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Solo Command (Star Wars, X-Wing #7) (Book 7) Mass Market Paperback – February 2, 1999
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This is a fast-moving and exciting installment in the X-wing series, the third by Aaron Allston. Once again, Wedge Antilles, "Face" Loran, and the other pilots of Rogue and Wraith squadrons are up against the Warlord Zsinj, who this time is trying to foment mistrust and fear between the human and non-human allies of the New Republic. A series of assassinations by Twi'leks and Gotals has led to the Provisional Council withdrawing all members of these races from active duty. Wedge suspects the aliens have been brainwashed, but it won't be easy to prove.
To defeat Zsinj, the Rogues must destroy his flagship--the super star destroyer Iron Fist--but first they have to persuade Zsinj to risk it in battle. In an attempt to draw him into the open, they mock up a copy of the Millennium Falcon and use it to attack Zsinj's many business interests.
Featuring a guest appearance by General Han Solo, this is a well-written addition to the X-wing series. Allston develops excellent camaraderie between the pilots as they play elaborate practical jokes on one another between missions. And there are plenty of missions, with at least half a dozen set-piece engagements, some in space, some planetside, all described in loving and convincing detail. --Elizabeth Sourbut
From the Inside Flap
ron: they are the Rebel Alliance's ultimate strike force. Sleek, swift, and deadly, they are the first in battle, the last line of defense. Now they must find and destroy a wily enemy more powerful than the Empire itself.
Their covert mission has been a success. The enemy has been vanquished. Or so they thought. The Super Star Destroyer Iron Fist somehow escaped destruction and with it the New Republic's greatest threat, the infamous warlord Zsinj. To defeat him, Wraith Squadron must join a combat task force led by the only man crafty enough to beat Zsinj at his own game: Han Solo.
But Zsinj knows the X-wing fighters' indomitable courage is both their greatest strength--and their greatest weakness. For even against the most overwhelming odds, the Rebels will fight to the death. And that will leave Zsinj the galaxy's unchallenged master!
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WHAT I LIKED:
1) This books leads right into Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia, one of my favorite Star Wars books of all time. As bland as Han Solo is, he does give a reason for what happens in the next book.
2) Gara Pentothel. She has the best arc of the entire trilogy. Her character stretches and grows like no other. I wish her she had more closure, but my heart is with her.
3) At least it's not all dogfights.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
1) People who "die" aren't truly dead. This is used a lot in Star Wars, but it's just plain overused in this series. If they're dead, they're dead. Stop finding a way for them to not be dead. I am no longer saddened at anyone's death, because I'm sure I'll find them alive later down the line. They've lost that emotional response from me as a reader, and that disconnect is a BIG DEAL. I can't relate. I'm outside looking in.
2) There is no logic. Everyone believes A leads to B -- everyone but the reader. Wraith Squadron has to go to a planet to see the place Piggy was transformed. Why? Because Piggy was transformed there. Because Zsinj showed an inkling of interest in a fake Ewok pilot. That was their sole motivation at the time, not because they knew it was important to the New Republic. Was it important? Yes. But they didn't know that at the time. It was a forced situation, so Allston could bring it back into the story later on; but it was completely illogical. Make it Piggy's personal mission. Make it so some of his friends want to come along. Don't make it a mission for Wraith Squadron.
Another example: Tal'dira tries to blast Wedge out of the sky. Corran rescues Wedge, thinks he shot Tal'dira. What is on everyone's mind afterwards? Oh my, Corran shot a fellow pilot. Does that make sense? *He rescued Wedge.* Surely, they should be more concerned they had a traitor pilot? Or Wedge would be unnerved at the assassination attempt? Nope. Just doesn't make sense.
3) Wraiths who aren't fit to fly keep getting put back in the pilot's seat. Come on, this is an elite unit. It's ridiculous someone who's so injured he's still in a Bacta tank is brought along on a ship so they could let him fly. It's ridiculous that someone who disobeys orders and tries to kill a fellow pilot is made to stay with the Wraiths, even when he asks to resign.
4) Han Solo has such a distinctive personality. In "Solo Command," he is the most bland character I've ever seen. I can't tell him apart from anyone else. It's like he has absolutely no energy.
I know lots of people love the X-Wing series, but this is my seventh book and I still don't feel it. The best one so far was book #3, Star Wars: X-Wing: The Krytos Trap. I prefer Aaron Allston's writing style to Michael Stackpole's; but even so, the stories do not show enough depth -- too fast paced, very superficial.