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Book Review: Catalyst A Rouge One Novel By James Luceno

21/11/2016 12:23

If like me, an avid Star Wars fan. Chances are you've spent the last few months filtering through all of that election nonsense on your various social media newsfeeds, finding that your most popular search bar terms have been two words... Rouge and One.

It's true, if the Force Awakens has anything to go by, then the new Lucas Film franchise offering is going to be epic. I mean the trailer alone gives it that dark edge that so many of us felt was lacking from episode 7. Many of us have been preying that the Disney rumours to "tone it down a tad" aren't true. Part of what made Star was so great is that as kids it introduced you to some of life's most challenging issues. Not including the brother sister kiss...

Having read all of the cannon's books, when they were first published in the 1990's I've followed the extended universe of Stars Wars with the tenacity of Saint George chasing that pesky dragon. It all started with the Jedi Academy trilogy. Luke had taken upon himself to train a new set of guardians for the new republic. They were awesome, and at the ages of 12 and 16 when there wasn't really a lot going on outside, but a whole lot of stuff going on inside my head, it was the perfect escapism.

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With Catalyst, written by James Luceno author of New York Times best sellers the rise of Darth Vader and the new Jedi order novels, to name a few, that hunger has been quenched. Centred on a lead scientist called Galen Erso who discovered a way to focus enough energy to create a laser that can destroy an entire planet. The story is clever in that it uses the perspective argument that we all saw George Lucas toying around with in the prequels. A race against time ensures between the early Rebels and the Empire trying to get their hands on this man whose knowledge could tip the balance of the war.

The book is peppered in pages filled with pace. Staying true to Luceno's style, the action is throughout, yet he is able to carefully weave his characters to life through his command of details. Like many of his books, if you happen to be lucky enough to get a day to yourself you can consume it in a day, easy. But if you want to be super nerdy, why not time it so that the very last chapter you're reading is in the queue for Rouge One. Then and only then, can you claim that you truly had your Star Wars fix.

The story will no doubt prove to be a good gateway drug for Rouge One story cementing the relationship between Jyn and her father Galen. It also demonstrates the destructive power of the Empire and how through clever tactic is able to manipulate one of the galaxy's greatest scientists.

Catalyst is out 17th November and is published by Century.

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