18 September 2012

New Republic Week: Star Wars: X-Wing, Book Seven: Solo Command by Aaron Allston

Mass market paperback, 341 pages
Published 1999

Reread June 2012
Star Wars: X-Wing, Book Seven: Solo Command
by Aaron Allston

Before reading The Courtship of Princess Leia, I decided to reread Solo Command, the X-Wing novel that serves as a prequel to it. It's the last of the "Wraith Squadron" novels, all of which I have not read for many years, though I remembered liking them.

It's okay. I honestly don't have a lot to say about it. Fans like to hold this book up as superior to the book it leads into, but I don't really see it. Warlord Zsinj and the other villains might have a little bit more style, but they have no more substance here than there; they are simple black hats on which to hang a plot. The pilots aren't exactly deeply characterized, either, though I wonder if they would pop more if I'd just read the previous two novels featuring them.  Wedge Antilles is the highlight here, a man burdened with responsibility but eminently capable of shouldering it. On the other hand, I found it hard to imagine Han Solo saying the lines here where he is being all general-like.

The best part is the uneasy and unofficial alliance the New Republic and the Galactic Empire make to take down Zsinj. Rogriss is how I like my Imperials: earnest and not gratuitously evil. It's a standout subplot in an otherwise average book.

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