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The Rise of the Empire: Star Wars: Featuring the novels Star Wars: Tarkin, Star Wars: A New Dawn, and 3 all-new short stories Paperback – October 6, 2015
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Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
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“Compelling . . . The villains of Star Wars are as much fun as the good guys.”—New York Daily News, on Tarkin
“A story with pacing and dialogue that feels like classic Star Wars.”—Nerdist, on A New Dawn
About the Author
James Luceno is the New York Times bestselling author of the Star Wars novels Darth Plagueis, Millennium Falcon, Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader, Cloak of Deception, and Labyrinth of Evil, as well as the New Jedi Order novels Agents of Chaos I: Hero’s Trial and Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse, The Unifying Force, and the eBook “Darth Maul: Saboteur.” He lives with his wife in Annapolis, Maryland.
Writer and game designer John Jackson Miller is the author of Star Wars: Kenobi, Star Wars: Knight Errant, and Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories, as well as nine Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic graphic novels. His comics work includes writing for Iron Man, Mass Effect, Bart Simpson, and Indiana Jones. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, two children, and far too many comic books.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bottleneck: a great prequel to A new dawn it helps to give tarkin a little more time in the book while also introducing us to count vidian ( while not spoiling a new dawn) a good tale that really gives perspective on the growth of the empire to me a littl boring due to it mostly being about factory working but really brought up by it's character and the contrast and simmilarities of its two protagionists. Oh and theres a non rebellion rebel plot
Mercy mission: Hera Syndula from the tv show rebels is helping an associate of her father to deliever medicine to a sick twilek village. Moff mors from lords of the sith however can't let that happen since the emporer isnt too happy with her. Takes place a year after lords of the sith and acts as a great sequel to that novel and it really helps to show heras character she is always just trying to help all that she can
Levels of power: This one is a good prequel to Aftermath. During the battle of endor Rae sloane sees The super star destroyer Executor and as the highest officer takes over the navy and orders their retreat. It helps to set the stage for what is too happen in the aftermath trilogy. Theres also a side plot between sloane and a loyalty officer who is alittle overconfident in the empire. While not a groundbreaking story it is a fun one to show why sloane is in charge.
For the book as a whole It serves a great piece for the new canon Tarkin was a 4.8/5 to me with a new dawn at 3.9/5. As a whole it works exceptionally as a prequel to rebels ( except for levels of power) as it introduces the leaders of that team as well as tells us alot about tarkin who is a major villian in that series. including the novels, stories, and the quality of the book in general i give it a 4.5/5. Ecen if you have the novels this book is only 9 bucks and is a great deal for the stories
But what if you already own A New Dawn or Tarkin or both? For me, that’s the real question, as a lot of Star Wars book lovers will already have both of these. If you only own one of the two, it’s definitely worth your money to pick this one up in order to get the other plus the three new short stories. But if you already own both, then all comes down to just how good those three short stories are.
The first short story in the book is “Mercy Mission” by Melissa Scott. It’s 22 pages long and is set after the events of Paul S. Kemp’s Lords of the Sith but before John Jackson Miller’s A New Dawn. Melissa is new to Star Wars, but she does a good job in “Mercy Mission” of capturing the feel of Star Wars and bringing readers a nice little story that ties into the other books. What I found particularly interesting is how this story ties into Lords of the Sith, which isn’t included in this bind up. If you’ve read Lords of the Sith, it serves as a great transition between it and A New Dawn, as it stars Hera Syndulla and shows what she’s up to in this early period of her rebel career. It provides some substinance on her experience with rebel teams and what ultimately drives her to lead her own team of rebels. Moff Mors also shows up in the story, a key character from Lords of the Sith, as does Goll who was a brief side character in that story. Hera and the band of rebels she’s signed up with try to smuggle some contraband medicine to Ryloth to help plague victims while avoiding Imperial interdiction. It’s a fun story and a good beginning for Hera.
The second short story is “Bottleneck” by John Jackson Miller. Like “Mercy Mission”, it’s 22 pages long, but this one follows Tarkin as he’s tasked by the Emperor to look into armor shortage issues on the planet Gilvaanen. Quickly Count Vidian comes into play and the two of them must work together to unravel the mystery of production problems on the planet. Through force, fear and spying, they each show their skills off as they go about inspecting the armor manufacturing plants, their Ithorian work force, and the leaders in charge. It’s an interesting team-up story of corruption and sabotage that ties together Tarkin and A New Dawn by utilizing a key character from each book. If you wondered how Tarkin and Vidian would get along, this story answers that question.
The third and final short story in the book is “Levers of Power” by Jason Fry. At just 16 pages, this is my favorite short story in the book. It features Rae Sloane, now an admiral, in the Battle of Endor. From her viewpoint, we get to see the battle as it unfolds, from the Imperial advantage and nigh invincibility, to the point where the odds turn against them and everything falls apart. It answers questions that Aftermath left unanswered. What happened to the Imperials with the loss at Endor? How did they go from an assured victory to absolute defeat? What thoughts were going through the minds of the Imperial commanders as the fortunes of battle changed? It touches on those aspects in a way that make complete sense, as well as doing a great job of introducing the Imperial Security Bureau loyalty officers and showing Sloane’s transition from A New Dawn to Aftermath. Fry does a splendid job of filling in some of the voids left by Aftermath by giving fans key pieces of the puzzle. He shows Sloane in her element, at the helm of a Star Destroyer, in the midst of battle, and tearing across the edge of brilliance with her intuition. It provides the justification for why she is where she is in Aftermath, and why this is a character we should care about. While we’ll be seeing more of Sloane in Wendig’s future novels, I’d love to see Jason Fry write another story about her as he did a great job with the character.
So, are these three short stories enough to justify getting the book if you already own copies of both Tarkin and A New Dawn? You’ll be getting 60 pages of new content. All three short stories do a great job of providing transitions and tie-ins between A New Dawn and Tarkin, as well as the other new books in the canon like Lords of the Sith and Aftermath. If you are looking to get a complete picture between all of the books, you’ll definitely want to read these three new short stories. Heck, I’d argue “Levers of Power” is a must read before going into Aftermath. If you really want to get the most out of the books in the new canon, one way or another, you’re going to have to get these stories. So is it worth it? Yes. Look around, find a price you’re willing to abide with, and dig in for some fun storytelling that helps bind everything together.
I give Rise of the Empire a five out of five. It’s a great buy for new readers, and hopefully we’ll see even more new short stories in the future.
1) Point of View (POV) changes multiple times a chapter. Since the chapters are short, it leaves you feeling dissatisfied in getting the know the inner workings of the character. This makes the characters feel one-dimensional and bland, leaving you to rely on what you already know.
2) Chapters are short - very short. And POV changes - again - at the start of new chapter.
3) Lack of drama. It feels very Young Adult, as if it were geared to a less mature audience. It does not go into the gritty details of war. I don't appreciate reading gore, but as we are dealing with adults, I would have liked it be more fulfilling.