Rogue Squadron, by Michael A. Stackpole

May 21, 2011 at 16:52 (Book Reviews, Fiction, Highly Rated Books, Star Wars Saturday!) (, , , , , )

9/10

Almost certainly the strongest of the X-Wing series of books, and probably because as the introductory novel, it did not rely on either an implausibly complex quest (as the Wraith Squadron sequels typically did), nor did the author have time to grow tired and wrench his pilots from their cockpits to explore different and foreign landscapes. This latter option was successfully carried out with the Rogues’ journeys to Coruscant and Thyferra, and even to some degree in Isard’s Revenge and Starfighters of Adumar; but quite simply, this novel is a success because its formula has not yet had a chance to foment or grow stale.

Quite apart from pasting generic character templates over Wedge and a few extras from the films themselves, Stackpole comes up with an impressively large and detailed ensemble cast, creating for the roles some of the most enduring and deep characters the expanded universe has yet seen, as well as poaching delicately and deliberately from the creations of other authors. The story itself suffers a little from having only weak and cartoonish antagonists, but remains gripping throughout due to Stackpole’s development of some enduring themes and characters, some of which were later either rushed or prematurely ended in his (and other) later books. Nevertheless, this is certainly the best of the X-Wing series, and can hold its head up high as a contender for one of the best Star Wars books yet published.

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