The title of this post may be a little deceiving. I don’t know if this would quantify as a review as much as an expression of how I felt about the novel. Let’s not go into too much detail about prose, writing style, and the technicalities. I’m sure you’ll find far more qualified folks out there for that. Ultimately, for me anyways, its about how the novel made you feel that’s important. So instead, let’s quickly explore what kind of reading experience this title offers.
It takes a little while to settle into the story. The first quarter of the book is a little disjointed as you’re lead between various points in Tarkin’s life and also introduced to the main villains of the novel at the same time. But once the story settles and the stage is set, its a rather smooth read. All of the characters are mostly forgettable with the exceptions of the Emperor, Vader, a certain uncle, and Tarkin himself. Those characters are written beautifully.
This novel read like an action thriller with a science fiction backdrop. Now that’s not either a good or bad thing, it just is. The plot is rather basic but its fast paced. There are some nice nuggets of subplots woven in that are especially enjoyable for a Star Wars fan.
If you’re a hardcore fan of the Star Wars franchise and haven’t caught up with the new canon yet, this is a great read. If you’re just a causal fan that enjoys the movies, I wouldn’t say this is essential reading. This novel gave great insight into the mind and motivations of one of Star Wars most fierce characters. I’m sure that was its purpose and to that point, this story was a resounding success.