The must-have prequel novel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - the upcoming film, set before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, that reveals the untold story of the rebel effort to steal the plans to the Death Star!
©2016 James Luceno (P)2016 Random House Audio
James Luceno *breathes* quality. That is to say the man has gotten to the point in terms of who he is as a person and his writing style where quality comes as easy to him as breathing. He is a masterful wordsmith, and Catalyst is by far his best work in my opinion. I can't wait for his next works in the Star Wars universe :) This novel was enrapturing and engaging, and so incredibly cinematic. Galen and Krennic leapt of the Page and once again, Luceno proves that he knows how Star Wars stories are told - with grandeur, with heart, and with a sense of being transported to another time and place whilst still being grounded. Catalyst is suspenseful, world-building magic, and it is *absolutely* required reading before seeing Rogue One!
There is no such word as Legos, You have 1 Lego you have alot of Lego. Its like the word sheep.
I found the story slow, but most of it is about the guy who builds the laser for the death star. I suppose the title "How the Death Star Got Most of It's Laser" isn't as catchy a title.
Catalyst is a fantastic story that gives its readers further depth into the characters of Rogue One. However, if I hadn't have already read or seen Rogue One, some of the characters would have been lost on me. Therefore personally, I would recommend listening to this book after watching or reading Rogue One.
I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the story behind Galen and Lyra Ersos involvement with the Empire. However, I absolutely loved learning of the uprising of Orson Krennic.
As a bonus, Catalyst also gives its readers more depth into the infamous Governor Tarkin... definitely worth a read.
"Good Setup for Upcoming Movie"
Catalyst is good to the SW universe in similar a way that the Silmarillon is good to the Lord of the Rings universe. It gives you good back story leading into but not right up to Rogue One. However, if you're looking for a book filled with the excitement and action you typically associate with the Star Wars films, don't expect to find it here.
This book is more about the subterfuge and trickery that takes place involving the Orso family and the development of the weapon portion of the Death Star.
Consequently, the action takes a back seat to the psychological drama going on behind the scenes.
You do get a broader picture of Grand Moff Tarkin in some of his earlier days as a Grand Moff and a clearer picture of his ruthlessness. You also are introduced to several other characters including another ambitious imperial officer and a smuggler who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or maybe ultimately the opposite. I don't know that all the characters outlined in the book will appear in the movies, but certainly the background and understanding of their interactions with the characters in the movie will enrich the entire experience.
Johnathan Davis's performance is notable as well. He takes care to distinguish voices and accents to help give life to the words on the pages and give the listeners a sense of immersion in the SW universe. This is complimented by various background noises, musical quotes from the movies, and even the occasional sound effect on his voice itself.
Overall, it's an entertaining listen and/or read. Worth the time, if you love Star Wars and want to know more about the history of the mythos.
"Intriguing prequel to Rogue One."
If you've seen the movie Rogue One and read this book, you may also feel as I did that the book didn't really add much to the movie. It's like they created the movie plot first and then the author, James Luceno, just tossed some stuff together to make a viable historical account of various events leading up to what we see in Rogue One.
Essentially, the book's plot follows the early life of Galen Urso, an engineering and theoretical physics genius, who comes up with the design that eventually provides the power to the Death Star, an ultra-super-weapon that we first see in the "first" Star Wars movie: A New Hope. Galen had no intent of creating such a destructive weapon, but was rather attempting to design a nearly unlimited source of power that would improve the lives of billions. Of course, the Empire, under the control of Emperor Palpatine and an ambitious Imperial officer, Orson Krenic, would rather create a super weapon and attempt to subvert Galen's work to their own ends.
Other characters include Galen's wife, Lira, their baby daughter Jyn (who is the main star in Rogue One), a younger rebel extremist, Saw Guerra, and a younger Tarkin.
The novel doesn't have a lot of action sequences and relies heavily on exposition/dialogue to provide the majority of the plot. Unfortunately, with so much exposition, the novel does tend to bog down.
Jonathan Davis is almost without equal as a narrator and once again gives a masterful performance, even matching closely to the accents/voices of the characters in the movie: Rogue One.
If you're a huge Star Wars fans, you'll appreciate this addition to the over-arching saga. Otherwise, this novel isn't absolutely essential to understanding the movie
"Solid, political story in the Star Wars Universe."
As with any audio book, you get a different experience than the print version. It is a worthy audio book with a very immersive experience and high production value.
It is a sci fi version of a political thriller. It relies on character development and slow moving elements to build to a climax.
He does a fantastic job, as always, and brings the story to life through his voice acting.
