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Rebel Dream by Aaron Allston is book #11 of the 19 in the New Jedi Order and is the first book in the Enemy Lines duology. I admit that I am still struggling somewhat to wade through the New Jedi Order. Many of the books could benefit from some severe editing. However, I had my hopes up for Mr. Allston’s book, and he did not let me down. This is more like it. More action and less philosophizing. I believe the seriousness of the threat posed by the Yuuzhan Vong has finally sunk in. Heroic deeds are being done.

Coruscant has fallen. That is a sentence I never expected to write. However, it’s true. The cityworld is in ruins in many places, and the invading aliens are in control. The New Republic is falling apart. Things look grim.

In an effort to fight back, Wedge Antilles leads a force to retake Borleais from the Vong. Once this is accomplished, he works with high-level friends of his such as Luke Skywalker to see what kind of damage they can inflict on the Vong. His plans are not received favorably by some erstwhile leaders of the Republic. A group of politicians holding themselves out as the New Republic Advisory Council comes to Borleais, meets with Wedge and the other leaders, and tries to order them to accept a suicidal plan. Through some deft maneuvering, Wedge manages to refuse their plan and send them packing. This was a very clever section of the book.

From there Wedge and the other leaders on Borleais form what they refer to as the Inner Circle to spearhead resistance against the Yuuzhan Vong. We are back to the days of the Rebel Alliance and it is fun to read about. Skywalkers, Solos, etc. – all the big names are involved and seem enthusiastic about it. Their plan is to go into action against the Vong without having to put up with the paralyzing bureaucracy that has been so prevalent so far in the New Jedi Order. It makes you want to offer a round of applause.

The author has included a couple of new twists in the Yuuzhan Vong. Ex-Senator Viqi Shesh is now physically with the Vong and is trying to prove her worth to them. She is truly a Machiavellian character and cannot be trusted by anyone. I will not miss her when she is gone. We also are introduced to Czulkang Lah, the father of Warmaster Tsavong Lah. The older Lah is a warrior with a legendary record, and he is an interesting character in the book. On the whole, the Vong are still extremely disgusting and very difficult to understand.

Wedge Antilles plays a huge role in Rebel Dream as does Jaina Solo. It is interesting to watch both in action. I especially enjoyed watching Jaina create havoc among the Vong in her role as the Trickster while at the same time resolving some of her own issues and developing into a very worthwhile character. At the end, Mr. Allston does a good job of setting up the next book, Rebel Stand. Wedge has led his forces to an important victory while Luke has led a team back to Coruscant. There may be hope for the remaining books in the New Jedi Order.
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on July 9, 2017
This is a good story and solid entry to the NJO series. The story gets 4 stars.

However this is a PRODUCT review, so my 2 star rating is based, not on the story, but the physical product itself.

I have most of the other books from this series and the quality of the printings currently available by the publisher are crap compared to earlier printings. The paper is almost Bible thin and if you hold the book by the binding, the quality is so bad that it flops down. On top of this, the publisher now charges $1 more per copy of the inferior quality product.

It makes me wish I had gone to a used book store to buy it.
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The New Republic has finally fallen to pieces. What's left isn't much to be proud of. Our heroes craft a two-tiered battle plan, one involving remnants of the past.

Luke decides to lead a team to Coruscant. Han and Leia take the Jedi children into hiding. Jaina plays up her twin role and becomes a "goddess."

So far, the weakest part of the novel is Jaina playing goddess. It hasn't provoked the Yuuzhan Vong in any way. It hasn't made them fear her, either. It's just something she's doing and she's not doing it very well. It feels like a joke, which it's not supposed to be. She's leading a squadron, which she has no experience and not enough skill to do. She takes orders, which isn't goddess-like at all. Where is the resentment and alienation that Wedge promised?

The Jag/Jaina relationship is progressing well. Kyp is still in the picture, and I wonder how this triangle will work. This is not a romance story, but romance is part of the story, and Aaron Allston is very good at weaving that in. On the other hand, what is a goddess doing with a mere mortal?

