Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Review: Star Wars Death Star - Michael Reaves and Steve Perry

I finished the book today, sometime in the afternoon, while I was at work – and believe me, it was torture having to take a break and earn my salary when I had such an excellent book to read! :-)

Death Star tells the story of that giant battle station, from when it was getting the finishing touches applied to the moment after it became a very pretty light show in Yavin-4’s skies. This story is told from myriad points of view: a smuggler trapped on the prison planet, Despayre (the Death Star was constructed in orbit around this planet), a TIE fighter pilot, a gunner, an architect, a librarian, a doctor, a stormtrooper, a cantina owner and her bouncer, as well as Darth Vader, Admiral Motti, and Grand Moff Tarkin.

What made this book really enjoyable for me was that it reminded me of movies such as Crash – you know, lots of different characters who aren’t linked to each other, but do get linked as the plot unfolds; I’ve never noticed this in Star Wars novels before, so if it’s already been done, don’t shout at me :-) but this works well, especially when dealing with such an important construction.

Reading this novel takes you deeper into the event that gave the Rebel Alliance it’s first concrete victory against the Empire; you understand not only the motivations of all the characters, whether good or bad, but you also get a deeper sense of what it actually meant to destroy the Death Star. I’ve never really understood, or really thought about, the fact that Luke Skywalker murdered about a million beings when he fired that proton torpedo down the exhaust port, but now I do; good or bad, they were all on the Death Star when it exploded, and although the battle station, with Tarkin at the helm, would have sowed incredible destruction throughout the galaxy had the station not been destroyed, I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps sabotage wouldn’t have been a bad idea. The writers have done an amazing job in bringing across the different points of view, in helping us to understand the motivations behind their actions, and my two favourite characters are Nova Stihl and Dr ‘Uli’ Divini; they brought a warmth and depth to the book that nicely balanced the evil of Tarkin and Vader.

The cameo’s of other Star Wars characters was also handled well (but read for yourself to find out who), and true to form, Perry and Reaves have once again brought characters along for the ride who made appearances in their other Star Wars novels, which is great!

And trust me, the action really hots up when you get to the part of the book at which Star Wars Episode 4 A New Hope starts; seeing the details of the scenes we know so well (and the extra info that’s been added) really added an extra level of excitement to the book! :-)

All in all, an excellent read, and one I highly recommend! :-)


For more info on Michael Reaves and his work, click this link; for more info on Steve Perry and his work, click this link; to order the book, click here for US, here for UK, and those in SA, please use the link at the top of the blog.

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