"In a universe ever expanding, it is hard to know who to trust."
James Luceno delivers another solid novel in the Star Wars universe and shows the beauty of the world when a competent writer is given the task. It is not filled with your typical action (space battles, laser fights, etc...) but it delivers a well told story that relies on dialogue and character building. A great set up for the new film.
"love it..great reader"
love the story and can not wait to see the movie. Jonathan Davis was fantastic!!! my favorite reader..hope he will do more star wars stories in the future
"Good to meet a new family!"
Excellent writing and performance. Great story in preparation for the new film! Started off a little slow and at times seemed verbose. However very important information regarding Khyber crystals and other important plot points. Also it was good to meet the Erso family and other new characters, as well as the connections to existing characters such as Tarkin.
Highly recommended to listen/read this before seeing Rogue One. Sound effects and the different voices by Jonathan Davis keep you engrossed the entire time.
"A must read before seeing Rogue One"
My first audio book experience could not have been any better. The narration and imagery was as if I was watching a Star Wars movie
"A must listen!!"
Probably one of the best Star Wars books I have ever read or listened to, which is just over 20 books. Jonathan Davis is brilliant and remains, now more than ever, my favorite narrator. A must listen and great preparation for the upcoming new movie.
"more fantastic world building"
Amazing world building and does setting the stage for Rogue One and leads into Tarken which I another great book
My favorite part of this novel is the interaction between Tarkin and Krennic. Orson Krennic is a snake who even tries to manipulate and betray fellow Imperial Officers.
I would say Tarkin would be the one I could compare it with. It isn't just like the book, but James Luceno wrote that novel as well. You can really hear Tarkin coming out in these books.
He does a great job at making a definite distinction between the character voices. That can be a difficult thing to accomplish well. I could see actors that we know are going to be in Rogue One when he did those characters.
Absolutely! That would be a serious session at 11 hours and some change. It was one that I really looked forward to listening to. I finished it about as fast as I did Bloodline, and that was another Star Wars novel I didn't want to stop listening to.
This isn't an essential novel for Rogue One, but it will absolutely enhance the movie going experience. Especially, since I know what all took place leading up to the events in the movie. It also enriches the experience when one watches A New Hope. That backstory makes one think deeper about the events in the original trilogy.
Gives a decent background for the Erso family and other Rogue One characters but lacked energy and prob could have been a lot shorter. Definitely not a must read but, of course, if you love star wars then give it a shot.
"Don't get your hopes up"
I really struggled with this book I just didn't find it very engaging but felt I had to read it to get ready for rogue one it does flesh out the the new characters but not in a interesting way I found the best bits were when we were finding out a bit of history on the Death Stars troubled construction this book could of been so much more
No narrative drive. No action. No interesting characters. Dialogue was drivel. I listened to this to enjoy the movie more, now I don't know if I care enough to see it.
I only cared about the bad guy and his talent for intrigue and smooth talking was undermined in the final. The only person with an archive was the smuggler and he won't be in the movie.
The performance is good, not great and is enhanced by sound effects and some music. Some of the performers character accents made them sound too similar.
"Ok, not great but OK."
The book is meant to be the backstory behind the new film rogue one, it definitely does that. It introduces all the characters and their back stories, but it's main story line is a bit weak.
"Fantastic prequel brilliantly delivered"
Very happy I bought this. I had listened to one of the x Wing series and disappointed. That cannot be said for this. The story is brilliant and leads up to Rogue One. Now when I watch it I'll have that backstory understanding. Unlike some, this is brilliantly read and produced and has me gripped. Highly recommend this!
"Excellent narration as usual from Jonathan Davis"
A must for any star wars fan wanting to learn more about the family's story pre Rogue one
While the novel is working a thin story it is quite excellent from Lusceno who takes the time to explore the science behind the Death Star in a comprehensive way. Particularly good on Tarkin and Crennick, two relatively nuanced baddies. As usual with the new cannon I would like to see more information about the timelines, in this case post Revenge of the Sith.
"great listen for a star wars fan"
narrative was animated and fun. painted wonderful images and put ne in the world I love. well done
"Poor and abrupt ending."
Worth reading, but could have been better. The abrupt ending lets it down.
I'm assuming it would have tred on the toes of Rogue One if it had progressed more, however I believe it could still have been handled better.
"No lightsabre required"
Although as a standalone it may be weak when you read it either before or after seeing the film it gives even more depth to it. Setting up events and outcomes that transpire throughout the movie. Worth it for that alone to any Star Wars fan
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