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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Benefit of the doubt!
Death Star is a fascinating look into the build, operation and destruction of the iconic Battle Station, introducing you to new characters and events in the lead up to and background of episode 4. I like this book but I agree that this can drift at times and I have few negatives:
1) The timeline doesn't really fit. The station seems to be completed very, very quickly...
Published on 10 May 2009 by Alan R. McGuire

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Fear will keep local systems in line - fear of this battle station."
So did anybody who watched the original Star Wars movie wonder about the origin of that massive battle station, the Death Star? Or were you intrigued by the image at the end of Episode III, with it slowly being built in the distance as the new Darth Vader, the Emperor, and Tarkin look out the window? Michael Reaves and Steve Perry have written Death Star, the story of not...
Published on 8 Feb 2008 by David Roy


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Fear will keep local systems in line - fear of this battle station.", 8 Feb 2008
By 
David Roy (Vancouver, BC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Star Wars: Death Star (Hardcover)
So did anybody who watched the original Star Wars movie wonder about the origin of that massive battle station, the Death Star? Or were you intrigued by the image at the end of Episode III, with it slowly being built in the distance as the new Darth Vader, the Emperor, and Tarkin look out the window? Michael Reaves and Steve Perry have written Death Star, the story of not only the creation of the station, but also the Imperial story behind the first movie, all the way up to the station's destruction. Unfortunately, what they've forgotten to give us are interesting characters to wrap the story around.

While the concept of Death Star is extremely interesting, I have a lot of problems with the execution. Reaves and Perry give us all of these new characters to get involved with, anchoring them with the viewpoints of Tarkin and Vader as well, but they fail to make the new characters very interesting. Of course, they all pair up in various romantic entanglements, and of course none of the Imperial officers we see like what Tarkin and Vader are doing once the Death Star actually starts being used. It would have been nice to have a main character (perhaps not a viewpoint character, but one who is in the same circle as the ones we do get) who actually supports the bad guys. It would have made for some interesting conflict among them. But no, instead we're given a couple of normal military officers who quickly turn once they see the true evil of the Empire.

Because of the overwhelming disinterest I had with the main characters, the building of the station actually is a chore to read. This quickly goes away when Tarkin and Vader are "on screen," as we see just how determined Tarkin is to get the Death Star going. We see his ruthlessness, but we also see a (somewhat, anyway) softer side in his affair with Admiral Daala (I'll give those of you who have a twinge at the thought of Tarkin actually having sex a moment to collect yourselves, but take heart that at least it's all only implied in the book). Vader is sent by the Emperor to help the investigation into a couple of rebel attempts to sabotage the station before it's completed, which sort of explains why he's almost acting as Tarkin's lackey in the first movie. In Death Star, he's willing to let Tarkin's ego take apparent control, but he's ready to step in if necessary.

The book gets most intriguing when the first movie starts. It's almost like getting a behind the scenes look at the events of the movie as we see the thought processes from the Imperial side. It's all very interesting, and these sequences are also the only times the original characters become even remotely interesting as well. The characters start reacting to the events that we've already seen, and realizing what they may have gotten themselves into. The writing of the book also gets a lot more interesting here, as it becomes a bit more action than the more boring set-up at the beginning of the book. Thankfully, none of this continuity gets in the way of the story. I appreciated that.

This book would have been a standout if Reaves and Perry had made their original characters interesting. Instead, it takes the action in Death Star, at least halfway through the book, to make this reader become engaged with them at all. Thus, we get an interesting idea, some cool intertwining with one of the movies, and some cool Vader/Tarkin scenes to tide us over until we get to more boring scenes. This makes an excellent book thoroughly average instead. You won't regret reading it, but it could have been so much better.

David Roy
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Benefit of the doubt!, 10 May 2009
This review is from: Star Wars: Death Star (Paperback)
Death Star is a fascinating look into the build, operation and destruction of the iconic Battle Station, introducing you to new characters and events in the lead up to and background of episode 4. I like this book but I agree that this can drift at times and I have few negatives:
1) The timeline doesn't really fit. The station seems to be completed very, very quickly compared the films timeline but I may be reading too much into this.
2) Some of the characters are a bit useless and mutiny appears to be easy in Palpatine's Empire - not convinced.
3) My biggest problem is this reluctance to kill off characters in recent novels. WHY? We know that destruction comes, we know how, why and when. Why constantly save characters with no future? Surely the shock factor is negated by the knowledge of events to come. So why dilute the impact of the book?
Anyway, despite this I found this a bold effort into areas where they knew lightsabers, Jedi, force powers and star fights would be at a minimum. So, well done to the author for exploring a difficult area, and keeping me invested in the book to the end.
Fans of ANH will like the crossovers. New to star wars books and after some Jedi/Sith stuff? Leave this until later. But do come back!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shade of grey, 30 July 2012
By 
K. G. A. Alavi (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Wars: Death Star (Hardcover)
Even though I though this book was fantastic. I know it will not be for everyone. The first 100 pages are very slow. The character names are comical (probably an in joke by the Authors), I mean who would name there kid Villain Dance? I understand why this was necessary because the greatest strength of this book is its real time character development. All the main characters are likeable, and I found myself drawn into their struggles. The characters range from career military (in this case Imperial Navy), to prisoners and escapees to a bartender and her Bouncer even a Doctor drafted into service. There are also small appearances but more classic characters. Vader, Obi Wan (Ben), Leia, Moff Tarkin and someone who becomes important later Admiral Dalah.

The other great thing about this book is it brings in a shade of grey into the Star Wars universe. Even though someone is in the Imperial military does not make them evil. You see the perspectives of how even the most hardened military types change in accordance with the Destruction of Alderon and billions of people killed in an instance. The effect it has on the gunners who carried out the order and essentially pulled the trigger. Also it asks the question even though the Death Star was a military target and needed to be destroyed, what about all the people inside it who were not evil?

