I’m on a quest to re-read all of my favorite (or least favorite that I kept for whatever reason) Star Wars novels in the Expanded Universe and beyond. Come along for the ride and check out my Star Wars Hub for more. There will be SPOILERS for the book discussed.
X-Wing: Wraith Squadron by Aaron Allston
Wraith Squadron marks a departure for the series as Aaron Allston takes over for Michael A. Stackpole. Wedge has moved to a different task. Instead of leading the elite-of-the-elite in a squadron to be commando-pilots, he is taking on the castoffs and problem children of other squadrons, whipping them into shape, and making them into, er, commando-pilots.
The idea is a fine one, and it gives the series a slew of new faces. The best part of the book is all the side characters getting so much development. I was blown away when a certain event happened, showing characters in this series are actually vulnerable. It was quite well done, especially the aftermath.
The plot is a good thread, as an Imperial Warlord continues to meddle with Wedge’s affairs. There are plenty of well-written space battles (caveat being you have to accept the complete absurdity of Star Wars space battles–no; physics and common sense need not apply) to be had. What bogs the story down is some of the more commando parts in which the pilots are out of their various spaceships. There are many scenes that are apparently supposed to be a kind of spy-action type thing happening, but instead just feel slow. They’re throwaway scenes as far as the plot goes, too. One can almost feel Allston waiting to get pilots back into their fighters.
Wraith Squadron is another good read in an excellent series. I continue to enjoy my first-ever read through of this series, and I’m glad I’ve been able to circle back and read them at last.
+Great space battles
+A villain that at least has some mystery to how he acts
+Many side characters introduced
+Actual consequences for characters in the book
-Gets bogged down in action scenes that aren’t in space
-A bit too much standing around talking with each other
Cover Score: 5/10 – They basically just mashed as many fighters on the cover as they could
Grade [measured against my super objective* Star Wars enjoyment factor]: B Allston takes over the series with hardly a hiccup.
*Not super objective and in fact wholly based on my feeling at the time of this review. Not measured against any other sci-fi works or really any other literature. This score is purely because I like giving scores to things.
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