to Luceno for writing another great Star Wars entry.
… (more)
ryantlaferney87 | 33 other reviews | Dec 8, 2023 |
My over all opinion: This is not necessary to read before the film, but gives a very good rationale why Orson Krennic is so villainous. I thought the last two chapters were very compelling particularly. It also shows us Saw's relation to Jyn, which is nice. Personally the more technical things were boring (besides knowing that Kyber Cyrstals were used to construct the Death Star rays). Be warned: There is a lot of information dumping in this book!

Rather, what is compelling about this book is the dynamic between Galcen, Lyra and Krennic, as the book progresses. Krennic attempts to manipulates the couple for his personal gain and to harness the intelligence of Galcen's mind for evil purposes. Lyra acts as the moral voice of the story and it is refreshing to read in a Star Wars book about a couple who are so devoted to each other as Galcen and Lyra are. You can sense their love and their bond. Give me more of the humanity within this story and less of the political/technological mumbo-jumbo.

I liked the book but didn't love it. Parts were slow and not dramatic enough. If you can skim the book at your leisure and still get the basic plot arc, do so.
… (more)
ryantlaferney87 | 22 other reviews | Dec 8, 2023 |
This was a interesting book that I really liked. It provided a ton of back story of Darth Plagueis who is mentioned in the Star Wars movie Revenge of the Sith. In this book you learn who Plagueis is, where he came from, how he became a sith, his plans, how he met Palpitine (Sidious) and how me an Sidious manipluated things that lead up to the Phantom Menance. We get a idea of how Anikan came to be, the creation of the clone army and even some back story on Dooku. Lots of good stuff and it takes you even so far as to touch into a scene in Attack of the Clones. I highly recommend this one if you are really into Star Wars.

However, as it turns out, this book is now considered Legends. Meaning, that when Disney bought up Lucasfilm which includes all of Star Wars they decided to tag all existing books, comics, etc as Legends material which is no longer considered canon. They did this to make room for their own stories, sequels, prequels (I assume some day) and the sort. Indeed, the books I read previous to this one are of the new canon. This makes sense. But I would not let that fact keep you from reading this or any other Legends books. Until such time that they ever contradict these stories it is just as enjoyable as if it was still "canon".
… (more)
sgsmitty | 44 other reviews | Jun 14, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by
½ 3.6

Charts & Graphs