View Full Version : [Spoilers] Death Star (the novel)

4 January 2008, 08:54 PM
So, I picked this one up on a whim and am slowly thumbing through it. I'm only about a half dozen chapters in and I'm beginning to realize I don't like this novel.

It's not KJA bad, but it's clear the primary author (Michael Reaves) knows so little about Star Wars in the Rebellion era that he may as well be writing an Ender saga novel. While I might normally have expected having a second author (particularly seasoned vet Steve Perry) would help, it hasn't seemed to.

So far several gaffes have disrupted my enjoyment of the novel, and I don't expect that will change as we progress further.

As yet no serious retconning has taken place, so there's that at least.

Anyone else pick it up? Thoughts?

Rogue Trader
4 January 2008, 09:28 PM
I'm almost finished with Death Star myself [about 20 or 30 pages left]. I've been reading it on and off for the last three weeks -- and it's been slow going for the most part. As it is, I feel that this particular SW novel has been rather disappointing. Initially, I was ecstatic to learn about what this book would cover. And I was eager to start reading it just as soon as it arrived on my doorstep. I even set aside two other books I was reading at the time so that I could fully concentrate on Death Star.

Now, however, I'm thinking that I shouldn't have bothered.

Overall, I haven't found it to be a very satisfying SW novel. At times, I even felt like it's a stretch to properly categorise it as a "Star Wars" novel. Granted, at times, there were occasional portions of dialogue that I enjoyed. And the comprehensive coverage [in the earlier chapters] of the processes involved in the construction of the Death Star, made for interesting reading. However, the focus on the "daily lives" of the several major characters, was often quite distracting. I'll admit, this particular narrative style, while interesting, was really only mildly entertaining because it offered us, as the readers, a glimpse of what "daily life" would be like for people operating in such a hazardous environment -- and it's not really something we've read a lot about in "Star Wars." Though, as I said, it was distracting. I almost felt like I was reading/watching a type of soap opera, rather than a tale set in the SWU -- even the intense medical-related scenes, while gripping, reminded me of something you'd see in those strangely-popular medical dramas that constantly plague commerical television. It just didn't really feel like I was reading a novel set in the "Star Wars" universe. It was almost... "Star Wars-lite."

5 January 2008, 12:30 AM
Damn, that's a shame. :(
I'd been looking forward to picking it up before planning an adventure around the :ds1:'s construction...
maybe I won't bother (or I'll wait for the paperback). :(

5 January 2008, 05:47 AM
personal lives of the people building it, why am I suddenly picturing Clerks :P

5 January 2008, 08:09 AM
Originally posted by Thomas
personal lives of the people building it, why am I suddenly picturing Clerks :P
Ha ha... they "knew the risks. If they were killed, it was their own fault."

I dunno, I appreciate the reviews, and will probably follow the advice and avoid the book, but the idea of hearing about the day-to-day lives of DS personnel sounds kinda interesting...

5 January 2008, 08:34 AM
Every time I've gone to the library recently I've looked for it (as I didn't want to buy the hardcover) but it hasn't been up. I may still read it one day, just so I can form my own opinion regarding the material (I guess I'm a masochist that way), but I'm not going to bust down any doors to get it.

Thanks for the heads up, guys!

5 January 2008, 10:20 AM
I was thinking of getting it but decided against good to see I made the right choice. I think SWEU needs to get an author to write a sweeping novel invovling epic space battles. Maybe something like a shortened version of X-Wing (3 novels) covering the liberation of some sector filled with epic battles both in space and land involving hundreds of ships and thousands of fighters. I was looking foward to the Shadowspawn novel since the way it was implied in the DE sourcebook and Essential Chronology as this epic sector-wide war which is now probably going to be Luke and dozen commandos versus maybe a hundred Storm Commandos. :(

Master Dao Rin
5 January 2008, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by Ardent
So far several gaffes have disrupted my enjoyment of the nove...

What gaffes? Just curious ...

5 January 2008, 05:12 PM
I was excited about this, but underwhelmed by the end product. It reads like a clutch of characters from a homebrew 'hey, what if?" campaign netted in the very sketchy collection of previously published facts about the Death Star. Lucky it was a library book.

Rogue Trader
5 January 2008, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by boccelounge
I dunno, I appreciate the reviews, and will probably follow the advice and avoid the book...
I certainly don't want to dissuade any readers from Death Star. I would encourage all readers of "SW novels" to pick it up for themselves and decide how they feel about it. Though, for me, I just felt that the particular style and focus of this novel didn't really work for me.

...but the idea of hearing about the day-to-day lives of DS personnel sounds kinda interesting...
And for the most part, it was. [SPOILER:- highlight to read]For example, the personal reactions each of the characters had to the capabilities of the Death Star, were among some of my favorite parts of the book. The ways in which they all confronted their own feelings with respect to understanding the awesome destructive power of the "Empire's ultimate weapon" were entirely convincing. Even the relationships that developed between each of the characters was entertaining.

Though, about mid-way through the book, I started to feel like there was too much focus being put on these relationships and their developments, and not enough on the actual processes involved in building the Death Star. Which, as I said earlier, made it seem more like a soap opera and less like a novel based in the "Star Wars" universe.

5 January 2008, 06:23 PM
Without the "inserts" referring to events from A New Hope, and if it were in the paperback format, this book would be about half the size and a quarter of the volume.

Really, the font used semed to me to be larger than average, and overall it just struck me as being average/below average. The pacing was all off, thanks to the necessity of wrapping it around the movie.

If this book had ended just before the movie, it might have been more interesting. As it is, it's pretty much a "how will the characters get off the death star before it goes boom" novel, and there's no real suspense to it.