Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Star Wars: X-Wing: Mercy Kill - Aaron Allston

Star Wars: X-Wing: Mercy Kill
Aaron Allston
Copyright Date: August 7, 2012

The product description:
The intrepid spies, pilots, and sharpshooters of Wraith Squadron are back in an all-new Star Wars adventure, which transpires just after the events of the Fate of the Jedi series!

Three decades have passed since Wraith Squadron carried out its last mission. Taking on the most dangerous and daring operations, the rogues and misfits of the elite X-Wing unit became legends of the Rebellion and the Second Galactic Civil War, before breaking up and going their separate ways. Now their singular skills are back in vital demand—for a tailor-made Wraith Squadron mission.

A powerful general in the Galactic Alliance Army, once renowned for his valor, is suspected of participating in the infamous Lecersen Conspiracy, which nearly toppled the Alliance back into the merciless hands of the Empire. With orders to expose and apprehend the traitor—and license to do so by any and all means—the Wraiths will become thieves, pirates, impostors, forgers . . . and targets, as they put their guts, their guns, and their riskiest game plan to the test against the most lethal of adversaries.
It's been a long time since the last X-Wing novel, Starfighters of Adumar, also by Aaron Allston. A long time not just in our years, but between the events of Star Fighters of Adumar and Mercy Kill. As a result, there's the entirety of the New Jedi Order books and more to be taken into account with the newest of the X-Wing stories. As a result, much of the Wraith Squadron we see in this book is made up of the next generation of characters - still led by Face, and there are a couple of the old Wraiths that show up - not to mention Piggy. In a sense, this is his book.

There were a lot of things in this book that I liked - the Wraiths way of getting things done, some of the jokes that were familiar running jokes from the earlier books etc. On the other hand, I felt quite lost while reading Mercy Kill. I think this book more than the previous books in the X-Wing series hinges on being familiar with the rest of the Star Wars canon. And I'm not. After reading the first few books in the New Jedi Order series, I found I didn't care for the new style as much. Therefore, I'm almost completely unfamiliar with the new structure of the galaxy, not to mention most of the cast of characters.

Mercy Kill is still readable without that knowledge, but I did feel rather lost at times. Sort of a "who is this? what caused this?" kind of thing. Apparently, for example, the Wraiths had been decommissioned at some point before the story starts, and from what I gathered, it was for supporting the wrong side in a conflict. That's about all I know though.

So, I'm about middling on this book. I liked it, but not as much as I'd hoped to. The thing is, I don't know how much of that is the fault of the book, or my lacking familiarity with the Star Wars world as it is at the time of Mercy Kill. I'm finding it hard to really judge Mercy Kill, but I don't know if I'm making my opinion based on the merits of the book itself or not.

What's your opinion of the book? I know most of the reviews I've seen are more or less positive.

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