The book is extremely well researched. No just in the Star Wars Universe but in Martial arts philosophies, and martial artists as well, and the connection between them and military types.

The book is set a year or two before the start of Star Wars: A New Hope and finishes a couple of minutes after the destruction of the Death Star. This is the Vader from a New Hope. It was interesting for Vader to admit (even to himself only) as Anakin Skywalker he always considered himself the more powerful Jedi but he lost in Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith, and how he reacts to Obi Wan disappearing when he should have be killed. All on all if you power through the first 100 pages this book is real treat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different point of view for the battle of Yavin, 6 Nov 2010
By 
Gonzalo Herreros (Dublin Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Wars: Death Star (Paperback)
I bought the book with doubts after such harsh reviews and I don't regret it. It's nice to read and it gets to into the background of the people building living in the Death Star.

The only mayor flaw I see is that it hardly tells you anything about the origin of the Death Star, who designed it, etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The guy who pushed the button, and other stories......, 3 Sep 2010
This review is from: Star Wars: Death Star (Paperback)
There are a wide range of reviews for this book. Some love it, some loathe it. I like it and have now finished it for the second time. It helps to be a bit of a SW geek and have an interest in the expanded universe.
What I enjoyed about this was filling in some of the many concurrent backstories connected to the original film. Here we find out how Tarkin spends his evenings, who pushed the big button to destroy Alderan, how stormtroopers relax and many other useful facts. It's stuff like ths that puts meat on the bones of the main tale and expands the depth of the fictional universe we've come to know.
Granted, it may not be the best written book in the galaxy, but it doesn't need to be. I promise you'll want to watch EP4 straight away to watch the background action.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cool characters and great setting equals an entertaining read, 28 Mar 2010
By 
S. Pools "Vlad" (Bigglesworth) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Wars: Death Star (Paperback)
I read this book a while ago during my holiday on Greece. Three days at the hotelpool, at a very slow pace, and it was over.

It's an easy read. The writing style is fun and the characters, although not super in-depth, are pleasant to relate to. The background is the Death Star, which in my opinion, makes for a great setting. it plays such an important part in the SW universe, and yet you know very little about it.

Like I said, it's an easy read. The plot isn't very challenging and we all know what's going to happen to the Death Star.
But the authors did a great job creating atmosphere. Things happen, characters make choices that you never even thought about. Why did Skywalker and Solo escape from the Death Star with the princess? And why was the Death Star seconds late to blowing up the rebel base witht heir totally awesome lazer? (/imitates Dr. Evil)

Some may find it to easy to read and the story to convenient. I disagree. It worked for me. I liked reading about the people inside the Death Star. The same people you never thought about when it blew up after Skywalker torpedo'ed it to kingdom come.

Conclusion: Good easy read, nice setting, some cool characters, and even though we know the ending (kaboem Death Star) the authors do a good job of keeping you interested.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cleverly done., 17 Nov 2009
By 
M. J. Lowe "querulous" (Lancaster UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Wars: Death Star (Paperback)
I've just finished reading this book after buying it second hand on Amazon.
I've always enjoyed both Reaves' and Perry's other works (I've followed Reaves' work since the 1980's D&D tv cartoon) but I was anxious that this might be a flop after reading all the other reviews.
I can't see what other people are grumbling about. I thoroughly enjoyed it. True, it is effectively a recycling of an old location, but it was refreshing to see it through the eyes of the little people. For me, the characters worked and I was itching for the next dip into a scene from Ep4.
I recommend this book for all die-hard Star wars fans. It's certainly worth the read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The other side of the Dark Side, 5 Jun 2009
By 
Gerald Stewart "Doc Gerry" (Berkshire - UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Wars: Death Star (Paperback)
There are many books about the heroic Rebel Alliance and their struggle against the evil Empire. But here is one from the other side of the fence. Not all the Empires minions are callous evil thugs. This book follows the exploits and thoughts of about a dozen of the Death Star's motely crew. The book covers the final stages of constuction of the Battle Station and how the lives of the 'dozen' are drawn into it's embrace. In war people are put into places the really don't want to be and forced to support a system they would soon rather destroy.

This is their story...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 11 Dec 2008
By 
P. M. MCGREAD "Parmandil" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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I agree with the points made by all other reviewers intellectually, however, this book gave me a feel-good vibe. This was a good, absorbing read that I really enjoyed.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underwear shopping with Darth Vader, 23 Feb 2010
This review is from: Star Wars: Death Star (Paperback)
I like Steve Perry and Michael Reaves. I like their writing style; I like their characterisation and I think they work well as a team. Consequently, this book was very well written and I very much liked the main characters and how the story surrounding them unfolded. It was good to get personal perspectives of some of the other players, especially the guy who fired the laser. The ending to the book was very well choreographed - as is to be expected from Perry especially - and left me feeling quite sad... in a good way.

I think they did as good a job as possible on explaining why it took the best part of two decades to build the first Death Star but only 2 or 3 to build the second... it's good to know even in that highly technological galaxy far, far away they experience the same labour difficulties and supplier problems as we do!

Having said that, I guess there is only so much one can write about a planet-sized battle station and I felt that a lot of the book was blatant page filler material. I also wasn't too keen on some of the more recreational aspects of the battle station. Whilst reading, I started to picture the battle station more like my local shopping centre rather than a weapon of mass destruction and, for some disturbing reason, I couldn't stop imagining Darth Vader out on a shopping spree picking out new items of clothing to go with his little black number... I am seeking help now!
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