- Colleen McMillan
Colleen’s Book Corner: NJO: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
Author: Aaron Allston
Published March 2002
Set 27 ABY
Can We Breathe for a Minute?
After the one-two punch of Star By Star and Dark Journey, it was nice to get some light moments. Allston deftly handles the comedic aspects, which made this book feel more like Star Wars than the last two. Not that they weren’t good, but I really needed this book to lighten the mood. Allston co-wrote the X-Wing novel series with Michael Stackpole, and it’s evident in the fighter pilot sequences. The man knows his way around a space battle. He was also very comfortable writing characters like Wedge Antilles and the various squadron pilots.
The main plot revolves around the retaking of planet Borleias, which is between the Core and the Inner Rim. The New Republic remnant takes the planet fairly easily, but holding it is the problem. And as the various former Councillors band together in Fey’lya’s absence to try and doom Wedge and his forces on the planet, Luke Skywalker feels a dark pull from Coruscant.
Wedge is a force of nature in this book. His badass response to the erstwhile new Chief of State and his cronies made me cheer. His strategic acumen is almost unmatched by any other New Republic figures, and he’ll need all of his cunning to hold the planet as long as he can. But Wedge wasn’t the only character that I enjoyed. This is the first time I’ve met Wraith Squadron, the outcast group of starfighters, commandos, and intelligence operatives from some of Allston’s other novels. Cheeky and hilarious, everyone introduced from this group was fantastic, and it was fun to see them interact with characters like Jaina. They fit in well with Jaina’s psychological warfare plans. And we also get more Jagged Fel, his unflappable energy a nice balance to Jaina’s fierceness.
Who Will Jaina Choose?
Jaina’s continued storyline was also strong, as she attempts to deal with her brush with the dark side and believing that the war will eventually claim her life. She pulls away from Kyp and Jag, hoping that when she dies, it will be easier on them. All interactions between these three are rewarding as well.
Who’s Your Daddy?
The Yuuzhan Vong have another ace up their sleeve as well: Tsavong Lah’s father, an “ancient” warrior and former warmaster who now teaches new warriors. Interestingly, we learn that Papa Lah did NOT want to invade this galaxy, so his son took over as warmaster. I hope we get more of their dynamic and why Papa Lah didn’t want to invade. The more information we get on the Yuuzhan Vong, the more interesting they become.
Final Thoughts: 9/10 Lightsabers
This novel was enjoyable and a quick read. It felt like pressure easing off my soul whenever I could laugh at a character’s behavior or quips. And we need way more content with Lando talking to his droid companion, 1-1A. HILARIOUS.