Prelude to the film: Rogue One
This book is set before Rogue One, when Jyn is a little girl. We see a small snapshot of this period of time at the beginning of the film. The book concentrates on her father, Galen Erso.
This is not the first time books have been released prior to a Star Wars film being released. There were a number of books for the Force Awakens, grouped together under the 'Journey to the Force Awakens'. This was a full novel written by an author with other Star Wars credits to his name (including Tarkin).
I was not a fan of the Tarkin book, as it brought nothing to the Star Wars universe, and was quiet frankly a dull book. As a result i was a little apprehensive about this.
The audiobook was narrated by Jonathan Davis, who has narrated a large number of the Star Wars books from the Expanded Universe. I have listened to a couple in the past and he was a competent narrator. I prefer Marc Thompson, but Jonathan is clear and has a range of voice talent, while not massive, is adequate.
I thought this story might provide an extra layer of enjoyment for when i would watch the film when it was released. I hoped the buildup of this story into the film was enhance the experience of the film.
To be honest, the book was very disappointing. It was dull, dry, shallow and i cared very little for the characters. It was a heavy political type story, with very little action in it. No action is not a bad thing, but it would need something else to stop the reader/listener getting board. We were presented with science and the Kyber crystals.
Essentially, it is about Jyn's father Galen Erso, who was responsible for making the power crystals that would power the weapon on the Death Star. He didn't know this at the time he started, and Krennic spent a lot of time manipulating Galen to use his technology to make the weapon. From watching the film, we know his wife is killed and little Jyn goes into hiding.
The story plodded on at a slow and sedate pace. Yes, it did add some extra background information relating to the film, but in all honesty it was not really worth it. The film is amazing and holds exceptionally well by itself. This prelude wasn't really needed and i would recommend it only for the hard core Star Wars fan that wants to know everything.
Due to the type of story and the pace it went, i would avoid the audiobook as well. As stated earlier, nothing wrong with Jonathan Davis, but the story does not lend to being an audiobook.
It was very similar to Tarkin, which i did not rate at all. As a result, i will approach books by James Luceno with a pinch of salt, and will read them instead of getting the audible version.