X-Wing - The Bacta War
by Michael Stackpole
Published by Bantam Publishing
Scott's Rating: 4 out of 4
David's Rating: 3 out of 4
I thought this was a satisfying finale to the Rogue Squadron Series. Though it leaves a lot of questions open at the end (mainly about Corran's Jedi status), I hope the series will be continued. This novel is also cool because it is very much tied to the Dark Horse Comics Rogue Squadron series (also written by Stackpole). Though you don't need to read them to follow the story, it is an extra treat for those of us that do.
BACTA WAR had a lot of really cool action, a great love story between Mirax and Corran, and an interesting sub-plot about Corran's journey through the Force. Also meeting the Darklighters and Mirax's father was funny. One of the best things about the story is the interaction and humor between the characters. Some of the one liners and jokes used in the novel are things that many of my friends would say in real life (ie Seeing a girl's father and saying "Luckily you take after your mother!") This was a really fun story and I think the best of the X-wing series.
I'm not going to put any spoilers on this part because, as you would guess, Corran Horn attempts to escape the prison Lusankya. This is one of the most exciting parts of the book. To describe what happens WOULD be a spoiler, so I won't tell you what happens. But what Corran discovers will have long ranging impacts on both him and Rogue Squadron. I really love Corran Horn's character and I think part of the reason is that he is a combination of both Luke and Han. This book also explores deeper into the interspecies love and its ramifications. It is also good to see a little of the Star Wars Universes judicial system. (We see that though they are technically advanced, it is as screwed up as anything we could come up with!) The big finish and the revelation of the location of the prison was very exciting. It was also good to see terrorist actions by the former Imperials being addressed. I really liked it.
This book continues the X-Wing tradition of great humour, character development and action. I don't know if Stackpole was already planning I, Jedi when he wrote this book, but Corran is clearly developing towards his character in that novel, even mentioning his desire to see his grandfather, Rostek Horn. One of the highlights of this novel is the new character of Booster Terrick, Mirrax's father. Not only is he instantly entertaining, he promises to remain interesting in stories to come. I also liked the Ashern rebels and the fact that the insurrection wasn't glossed over, sometimes you have to do bad things for the greater good. As well, the sub plots were worthy of Zahn. The conflict between Isard and Vorru, the continuing romance between Corran and Mirax, and many others made this a must read.
As usual, I had a bit of trouble following some of the action scenes. That's probably just me, though. I also hope that the series is continued because there are a lot of loose ends that I would like to see tied up. I kind of felt Isards character went downhill a bit in this story. She went from cold and calculating to a bit insane. You could really debate whether that was the natural progression of the character or not. Finally, I don't know much about the technical side of a Star Destroyer, but they seemed to be defeated a bit easily. My impression was that they were a bit more formidable than they were portrayed in the novel. Still, it was really cool to see them defeated. Other than these little things, I thought the book was great!
Of all the X-Wing novels, this one is my least favorite. It lacks an element that makes all the others more realistic. Not one likable character dies in this book. You'd think that when one squadron of fighters goes up against four Star Destroyers, one of them a Super Star Destroyer, at least one pilot would die. As well, taking down a Star Destroyer doesn't seem to be that hard, although some books are a lot worse than The Bacta War on that account. Wedge seemed to get an awful lot of lucky breaks at the end as well, during the final stages of his plan to retake Thyferra. The captains of the various Star Destroyers seem to be a little on the dim side. All in all, this book only seems bad when you compare it to the other X-Wing books, which still puts it far ahead of most SW novels.
The Stormtrooper being stabbed through by one of the RAID bugs! Eck! What a way to go!
An insane woman with one red eye and one blue.