This review originally appeared on WorldOfJoel.com
I should preface my review of Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel by saying that the only Star Wars movie I've ever watched all the way through is Episode 7. And although I considered that a great movie I haven't been bothered enough to go back and watch the other six movies. And yet for my book club, GamersRead this months book pick was Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel so I went ahead and dived in, full well knowing that a lot of this book would probably be lost on me.
I picked up Catalyst - A Rogue One Novel on Audible. And what's striking about the audiobook is the enriching touches that the recording brought. Not only is Jonathan Davis a great narrator but the full sound array that the producers brought in around Davis's narration is spectacular. Atfirst I found all of the beeps and boops to be a little distracting but after a while it became more of a radio drama. Sadly that's where my praise for Catalyst comes to a complete and utter stop.
This is a tie-in book, or in other words a way to get you more excited for Rogue One. Not knowing much about the movie or the book I started to at least get behind the books main protagonist of Galen Erso. Erso from what I gathered from this novel is a leading scientist in charge of researching crystals as an energy source. From what I was able to gleam from the novel these crystals are also Jedi crystals that are used in their light-sabers and are combined to give them their jedi powers.
Outside of the moment-to-moment tedium of this novel, it also is weighed down for me by explaining next to nothing. The novel almost assumed you know who all of these characters are, and are at least familiar with their backstory. Its as though they thought you were coming into the novel already sympathetic to their plight and fully against the bad guys. Instead for me Erso came off as whiny and a bit pathetic. Towards the end of the third act the final push ends with an absolute whimper. Almost nothing happens in this book. People go from one planet to the next, and the consequences seem negligible.
Although I loved the production of Catalyst, the novel it self was a complete bore. Nothing happens, and I genuinely am not sure why this book would make me more excited to see the movie?
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