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Book Review

Book Cover

Star Wars
X-Wing: Mercy Kill (Hardback)


Author: Aaron Allston
Century / Lucas Books
RRP: £18.99, US $27.00
ISBN: 978 1 780 89103 3
Available 06 September 2012

For thirty years, since the successful rebellion against the Empire, the Rebel Alliance has faced many challenges. Only now does the Alliance turn to one of its most renowned, disbanded, X-Wing squadrons, The Wraiths. Their particular skill is taking on the most difficult missions, and they are called in when it is suspected that a powerful member of the Alliance, General Thaal, is intimately involved in the Lecersen Conspiracy, which nearly delivered the galaxy back into the hands of the what is left of the Empire. The Wraiths, must used their skills at subterfuge in an effort to uncover the truth...

Star Wars: X-Wing - Mercy Kill is the tenth and latest in the X-Wing series of books. The latest is written by Aaron Allston, no stranger to Star Wars having penned a number of books in the X-Wing, The New Jedi Order, Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi series.

Unlike a number of the recent running series, this X-Wing book both compliments the extended universe, whilst working just fine as a standalone novel. New readers to the X-Wing books will need no prior knowledge as enough background is given to make the narrative work.

Given that the Gammoreans are generally portrayed as mindless grunts, little use apart from as hired muscle (not the most sympathetic of creatures, nor, would I suspect, a species which has a great fan following) it’s a brave man who picks one as his main protagonist. Ok, Piggy is not your average Gammorean, having been genetically enhanced, to the point where he is professor of Mathematics prior to his reactivation into the Wraith squadron. The genetic enhancements allow Allston to give Piggy a much more rounded character; the only time it’s made an issue is when his features allow some comic relief. He also is able to portray Piggy as a complex character full of conflicting emotions, especially regarding his friend Runt.

The bulk of the book consists of a variety of missions which allows the story to demonstrate elements of espionage, con tricks and fighting prowess. Myri provides the connection to the world of the films, being Wedges Antilles's daughter, the rest are expanded universe only.

Allston writes well, personally the main characters have been done to death as well as the inevitable knowledge that regardless of the situations they might find themselves in, that they would always survive, not so new characters, which always adds back a level of much needed suspense back into the stories.

It’s been a long wait as the last X-Wing book, Starfighters of Adumar, also by the same author was published in 1999. But for fans of Wraith squadron the wait will feel justified.


Charles Packer

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