Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Star Wars: X-Wing: Mercy Kill Review

Star Wars X-Wing #10: Mercy Kill
Click to buy it at Barnes & Noble
I'm a Star Wars nut from way back, so any Star Wars review by me tends to be a little biased. But, I'm enough of a fan-boy that I can admit when I have a real gripe with the galaxy far, far away. That said, I'm glad Lucasfilm has raised the bar on their novels.

The Good
Star Wars: X-Wing: Mercy Kill takes place thirty years after the original X-Wing series, and just after the events in the Fate of the Jedi series. None of the original Star Wars characters take part, except for a brief cameo by Wedge Antilles. This was a predominant theme with the original X-Wing books, so it's not a real surprise.

But Mercy Kill adds delightful stories to the Star Wars universe. Building on the tension of an infiltration mission, coupled with building a new Wraith squadron from the ashes of the old one. It was exciting and fun. All the action of a heist story set in the Star Wars universe. At the very least, you get to see Gamorrean male go-go dancers.

The Bad
This book might only be meant for true Star Wars fans or sci-fi fans that can enjoy the Star Wars universe. You're not going to see any of the original characters and if you're not familiar enough with the X-Wing series (or the expanded Star Wars universe), you might feel like you walked into a new Jason Bourne movie without knowing who Jason Bourne is. Sure it'll have action, but you'll spend a little time catching up on the story. But even that's not a big deal, since Aaron Allston did a great job of providing enough clues to the history that all readers will be able to jump right in.
Star Wars The Clone Wars: Shatterpoint
Click to buy it at B&N

Final Tally
As far as Star Wars books go, I think Mercy Kill is one of the better ones in the expanded universe. I give it high marks for action/intrigue and character development. My favorite character was Piggy, an altered Gamorrean with high intellect and the ability to speak. He pulls the spine of the story together, which was a wise choice.

If you're looking for another good expanded universe title, I recommend Shatterpoint by Matthew Stover. It's the first Clone Wars novel and stars Mace Windu. It also holds the distinction for being the first Star Wars book I've read that shows a Jedi acting intelligently and not just jumping into a hack-n-slash battle.

3 comments:

  1. Sweet! I love Star Wars but I haven't read any of the books. I've been hoping to jump in somewhere but since there seem to be hundreds, I've not been able to decide where. Do you think this book is the best place to start?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you haven't read any of the Star Wars book, I'd recommend you start with Truce at Bakura by Kathy Tyers. It takes place the day after the battle of the second Death Star.

      Another good one right around that period is The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton.

      But be surre you pick up the Heir to the Empire series by Timothy Zahn. They the best out of all the Star Wars books.

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