Part one of some duologies have an ending of sorts. This one definitely feels like it ends in the middle of something greater. Luke and Mara are positioned for a mission to find Jacen. Wedge's new military tactics give the New Rebellion hope. With our old heroes back at the helm, they just might win this war.
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VINE VOICEon April 25, 2011
Aaron Allston was one of the two main authors involved in the X-Wing series, and he brings the magic of that series back with this entry in the New Jedi Order series. This is probably one of the better books in the NJO series. Like the X-Wing books, much of the story revolves around the characters of the pilots. Wedge Antilles makes a strong appearance here - finally! The other characters come out as more nuanced and textured than many of the NJO books. Jania continues to shine, now that her brothers are dead or MIA. She also develops a romantic relationship, the first serious one I believe. Kyp and Jag Fel stop being cardboard characters and actually reveal some of their fears and passions. However, the best thing about this book is the plot. Wedge and the rest of the Republic heros decide they have to fight the Yuuzhan Vong using alternative, Rebellion-style tactics. It makes the plot all the more interesting to know that both sides are trying to maneuver the other into a trap, but never quite knowing what it is or when it will spring. I'm looking forward to reading Allston's next entry in the series.
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on May 15, 2017
One of the best books in the NJO series.
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on February 5, 2010
This entire series is a guilty pleasure for me, and I only just recently finished both this book and book 12 (Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand) and these two are the first in a long time I just couldn't put down. Aaron Allston has a sharp wit and a knack for snappy banter - if you like short, sarcastic one-liners and clever comebacks, he is a wizard.
Also, the plot for this particular story arc is excellent, it does a fantastic job of continuing the major sub-plots from the previous book (Dark Journey) and brings the focus of the story back to the larger picture: the ongoing war with the Yuuzhan Vong, at the same time.

I was glued to my seat, more often than not bursting out laughing, and all around overjoyed at these two additions to the New Jedi Order series.

My one and only complaint is that Aaron Allston's style is perhaps too specific, and a lot of the characters started to blur together, but considering how much fun that character was, I didn't mind overmuch, and there are a few new additions who stand out as wholly unique.

That said, great story, great battles, great politics, great friendships and banter - simply fantastic!
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on August 28, 2003
I found this to be a real relief following the illogical and obnoxious orgy that was Dark Journey. Rebel Dream may start slowly in comparison to the bawdy outrageousness of Elaine Cunningham's book, but once Allston gets into the material he clearly loves the most--military intelligence and the interactions between pilots in their squadrons--he strikes a rhythm and the story reads quickly. It is full of humor, which somehow manages to remain appropriate alongside the various, quite serious, story lines--the death of the New Republic, Jaina's (this time believable) grappling with the loss of her brothers and friends, etc. The formation of a new rebellion really restored some of the vitality of earlier Star Wars books and of the original trilogy itself. Similarly, by avoiding writing over-the-top main characters, Allston revived my interest in Jaina, Jag, and Kyp. I haven't really liked Jaina since the Dark Tide duology, and it was almost surprising to find myself sympath
izing with her again. Jag always seemed incredibly boring to me, but in this book he became more fleshed-out and his brilliance as a pilot and tactician became evident. And Kyp has finally started to seem like a reasonable guy, with something more to him than anger.
Ultimately, this wasn't the most exciting NJO book, but it was really well-written and much more enjoyable than most. I think I can safely blame the only parts of the book that annoyed me on Elaine Cunningham's botched job, because I only ever rolled my eyes at the book early on, when people showed a lot of faith in Jaina, who was a totally untrustworthy person in Dark Journey (to say the least). Had Cunningham done a half-way decent job with her conclusion--Jaina's "redemption"--these episodes would have probably seemed a lot more reasonable. It's worth noting that all the "themes" Dark Journey attempts to treat but ends up horribly mangling or misrepresenting, Aaron Allston pulls off convincingly and compellingly in Rebel Dream--most remarkably, political subversion, grief, and romance.
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on February 19, 2016
I love the NJO books and this one does not disappoint! Although it is the first half of a two-book miniseries, the author fully developed the characters involved and does a great job leading into the ending and preparing the reader for the next book. Would highly recommend for any Star Wars fan!
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on March 29, 2002
Thank God for Aaron Allston.
Finally. True to form, the X-Wing veteran breaths some life into this series. Can't wait for the Rebel Stand (part II).
The fun characters are back, the action scenes are back, without sacrificing the plot or the "bigger issues". This guy is good.
I was thrilled that some of the Wraiths made appearances. Will Lara Notsil show up next? Pleeeaaase mr Allston!
Also Wedge and Tycho and Lando and Horn and.. the Lusankya. Yeah baby! we 're fighting back. The "I suggest you destroy another one" scene, between Lando and the War Droid is hilarious. Vintage Allston.
After the dumb killing of Anakin (what IS the point of building up the coolest character since Coran Horn to kill him off a couple of books later?!) I almost stopped reading this series. Dark Journey was sad - could have summarised the entire book in less than 100 pages...
Read this one people, it's worth it. FINALLY...
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on May 26, 2015
As someone who's more interested in a character-driven story than the technobabble, I'll have to admit it was a bit hard to follow. And I may just cut out the pages about the aliens, since they don't really interest me, either. But the part of the story that I actually read was pretty good.
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