Allegiance by Timothy Zahn

I almost didn’t read this book because there are stormtroopers on the cover and generally, I haven’t been a big fan of books focused on stormtroopers.  But it is by Timothy Zahn, also featured our intrepid OT heroes, and promised young Mara Jade, so I went for it.  It was a good book, though probably my least favorite Zahn book to date.

I liked Mara, though I kept remembering that she’s only 18 in this book and some of the stuff seems very mature for her age.  Though she does also make some rash decisions, so I guess that makes sense for an 18 year old.  I was confused by her Force powers.  If I remember correctly, in the Thrawn trilogy, Luke is teaching her to use the Force.  In this book, she’s younger and in complete control – moving things, influencing people, whatever needs to be done.  I think there might have been something in TT about her thinking her powers came from the Emperor and she lost them when he died?  idk.  It just seemed weird to me. I did really like her interactions with Darth Vader and felt he was well written.

I like the Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewy story lines.  Leia’s was especially interesting.  I feel like Zahn did a good job of capturing them in their post A New Hope places, especially Han wavering between staying with the Rebellion and leaving to pay off Jabba and working out his feelings towards Leia.

The stormtroopers weren’t as bad as I expected them to be, but I still wasn’t overly invested in their story.  It was just a little meh for me.  I did like them by the end of the book.

Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn

Huh. Okay, where to start. I really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and liked that even though Han was the main character, it was everyone’s story. I am glad I already knew who Kell was from the Wraith books and liked him more here than I did in Wraith Squadron. I really enjoyed the Ocean’s 11 vibe more than I thought I would. It was fun to see everything come together and unfold. There were times when it felt needlessly over complicated, but for the most part, it was enjoyable.

The ending, though. What the actual hell? I was surprised by that and a little annoyed.

A couple notes on my SWEU read through: I did give up on the Jedi Twilight books, including Shadow Games. I just wasn’t interested enough to follow that story line. I do however plan to go back and read the two Han Solo trilogies I skipped over eventually. I’m just trying to move forward at a slightly faster rate so I can catch up to the story around the X-wing books.

 

Iron Fist by Aaron Allston

Remember last X-wing book when I said I didn’t like the Wraiths as much as I liked the Rogues?  Forget that.  I still miss the Rogues, but this book did a lot to make me love the Wraiths.

I love Face so much.  I liked getting to know him better and am so glad that he was the focus of this book.  I loved his relationship with Phanan and how far he comes to overcome his past.

I really liked the new characters added to the squad.  I was a little wary at first, but I ended up liking the new kids, with the exception of Castin who totes got what he deserved.  And Lieutenant Kettch may be my favorite Star Wars character ever.  Yub, yub, indeed.

(Spoiler alert) Phanan.  OMG.  This may have been the first time I cried over a death in an X-wing book.  And then his letter to Face.  OMG.  I just couldn’t handle it.  I was so distraught by his death that I had a hard time reading the final battle sequence because I was sure something was going to happen to either Face or Dia.