Adventures in Hyperspace #1: Fire Ring Race
by Ryder Windham
Published by Scholastic
Adrick's Rating: 1 out of 4
Meet Han Solo and Chewbacca!
Before they joined the Rebellion against the Empire, the captain Han Solo and his copilot Chewbacca made their living by transporting cargo across the galaxy in the Millennium Falcon. But when Jabba the Hutt hires them to pick up a cargo container at Fornax Station, Han and Chewie pick up something else…trouble!
Fire Ring Race is a nice little Star Wars adventure, well suited in many respects to its younger target audience. Chewie and Han are characterized pretty well, considering the limited length and vocabulary of the book. I love the illustrations by Robert Rath on nearly every page, which have a charming sense of adventure about them. Their layout is visually interesting as well—the illustrations sweep onto the page and give the whole book a swashbuckling feel.
Of course, the reason most long-time fans would want to pick up this book is that the nature of Han and Chewies adventure in the Five Fire Rings of Fornax, first mentioned in the 1976 Star Wars novelization, is finally revealed here, proving that no one-line reference is too obscure to be turned into a full length tale…in one format or another.
This book is easily at the youngest reading level of any Star Wars chapter book, so that takes some getting used to…the true test of this series will be whether it actually appeals to younger readers or not. I’m not sure that selling the idea of space smugglers to six-year-olds is going to work.
But aside from that, the plot here—involving a stolen wedding dress—is pretty bland, and will probably be familiar to those who have read Windham’s previous Star Wars works. Perhaps this isn’t a legitimate criticism, considering that this will probably be the first Star Was book for many a youngling, but a stolen wedding dress just isn’t the sort of thing that sparks young imaginations, y’know?
We see a Wookiee comb for what I think is the first time here, in case you’re shopping for a Wookiee who doesn’t own a comb this Christmas. Not surprisingly, it’s the sort of thing lesser warriors would use as a deadly weapon.